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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: August 2016

Sonic Blocks Launches Indiegogo Campaign for World’s First High Fidelity Modular Audio System Allowing You to Build Better Music

New York-based Startup & Benefits Corporation Aims to Amplify Audio Experience with Sleek, Customizable Smart Sonic Blocks

Press Release – NEW YORK — Aug. 2, 2016Sonic Blocks, a certified Start-Up NY company at the Binghamton University Start-Up Suite Incubator, and Benefits Corporation, announced today the launch of its Indiegogo campaign for the world’s first HiFi modular audio system. Owners will be able to customize their audio experience by selecting, swapping, and optimizing their Sonic Blocks units. The 30-day campaign is set to raise $50,000 for the creation of this uniquely customizable, patented and connected music system and technology hub. Indiegogo pledge levels range from $199 to $3,000, with a portion of the corporate profits to be given to charities related to the health and welfare of children such as (CASA) Court Appointed Special Advocates, an organization that advocates for the best interests of children in foster care who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.

Sonic Blocks was launched in 2014 by father-son duo and inventors Scott and Jordan Wilker. The idea was born after Scott and Jordan realized they had different audio preferences and wanted to create a product that would enable personalization and networking, without the limitations present in current hardware. Shortly after the company launch, Sonic Blocks was awarded Start-Up NY Certification by Governor Cuomo, which allows the company access to Binghamton University space and resources, and the Science & Technology Law Center at Syracuse University. Sonic Blocks launched the project with the Binghamton University Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Partnerships, staff, faculty, labs, law students, and over a dozen student entrepreneurs in multiple fields of study since inception.

Offering best in class Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology, sleek contemporary design, and extraordinary flexibility, Sonic Blocks can be used as a standalone unit or as part of a network. Users have the unique ability to easily select, mix, match, and swap individual speaker drivers (super tweeters, tweeters, midrange drivers, and woofers) to upgrade and personalize the sound of their system. And, multiple blocks can easily and seamlessly connect with the entire ecosystem via the Sonic Blocks app, enabling users to expand and increase the functionality of the entire system.

Multiple Sonic Blocks can be stacked, used to create a surround sound, or distributed in a multiroom environment. This flexibility and connectivity makes Sonic Blocks unique among affordable wireless music speakers. The system is controlled by an easy to use App, which can be used to setup and configure the hardware, control individual DSP engines, distribute music throughout a multi-block system, and access music from your own local or online music library.

“Music plays an important part in people’s lives,” said Scott Wilker, Co-Founder and CEO of Sonic Blocks. “Our goal in launching Sonic Blocks was to create the best possible music ecosystem—one, that not only offers high fidelity audio, but also lets consumers take control of their music experience and build a system that is truly their own. There’s no other system on the market that offers this level of personalization and sound quality optimization, and Jordan and I are thrilled to finally share it with the world.”

To learn more about the Sonic Blocks Indiegogo Campaign and to back the project, visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sonic-blocks-worlds-first-modular-music-ecosystem-bluetooth#/
or www.sonicblocks.com.

The finished product will begin shipping early 2017.

About Sonic Blocks

Sonic Blocks is a certified Start-Up New York and Benefits Corporation and creator of the world’s first and only high-fidelity Wi-Fi speaker that allows users to customize their audio experience with flexible, stackable, high-end blocks. Offering best-in-class technology, sleek contemporary design and extraordinary functionality, Sonic Blocks can be used stand-alone or part of a connected system, mixing and matching tweeters, midrange drivers and woofers for one’s optimal sound experience. Each smart block in the Sonic Blocks speaker system seamlessly connects with the entire ecosystem via the Sonic Blocks app, enabling users to customize their sound experience based on personal audio preferences. For additional information, visit www.sonicblocks.com

Support The Film to Spread Friendship and Equality

Opening Day is a film about Friendship and Equality. It isn’t just for the LGBTQ community though, it’s for everyone. They are raising money on Indiegogo. Recently I caught up with Dani Cordaro 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?

We hope to fuel the national conversation around gender inequality, specifically within the transgender community. Many transgender people are faced with hatred, ridicule and disgust when revealing their true selves to their family, friends and communities. The filmmakers of Opening Day believe strongly that no one should be in fear to be themselves. We are living in a vicious reality, one that needs to be changed drastically and quickly. The filmmakers hope to educate, evoke emotion and ignite a campaign about gender inequality in this country and across the world through this short but poignant film.

