Aura LLC Creates the First Ever, Wirelessly Powered Christmas Lights
Let there be wireless light! Powered by Aura LLC is lighting up Christmas trees in futuristic style with its introduction of the first ever, wirelessly powered Christmas lights. Their product is truly a gift to anyone who’s tired of untangling wires of their Christmas lights every year.
Over years of research and development, the team of engineers behind Aura have created a foolproof design that is adaptable to every tree, new or old, tall or short, real or manmade. To use Aura lights, simply snap its power source on, plug it in to the nearest outlet, and hide it in the tree or under the tree skirt. With the unmatchable strength of Aura’s power source, there’s no more wasted time on finding the bad bulb in your lights.
Aura ensures complete safety with its bulbs, by conducting their wireless energy through a magnetic field that only interacts with specifically tuned devices. Aura’s Power Ring safely provides all the energy the lights need, wirelessly. Just hang them like ornaments and they light up automatically. From the beginning, Aura was designed to be a safer Christmas light. By removing the wires that short circuit, heat, or spark in your tree, Aura eliminates the potential fire hazards of traditional Christmas lights. For even more safety, the company uses LEDs which produce close to zero heat. In addition to being able to power up to 100 wireless lights, Aura’s Power Ring has been designed to be invisible. Hide it underneath the tree skirt for trees up to 5 feet tall or in the middle of a tree for taller trees. Its forest green color camouflages it, making it even harder to see. Since the LEDs never need to be changed, users can permanently seal the ornament to prevent damage, creating a more reliable Christmas light, and saving customers from buying new lights every year.
Aura ornaments are smartphone accessible, with smartphone controlled energy efficient LED lights. Select WiFi when purchasing Aura and control your tree from your smartphone. Turn it on or off, set lighting schedules, timers, and more.
“The first ever, wirelessly powered Christmas lights,” the Aura company motto holds true to what their lights are capable of, and they have just scratched the surface to a line of products that will surely make Christmas merrier. The lights outshine any of the average Christmas lights by 20 years!
Powered by Aura recently launched their Kickstarter campaign. For more information on the company and how you can support, visit http://bit.ly/PoweredByAura.
For more information, visit www.poweredbyaura.com.
Fatoumata Doumbia is working to empower women in West Africa. She is raising money on Indiegogo. Recently, I caught up with Fatoumata to learn more about the effort; here’s what she told me:
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
Food can be the agent of change in Western Africa. Empowering women. Educating children. Returning to sustainable farming. Restoring culture. Food is at the center of these promising changes. Changes that can be lasting and lead to permanent solutions to basic social problems in the region. Agile International has a vision to create positive developments in nations that have been negatively affected by structural, international, and climatic forces.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
We hope to raise $6000. We have raised $1,941 in 3 weeks. We’ll use the money to:
1. buy land trust for women
2. buy seeds to plant on the land
3. fence land to secure the crop
4. drill the well for irrigation
5. sponsor farmers
6. sponsor Colorado State University students to go teach sustainable farming
Agile International Inc. is a not-for-profit public utility corporation, operated exclusively for educational purposes and charitable organization within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Agile International plans to empower women through entrepreneurship development so women can:
a) Develop effectiveness in becoming their own best advocates
b) Develop skills in organizing, mobilizing and recognizing themselves as agents for social change
c) Acquire and practice more skills of enterprise creation
d) Acquire ability and capabilities to decide about new venture opportunities, planning, organizing
e) and successfully managing small businesses and small enterprises.
f) Receive training and business development services in their communities. This will all be done sustainably thanks to our sustainable development programs in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Animal Science at Colorado State University (CSU).
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
We empower women in Mali and West Africa.
As a woman from Mali, I know that the single most important OBSTACLE to increasing agricultural productivity and income for women in Mali and developing countries is lack of access to land.
