Carolyn Stromberg secured $45,000 in private loans to open her own wine-and-cheese shop in Washington, D.C., but she was still about $12,000 short. She turned to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, and she used social media to spread the word about her campaign. She managed to surpass her goal within a month after receiving donations from 160 backers, about half of whom were strangers. "I had to be a little shameless in terms of promoting," Stromberg said. She also had to offer special perks to contributors.