It is similar to an Initial Public Offering or IPO, when a company goes public and shares are offered in order to fund the company. However, ICO participants are rarely purchasing a piece of the company. They are purchasing (many times at a discount rate) the coins or tokens that will eventually trade on crypto exchanges.
Click here to list your ICO or Crowdsale! You can buy into an ICO yourself very easily. Here is a list of the top ICOs and crowdsales happening right now: