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

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SeedEquity Ventures

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Devin Thorpe

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Journalist Champions More Inclusive Community Capital

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Amy Cortese is a rare bird indeed. She is almost alone in focusing her pen on crowdfunding’s ability to build underserved communities. She is equally interested in the place-based communities and demographic communities. Her book, Locavesting, is the definitive book on the topic.

Amy’s business, also called Locavesting, serves as a source of information for communities seeking greater access to capital.

Amy explains her view of the problem, “We live in an age of massive wealth inequality and lack of economic access, especially for women, people of color and those in underserved areas. How do we create an economy that works for all, instead of the few? The first thing is to tackle finance and channel more resources into communities.”

Access to capital for underserved communities is one of the great promises of crowdfunding. By reducing the dependence of women and minorities on traditional sources of capital like banks and venture capital that have not met their needs, crowdfunding hold the potential to lift communities.

Amy says, “Locavesting has chronicled and championed the rise of community capital.”

Recently, Amy launched a new platform, she describes as “Kayak for crowdfunding” that aggregates equity crowdfunding offerings in one place. She calls the new service Investibule.

“Investibule takes that a big step forward by connecting people with investment opportunities in their communities,” she says. “We believe in the wisdom of the community. Our goal is to accelerate the movement by raising awareness and shifting the financial narrative and flow of money into these emerging community-friendly investments.”

Great challenges remain for crowdfunding to achieve its potential for changing communities. The scale of equity crowdfunding in 2016 remained far below the hopes of the industry.

Amy says the number one challenge is education. “Most people have not heard of crowdfunding, or may be intimidated by the idea of directly investing. We also recognize that in some communities, there is not much disposable income to invest. So while the will may be there, the means may not be.”

Amy recognizes, too, that crowdfunding and other related community financing mechanisms can’t solve all of the problems for underserved populations.

“Individual investing is just one slice of the pie—albeit a potentially powerful one,” she says. “Inequality, economic justice are such deep issues, we need concerted action on the part of institutional investors, corporations and lawmakers. In addition, many entrepreneurs need technical assistance and coaching before they are ready to raise money—we don’t address that part of the equation.”

Despite the challenges, Amy remains optimistic. “We hope to contribute to, in a small way, a more fair and just economy and society. You can’t have a healthy economy without healthy, resilient communities. By channeling more capital to community-based ventures, we hope to grow a new generation of job-creating entrepreneurs and empower communities to invest in themselves and they change they want to see. We believe in the idea of community underwriting, that the wisdom of the community can surface and support the best ideas and ventures.”

On Thursday, January 12, 2017 at noon Eastern, Amy will join me here for a live discussion about her work to improve access to capital for struggling communities. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Amy Cortese, courtesy of Locavesting

Amy Cortese, courtesy of Locavesting

More about Locavesting:

Twitter: @investibule

Locavesting is the definitive source for news and educational content about the evolving community capital and crowdfinance fields. We shine a spotlight on the innovate models that are empowering entrepreneurs, investors and their communities. Building on that base, investibule.co is a new aggregation platform that connects investors with crowdfunded offerings in their communities—a “Kayak for community capital.”

Amy’s bio:

Twitter: @locavesting

AMY CORTESE is a journalist who writes about topics spanning business, finance & food for publications including the New York Times and B magazine. Her book, Locavesting, was one of the pioneering works on the emerging local investing and community capital movement. She is the founder & editor of Locavesting.com, a media and educational site that covers the evolving community finance space, and cofounder of investibule, a new discovery platform for community-based investments. Based in Brooklyn, Amy has been named a “Top 30 Crowdfunding Thought Leader,” and was awarded a New Capital Markets Leadership Award by the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Association. She was honored to present at the historic April 2012 Rose Garden signing of the JOBS Act.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

Mother of Quads Faces Cancer; Receives Outpouring of Support


You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Kayla Gaytan, the wife of a soldier, was expecting four healthy babies–conceived naturally–when something went wrong. She began recognizing the symptoms of her Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The doctors confirmed her worst fears and quickly delivered the babies at 30 weeks so she could begin chemo–again.

