As a fundraising vehicle, crowdfunding is still in the do it yourself phase of evolution. The current model is inadequate; once a project goes live on a crowdfunding portal like Kickstarter, the project creator is on its own with little to no marketing support. Many campaigns fail to reach their goal.
Crowdfunding can take lessons from the investment banking model by adopting two mechanics that make fund raising more efficient: syndication and marketing. If crowdfunding portals acted like investment banks, they would form syndicates to collaboratively raise money that, at closing, would be pooled into one lump sum. The project creator raises more money, each syndicate partner takes their cut, and, in theory, everybody wins. To make their cut, syndicate partners are incentivized to actively market the campaign to their dedicated client base, and achieve a much higher close rate than say, a cold solicitation of a Facebook ad that many current crowd funders resort to. Unfortunately, crowdfunding portals have no reason to collaborate because they don’t provide any marketing benefits to a campaign, and would cannibalize each other.
The final piece of marketing is deal exposure. Investment banks work together with business media to make sure their deal is covered by analysts and reporters. They do the dog and pony shows from city to city to market the deal down to the community level. What’s missing from the current crowdfunding model is the ability to reach local levels where word of mouth and personal connection marketing can truly happen.
I call the next phase “collaborative crowdfunding” because it will mobilize the groups and organizations that share the values of a campaign and give them tangible incentives to actively support it. This alliance is the new “syndicate”. National exposure is done by branding the campaign with a specific hashtag (similar to how brands use hashtags during SuperBowl), and getting the syndicate to market the hashtag across the social media, particularly Twitter.
Example: A collaborative crowdfunding model for artists and museums
Kickstarter raised more money for artists in 2012 than the National Endowment for the Arts. As the funding for arts projects moves towards crowdsourcing, the needs of artists and museums remain the same. Artists need exhibition space, more money to live on, and ways to continue to build their brand by exposing their art. Museums need funding sources, marketing budgets, and ways to show their communities of local patrons and the artists themselves how they contribute to them. Since the mutual need of the artist and the museum is to stage a successful exhibition, collaborative crowdfunding can market and fund an exhibition that engages the audience both are after: the local art lover.
The Infinity Boxes is a typical crowdfunding campaign of a social art exhibit with two distinct differences. First, it resides on its own domain name theinfinityboxes.com, not a Kickstarter like portal. Collaborative crowdfunding requires a permanent site to maintain continuity for serial campaigns; The Infinity Boxes uses the white label Crowdtilt Open platform. Second, this is the principal campaign site to capture backers for The Infinity Boxes; there are separate, parallel campaigns run by the museums that fundraise to bring The Infinity Boxes to their venue.
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester (“MAG”) is the first in a series of museums launching a collaborative crowdfunding campaign to support the expenses associated with staging their Infinity Boxes exhibition. The proceeds of the MAG campaign up to the target amount are used to cover the artist’s expenses, any surplus is earmarked for the museum’s curatorial expenses, which motivate the museum marketing staff to raise as much as possible. The video and content for the Museum campaign simply borrows from the artist’s master campaign because it tells the artist’s story direct to the MAG’s backers. It makes it simple for museums to collaborate, museum’s only need to add specific collateral and rewards to their campaign.
The artist benefits simply by getting their exhibitions funded directly from museums’ crowdsourcing to their membership. Collaborating museums act as the new syndicate to engage local backers who would be inaccessible to the project if the museums were not involved.
What are the museums’ benefits from collaborative crowdfunding?
Collaborative crowdfunding is a serial activity, not a one-off Kickstarter type campaign, that should become a natural strategy for artist sustainability. The master plan for the artist behind The Infinity Boxes is to continue to run campaigns and schedule the exhibit with museums and events producers through future calendar years, and to eventually run new campaigns to support other projects. Serial crowdfunding becomes sustainable with each new campaign as artists and museums validate this new idea of collaborating for a mutual goal. As they all learn to work together, larger blocs of museums (50? 100?) can rally to support even bigger campaigns and issues facing the arts world that could supplement or replace traditional foundation funding. That’s how next phases happen.
Article by Pat Kitano, CEO, BNN Funding
The online talent contest launching from Tampa Bay – Florida, wants to change the talent contest scene worldwide. “The world is full of TV talent shows and all of them look the same. We’re doing something new”, says George Ruiz co-founder of SuperXtar.
A TALENT CONTEST OPEN TO ANYBODY IN THE WORLD
Any amateur singer could submit their video to the SuperXtar website for the viewers to vote on. Language or geographical location doesn’t matter. Any kind of music and style are welcome.
George Ruiz and three of his partners formed SuperXtar seeking to fill up a gap in the entertainment contest world. They affirm that one of the main differences with other musical talent contests is that SuperXtar won’t be restricted by frontiers or language and it will reach audiences worldwide.
NOT JUST ANOTHER SINGING CONTEST
George Ruiz doesn’t want SuperXtar to be just another singing talent contest like the ones that overcrowd the TV networks worldwide. “The singers will have to do more than just sing”, he says. “They’ll have to entertain the viewers with a dynamic singing performance and dance. We want to keep the viewers engaged”.
More information at indiegogo.
MasterCard and Verifone provide credit card management system
Miami, FL – July 28, 2014 – ClassWallet.com, a tool designed to make it easier for teachers to raise, manage, track and spend money for classroom needs, goes live today. The platform for K-12 educators is designed to bring efficiency, transparency and savings to the K-12 school system that for years has laboriously collected cash and checks at bake sales and other fundraisers to then manage among interdepartmental brown envelopes. ClassWallet.com is an education technology company dedicated to improving education by advancing teacher access to critical resources.
ClassWallet.com provides teachers with an e-wallet to collect funds for field trips, special projects and other fundraisers. The funds can then be used to purchase classroom supplies directly from vendors within ClassWallet.com’s ecommerce marketplace, including Office Max, School Specialty and Scholastic. MasterCard and Verifone are providing a debit card solution for ClassWallet.com account holders to access funds outside of its ecommerce environment.
“Teachers do much more than teach and we believe that technology should do more for teachers,” said Jamie Rosenberg, Founder and CEO of ClassWallet.com. “ClassWallet.com provides teachers with easy access to resources to fulfill classroom needs. We apologize to the manufacturers of interdepartmental envelopes, but the future is here.”
Parents, foundations and corporations, as well as school and district administrations, can contribute directly to a ClassWallet.com account with the ability to designate and track how funds are used to support the classroom.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, state funding for K-12 schools is in decline since before the 2007-09 recession, which makes community funding even more critical. Moreover, ClassWallet.com mirrors the country’s purchasing habits, wherein more of 80% of the value of consumer spend is reportedly cashless.
From now through September 30th, ClassWallet.com is hosting a “Win For Your School” contest. The first school to have all of its teachers register for ClassWallet.com accounts will win school supplies for life through the ClassWallet.com marketplace.
To register for an e-wallet account or for more information, visit www.ClassWallet.com.
ClassWallet.com is a SaaS solution that allows teachers to raise, manage, spend and track funds in a cashless, transparent environment using a virtual e-wallet and ecommerce marketplace.
By streamlining the collecting, spending and tracking of funds, ClassWallet.com brings efficiency, transparency and savings to a system that for years has relied on cash, checks and brown envelopes. ClassWallet.com enables teachers to make budgeting and purchasing decisions for the classroom while affording administration and funders appropriate transparency and control.
To learn more, visit ClassWallet.com.
Crowdera’s new civic crowdfunding platform, initially focused on education-related projects, now welcomes a broad range of civic-minded projects supporting communities worldwide.
San Jose, CA (Silicon Valley) (PRWEB) July 21, 2014 – Crowdera and Umojawa have joined forces on a new crowdfunding platform for civic crowdfunding initiatives across the globe. This move merges the complementary strengths of both companies — Crowdera’s product development and technology expertise with umojawa’s proven success in funding projects and passion for community building and effecting social change — resulting in a compelling, distinctive crowdfunding experience focused on civic projects.
