Currently, 5,181 backers have pledged a total of $50,854 for the company's Chameleon product, which offers a customized home screen for Android tablets.
Teknision chose to fundraise on Kickstarter for many reasons in addition to gaining capital. The $50,000 won't even fully cover the cost of development for the software said Gabor Vida, president of Teknision, but it will raise awareness of the product and act as low-tech market research.
Each person who pledges money will gain access to Chameleon software once it's developed, and Kickstarter allows the company to see how much customers are willing to pay.
The average pledge was around $10, which suggests that Teknision could charge that much once it lists the software on Google Play Store this September. The highest donation so far was only $100, Mr. Vida said, adding that Kickstarter is a great option for startups looking for smaller funding amounts than venture capitalists or banks generally grant.
This is only the start of Teknision's fundraising efforts, but the Kickstarter cash will allow the company to tell potential investors that more than 5,000 people are already using the product, and paid for it before it was even developed.
Kickstarter allows users to post a project with a fundraising target that viewers can contribute to. If that monetary goal isn't reached, however, no money is awarded at all. Projects must include a clear and concrete objective, and cannot be used for charity or personal funding.
While competing websites such as Indiegogo do exist, none can compete with Kickstarter's traffic - which is why it's frustrating that the popular site makes it difficult for Canadians to participate, Mr. Vida said. Registration involves setting up an Amazon payment system in the name of an American citizen at an American address. Teknision had to recruit an ally in the United States in order to set up their account.
"I think absolutely that should change," he said. "It doesn't make business sense to make it difficult for anybody."
The Chameleon technology allows Android tablet owners to customize their home screen.
Unlike Apple and Microsoft tablets, which display a screen of downloaded applications when powered on, Android offers a home screen that users can customize with widgets (apps with personal live-streamed information) of their choosing. But this means that home screens tend to look a little sloppy.
"There's no harmony," said Mr. Vida. "You get a home screen that's full of widgets that don't share any common look or feel. It detracts from the usability of it. We thought, home screens are a cool idea, but let's do them right."
Chameleon allows users to create customized screens for the morning, at work and the evening that are set up using GPS locations, Wi-Fi networks and time ranges. A morning home screen might include e-mail, weather and news; at work it could feature your business e-mail, task list and calendar; the evening home screen might display apps for movies, music and social media.
Teknision, founded in 2001, worked with Ottawa-based QNX Software to develop the BlackBerry PlayBook's operating system in 2010.
Chameleon is the company's first product, traditionally operating as a user interface design and development company. Its 10 employees serve customers mainly in the United States.
Teknision's next design project is a development kit to support the creation of widgets or dashboards. The goal is to make it as simple as designing a web page, Mr. Vida said.
Before that, the company will wait out its remaining week on Kickstarter to see just how many people are willing to put their faith in the Chameleon product. Armed with that knowledge, the real fundraising efforts will begin.
"We really believe that Chameleon is not a $50,000 idea," Mr. Vida said. "It's more like a $50 million idea. It's just early days for us."