Pegine Echevarria, CEO of Team Pegine, a keynote speaker and mother of two servicemen, quickly recognized that Kayla and her husband Charles, who is stationed at Fort Campbell, were going to need a lot of help. She found their GoFundMe page asking for $5,000 and immediately realized that the family would need much, much more. She’s made it her personal crusade to help the family raise $100,000.

Pegine’s efforts, combined with some great media exposure, are helping. As of January 9, 2017, the crowdfunding campaign has raised $15,365.

People did a story about Kayla and you can watch their video here:

The Today show did a story. You can watch their video here:

WKRN  did a story and you can watch it here:

MSNewsNow.com – Jackson, MS

Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Kayla and Charles told WKRN that the doctors had given her a 50 percent chance of surviving five years. The couple already has two children. Pegine quickly realized when she heard the story that the young couple is facing more than any couple could be expected to handle alone. She’s virtually adopted them and their GoFundMe effort. She says, “I have fallen in love with this family and am on a mission to help them.”

Pegine calls her effort “Be Part of the Miracle!” She encouraging everyone she knows to donate and is reaching out to her powerful stable of corporate clients to step up with matching donations to both help fund the needs and spur more individual donations.

Kayla set up a Facebook page where you can follow the progress of the four babies.

On Tuesday, January 10, 2016 at 5:00 Eastern, Pegine will join me here for a live discussion about Kayla, her battle with cancer and her six children. Pegine is convinced she can help the family raise $100,000 to help them with the challenges they will certainly face. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Pegine Echevarria, courtesy of Team Pegine

Pegine Echevarria, courtesy of Team Pegine

More about Team Pegine:

Team Pegine, Inc. is an award-winning leadership development, training and marketing firm that educates leaders in a diverse world through extraordinary interactive experiences. Team Pegine works with corporations and government as well as military and corporate leaders to engage, train, develop and market, both internally and externally, to women and multicultural leaders.

Pegine’s bio:

Twitter: @PegineMotivateU

Pegine is one of only 8 women and the only Latina inducted into the 58 member Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame (Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield are also inducted). Named 1 of the 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management). www.Pegine.com is a leadership, inclusion success expert. Using interactive experiences both in her speeches and large scale live situational exercises, Pegine creates memorable lessons providing leaders techniques that they can use during high stress, high value moments, gaining influence and confidence in a diverse world. Her company, www.TeamPegine.com, was named North Florida’s #3 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Company. She is a Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women in Business Champion of the Year. Hired by Fortune 500, government and the military, Pegine offers clients fresh ideas to leaders to engage diverse markets to help them achieve their goals, presenting her ideas vividly with unusual stories and metaphors, captivating listeners. Politicians, executive leaders, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executive hire her coaching service that include role players and live situational exercises to increase their effectiveness, charisma and confidence communicating in a diverse world. Companies use Team Pegine to engage and nurture diverse leaders.

Pegine is one of fewer than 700 speakers worldwide to earn the designation of Certified Professional Speaker® less than 1% of professional speakers worldwide hold the designation. The DoD awarded her company the rarely given CPAR rating of excellence for contracts over one million dollars. Pegine thrives on big ideas and big productions. She designed, led and implemented a live simulation leadership cultural negotiation training exercise with 50 role players, 12 villages, with over 12,000 officers participating, from all branches of the military and 12 ally countries. Pegine holds an MSW in group and organizational behavior and has authored several books. Her book “Sometimes You Need to Kick Your Own Butt” was a SHRM Best Seller four years in a row. On the cover of Minority Business Entrepreneur as a “Women in Business Who Rocks” she is also quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Hispanic Business Magazine.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

To Crowdfund Successfully, Think About More Than Money


You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Kathleen Minogue is passionate about using crowdfunding for social good. She created her business, Crowdfund Better, to help social entrepreneurs and nonprofits raise more money via crowdfunding.

