Tesla Science Center Becomes a Reality after Successful Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign

October 15, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe announces the successful completion of its recent Internet-based crowdfunding campaign on The effort was spearheaded by Seattle-based cartoonist Matthew Inman. It raised $1,370,511 to help the Tesla Science Center purchase Wardenclyffe, the only remaining laboratory in the world where scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla worked, in Shoreham, NY.

When Inman learned that Wardenclyffe was in danger of being sold and lost forever, he sprang into action. The property was listed at $1.6 million, and the organization had an $850,000 reimbursement grant from New York State waiting to be used, which meant the crowdfunding campaign had to raise $850,000 in six weeks. Inman launched the fundraising campaign by challenging his legion of blog followers to meet the goal and offered gifts such as portraits, posters, and ad space on his blog to major contributors.

Inman's fans flocked to the web, achieving the original goal in less than a week. The six week "Let's Build A Goddamn Tesla Museum" campaign showcased how one idea could spark a worldwide call to action:

Over 33,000 contributions were made from each of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C., and 108 countries around the world.

In addition, hundreds of people have volunteered their time and professional expertise to get the project started and to transform the 100+ year-old brick building into a world-renowned museum and interactive science education center.

Nikola Tesla has been little known in the US since his dream to transmit energy wirelessly from Wardenclyffe faded, but he has become more prominent in popular culture in recent years. Among his achievements are the formative patents for radio, robotics, remote control, alternating current, the bladeless turbine, and many more, which have all had an impact on modern life.

Said Inman in a recent interview, "It's inspiring to see so much generosity towards Nikola Tesla. How often do we get to have a direct impact on the legacy of a hero who's been dead and forgotten for 70 years? It's incredible to watch and be a part of. I always refer to Tesla as an unsung hero, but with what's happened on the Internet over the past few months, I'm not sure that's appropriate anymore. We're singing his song right now, loud and clear--and it's truly inspiring."

"This is Indiegogo's fastest growing campaign, having generated over 50% of its funding goal in just 24 hours, and reaching the full $850,000 in less than a week," said Slava Rubin, CEO and Co-founder of Indiegogo. "Jane and Matthew had an idea, and it's incredible to see how Tesla fans, the State of New York and the Indiegogo community have come together to resurrect and preserve Nikola Tesla's achievements. This is the power of crowdfunding--being able to democratically change the world, one dollar at a time."

"Thanks to Matthew Inman and thousands of Tesla fans from around the world who donated through Indiegogo, we are discussing the terms of purchase for Wardenclyffe with Agfa Corporation, the current owners of the site," said Jane Alcorn, president of The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. "The level of support for this is a testament to the impact Tesla has made on the world, and it's that impact that has spurred an international movement to make it happen. Tesla would have been delighted."

Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation in the state of New York, dedicated to saving and restoring Wardenclyffe, and transforming it into a science learning center and museum.