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NGI webinar on crowdfunding

Sustainable funding for open source projects

This free online event on September 21 from 10 to 11:45 CEST organized by NGI Zero and NGI TETRA dives into sustainable funding for open source projects. Dr. Melanie Rieback of Radically Open Security and member of the NGI0 consortium offered insights into nonprofit business models and open hardware developer Andrew "bunnie" Huang shared his experiences with crowdfunding.

Great ideas can change the world. Many open source tools and services first started out as nothing more than an idea, some new way to do things better, a solution to persistent problems. On the journey from idea to solution, many developers and contributors come to a point where they wonder if they can turn their project into their job. The question is, how? Where do you start? Is it sensible to start a business and offer customer support? Do you want to reserve time and money to work full-time on an amazing new feature, and where do you look for funding (and what would the funders ask in return)? These are difficult questions to answer on your own. That is why NGI Zero has organized a freely accessible webinar about sustainably funding open source projects for grantees of the Next Generation Internet initiative (as well as anyone else who would like to join in). This is the second webinar NGI Zero organized together with NGI TETRA, the first on September 7 at 10 is focused on community building for open source projects.

The Next Generation Internet initiative covers various funding programs for research and development that makes online technology more resilient, trustworthy and sustainable. NLnet foundation funds hundreds of open source and open hardware-projects through the NGI Zero grant program and the NGI Zero consortium, a world-class coalition of not-for-profit organizations supporting researchers and developers with their expertise on security, code quality, accessibility, localisation, pacakaging, diversity, as well as organizing funding. NGI TETRA is a business acceleration program where a network of consultants and experts offer support to NGI-funded projects to commercialize or build a business around their work.

During this online webinar NGI offers two perspectives on sustainable funding for open source (and open hardware) projects. The first part gives insights why it is important to look into various business models and engage with interested people to develop technology that can be successful in the long run. Several nonprofit business models that allow open source communities to financially support themselves in an independent way (outside of venture capital) will be discussed. The second part concerns crowdfunding open source work, the reasons for organizing crowdfunding and how to execute a successful campaign.

We hope this webinar will help you develop long-term funding strategies for your open source project. Should you want to discuss your strategy further, there is a possibility to have one hour of one-on-one mentoring from Melanie Rieback for 10 participants. More information on how to apply will be shared during the webinar.

Webinar recording and presentations

View the online session below (provided by, a PeerTube-instance dedicated to conferences and community events content). Also view the public chat and the shared notes of the webinar.


  • Dr. Melanie Rieback is CEO and co-founder of Radically Open Security, the world's first not-for-profit computer security company. She is also a former Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Free Unversity of Amsterdam. She was named "Most Innovative IT Leader of the Netherlands" by CIO Magazine (TIM Award) in 2017, and one of the "9 Most Innovative Women in the European Union" (EU Women Innovators Prize) in 2019. Rieback was also selected as one of the 400 most succesful women in the Netherlands by Viva Magazine (Viva400) in 2017 as well as in 2017, and one of the fifty most inspiring women in tech (Inspiring Fifty Netherlands) in 2017, 2017 and 2019. Radically Open Security was named the 50th Most Innovative SME by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (MKB Innovatie TOp 100) in 2016.
  • Andrew "bunnie" Huang is best known for his work hacking the Microsoft Xbox, as well as for his efforts in designing and manufacturing open source hardware, including the chumby (app-playing alarm clock), chibitronics (peel-and-stick electronics for craft), Novena (DIY laptop), and Precursor (trustable mobile device). He received his PhD in EE from MIT in 2002.
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