Kathleen is a former teacher. She puts those skills to work today by helping people learn how to crowdfund for their cause or business.

Kathleen shared three tips with me that I’m honored to pass along to you.

To crowdfund successfully, think about more than money

1. It’s all about the network.

Crowdfunding is about the network, not the funding. This is what I find most people get backward. They focus on the funding and they miss the potential of their current crowdfunding efforts to fuel their social, creative or financial capital needs long beyond this initial campaign.

2. Crowdfunding isn’t free.

It costs time – yours, your team’s or a team you hire to help you. It’s also important to budget enough time ahead of your campaign launch to prepare your network. Technology moves our messages faster but trust is built in human time.

3. Crowdsource other resources.

Crowdfunding creates opportunities for people to contribute more than money to your campaign. Other types of capital (i.e. social, creative, intellectual, community, relationship) may be just as vital to the long-term success of your business, cause, or creative project.

On Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 3:00 Eastern, Kathleen will join me here for a live discussion about her tips for crowdfunding more successfully. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Kathleen Minogue, courtesy of Crowdfund Better

Kathleen Minogue, courtesy of Crowdfund Better

More about Crowdfund Better:

Twitter: @crowdfundbetter

Crowdfund Better provides crowdfunding education and strategic consulting to empower entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, and local communities to develop stronger networks for ongoing social, creative, and financial support. Crowdfund Better also develops crowdfunding educational tools and programs for business advisors and platforms.

Kathleen’s bio:

Twitter: @kathleenminogue

Kathleen Minogue is a crowdfunding educator, speaker and strategic business consultant. After running her own successful crowdfunding campaign in 2012, she founded Crowdfund Better to guide entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, and creative artists on how to use crowdfunding strategically to help them attain their financial, marketing, and business goals. A thought leader in crowdfunding, Kathleen is particularly focused on utilizing crowdfunding to encourage entrepreneurship, economic development and job creation in local communities, especially for women and minorities.

Kathleen is a dynamic speaker who uses her skills as a former teacher and financial professional to run highly interactive workshops that address the needs of novice crowdfunders as well as experienced veterans, and has worked alongside project creators on highly successful campaigns on platforms ranging from Kickstarter and Indiegogo to niche platforms like Seed&Spark, Barnraiser and Hatchfund. Kathleen has been invited to speak at venues including: General Assembly, Impact Hub, Pepperdine University, the Director’s Guild of America, CAMEO, SCORE, SBA, the Global Crowdfunding Convention, Crowdfunding Deep Impact UK and Crowd Invest Summit.

Prior to Crowdfund Better, Kathleen spent time at JPMorgan where she helped build relationships with leading technology venture capitalists and worked as a consultant for an LA-based crowdfunding start-up.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

Don’t Even Think About Crowdfunding Without Doing These 3 Things First

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

B Cavello is a key part of the brains and brilliance behind the Exploding Kittens’ $8.8 million success on Kickstarter. Having moved on from that project, B is now working as a crowdfunding consultant through B is for Business. B, who prefers the personal pronoun “they,” will share a bit of their genius with us.

According to Fox Business, Exploding Kittens raised $8.8 million on Kickstarter from 219,382 backers. This Wikipedia page ranks Exploding Kittens 15th biggest in the history of crowdfunding.

Here are B’s insights:

“Don’t even think about crowdfunding without doing these 3 things first.”

1. Know your audience.

It’s easy to focus on funding, but to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, you must focus on the crowd. You must honestly evaluate your reach and your network. Optimism works against you, here. Work with what you KNOW you have.

2. Clearly understand the realities of success.

When you start a crowdfunding campaign, you are making a promise, and you want to be sure you can keep it. Not only does knowing what’s ahead give you credibility with your team (your crowdfunding backers), it also gives you a clear head when evaluating opportunities and challenges. Know your timeline and your costs and give yourself plenty of padding because unexpected things WILL happen.

3. Build a strong team.

The reality of crowdfunding campaigns is that even (or especially) when they are wildly successful, they are a LOT of work. If you’re setting out to run a campaign, running it alone is dangerous. That said: you need to ensure that everyone on your team is as passionate about and capable of serving your cause as you are.

On Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 2:00 Eastern, B will join me here for a live discussion about their three tips and more insights about crowdfunding. B is passionate about causes and our discussion will focus on using these insights for good. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

B Cavello, courtesy of B is for Business

B Cavello, courtesy of B is for Business

More about B is for Business:

Twitter: @b_cavello

B offers guidance, counsel, and even hard truths for those seeking to create a crowdfunding campaign.

B’s bio:

B Cavello is a crowdfunding veteran whose work as Product Development and Community Director at Exploding Kittens helped catapult the game startup to its record-breaking 219,382 backer success. As the voice and primary liaison for the nearly $9 million campaign, B cultivated and empowered the huge community inspired by the game. Following the Kickstarter, they also oversaw product design and testing of the physical card game, expansions, the iOS and Android apps, and even plush and wearable merchandise.

B has since departed from the Exploding Kittens team and now works as an Engagement Leader with IBM Watson. B also works independently as a crowdfunding consultant. They have advised on a variety of crowdfunding campaigns including Zach and Zebby Wahls’ “Woman Card[s],” the Artiphon, and the Lelo Hex condom.

B has their own projects as well, primarily focused on social good: from crisis housing materials to computer education and security and even an interactive circuitry book for kids.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

Johnson & Johnson’s CaringCrowd Offers Crowdfunding for Public Health Efforts

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical behemoth, operates CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding site for global public health initiatives. The platform provides a way for nonprofits and others working in public health to seek funding for their projects.

Derek Fetzer, the Director of the program, notes that public health initiatives are chronically underfunded. “A considerable portion of the world does not have access to health care and many local organizations are ideally positioned to help. They possess unique knowledge of the communities they work with, thus understanding which interventions will truly make an impact on the lives of vulnerable populations. However, these organizations face a critical challenge: funding.”

Derek explains that the goal isn’t just to scale up what’s already working, but to drive innovation. “We developed CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding platform, to enable collaboration on global public health challenges, foster innovation, and support funding that can help get needed resources to people faster and more efficiently.”

The J&J team screens the projects to ensure that they align with corporate values. “All submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. CaringCrowd is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and does not charge a fee.”

As the effort is relatively new, the challenge they face is building the critical mass needed have the intended impact, Derek says. “The platform has recently launched and we are diligently building awareness of the platform. Towards this end, we are active on social media and get involved in events (e.g., we were present at the Global Citizen Festival in September 2016).”

Derek Fetzer, courtesy of CaringCrowd

Derek Fetzer, courtesy of CaringCrowd

This means that at least for the present, project funding will be relative modest, Derek adds. “For the immediate future, most projects will be of a smaller size, generally less than $30,000. As crowdfunding grows and consolidates, I would expect that larger scale projects take place. However, the impact of even small projects can be huge – a little can go so very far in many parts of the world!”

Derek has a grand vision for CaringCrowd. “Our mission is to provide a trusted platform for helping global public health projects get the funding they need. Imagine how we could positively affect the lives of so many neglected populations if we achieved the size of some of the other major crowdfunding platforms!”

On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Derek will join me here for a live discussion about CaringCrowd’s efforts to improve public health through crowdfunding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about CaringCrowd:

Twitter: @caringcrowd

CaringCrowd(R) is a crowdfunding site 100% dedicated to global public health. Individuals who want to support public health can browse projects that need funding and make a pledge to help. Any 501(c)(3) non-profit can submit a project and funding goal for consideration on the platform. Then, submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. This platform was created by Johnson & Johnson as a driver for collaboration on global public health, and as a new way to bring funding to organizations tackling key public health challenges on the ground.