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How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

We are hoping to raise $18,000 by August 14th. This amount will cover production costs for Opening Day. We have an amazing cast and crew lined up and excited to create this project! Thus far, we have raised $515. We know a small push, will go far though.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

We are hoping to be a voice for the transgender community. We want to assist in educating those who may not understand what it is to be transgender and why those who are should be treated no differently than anyone else. We can’t help but be who we are. It’s ridiculous that we are fighting against those who are doing just that. There is far too much hatred in this country and in this world against the transgender community that if we expand an understanding and an appreciation of human decency, we will consider ourselves successful.

Opening Day Indiegogo Promo from T Zhang on Vimeo.

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

$10 USD
Special Thank You
Receive a very SPECIAL THANK YOU on the Opening Day Facebook page.

$25 USD
Digital Download of the Film
A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of Opening Day! + A very special thank you on the Opening Day Facebook page.

$50 USD + Shipping
Signed Film DVD
An OFFICIAL DVD of Opening Day SIGNED by the CAST & CREW!! + A very special thank you and digital download of the film.

$75 USD + Shipping
SIGNED FILM POSTER
An Opening Day Poster (complete with original artwork) SIGNED by the CAST & CREW!! + A very special thank you, digital download of the film, and a signed DVD.

$100 USD + Shipping
SIGNED BASEBALL
A BASEBALL SIGNED by the CAST & CREW! + A very special thank you , digital download and signed DVD of the film.

$250 USD + Shipping
Film Credit
A special ON-SCREEN THANK YOU in the credits of the film. + A very special thank you , digital download, signed DVD, and signed baseball by cast & crew.

$500 USD + Shipping
Cocktails with Cast & Crew
You will enjoy COCKTAILS with film Producer, Michelle Cutolo, Actor/Story By, Sean Rogers, and Head Wardrobe, Pebbles Russell in New York. + A very special thank you , digital download, signed DVD, signed baseball and film credit. (Travel and lodging not included.)

$1000 USD + Shipping
Dinner with Cast & Crew
You and a friend will enjoy DINNER with film Producer, Michelle Cutolo, Actor/Story By, Sean Rogers, and Head Wardrobe, Pebbles Russell in New York! + A very special thank you , digital download, signed DVD, signed baseball and film credit. (Travel and lodging not included.)

$2500 USD + Shipping
Associate Producer Credit
Be a part of the film with an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit. + A very special thank you , digital download, signed DVD, signed baseball and film credit.

$5000 USD + Shipping
Night Out
After DINNER with the CAST & CREW, enjoy TWO HOUSE SEATS to the TONY AWARD WINNING MUSICAL, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. + A very special thank you, digital download, signed DVD, signed baseball and film credit. (Travel & lodging not included.)

Check out the campaign:

Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @openingdayfilm

 

Hops & Grain to Close Out Crowdfunding Campaign on Wefunder: Company has Raised over $765,000 to Open New Tap Room and Brewery in San Marcos, TX

Press Release – San Francisco, Calif. – Aug. 5, 2016 – Hops & Grain, a gold-winning craft brewery in Texas, and Wefunder, the most popular platform for Regulation Crowdfunding, announced today that Hops & Grain is one of the early companies to soon close a successful Regulation Crowdfunding offering. The company is nearing its goal and has raised $765,970 in about 8 weeks, via 405 individual investors.

Regulation Crowdfunding is a new option enabled by the recent passage of Title III of the JOBS Act, and allows everyday people (not just the wealthy) to make equity investments of as little as $100 in startups and small businesses. Wefunder, one of several FINRA-approved portals for these offerings, has become the clear leader in the space, hosting more than half of all Regulation Crowdfunding offerings. To date, Wefunder has helped its portfolio companies raise more than 6x the total of all the other portals combined.

Hops & Grain is a gold-winning craft brewery in Austin, Texas. The company brews and packages all of its own beer on-site and sells it throughout Austin and the surrounding areas.

Josh Hare, CEO of Hops & Grain commented, “Working with Wefunder was a fast, simple way for us to raise money quickly and engage our patrons to invest in our company and help us open a second brewery. Crowdfunding is a terrific platform for small businesses like ours who may not catch the eye of traditional investors but have a loyal following of customers eager to help you grow your business. We would definitely work with Wefunder again; they made the whole process smooth and painless.”

“Hops & Grain did everything right when it came to fundraising,” said Wefunder co-founder and CEO Nick Tommarello. “They made it easy and very rewarding for investors to contribute and we are thrilled that because of their fundraise and loyal customers, they will be able to open their second brewery in Texas.”