“Our merger with Umojawa completes our vision for delivering an unparalleled crowdfunding experience,” said Rich Matsuura, CEO of Crowdera, who left his leadership role at eBay to create a new movement with Crowdera. “We’re building Crowdera to give people the tools and knowledge about how to leverage crowds for things that matter to them.”
Crowdera’s platform provides a simple, effective way for individuals and organizations to achieve their fundraising goals reaching a far greater audience via social media to build a community of participation and support. Crowdera’s platform complements existing fundraising and volunteering activities by offering a user-friendly platform to create visually compelling, viral fundraising campaigns that raise awareness and funding for an individual or organization’s needs and dreams. As a “boots on the ground” organization, Crowdera supports organizations and individuals to create movements that seed changes they find important in their world.
“Ours is a perfect marriage of values and vision. Umojawa’s focus has been on building movements by empowering individuals and organizations serving youth and their communities in the United States, Africa, and Haiti to bring about changes that have significant impact,” said Stephanie Jelley, co-founder and CMO of Crowdera and former CEO of Umojawa.
Founder Chet Jain agrees. “Stephanie and I met at the second annual Silicon Valley Crowdfunding Conference; it was random and so serendipitous. Our values and goals to make the world a better place were in perfect alignment, and the strength of our organizations complemented each other so well, including our geographic impact,” Jain said. Crowdera has had positive impact through its work in India, complementing umojawa’s extensive North American focus.
Crowdera will showcase their platform at Kickercon 2014 in Houston, TX in late August. Jelley will speak at the Kickercon conference on “Civic Crowdfunding TownMeet™ by Kickercon” and will serve as moderator for a session on specialized portals for crowdfunding.
Benefits of using Crowdera for civic crowdfunding:
Publicolor is working to help underprivileged kids get to college. As of right now, they are almost half-way to their goal of raising $150,000 to help this generation succeed! I recently connected with Amanda Haynes who shared some information about their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with me.
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
We are helping 100 underprivileged students with their last step towards college—funding.
There is a roughly $5,000 tuition shortfall for each of our 100 students who have been accepted into higher education programs. This represents the amount not covered by their financial aid and the part-time jobs they take to defray costs. Without this scholarship money, many of them will not be able to attend college. A college degree is the difference between a path to middle class, or continued life of poverty, into which they were born.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
The goal is to raise $150,000.00 and we have currently raised $68,216.00
A $25,000 donation closes the gap between financial aid and total tuition for one student while achieving a bachelor’s degree.
A $10,000 donation covers the gap between financial aid and total tuition, board and books for two students, for one year.
A $7,500 donation covers two years of community college education.
A $5,000 donation covers the gap between financial aid and total tuition, board and books for one student, for one year.
A $1,000 donation helps a student travel to classes in New York City for one year.
A $500 donation helps a student cover the cost of required textbooks for one year.
A $250 donation helps a student cover the cost of general supplies for one year.
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
- One-of-a-kind totes designed by Michelle Smith (Milly), Pamela Bell, Saya Woolfalk and Tucker Viemeister, among others.
- One-of-a-kind pillowcovers designed by Carlos Falchi, Michael Kors, Nicole Miller and more!
- Two highly coveted tickets to Thom Brown’s fashion show during NY Fashion Week 2015
- A suite of items from renowned industrial designer Karim Rashid
- A private tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute after hours
- Dinner with Simon Doonan!!
One of my favorite small nonprofits, working in what may be the poorest country on the planet, is running a crowdfunding campaign on StartSomeGood with modest financial objectives and dramatic social ones. I recently conducted a quick interview with Ben Goldberg.
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
Our crowdfunding campaign is for the Congo Leadership Initiative. With this campaign, we hope to help to achieve social change by educating youth in the Congo. The money that we raise goes towards an educational program called the Leadership institute that trains youth to be young leaders.
