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The best source for news and information about crowdfunding for good.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: April 2016

Krowdster Aims to Level Playing Field For Crowdfunders

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Anyone who has launched a crowdfunding campaign wishes there were a way to make it easier to get attention. Setting up the page is the easy part. Making a video is the fun part. Getting people to watch the video on the page and then make a pledge is the challenge. Josef Holm, an entrepreneur who thrives in the crowdfunding space, last year launched Krowdster to address the big challenge.

Josef empathizes with entrepreneurs trying to raise money via crowdfunding. “While crowdfunding democratizes the access to capital, the sheer cost to hire a professional crowdfunding consultant, buy facebook ads and do all the things campaigns need to do to stand out from the hundreds of campaigns that are launched every day is simply too high for most crowdfunders.”

Josef created Krowdster for the people who can’t afford expensive, professional marketing resources. “We make access to professional grade crowdfunding marketing solutions available to all crowdfunders. Our clients are the 99 percent of crowdfunders who do not have thousands of dollars to hire a campaign manger or consultant.”

“We’re essentially digitizing the agency service and putting the crowdfunder in control,” Josef adds.

Josef sees a big future for crowdfunding a critical role for Krowdster. “As crowdfunding becomes more mainstream, marketing will become an even more important aspect of running a successful campaign. Reaching and cultivating a targeted audience on Social Media, reaching targeted press and identifying and connecting with backers and super backers are only the beginning for Krowdster. Our goal is to become a one-stop-shop solution for crowdfunders.”

On Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 5:00 Eastern, Josef will join me for a live discussion about how to use Krowdster to lower the cost of marketing your crowdfunding campaign. Tune in at the top of this page then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Josef Holm, courtesy of Krowdster

Josef Holm, courtesy of Krowdster

Josef’s bio:

Twitter: @krowdster, @josefholm

Josef founded Krowdster.co, the first crowdfunding marketing and analytics platform. Krowdster’s powerful tools enable entrepreneurs to plan and run successful rewards and equity crowdfunding campaigns. Krowdster users have raised many millions on platforms including Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

An innovative, global serial entrepreneur with a passion for disruptive ideas, unconventional thinking and a “screw it, let’s do it” attitude.

17 years of start-up, business development, digital marketing, social web and affiliate marketing experience.

Ranked as a top thought leader in the crowdfunding industry, Josef has been been a featured speaker at SXSW V2V, Social Media Week LA, Metropole 2014 & 2015, #CFGE Crowdfund Global Expo 2014, #CrowdfundingUSA and Kickercon and is regularly featured in a number of publications such as CrowdFundBeat, USA Today, Wired, LA Business Journal and Fast Company.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to our content here.

Devin D. Thorpe

New Peer-To-Peer Fundraising Campaigns Support Science Research And Literacy

Social Fundraising Aims to Broaden Awareness of the Need for Research to Address World’s Greatest Challenges

NEW YORK, NY — April 5, 2016—The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science today launched Project-Based Fundraising, a digital platform that enables donors to fund a scientific research project that matches their passions and interests. Partnering with the crowdfunding site CrowdRise, Project-Based Fundraising offers supporters a selection of 12 vital projects at the Weizmann Institute, one of the world’s top-ranking, multidisciplinary research institutions.

Project-Based Fundraising is a new pathway within Care+Share+Repair, a digital social action program that engages users by empowering them to express their wishes for a brighter future. In addition to the American Committee’s “high-touch” strategies focused on major-gift fundraising, this initiative is designed to reach new, wider audiences and mobilize group efforts in support of the Weizmann Institute’s mission: science for the benefit of humanity.

By harnessing the power of crowdfunding, the American Committee aims to increase financial support for science, advance science literacy for all, and raise awareness of the urgency for research to help solve humanity’s greatest challenges. Moreover, the goal is to give donors a sense of personal connection to the actual scientists who work daily in the laboratories of the Weizmann Institute to improve our world.

The platform features 12 projects in need of priority funding in the areas of: Fighting Cancer, Advancing Technology, Enriching Education, Protecting Our Planet, Improving Health and Medicine, and Exploring the Physical World. After selecting a project that is meaningful to them, donors can create a personal fundraising web page, share it through email and social media, and invite friends and family to join their efforts. Supporters can launch their fundraisers in honor or in memory of a loved one, or to celebrate milestone events, including birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. They can also find creative means to reach their fundraising goals, such as running a marathon, hosting a bake sale, or riding in a bike race.

The American Committee’s official launch of Project-Based Fundraising comes on the heels of a successful test project, the Revlon “Love is On” Million Dollar Challenge. This online competition, sponsored by Revlon, challenged participating charities to raise funds for women’s health over the course of six weeks. The American Committee had one of the top crowdfunding campaigns in the initial phase of the competition, winning a “bonus challenge” and an additional donation from Revlon. In another successful pilot, the American Committee’s Connecticut Co-Chairs adopted one of the 12 projects, “Understanding the Aging Brain,” in support of Weizmann research on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other age-related diseases. By creating a compelling video and sharing their fundraising page via email and social media, they surpassed their initial $10,000 goal.

Video intro: Getting Started with Project-Based Fundraising

Project-Based Fundraising from Weizmann USA on Vimeo.

More information about Project-Based Fundraising, including an online toolkit for fundraisers: caresharerepair.org/projects

FunditTV Launch – Your WebTV Show for the Crowdfunding Industry

Crowdfunding is making waves all over the world and growing at a phenomenal rate. Besides acting as a complimentary tool to regular forms of finance, it’s also enabling those who found themselves excluded from traditional financing models to raise the necessary capital to turn their dreams into reality. And it isn’t just a one-way street. Investors can also win big.

To date, crowdfunding has been successful in supporting all kinds of activities from disaster relief to scientific research, real estate developments, R & D, technological advancements, software development and the funding of political or social campaigns. Indeed, in 2008, the current White House incumbent used the power of the crowd to reach three million donors, who ponied up more than half a billion between them.

Many believe that crowdfunding is a new phenomenon, but nothing could be further from the truth. The first recorded crowdfund took place in the seventeenth century when a subscription model was invoked to raise money for the printing of books, with each subscriber getting a mention on the title page. It’s also not commonly known that the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty was financed through an 1884 campaign run by Joseph Pulitzer, garnering $100,000 from 125,000 people over six months.

But things have moved forward apace since then, and online is where the money really talks. The campaign by Marillion fans, which raised $60,000 in 1997 so that the band could play in the USA, is widely quoted as being the first online crowdfunder. One of the most successful crowdfunded projects ever is Star Citizen, an online multi-player space trading and combat video game, which is said to have raised nearly $90 million to date. In 2015, Pebble Time’s Smartwatch raised just over $20 million from 80,000 investors in less than three months on Kickstarter, and in the same year, an Australian campaign for Flow Hive, a way for apiarists to harvest honey without upsetting their bees and getting stung, pulled in a cool $12 million through Indiegogo.

fundittv

Every day, all over the world, hundreds of new campaigns are launched using nearly nine thousand crowdfunding platforms. And their number is due to be given a huge boost from May 16th when Title III of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act goes live. Experts are predicting that that could make 2016 the Year of Equity Funding, doubling the amount raised in one year to close on $4 Billion. But exciting developments in the world of crowdfunding don’t stop there. Crowdfunding is a hot ticket in so many countries. Some, like the UK, are well on down the road, while others are playing catch-up. In Singapore, April sees their first fully licensed equity and debt crowdfunding platform going live, giving accredited investors the opportunity to choose from 10 startups.

With all that capital washing about and looking for opportunities to double down, life for hard working entrepreneurs seeking to raise funds for their projects should in theory become somewhat easier, but out of all those thousands trying to harness the power of the crowd, sadly, many will, like today, find it just as difficult to turn their idea into a success. They need a single platform that provides impartial help and information in a no-nonsense manner to put them on the right track.

The good news for them and the whole industry is that as from May 7th, crowdfunding is launching its own WebTV station campaign for Fundit TV: the world’s dedicated WebTV channel for the crowdfunding and crowdsourcing industry.

Fundit TV will lead from the front with a high profile presence and bring a bigger audience and greater attention to crowdfunding entrepreneurs, their projects and their stories. Furthermore, it will promote the four existing types of crowdfunding.

For the uninitiated, they are: reward-based, donation-based, equity-based and donation-based. Each model not only allows the entrepreneur to choose the most appropriate one for his or her project, but they also all carry differing levels of potential reward and risk for investors.

Reward-based crowdfunding is ideal for smaller projects. It offers real or tangible rewards to those who contribute, very often on a sliding scale, in line with how much they are prepared to give. A reward could be a credit on the sleeve of a CD, a free copy of a book or even an invitation to play a minor role in a film. Anything is possible. It just depends on the project, and the imagination and marketing know-how of those behind the start-up.

