Getting a business loan in this economy can be more difficult than landing a reservation at French Laundry in Napa, California. Now try selling the loan officer on an open source hardware project where the blueprints will be given away.
That's why the hardware hacking community is turning inwards to fund its ideas. Two open source hardware enthusiasts, Justin Huynh and Matt Stack, have started the Open Source Hardware Bank to fund hardware projects such as the microcontroller board pictured above.
The fledgling bank is funding only open source hardware projects using capital raised from other hardware geeks. It's like a community of Facebook friends borrowing and lending among themselves — a peer-to-peer bank.
Yet another example of networks stepping up to the plate where hierarchical institutions have failed us.