Derek’s bio:

Twitter: @derekfetzer

Co-founder and Team Leader of CARINGCROWD®. Originally an industrial engineer from Peru and from Purdue University, Derek has over 23 years of strategy, consulting, and business analytics experience across different industries, spanning the US, EU, and Latin America. For the last 10 years, Derek has worked in the area of infectious diseases, collaborating on key product launches in HIV/AIDS, HCV, and tuberculosis. His career interest is in improving access to healthcare around the world by empowering the “crowd.”

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

Crowdfunding Platform Directory

This list of crowdfunding platforms does not purport to be complete, but it will include dozens of crowdfunding sites you can consider for your campaign, giving you plenty of candidates for fundraising.

If you are part of the company and see an error that needs correcting, please send us an email.

Investment Crowdfunding Sites (click on the Name/URL to see a more complete profile):

Name/URL Social Impact Focus
BankRoll Includes Social Impact
EarlyShares Includes Social Impact
Equity Net Includes Social Impact
Flashfunders Includes Social Impact
Funding Circle Includes Social Impact
Funding Circle US Includes Social Impact
Localstake Includes Social Impact
Milaap Social Ventures Pte Ltd Includes Social Impact
Mindfull Investors Includes Social Impact
Mission Markets Focus on Social Impact
OfferBoard Includes Social Impact
OurCrowd Includes Social Impact
Rabble Includes Social Impact
Seed Equity Includes Social Impact
SeedUps Canada Includes Social Impact
StartEngine Includes Social Impact
SunFunder Includes Social Impact
NextSeed Includes Social Impact

Crowdfunding Sites for Donations and Rewards (click on the Name/URL to see a more complete profile):

Name/URL Personal/Nonprofit/Socent/Other/Everything
BNN Funding Other
Classy Socent/Nonprofit
ClassWallet.com Socent/Other
CommitChange Nonprofit
CureCrowd Other
Darelicious Personal/Nonprofit
Deposit a Gift Personal/Nonprofit
DonorsChoose.org Nonprofit
ENDcrowd.com Nonprofit
Fairfundr from Majamba Digital Personal/Socent
FreeFunder Personal
Fundly Personal/Nonprofit
FundRazr Personal/Nonprofit
Giveffect Inc. Nonprofit
GlobalGiving Nonprofit
GoFundMe Personal
Gust Socent/Other
HelpingB Personal/Socent
HIPGive Socent/Other
Hispanics in Philanthropy Socent/Other
Indiegogo Everything
IndieCrowdFunder.com Personal/Socent/Other
Kickstarter Socent/Other
Kickante Everything
Kimbia Nonprofit
kriticalmass Personal/Socent
LoveAnimals.org Nonprofit/Other
MyFundNow Personal/Socent/Other
Patreon Personal/Socent
peerbackers Socent
PledgeCents Personal/Other
RallyMe Personal/Other
Razoo Personal/Nonprofit
RideToGive Personal
RocketHub Nonprofit/Socent/Other
Spotfund Nonprofit/Other
TwistRate Personal/Other
Watsi Nonprofit
Women’s Worldwide Web (W4) Socent/Other
Xeelion, LLC Personal/Socent
121Giving Nonprofit

Real Estate Focused Sites (click on the Name/URL to see a more complete profile):

Name/URL
AssetAvenue
CrowdVenture, LLC
Fundrise
GROUNDFLOOR
HalalSky.com
Loquidity
Patch of Land
Prodigy Network
RealtyMogul
Wellesley & Co.

If you know of a site that we should add to our list, please alert us here.

New Course Doesn’t Just Help You Understand Impact Investing, It Helps You Do It

Impact investing is all the rage in philanthropy circles, but most people still don’t really know what it is, let alone how to do it. In order to make impact investing easy for you, I’ve created a new course on Udemy, “Intro to Impact Investing.”