To register as a potential investor and review investment opportunities at Wefunder, visit https://wefunder.com. The minimum investment is $100. To get funded on Wefunder, visit wefunder.com/raise_funding.

About Wefunder

Wefunder helps anyone invest as little as $100 in startups you love, and is the most popular platform for Regulation Crowdfunding. Its vision is to build a new type of stock market (“a NASDAQ for riskier ventures”) that lets the public allocate capital to a wider range of businesses, more broadly and efficiently than banks or venture capitalists. Investors on Wefunder have invested more than $20 million into 130+ companies since 2013, including Zenefits, Checkr and Casetext. Learn more about Wefunder’s story at wefunder.com/wefunder or follow us @wefunder.

About Hops & Grain

Specializing in craft beer and sustainability, Hops & Grain Brewery is located in East Austin (literally at the end of East Sixth Street) at 507 Calles, Austin, TX 78702. Hops & Grain Tap Room is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week. Tours of the brewery given Tuesday through Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 1, 3, and 5 p.m.. For further information please visit www.hopsandgrain.com or call 512.914.2467. ‘Like’ us on Facebook at Facebook.com/hopsandgrain and follow us on Twitter @HopsandGrain.

SHAREaCAMPER Receives €2 Million Seed Investment from Strategic Industry Leaders

Peer-to-peer camper rental platform expanding to new markets

Press Release – Cologne, Germany (8/4/2016)SHAREaCAMPER, the search platform for motorhome and caravan rental, announced today it has successfully closed a €2million seed funding round. Led by several industry leaders from Germany and New Zealand as well by other notable investors, the funding will be used to support SHAREaCAMPER’s product development, recruitment, and expansion into new markets.

Operating a market worth $2.5 billion, and with over 20 million privately-owned campers worldwide, SHAREaCAMPER is ready to embrace and lead this exciting market. Today, the company competes in key markets and is the fastest growing in the sector for peer-to-peer rental in Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. In less than six months the company became a major player in the camper market through its partnerships with private camper owners. SHAREaCAMPER now sets its sights on growing its customer base with a special focus on pioneering customer education to all travelers, including those using a camper for the first time.

“With this financing and experienced team of strategic investors on board, as well as the commitment from hundreds of motorhome owners, we are well-positioned to lead the market,” said CEO Jan Bartel. “We are committed to creating ‘customers for life’. This investment clearly shows that we are evolving as a company by expanding our offerings, pushing into new markets, and becoming a ‘beacon of light’ for employees as we continue to grow and innovate,” Bartel added

Based in Cologne, the company now has more than 25 employees and offices in Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

Boris Feldman, CEO of Werkdigital, commented, “We have invested in SHAREaCAMPER because we believe it will have a major impact on consumers seeking more out of their motorhome experience and camper owners wanting to capitalize on their vehicles – the combination of available inventory, knowledge sharing, technology, and industry knowhow comes just at the right time. SHAREaCAMPER can now position itself as the leader in its sector.”

GCC Special for Students, Startups & Veterans

The Global Crowdfunding Convention gives back in honor of fifth year anniversary 

Press Release – LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 3, 2016 – Rewind the clock back five years to a point in time when the Global Crowdfunding Convention was in its inception; to a place where CEO and Founder, Ruth E. Hedges was creating a Lobby Hub campaign to raise enough money for veterans to receive free tickets to the industry’s first crowdfunding convention.

Now in its fifth year, the Global Crowdfunding Convention has fared its own course through the behemoth conventions of the Las Vegas strip, and again provides a special offer for veterans – this year adding students and startups as well.

The GCC affords veterans, students and startups to walk away with a plan-in-hand to:

  • Launch a Rewards, Donation or Equity-based crowdfunding campaign and raise capital for worthy causes.
  • Use social media and other advances in communications to help create a community and bigger crowd of pledgers, investors and backers
  • Understand the new crowdfunding regulations in the JOBS Act to reduce risk and be industry compliant

“I want to give back and provide crowdfunding to the veterans interested in entrepreneurial activity, or who need help with healthcare costs. At the same time, I want to educate innovative students that entrepreneurship is a way to pay back their loans. Likewise, startup companies have the ability to create more jobs for our economy. These are all people who need to be at the convention and who can benefit from learning how to raise money through crowdfunding,” said Hedges.

In her voice one cannot mistake her passion when she’s talking about the 2016 Global Crowdfunding Convention. She is adamant that crowdfunding can and will create more jobs. As an entrepreneur, she has experienced this firsthand with her brainchild, the Global Crowdfunding Convention, which she grew from a crowdfunding campaign into the leading annual industry event.