CLI offers a two-fold plan: first, an educational curriculum, and, second, opportunities for action. The problems that youth face do not only result from a lack of education but also from a lack of opportunity. Here, we want to provide both in order to create the brightest future.
The new training allows youth to attend a core training class, then specialize in a variety of electives, and then put their education to work with an action plan. Our action plans allow youth to create small businesses and be involved with different projects like scholarships, conferences, and volunteering.
Our efforts have already incited so much change in the Congo. Our members have launched more than 75 projects. One woman started a dressmaking business while others have focused on community health. The range and versatility that CLI offers allows Congo’s youth to embrace their dreams. We just need your help to reach even more youth with this new curriculum!
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
We are trying to raise a total of $2400 with a tipping goal of $1200 on Start Some Good. The tipping goal is our threshold, and if we do not receive at least that much, we will not receive any of the funds. So far, we have raised $250 and hope to reach $1200 in the next few weeks. The money from this campaign will go towards running the Leadership institute.
CLI prioritizes efficiency: With just $40, we can train a Young Leader for an entire year! This includes all costs for facilities, trainers, travel, and food. With our goal of $1200, we will be able to support 60 youth. Our goal with this campaign is to expand to train 60 additional youth, but we will be able to launch a new Leadership Institute site if we can support 30 youth.
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
The people we are trying to help with our project are the youth in the Congo. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country with many resources and potential for the future. The future for the country relies on its youth, and we are trying to increase their opportunities for education and business ventures with this project.
More than 50% of the Congo’s population is under the age of 35, and almost none of these youth are given the opportunities and resources to fully tap their leadership potential. Even more, within the next 30 years, the population of the Congo will double. At Congo Leadership Initiative (CLI), we aim to give these youth the resources they need and deserve with a dynamic educational program called the Leadership Institute. We train leaders who will foster peace and advancement in the Congo. The future of the country rests on the shoulders of the youth!
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
We are offering some great rewards to supporters at different levels. Our first level of rewards is a simple $10 donation, which gives a supporter an downloadable PDF of the Leadership Institute’s curriculum. At $25, we offer public recognition of our supporters on a social media site. At $50, we offer a handwritten and personalized thank you letter from the staff here at CLI. Other rewards include a handwritten letter from a student in the Congo ($250), a Skype conversation about the organization with the staff ($500), and recognition as an official CLI sponsor ($2000).
Chris and I have been fascinated by the crowdfunding/crowd related industries ever since we found out about Kickstarter a few years back. We loved how the crowdfunding industry brought people together from all over the world to make awesome things happen. This was very important to us because we wanted to help people and be involved in future innovations in the world. Crowdfunding was the answer! We took a good look at how these large crowdfunding platforms operated and saw what was missing. These crowdfunding platforms that were leading the industry forgot who was responsible for them being so successful. The users of their platform were the ones who got them to where they are today, and without the users, they would be just another website. That is when we decided to make HeadFunder, a social crowdfunding platform, so our users could interact with us, receive advice, and almost anything else that they would want to do through messaging. That way they felt as if they were part of our company rather than a user. HeadFunders love this twist on crowdfunding!
Our mission at HeadFunder is to impact the world in a positive way! We want to connect people around the world to help crowdfund great ideas, non-profit organizations, and people’s personal needs. As well as crowdfunding, we also want to give back to the campaign creators of our site. We have a feature called the Magic Box where we give back 10% of our earnings each month to campaigns that are helping the world. Our HeadFunders are the ones who vote on which campaign should win the Magic Box. We feel that if we all work together we can do anything!
HeadTalker works just like crowdfunding but instead of donating money, you donate your social media reach. This is a new crowd related industry known as crowdspeaking. Crowdspeaking all starts with someone having a message they want to share. They create a campaign on HeadTalker and set their goal of supporters they want to join in. The campaign creator also sets the time and date they want their message to be shared on the various social media platforms. Once the goal is reached, the message will be shared on everyone’s social media accounts at the same exact date and time. If the goal is not reached then the message is not shared. This is a great way for people to organize a group of people to share online while breaking the current algorithms of the social media platforms that limit their reach. Once the message is shared, it has the opportunity to go viral!