By buying land and returning it to the hands of women, Agile International is going around traditional barriers that have always prevented the fulfillment of any meaningful and sustainable development goals for women in Mali.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has inspired a new entrant in the crowdfunding for nonprofits arena: JusTagMe.com.
Launched by crowdfunding site Darelicious, the new site is specifically designed to facilitate a challenge like the uber-successful ALS effort last summer, which raised over $100 million.
Founder Jorge Hernandez commented on the launch, “We full acknowledge that the success of the ALS challenge is not something easily replicated, but don’t think it’s ALS success or nothing. We look at JusTagMe as a site where organizations can raise money by utilizing minuscule resources. The value we’re offering is the ability to maximize their return with a very small investment of time. JusTagMe.com does not cost any money to use.”
On Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 2:00 Eastern, Jorge will join me for a live discussion about the new site and he’ll explain how nonprofits can use it to create their own campaigns. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about JusTagMe.com:
JusTagMe.com is the latest offering from Darelicious Inc. which also runs Darelicious.com JusTagMe.com is the online destination where users can take on a challenge then nominate their friends via facebook to take on the same challenge all while raising money for their favorite charity or cause.
For the first twenty years of his career Jorge Hernandez was a music business entrepreneur entering the music business as the owner of an independent label and then as a music manager. Jorge eventually held senior A&R positions with EMI and Warner Bros affiliated record labels. While attending the Anderson School of Management at UCLA he became very interested in crowdfunding which led to the founding of Darelicious.com. Darelicious.com was funded by SJ Investment Company in December of 2012. The soft launch for Darelicious.com occurred in August 2013 and the beta launch in April 2014. A second site, JusTagMe.com, launched in November 2014.
Doug Ellenoff, Partner at Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, is a leading legal expert in the burgeoning field of investment crowdfunding. He recently sent an alert to clients warning them to be guard against “touting” violations that arise when compensation arrangements aren’t disclosed that the SEC now intends to pursue.
The alert read, in part, “The SEC appears to be preparing to target investment platforms that post issuers’ securities without explicitly disclosing the compensation received from such issuers.”
“We are concerned that a broad interpretation of Section 17(b) could be imposed on all online portals involved in the sale of securities, not limited to “posting sites”, but broker-dealer, investment advisory and investment management models as well,” the alert continued.
The alert concluded with this specific recommendation:
On Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1:00 PM Eastern, Doug will join me to discuss the risk of prosecution for touting and the strategies for avoiding a call from the SEC. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP:
Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP is a New York City-based law firm comprised of over 65 professionals, offering its clients legal services in a broad range of business related matters. Founded in 1992, the Firm specializes in many areas of commercial law: Corporate, Securities, Private Investment Funds, Broker-Dealer Regulation, Real Estate, Labor and Employment, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Arbitration, Tax and Estate Planning.
Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP is the leading law firm serving the security crowdfunding industry. Recognized as a thought leader and expert on the nuanced legalities of the JOBS Act, Douglas S. Ellenoff has been a key representative and advocate for the industry and has actively engaged with the SEC to discuss many aspects of the proposed new law. Additionally, EG&S is working with securities professionals internationally to assist them with shaping smart legislation to foster investment crowdfunding in their jurisdictions. EG&S is actively engaged with clients in the crowdfunding industry, including funding portals, broker-dealers, technology solution providers, software developers, investors and entrepreneurs.
Ellenoff Grossman & Schole was a sponsor of GoodCrowd14, the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference.
Preliminary results tallied by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy also indicate national day of giving inspired gifts to more than 15,000 nonprofits
In just its third year, yesterday’s national day of charitable giving — known as #GivingTuesday — attracted widespread participation, with $34.9 million raised online via five major donation processing platforms, according to initial estimates tallied by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and supported by the Case Foundation. Very early reporting of the amount for offline donations processed by some these platforms as of Noon on December 3rd included an additional $10.8 million was raised offline, for a combined $45.7 million.
Giving results for #GivingTuesday 2014 are expected to grow substantially as offline donations continue to be processed. Online giving represents an estimated 6–10 percent of total annual giving.
