Arduino helps pick a winner in KissKissBankBank’s startup battle

Eight startups, two boxes, one winner. 

With the rapidly growing Maker Movement continuing to take shape, many startups are turning to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The massive funding amounts that have been garnered over the past couple of years convey tremendous enthusiasm from communities, all wishing to support an entrepreneur’s dream and see a new product go to market. This DIY spirit spans across continents with a number of funding sites having been launched over the last five years, including French-based KissKissBankBank which has become one of Europe’s more popular communities. 


As part of KissKissBankBank’s “La Social Cup” event, eights teams of young entrepreneurs were selected to do battle to acquire funding of their project. For the occasion, design studio Merci-Michel was asked to make an interactive installation that would serve as the heart of the campaign. The exhibit they devised was composed of two ballot boxes, where audience members would insert coins denoting their favorite project. Each time someone voted, an animation and sound was played on a big screen, while the battle’s score was displayed in real-time.


In order to make this a reality, the device was made powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) attached to opto-interruptors, which could detect the coins as they were dropped and count the points accordingly.

“All the animations projected were made with Flash, and the connection Arduino/Flash was made with a serial proxy,” the company writes.

Arduino Uno

So was it a success? Turns out, more than 200 eager voters used the live installation during the party. Interested in learning more? You can read all about the event on the event’s official page here.

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