Yes, you can raise money by crowdfunding, but is it the best way to do that? A recent Wired article suggests that some companies may be missing out on the strategic value add that comes from a respected VC team that backs your project. So, while you get free cash, you receive no help with important relationships, project management, or in running the business.
Alternatively, Dash Robots intends to use the event to plug into its customers to discover product preferences and costs, get feedback, and test pricing elasticity.
But what really seems to be happening is that crowd funding is filling the gap between three F funding (family, friends and fools) and VC funding that is now requiring proof of concept and a customer list.