Morethan 296,000 online and offline contributions to charities were made during the 24-hour period that began at 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday December 2nd and continued until 11:59 p.m. The estimates are based on contributions tracked by several major donation processing platforms for nonprofits: Blackbaud, DonorPerfect, GlobalGiving, Network for Good and Razoo.
“Justas Cyber Monday and Black Friday are key indicators of consumer sentiment and economic health, this data on #GivingTuesday can serve as an indicator of the health of our giving economy,” said Jean Case, co-founder and CEO of the Case Foundation. “We’re excited about what we saw yesterday, as millions of people came together to support more than 15,000 nonprofits across the globe, demonstrating the true spirit of the holidays and proving that, collectively, small gifts can have big results.”
“It’s encouraging that early results already indicate that Americans donated $45 million on #GivingTuesday this year, highlighting their commitment to making a difference in the lives of others,” said Una Osili, director of research for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “As tremendous as that amount is, though, #GivingTuesday is not just about the money that is raised, it is also about people and nonprofits engaging with each other to improve the world. In justthree short years, the number of people making contributions and the number and types of nonprofits of all sizes receiving those gifts has increased dramatically.”
The 2014 initial results indicate that the amount raised during this year’s #GivingTuesday increased by at least 63 percent over the same period for #GivingTuesday in 2013. The total number of donations is estimated to have increased by atleast 53 percent, and the total average donation is estimated to have increased by 6 percent. On #GivingTuesday 2013, a total estimated amount of $28.09 million in primarily online contributions was raised, following an estimated total of $13.46 million in primarily online contributions on #GivingTuesday 2012 collected through several of these platforms.
#GivingTuesday is largely driven by social media and online giving campaigns, demonstrating the popularity of online giving in recent years. Over the course of the day, more than 698,000 tweets mentioning the #GivingTuesday hashtag were shared. This was an increase of 159% percent from 2013.
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Giving USA Foundation will present broader findings on how #GivingTuesday has been affecting year-end online giving in a special Giving USA Spotlight report, to be released at a later date.
#GivingTuesday is a global movement that engages individuals, businesses, communities and nonprofits to celebrate and encourage giving. Launched in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation with additional partners, #GivingTuesday annually promotes giving back at the beginning of the holiday season on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Learn more about the movement online at www.givingtuesday.org.
About the Data
#GivingTuesday 2013 and 2014 data were collected in partnership with Blackbaud, DonorPerfect, GlobalGiving, Network for Good and Razoo. These donation processing platforms handle charitable contributions on behalf of nonprofit organizations. 2012 #GivingTuesday data were collected from both donation processing organizations and publicly available reports. These results include only those amounts reported by participating donation processing platforms as of Noon on December 3, 2014.
The majority of #GivingTuesday collected data are online donations made to U.S.-based nonprofits. These data represent a segment of all donations collected on #GivingTuesday 2014, as the majority of offline donations have yet to be processed. These data are estimates and may be revised at a future date.
About the Case Foundation
Established by Jean and Steve Case in 1997, the Case Foundation invests in people and ideas that can change the world. In our efforts to address social challenges, we unite the principles of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology to identify, test, prove and scale ideas and models designed to create exponential impact. For more information, visit www.casefoundation.org, follow us at twitter.com/casefoundation and facebook.com/casefoundation.
About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The School offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy—voluntary action for the public good—through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith &Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. For more information, visit www.philanthropy.iupui.edu. Follow us on Twitter@IUPhilanthropy or “Like” us on Facebook.
CHICAGO, IL (December 4, 2014) — Da Lobsta, a quick service lobster roll eatery with locations in Chicago’s Gold Coast and West Loop neighborhoods, is growing fast. In 2014 alone, Da Lobsta launched Chicago’s first and only lobster food truck and put plans in motion to expand to River North, one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods.