“In the news right now and in this election year, you hear the repetitive words‘job creation’. What people don’t know is that they can learn how to get funded and create more jobs themselves,” said Hedges, pioneer and legislative contributor to the J.O.B.S Act. Adding additionally that, “human capital is the greatest asset of all and people first need to realize they are infinitely more valuable to crowdfunding than money contributed.”

After serving the United States of America many veterans have learned new skills and deserve a financial opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. On the flip side, many veterans have healthcare necessities and through a crowdfunding site like Indegogo’s Generosity they can now go to ‘the crowd’ and be financially rewarded.

Veterans, Students & Startups can purchase tickets for a price of $250 – over 70% off the original ticket price. General tickets for the Global Crowdfunding Convention can be purchased at www.thegccworld.com.

For a list of speakers at the 2016 Global Crowdfunding Convention please visit: http://thegccworld.com/speakers/. For a sneak peak of the convention activities, please look here.

About the Global Crowdfunding Convention

From its inception in 2012, the Global Crowdfunding Convention (GCC) has seen the industry grow from $1.7 billion to over $35 billion in 2015. Moreover, crowdfunding is on a path to exceed venture capital investing in 2016. Fostering industry growth, the GCC has consistently handpicked the best and the brightest in the field to coverall topics of crowdfunding and the crowdfinance industry. GCC is produced by Crowdfunding industry experts, therefore it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a convention where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed. For more information visit www.thegccworld.com and follow the GCC on Twitter @thegccworld with real-time hashtag highlights, #thegccworld.

 

Record Breaking Crowdfunding at 5th Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention

Purchase tickets now for the October 2016 event in Las Vegas

Press Release – JULY 29, 2016 – LAS VEGAS, NV – The 5th annual Global Crowdfunding Convention (GCC) has announced their 2016 event lineup. The Las Vegas, Nevada, mainstay will take place October 15 – 17, 2016, at Planet Hollywood Resort. GCC is the largest worldwide gathering of innovators in the evolution of crowdfunding and regulation crowdfunding focusing on education. People attend to learn how to fund what matters to them and meet with industry experts, fin-tech, and professional service providers that are profoundly changing how people and businesses raise capital to bring innovation to life, and support causes they care about.

Tickets can be purchased from the Global Crowdfunding Convention website.

The 2016 GCC promises an information download from the world’s top crowdfunding experts who have broken records and raised tens-of-millions-of- dollars and are slated to reveal their industry secrets, ‘best practices’, top techniques and trade tools. The GCC is currently the only event offering information and education on all three methods of crowdfunding. More than 60 leading Industry experts will be covering event topics that encompass Equity, Donation, and Rewards based crowdfunding.

Notable speakers at this year’s convention include: Tony Drexel Smith, founder, and CEO of Blue Moon Advisors; Derek Fetzer, co-founder of CaringCrowd®; Douglas S. Ellenoff partner & owner, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole; Ruth E. Hedges, founder and EP of the GCC; and B Cavello, lead product development from Exploding Kittens, to name just a few. A full list of speakers can be viewed here, on the GCC website.

GCC represents the broad spectrum of industries redefining the entire crowdfunding ecosystem across every stage of development, target audience, and geographic location; offering comprehensive content, wide-ranging exciting exhibits and extensive networking opportunities.

Some of the companies participating this year are: Bluemoon Advisors, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, Issuers Direct, Crowdfunding CRM, CaringCrowd, UNLV, CrowdfundX, Bankroll, Syndicated lawyers, Crowdfun CPA, InvestAGrand and so many other great companies.

Kickoff for the Global Crowdfunding Convention will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at 8 p.m. with the “Crowdfund Live Invest” pre-event.

Anyone who has dreams of becoming a ‘unicorn’ or who wants to learn more about the billion dollar crowdfunding industry is encouraged to attend.

In previous years, attendance has been chock-full of entrepreneurs, investors, non-profit beacons, small business owners, start-up moguls, college students, professors, financial advisors, government officials, lawyers, accountants, and anyone wanting to be educated in this exciting, new industry.

“With seven billion plus people on our planet, we have a great opportunity with crowdfunding to help so many of them under stand how to use it. Recognizing the great transformations that businesses, economies, and societies are currently undergoing, we look to create ways that will focus on how to expand new crowdfunding models into collaborative sustained processes,” said CEO and founder of Global Crowdfunding Convention, Ruth E. Hedges.