Global Financial Services and Solar Veteran continues Mosaic’s Recent Management Expansion to Accelerate Growth of Peer-to-Peer Solar Marketplace
OAKLAND, Calif., July 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Mosaic , the nation’s peer-to-peer solar finance company, today announced that financial services and solar industry veteran Bruce Ledesma has been named the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
In this role, Bruce will be responsible for scaling operations to service Mosaic’s growing base of investors, borrowers and solar installers. Ledesma has a proven track record of successfully growing businesses through rapidly evolving market conditions. He has executive-level experience with both multi-billion dollar, publicly traded global companies and pre-IPO businesses addressing two key sectors serviced by Mosaic – financial services and solar. His position is effective immediately and he will be based in the company’s Oakland, California headquarters.
Ledesma previously worked as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of SunPower Corporation during its growth from $250 million to $2.5 billion in revenue. He also served as Chief Operating Officer of Roble Capital, a private investment fund, and held executive positions with PowerLight Corporation, North America’s largest commercial solar installer and Barra Inc., a global provider of portfolio management tools for financials institutions sold to Morgan Stanley in 2004. Ledesma is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School.
“Bruce has demonstrated outstanding leadership in larger companies within the financial services and solar industries,” said Dan Rosen, Mosaic co-founder and CEO. “He has extensive knowledge and talent to scale Mosaic’s next growth cycle servicing home solar loans and crowdsourcing capital to finance them. We’re thrilled to have Bruce join Mosaic’s executive team.”
The hire results from substantial scaling of Mosaic’s peer-to-peer lending model, which provides the most resilient financing options in an environment of declining federal tax incentives. Mosaic’s loan also continues to gain traction as homeowners become increasingly educated about the benefits of solar ownership, including up to 15 additional years of clean energy after the 20-year payment period, and a significant increase in home resale value, both inaccessible through the third party ownership model.
“Mosaic is at the intersection of three exciting high growth sectors: peer-to-peer lending, renewable energy and social networks,” said Ledesma. “As solar ownership continues to gain market share in the years ahead, I look forward to supporting the development of the best loan products for homeowners , as well as driving out the soft costs of the financing process for our installer partners. I’m excited to join the team and help scale operations and growth for all stakeholders participating in Mosaic’s peer-to-peer marketplace.”
Ledesma is the latest addition to Mosaic’s team, joining two other recent hires from SunRun and SunPower. Lara Perloff joins Mosaic as Controller from SunRun where she served as a Fund Manager. Ken Hutchins joins Mosaic as Director of Sales from SunPower, where he ran National Residential Sales Training, and Verengo, where he managed one of the solar industry’s highest performing sales teams.
Mosaic is America’s first peer-to-peer solar finance company and is enabling thousands of American people to profit from clean energy. Mosaic has been honored by Fast Company as a top ten most innovative company in energy for two consecutive years, by the Department of Energy as a SunShot Grant recipient, The Sierra Club as the Trailblazer Company of the Year, and Verizon Wireless as the environmental winner for their Powerful Answers Awards. For more information, visit: http://www.joinmosaic.com/go-solar . Solar Mosaic, Inc., CFL Lic. #6054631.
Indiegogo Campaign Launches For Smartband Built for the Whole Family, which Provides Location Safety, Sleep and Fitness Tracking, and Stores Emergency information.
July 22, 2014 – NEW YORK – Today, ActvContent announces the launch of Sync, the all-in-one health, safety, and fitness smartband on Indiegogo. Sync is a wearable device that comes in both adult and child sizes and connects via Bluetooth technology with the ActvContent Sync mobile app, available for both iOS and Android.