In order to raise the funding needed to expand their business, Da Lobsta turned to Bolstr, a marketplace where emerging consumer, retail and manufacturing businesses can access growth capital from accredited investors. In April 2014, Da Lobsta successfully raised $70,000 in less than a week on Bolstr in order to take their business on the road with a new food truck.
The Da Lobsta food truck launch was so successful that Da Lobsta was able to pay back their entire loan to investors, plus a return, in only seven months, well ahead of schedule.
“With Bolstr, I was able to access funding without giving up equity and gain access to an investor pool that would otherwise be very hard to find. In a time where traditional bank loans are almost never an option, Bolstr was a dream come true for a budding business like mine,” explains J Wolf, owner of Da Lobsta.
When it came time to grow once again and open their third brick and mortar location in River North, Da Lobsta returned to Bolstr to fund the raise. On November 19, 2014, Da Lobsta raised $150,000 overnight, from the same pool of investors who funded their initial raise, rounding out their total growth funding raised in 2014 to $220,000.
“After successfully generating $70,000 in capital in under four days, raising funding on Bolstr a second time was a no brainer. Using Bolstr was the quickest way to ensure I would have the funding needed to sign a lease for a new location,” continues Wolf.
An Enticing Opportunity for Investors
In 2014 Bolstr surpassed $200,000 in investor payouts from businesses on the platform, with no defaults to date. Additionally, Bolstr now facilitates an average of $20,000 in cash payouts to investors each month. Nearly every current business on Bolstr is projected to pay back their loans ahead of schedule, with three businesses having repaid their loans plus a return in their entirety.
Bolstr is an attractive marketplace and it shows; every deal on Bolstr has been successfully funded in less than five days, with some deals completed in less than 24 hours. Furthermore, every deal has close to 50% of new investors participating.
Developing businesses have received over $500,000 in growth capital on Bolstr and projections expect that number to double in the coming months.
Based in Chicago and founded in 2011 by former investment-banking analysts Charlie Tribbett and Larry Baker, Bolstr is a marketplace where emerging consumer, retail and manufacturing businesses can access growth capital from accredited investors. Every raise on Bolstr uses an innovative revenue share investment structure, where businesses can access $25,000 – $250,000 to invest in growth, retain 100% of their equity, and make flexible monthly payouts to investors, since they are sized proportionally to their revenue. Investors then receive revenue-based payouts until they make a multiple back on their investment. For more information, please visit www.bolstr.com, Facebook or Twitter or watch How it Works.
Ashley Nathanson is working to her godson Jude DeMatteis who has an undiagnosed disease. She is raising money on Darelicious; she’s promised to jump out of an airplane if her $50,000 goal is reached. Recently, I caught up with Ashley to learn more about the effort; here’s what he told me:
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
My godson, Jude DeMatteis, has been fighting for his life since birth. After numerous tests, procedures, and misdiagnoses, doctors have not been able to identify the cause or treatment plan for his illness. Now 16 months old, Jude has been living with a permanent feeding tube, unable to process any proteins orally and only able to assimilate very minimal nutrients via the GI tube. In addition, Jude is now experiencing fluid build-up in his brain, seizures, and muscle atrophy.
To help the family find a cure for Jude’s illness, my friend Katie and I have taken on a Dare on Darelicious.com that we are calling “Jump for Jude”. If we raise our goal amount, Katie and I have agreed to face our fear of heights and jump out of a plane in support of the Dematteis family.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
We are hoping to raise $50,000 for the DeMatteis family to help cover Jude’s mounting hospital bills. Doctor’s believe Jude’s illness is extremely rare and after a year of tests and procedures, the family is still without a diagnosis or treatment plan. Doctor’s have sent the DeMatteis family to the best GI and neurological team at the Children’s Hospital Cincinnati for additional tests. However, most of these costs are immense and come out of pocket. Jude’s parents, Jason and Jasmine are doing all they can not only to find a cure for Jude’s illness, but also to support their twin 4-year olds, Jack and Jenna. So far, we’ve raised over $12,000 to help the family on their quest to cure baby Jude!
