Starter Talks: A Fireside Chat with Charles Adler


A Fireside Chat with Charles Adler Co-Founder of Kickstarter


Writer/Social media specialist: Melissa DiVietri            Photographer: Leonard Beck


Charles Adler, co founder of Kickstarter presented a phenomenal speech during StarterFest hosted at Lowe Campbell Ewald on Monday, September 15, 2014. Kickerstarter is a global crowdfunding platform that brought creative projects to life. Kickstarter launched on April 28, 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler.


Starting off the night with an enlightful story on where he was from and how he grew into who he is today. Charles called himself a nomad because he moved so many times. An interesting fact was that Charles traveled once to India as a child. He expressed that travel should be a necessity, it is good for you.


In 1995, he went to engineering school at Purdue University in hopes of becoming an architect. He is a designer, by accident. He wasn’t fully fulfilled by the people around him. He avoided school work because he was addicted to design work. Charles dropped out of school to design and develop for a studio in Chicago.


He found the web while living in Chicago. In 1996, Charles started a side project which was a radio stream, one of three at the time, so people could listen to him online. At the time, he required that anyone that played during his stream would have to bring another person to play, and so on. It showed that people were actually listening because the musicians booked a gig in a different country. He realized the audience was not in Chicago but listening halfway across the world.


Charles was involved in Kickstarter with roots from Perry Chen. It was originally Perry’s idea while living in New Orleans in 2001 . It came to him when he wanted to throw a rave, bring in djs and electronic music. He began to think about who he wanted to bring in, the security and the space. Than Perry had to think about the bill, how would it get paid for. So this never happened, it still hasn’t happened to this day. The idea started to come when he realized can someone prepay for the event? Perry went back and started to wait tables, that is where he met Yancey who was a regular. They began to bound and talk further about the idea. Charles got the random introduction by Perry of what Kickstarter could become.


Kickstarter is a new way to fund projects from films, games, design, technology and social. It was brought to life by 6.2 million people who have pledge $1 billion.

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