Donation-based crowdfunding invites investors to put money in because they feel the project is a worthy, interesting or exciting venture that they believe in. Donors don’t expect or get any reward other than that of seeing the project become successful.

Equity-based crowdfunding allows investors to purchase part of the business or venture in much the same way as regular shareholding does. While there is scope for greater financial rewards using this model, which is geared towards ‘serious’ money, there is also greater risk because the value of the equity bought may go up or down.

Lending-based crowdfunding, also known as debt funding or P2P (person-to-person) funding, involves making a straightforward loan to be repaid over time with interest. It is not dissimilar to a bank loan in the way it works, only there are no banks involved in the transaction. The supply of microcredit to the poorest people in developing countries is a good example of this crowdfunding type.

Fundit TV will aggregate videos from all crowdfunding sites, no matter what category they belong to, and categorize them in a single online portal to streamline the process for investors/contributors so as to make it easier for them to find projects they would like to fund and be a part of, with SMS messaging to notify investors of pertinent opportunities. In short, Fundit TV will be THE shop window for the industry.

The unique ‘Shark Tank meets Oprah’ style show will feature all the latest developments, the hottest trends, crowdfunding movers and shakers with their expert opinion and editorial advice, success stories and game-changing ideas and tips on a weekly basis. Fundit TV is innovative, inspiring and groundbreaking, and is set to become the go-to portal for news on the crowd economy.

So who is behind this amazing idea?

Fundit TV is the creation of Joy Case, M.Ed.

Joy is the CEO of Case Global Media Inc., a media company dedicated to building innovative, engaging platforms for companies to showcase their mission, vision and values and to amplify their message through strategic video marketing. She is also the founder of the global think tank An Idea Nation, a social network for solving global challenges. For those unfamiliar with its work, log on to AnIdeaNation.com or read Joy’s book Crowd Power in the Age of Human Potential and you’ll soon come to realize that she has a grand vision.

It’s her enthusiasm and energy that has led her to create Fundit TV. As both creator and producer of the show, it could be said that it is the culmination of her life’s work to support and showcase the crowdfunding industry with its seemingly exponential reach.

Joy’s background is rooted in the education and real estate sectors, and as a consultant with Clark Case Consulting Corp., she takes on roles in education to assist the strategic business planning, buying and selling of schools and colleges.

Nowadays, her primary competencies lie in the direction of marketing, public speaking, public relations, negotiations and conflict resolution, and consulting, all of which are serving her well with An Idea Nation and Fundit TV.

Joy is also a great believer in working with others to achieve optimum results. For her, collaboration is somewhat of a byword, and Fundit TV finds her working very closely with Greg Clark, an attorney who brings extensive international experience in the business and legal fields and who has held positions on the boards of directors of global affiliates of Fortune 500 companies. His international portfolio comprises clients in the development, corporate, education, franchising and financial sectors.

He is also the co-founder of TEC, a dynamic, profitable company in the post-secondary education industry which now owns three accredited colleges in the healthcare (nursing), animation, film, and recording industries with campuses in Canada.

The enterprising duo of Case and Clark is the perfect team to head up the presentation of Fundit TV, bringing, as they do, vast experience and media savvy to bear where it counts.

However, they can’t do it all by themselves, and they would love to hear from you if you would like to be a part of arguably crowdfunding’s most exciting development of 2016.

Developing high quality edu-tainment doesn’t just happen. It requires meticulous planning, partnerships and co-operation, and Fundit TV is looking to crowdfunders everywhere to participate to enable them to do what they do best.

If you would like to be featured on Fundit TV, or know someone you think would benefit from appearing on the program, get in touch with Joy or Greg as soon as possible.

Fundit TV wants to hear from investors, those who consider themselves to be experts in their chosen area, crowdfunders, crowdfunding platform CEOs, in fact, anyone who has something to say and contribute to the most electrifying business phenomenon of the 21st century. Early contributors will have a featured spotlight throughout the program schedule, while all contributors will be eligible for not just advertisements, videos and interviews, but also to be a ‘shark’ and cheer and jeer fellow crowdfunders.

There are many great perks and rewards for FunditTVfans who help Joy and Greg launch the world’s greatest crowdfunding and crowdsourcing industry show. As well as those already mentioned, early contributors can earn an invitation to the launch party and FunditTV’s inaugural visionary founders conference in Maui, Hawaii, and meet with the hosts, Joy & Greg.