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
We are trying to help the DeMatteis family find a cure for Jude’s illness. The family has been heartbroken by multiple misdiagnoses and excruciating pain for baby Jude. With hospital bills mounting and more tests on the horizon, we are hoping to provide the family with the funds they need to continue the fight to find a cure for baby Jude.
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
Pledge $2000 or more
1) You and a guest will be invited to a 5 course dinner catered by Hell’s Kitchen winner, Nona Sivley. 2) Personal hand written thank you 3) Shout out on the dare video 4) Jump for Jude T-shirt 5) Roll call (A special thank you included on the dare video) ** Please note this dinner can only happen if all 5 rewards are bought. In the event you pledged at this level but we can’t have the dinner, you are entitled to rewards 2-6.
Pledge $1000 or more
1) Skydiving with Ashley and Katie 2) Personal hand written thank you 3) Shout out on the dare video 4) Jump for Jude T-shirt 5) Roll call (A special thank you included on the dare video)
Pledge $500 or more
1) Bring the family or a few guests to a picnic catered by a Private chef. Enjoy the day with great food, great people and of course Ashley, Katie, Jude and his family. 2) Personal hand written thank you from Ashley and Katie 3) Jump for Jude T-shirt. 4) Roll call (A special thank you included on the dare video)
Pledge $300 or more
1) Activision Bundle pack (includes the latest and most popular game collection) 2) Jump for Jude T-shirt 3) Roll call (A special thank you included on the dare video)
Pledge $150 or more
1) Two tickets for UCLA vs. BYU at the Rose Bowl. (September 19th, 2015) 2) Roll call (A special thank you included on the dare video) 3) Jump for Jude T-shirt
Pledge $100 or more
1) Roll call (A special thank you included on the dare video) 2) Jump for Jude T-shirt
Pledge $50 or more
Jump for Jude T-shirt
Industry-First Data Shows Donors Span All Age Groups, are Multi-Channel, and Have High Net Worth Making These Events a Must-Have for All Nonprofits
AUSTIN, TEXAS (December 4, 2014) Kimbia, the leading single-day crowdfunding event platform for nonprofit organizations, has released their Who Gives to Crowdfunding Events? infographic. The infographic includes donor demographics from Give Local America®, the largest crowdfunding event to date, during which over 300,000 donors gave $53.7 million to more than 7,700 nonprofits. The industry-first statistics bust many common myths about crowdfunding donors and the strategic value of crowdfunding events. The data proves that crowdfunding donors span all age groups, and that the majority of donors have high net worth, are generous, highly educated, and use multiple channels –making them the ideal donor.
Nonprofit organizations in all sectors have experienced unprecedented crowdfunding success. This year to date, Kimbia-powered crowdfunding events have funded over 19,000 higher education institutions, small to medium-sized nonprofits, and individual chapters of large nonprofits (e.g. Salvation Army, United Way and American Red Cross). Pioneering organizations have multiple years of success; for example, Columbia University recently hosted its third event, raising over $11 million, and both Communities Foundation of Texas and GiveMN recently completed their sixth annual events, raising over $26 and $18 million respectively. For organizations still weighing the pros and cons of crowdfunding from a strategic, Return on Investment (ROI), and promotional planning perspective, the data in this infographic answers key questions including, but not limited to:
“The numbers speak for themselves—crowdfunding events are proven to recruit and reactivate donors, inspire major donors, and significantly raise brand awareness,” said Dan Gillett, Kimbia CEO. “Because this new data proves that these events recruit thousands of ideal donors, it’s one of many reasons venerable nonprofits and higher education institutions should add this type of campaign to their development and advancement plans.”
Crowdfunding Event Resources
Seven of the ten largest crowdfunding events have been run on Kimbia’s online fundraising and crowdfunding platform. During these events organizations have historically seen 25% to 68% new or reactivated donors. These events also inspire major donors who have given up to $2.5 million in a single donation.