Las Vegas is the convention capital of the world, known for bringing together people from around the globe while offering the best in business and entertainment. In addition to meetings, break out sessions and amazing networking in a very big expo and crowdfunding marketplace, GCC VIP attendees can expect to enjoy the red carpet “Crowdfundie Awards” followed by an after party at the London Club.

Tickets for the 2016 Global Crowdfunding Convention can be purchased online at www.thegccworld.com.

Discounted accommodations are offered with a GCC booking code at Planet Hollywood for GCC attendees who book by September 15, 2016. After this date the rate is subject to hotel availability.

For more information on the 2016 Global Crowdfunding Convention, please visit www.thegccworld.com.

About the Global Crowdfunding Convention

From its inception in 2012, the Global Crowdfunding Convention (GCC) has seen the industry grow from $1.7 billion to over $35 billion in 2015. Moreover, crowdfunding is on a path to exceed venture capital investing in 2016. Fostering industry growth, the GCC has consistently handpicked the best and the brightest in the field to coverall topics of crowdfunding and the crowd finance industry. GCC is produced by Crowdfunding industry experts, therefore it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a convention where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed. For more information visit www.thegccworld.com and follow the GCC on Twitter @thegccworld with real-time hashtag highlights, #thegccworld.

TAXA Biotechnologies To Close Out Successful Regulation Crowdfunding Campaign on Wefunder: Company Raises $250,000+ to Scale Up Production of Its First Products

Press Release – San Francisco, Calif. – Aug. 2, 2016TAXA Biotechnologies, the first company to offer the genetic engineering of plants as a service, and Wefunder, the most popular platform for Regulation Crowdfunding, announced today that TAXA is one of the first companies that will close a successful Regulation Crowdfunding offering. The company met its $200,000 goal in about 10 weeks, via 400+ individual investors.

Regulation Crowdfunding is a new option enabled by the recent passage of Title III of the JOBS Act, and allows everyday people (not just the wealthy) to make equity investments of as little as $100 in startups and small businesses. Wefunder, one of several FINRA-approved portals for these offerings, has become the clear leader in the space, hosting more than half of all Regulation Crowdfunding offerings. To date, Wefunder has helped its portfolio companies raise more than 6x the total of all the other portals combined.

TAXA Biotechnologies enables cheaper, faster and better genetic engineering of plants. Its first product is a glowing plant, and the company is also close to shipping a fragrant moss. The company plans to use the proceeds from its Wefunder offering to scale up its production capabilities to deliver both of these products and offer genetic engineering of plants as a service to partners.

TAXA founder and CEO Antony Evans said he decided to raise funds using Regulation Crowdfunding after a very successful traditional crowdfunding campaign. “We wanted to give our earlier crowdfunding supporters the opportunity to have equity in the company, and many of those people did come back and invest via Wefunder,” said Evans. “This is a great, new fundraising model for startups, and we would absolutely come back and do it again. Wefunder made the process relatively easy for us, and their support and promotion of our offering was outstanding.”

“We were excited to see TAXA’s early Kickstarter backers also invest on Wefunder,” said Wefunder co-founder and CEO Nick Tommarello. “The success of the TAXA offering demonstrates that everyday Americans also want to invest in early-stage startups solving hard technical challenges.”

To register as a potential investor and review investment opportunities at Wefunder, visit https://wefunder.com. The minimum investment is $100. To get funded on Wefunder, visit wefunder.com/raise_funding.

About Wefunder

Wefunder helps anyone invest as little as $100 in startups you love, and is the most popular platform for Regulation Crowdfunding. Its vision is to build a new type of stock market (“a NASDAQ for riskier ventures”) that lets the public allocate capital to a wider range of businesses, more broadly and efficiently than banks or venture capitalists. Investors on Wefunder have invested more than $20 million into 130+ companies since 2013, including Zenefits, Checkr and Casetext. Learn more about Wefunder’s story at wefunder.com/wefunder or follow us @wefunder.

About TAXA Biotechnologies

TAXA Biotechnologies was founded in 2013 and has its principal office in San Francisco, California. TAXA Biotechnologies is a company of biologists and experts who use synthetic biology technologies to engineer new organisms which can be nurtured at home as carbon-positive alternatives to existing products. The first biotech investment by Y Combinator, TAXA Biotechnologies provides access to a platform for protein engineering, automated DNA assembly, transient experiments and stable transformation as a service that is already being used by three partners.

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