Features like digital zone and locate actively monitor a child’s location and alert parents if their children wander too far. Sleep Tracker and Fitness Tracker allow the whole family to monitor their health, activity and set fitness goals together. Sync’s Health Keeper feature stores guardian contact and critical health information securely accessible by caregivers, teachers and others in case of emergency.
“We built a wearable device for everyone. Sync makes things easier for parents and kids and allows them to get healthy together,” says ActvContent co-founder Vikas Murali.
Locate – This feature helps find your loved ones if they get lost. It can track their location up to 150 feet outdoors and 50 feet indoors.
Digital Zone – Ideal for parents, Sync allows you to set a virtual fence (via your smartphone) and get alerted if your loved ones wander too far. Perfect for crowded areas, at the beach or even on vacation. No data plan is required.
Fitness Tracker – Set fitness goals for mom, dad, and the kids. Connect to each family members Sync and record their steps, all easily viewable on ActvContent’s My Sync portal and app. Track your calories burned when running errands, playing with your kids or even on family trips.
Sleep Tracker – Monitor your family’s REM sleep patterns, critical to growth and development in kids and health lifestyles for adults. Manage and share this data securely through the My Sync portal and app.
Health Keeper – Enable teachers, babysitters, friends and family to access comprehensive critical health information in case of an emergency. This includes food allergies, emergency instructions and personal physician and guardian contacts.
“Wearable devices today offer parts of a solution,” says Andrew Xue, ActvContent co-founder, “but with the Sync Smartband we focused on combining all these features and creating an easy- to-use, must have product for families.”
Sync can now be pre-ordered for an early bird discount starting at $69 (MSRP $129) and family sets of four Smartbands are available at discount for $240 (MSRP $560) for a limited amount, only on Indiegogo.
If you are media attending the Wearable Tech Expo in New York and would like a live demonstration of the ActvContent Sync. Please contact email@example.com to set up a time.
Stay connected and see more information about Sync here: www.igg.me/at/actvcontentsync. Also, follow “ActvContent” on Facebook and Twitter.
ActvContent is a technology company based in New York, focusing on elegant design and easy- to-use devices. ActvContent is also the creator of the Sync Smartband, launched on Indiegogo. Visit www.actvcontent.com to learn more.
Lumos is an EdTech startup that has created a wireless hub to connect disparate classroom technologies of various vintages.
Not only is Lumos funding its launch through crowdfunding on Indiegogo, it has created a model that allows teachers to conduct their own micro-campaigns to raise the money to get a device in their classrooms.
On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 3:00 Eastern, Lumos Founder Shane Cox will join me for a live discussion about the technology and the campaigns. Tune in here then.
This video provides a quick overview of Lumos for your reference.
More about Lumos:
At Lumos, we believe that technology can be a key to unlocking the natural curiosity that drives both educators and students, and fuels the desire to learn. A key that should be within reach of every school and district, not just the wealthy. We believe that teachers deserve more than hand-me-downs from the world of consumer electronics. Our team of educators and entrepreneurs are committed to creating simple and cost effective solutions to integrate technology in the classroom; beginning with our SmartHub, the world’s first Android powered wireless presentation system.
Shane is a principal founder and CEO of LUMOS Technologies. He has established himself as a competent innovator and entrepreneur in the field of wireless technology and has been working in the field of education for over 5 years. Shane has built multiple successful businesses over the past decade. A few of these businesses include a regional wireless internet service, call tracking and marketing analytics software, and a hosted pbx phone system.
Prior to LUMOS, Shane was a principal founder and COO at Skywire Technologies, a technology integration firm servicing the charter school industry. His primary responsibilities were to design and oversee the installation of advanced technology systems in charter schools across the U.S. This technology includes wired and wireless networks, classroom A/V, paging, phone, and surveillance systems. He experienced firsthand the frustrations that educators and school administrators face in implementing technology. This experience is what drove Shane to create LUMOS. He wanted to give schools simple and cost effective solutions to incorporate technology in the classroom. As a father of three children with various learning needs, Shane’s passion is in creating tools that give educators the power to engage and interact with each student using the power of technology.