Based on that experience, the company’s eBook, 21 Proven Practices for a Single-Day Crowdfunding Event, includes best practices from planning, choosing the right technology, managing the “day of” logistics, and implementing post-event day steps you need to ensure a stellar second event.
Our flexible, best-of-breed, online fundraising and crowdfunding platform enables you to create a deeper donor relationship by leveraging the strengths of each channel and putting your donors at the center of all development activities. Ultimately this approach results in greater brand awareness, giving and lifelong loyalty. Kimbia, is proud to support more than 10,000 customers to date including American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Smithsonian Institution, Columbia University, Georgetown University, University of California, Berkeley, Communities Foundation of Texas, GiveMN, The Boston Foundation, The San Diego Foundation and The Miami Foundation. For more information, visit Kimbia.com.
Brian Dally, co-founder and CEO of GROUNDFLOOR, has created a way for individuals within communities to come together to invest in real estate in a way that will have a positive impact on their community.
“People can now invest money in such a way that investments stay local, and this creates tangible impacts at the community level” Brian says.
“GROUNDFLOOR grows your investment while making an impact. If you want to renovate a neighborhood, you could rally your friends together to back properties within the same neighborhood,” Brian continues. “This not only improves the community, but backers also see a higher return on their investment than with a traditional savings account. 100% of our loans are available to participation by everyone.”
On Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 3:00 Eastern, Brian will join me for a live discussion about GROUNDFLOOR. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about Groundfloor:
GROUNDFLOOR is the first microlending community for real estate. Together we back independent builders with secured loans that pay 8-12% annually.
Our community serves backers (microlenders) and builders (borrowers). Our ideal microlender has experience with LendingClub or Prosper and enjoys dabbling with alternative investments. Our ideal borrower has 10+ years experience flipping or building houses and a flair for promotion.
Founded in March 2013 by Brian Dally and Nick Bhargava, GROUNDFLOOR is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with a fast-growing team of crowdfunding, real estate and community development experts.
As an Internet ideologue and community organizer at heart, Brian enjoys attacking entrenched industry incumbents from a position of weakness.
After taking a brief break between startups to get involved in the thriving NC Triangle startup ecosystem, Brian co-founded GROUNDFLOOR with Nick Bhargava in 2013. Previously, he led a team within Bandwidth.com through a successful product-market pivot that resulted in the concept, brand and launch of Republic Wireless.
My friend, Manolis Sfinarolakis, is as passionate about crowdfunding as anyone I’ve ever met. In addition, we share a love of Google Hangouts on Air. He’s the host of Reality Crowd TV, an online series about crowdfunding with a rapidly growing audience. Check out his YouTube channel.
Manolis has also recently created a virtual incubator and crowdfunding syndicate.
On Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 1:00 Eastern, Manolis will join us here live for a discussion about his show, his incubator and the other work he’s doing. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about Reality Crowd TV Media Corp.:
Reality Crowd TV Media Corp. is developing a Virtual Incubator & Crowdfunding Syndicate for Startups to learn how to crowdfund. Our program is designed to bring startups from start to successful crowdfunding finish in 6 months or less! The platform allows entrepreneurs to easily track their progress, share their progress, get the latest growth hacking tricks from community mentors, or ask the integrated startup community for help.
Manolis Sfinarolakis graduated from the University of Connecticut with BS in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting. After two stints working for Deloitte & Touche LLP and brief restaurant management, real estate, and internal audit career, Manolis identified a unique opportunity to create Reality Crowd TV Media Corporation whose mission is to inform, educate, inspire, and motivate entrepreneurs worldwide to start small businesses through crowdfunding and to provide a blueprint on how to crowdfund. Manolis has been heavily involved in the Greek Community as a member of AHEPA and the former Supreme President of the Sons of Pericles in 2012.