Traditionally, impact investing has been the province of institutional investors and wealthy individuals. That is beginning to change and everyone can now be an impact investor.

In fact, in “Intro to Impact Investing” you will learn how to make your first impact investment with as little as $20.

ad-intro-to-impact-investing

Impact investing is a way you can use your money for good–and get it back with interest! Impact investments come in all forms and while many are tremendously risky, some have almost no risk at all. While some require sophisticated analysis and what investors call “due diligence,” some you can buy on a whim without concern.

Udemy is a platform for online training materials of all sorts. “Intro to Impact Investing” is offered for just $25, but readers can buy lifetime access to the course at 20 percent off using the discount code “DOGOODER” at checkout.

The course can be completed in just 30 minutes. When you finish, you will be ready to make your first impact investment.

Making your first impact investment can be invigorating. Unlike making a donation, the money you invest for impact can come back to you, allowing you to do good with it over and over again.

Impact investments, just like traditional investments, come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own risk and return profile. By completing this course, you can not only be ready to make your first impact investment, but you’ll be equipped to learn more about investing in more complex investments for social impact.

Now You Can Be A Shark! Learn How At Crowd Invest Summit

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

If you are a regular GoodCrowd.info reader, you know that you can now invest in startups via FINRA-registered web portals. You can now be a venture capitalist, “shark” or perhaps, more benignly, an angel investor.

In May, the Securities and Exchange Commission implemented rules for investment crowdfunding under the 2012 JOBS Act. Alon Goren and Josef Holm have organized the first conference, the Crowd Invest Summit, focused exclusively on investment crowdfunding since the rules went into operation.

Alon has provided GoodCrowd.info readers with a special discount on registration. Use the discount code “GOODCROWD” to receive 30 percent off the registration fee!

The speakers will include Robert Herjavec, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank”; James Altucher, the famed author and entrepreneur; Tim Draper, one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists and long-term crowdfunding advocate; and, Dara Albright, one of the leading minds in crowdfinance. Conference organizers have also invited me, Devin Thorpe, to speak.

“As the first event of its kind in the United States, the Crowd Invest Summit connects retail investors and top crowdfunded investment opportunities,” said Josef, founder and CEO of crowdfunding marketing and PR software firm Krowdster. “Given the recent shifts in the equity crowdfunding industry, we created this event to be inclusive of all types of investors. Our first summit will take place in Silicon Beach and we’re already exploring a series of domestic and international events to follow.”

Alon Goren, courtesy of Crowd Invest Summit

Alon Goren, courtesy of Crowd Invest Summit

Alon added, “Until now, crowdfunding events have been predominantly focused on debating the potential rules and laws that are now finally in place and available. In contrast, this will be the first large-scale event in the crowdfunding sector focused on companies and investors raising real money and closing actual deals. We want all Americans to know that any of them can become venture capitalists now.”

On Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Alon will join me here for a live discussion about the conference and the opportunity all Americans have now to invest in startups. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Crowd Invest Summit:

Twitter: @crowdinvestsmt

Crowd invest summit is the country’s premier investment focused crowdfunding event.

Alon’s bio:

Twitter: @alonymous

Alon is CEO and co-founder of Invested.in and INVST. He has developed technology that powers websites and financial transactions for Fortune 500 companies and well-known foundations such as Coca-Cola, ATB Financial and Global Philanthropy Group. He also created a white label fundraising portal for individuals and businesses hoping to crowdfund ventures independently of major platforms. His support of the JOBS Act and day-to-day interactions with investors and financial professionals inspired him to create INVST (http://inv.st) a solution for marketers hoping to attract investment firms and hedge fund managers. Utilizing proprietary social technology, INVST streamlines and amplifies the capital introduction process, while offering relationship, tracking and deal management tools for fund managers, third-party marketers and investors.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

Endless Computers for the Next Billion

Billions of people are crippled because they lack a computer at home.