It’s your industry and your window to the world, so crowd power together and help Fundit TV to curate and produce high level content for a global audience.

Enter your email today for a Featured Spotlight on FunditTV!

https://www.tubestart.com/projects/fundit-tv-global-launch/10516

TROBO On Shark Tank!

We have just received some awesome news – your favorite cuddly robot will be appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank on Friday, April 8th at 9PM Eastern/Pacific, 8PM Central.

We are so excited to share TROBO with America (and the World!) We have had such an amazing journey to this point and everyone who has supported TROBO has been a huge part of that. THANK YOU.

OUR BOOK

As you may know, we had a successful Kickstarter, were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation and now we are going to be on Shark Tank! We have learned so much and to share our knowledge, we wrote a book called “Little Robot, Big Dreams.” It is the inside story of the TROBO journey. Check it out on Amazon (Kindle here, Paperback here).

Thank you again for all of your support and don’t forget to check out TROBO on Shark TankFriday, April 8th at 9PM Eastern/Pacific, 8PM Central on ABC. We’ll be on Twitter and Facebook that night, so follow us and like us to join the conversation.

– Jeremy & Chris

ABOUT TROBOs:

TROBOs are talking, connected plush toys that work with an iPad/iPhone app to teach kids 2-5 about all of the amazing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the world around them through fun, personalized interactive games and stories.

Online Lender Dealstruck Dives into Uncharted Waters with Offshore Lending

Online national lender Dealstruck, based in Carlsbad California, announced today its new and innovative way of providing financing. Offshore lending. With its rapid growth in the past six months, and the resulting need to expand to a bigger office space, Ethan Senturia, Dealstruck’s CEO saw the opportunity to purchase a reconditioned shipping vessel as a golden opportunity. “It was the logical next step,” announced Ethan, “We have always been creative when it comes to providing financing, and now that we have a satellite office somewhere off the coast of California, we can serve a larger variety of clients.”

The ship, a mighty freighter that was once used to deliver goods from overseas, was recently refitted with several dozen cubicles to house the lending staff and underwriting team. “Sure the initial move wasn’t the smoothest transition, but once we got over the collective seasickness, bought everyone their own trashcan, and bolted down the chairs and desks, things have been going fairly smoothly. Except for me, I haven’t quite gotten my sea legs yet,” reported a pale faced and sweaty Ryan Campbell, Dealstruck’s VP of Sales.

The move meant a lot for the employees of Dealstruck who decided to transition to this floating office space. Volunteers stay on the ship for month long “Lending Cruises” while the vessel remains anchored off the coast of California. “As an added bonus this enables the company to operate a nightclub during the off hours,” clarifies Senturia.

DealstruckOffshore

The employees seem to be enjoying the new venue, according to Jessica Brown, a Lending Specialist for Dealstruck, “Sure I could do without the hour of barnacle scraping that starts my day, but there’s just something about reviewing tax returns and bank statements at sea that really brings me inner peace. Oh? Is it already 3 PM? Time to swab the deck!”

The company’s CTO, Russell McLoughlin, and Lead Software Engineer, Adam Grant, had the arduous task of building an entire IT network that would be able to operate miles from the nearest wifi hotspot. “It wasn’t easy,” admits Grant, “But in the end we just settled on 13 miles of waterproof extension cords and CAT 5 cable. The only issues occur when the lines get unplugged from the shore, that’s when Russell and I hop into the rowboat to troubleshoot.” At this point things are running smoothly though and the only remaining concern for the team’s proprietary software systems comes in the form of piracy.

Borrowers haven’t really noticed a difference in the products or service from Dealstruck, despite the move. One small note came from a client named James Clancy, “I personally think the move was a smart one for the company; the only issue I had was when I spoke to a Lending Specialist. He kept answering questions with ‘aye, aye’ and tried to work in ‘port and starboard’ whenever he could.”

Senturia, unfazed, stands behind the decision. “We pass the savings on rent and air conditioning costs right on to the borrower. All things being equal, it makes us a much stronger company. Plus, everyone calls me Captain now. That’s pretty cool.”

This article was published on April 1st, 2016, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day! Dealstruck is not really operating at sea on a retrofitted shipping vessel, although the part about them being a leader in the small business lending market is no joke! Find out more about Dealstruck at www.dealstruck.com or speak to one of our representatives now at 1-855-610-LOAN. Ethan does make us call him Captain though, that’s true!

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