Matt Dalio spent years talking to people overcoming poverty without computers.

It was really three months of travel through China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand…

…seeing the reactions of people to his technology that convinced Matt he had to do this.

He learned they don’t want the cheapest computer he could make; they want the best computer they can afford.

So he set out to build it.

Endless Computers

Endless Computers

He launched with a Kickstarter campaign raising $176,538.

Today, the provocative Endless Computer starts at just $79.

The operating system can be downloaded free for use on any computer.

It includes an abundance of content and dozens of apps that don’t rely on the Internet!

Matt’s epic effort could bring a billion people into the information age.

Learn more here.

Visit Endless Computers.

Crowdfunding Campaign Has Lasting Impact for Kids With Birthmarks

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

One of the most inspiring stories in my book Crowdfunding for Social Good features Martha Griffin’s campaign to raise money to publish Sam’s Birthmark, a book about a boy born with a birthmark on his face. The book has impacted countless lives since, including her own son Barron, helping kids born with port wine stain birthmarks like Barron’s to feel special.

For the book, Martha explained that she learned four key lessons from her Kickstarter campaign where she successfully raised $31,763.

  1. Would the birthmark community embrace or see a need for the book?
  2. Would the message appeal to our network and outside the birthmark community?
  3. Could we “market” the book through a viral campaign like Kickstarter?
  4. What would be the response to our story?

Today, I caught up with Martha to learn more about her ongoing effort to build a movement that protects kids against bullying and builds their self-confidence.

Sam's Birthmark

Sam’s Birthmark

Martha says, “A child’s individuality, whether it’s marked by curly hair, freckles or even a birthmark; it’s what makes them special. Sam’s Birthmark is about raising vascular birthmark awareness as well embracing our own and each other’s differences.”

Martha hoped the book would not only help her son, but that it would provide her with a platform for educating others. “We wrote Sam’s Birthmark to build confidence in our son. Also the general public are not aware of the health issues from Vascular Birthmarks. The book has helped us connect with other Birthmark parents throughout the world and be a part of the vast birthmark community.”

Martha still worries about bullying. “Children can be cruel about physical differences. As parents we face the challenge of raising a confident child.”

She worries, too, that Barron’s birthmark could get larger and that growths might develop. Barron has had nine laser surgeries to prevent this. The book remains profoundly relevant in his life.

Martha acknowledges that it will be difficult to stop bullying altogether. “We live a society that focuses on beauty and I don’t see that changing. It’s your face all the time now with social media. Bullying is a huge problem. By parents starting the conversation at an early age about physical differences we can over time stop bullying.”

She remains optimistic, however, and sees her book as a powerful tool for good in the lives of affected children and families. She wants to share the book as widely as possible. “The more people that share and read Sam’s Birthmark, the more good we can do. Through our website we have the ‘Buy-the-Book/Get-a- Book’ campaign. For every book purchased, we give you an extra book to donate to a school, doctor office, church or library.”

Grant, Martha and Barron Griffin, courtesy of Sam's Birthmark

Grant, Martha and Barron Griffin, courtesy of Sam’s Birthmark

On Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Martha will join me here for a live discussion about how Sam’s Birthmark has influenced the life of her son Barron and others like him around the world. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Sam’s Birthmark:

Twitter: @samsbirthmark

Sam’s Birthmark is a children’s book about teaching kids to appreciate the differences in others and themselves.

Martha’s bio:

Martha and Grant found their inspiration for Sam’s Birthmark after their son Barron was born with a Port Wine Stain birthmark covering the right side of his face. After researching Vascular Birthmarks and connecting with other birthmark parents, they saw a need for a children’s book with a main character who has a birthmark. Their goal for Sam’s Birthmark is to teach children to embrace their own and each other’s differences starting at an early age.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

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