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Interviews

Stories that include video interviews.

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!

 

Support Christopher’s Haven and Escape with Chris Evans

AutoLotto wants to support Christopher’s Haven. They are raising money on omaze. Recently I caught up with Matt Clemenson 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?

Boston-based Christopher’s Haven is working with philanthropic platform Omaze on a campaign offering donors the chance to win an adventure with Captain America (Chris Evans) starting at just $10. The winning donor will be flown out to Boston with 3 guests to complete an Escape Room challenge with Chris Evans.

Christopher’s Haven operates a supportive community consisting of nine temporary apartments and a community recreation area for families of children being treated for cancer in nearby Boston hospitals. Over 300 families to date have stayed in the fully-furnished and equipped apartments located across the street from Massachusetts General Hospital. The Loft is utilized to provide programming for children undergoing outpatient treatment, as well as their siblings and parents. Activities coordinated primarily by volunteers, include massage therapy, pet therapy, arts & crafts, movie nights, birthday and holiday parties, bell-ringing ceremonies, outings to sporting events and excursions to local attractions.

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

As much as possible!  The more we can assist childhood cancer patients and their families, the better.  The campaign ends on January 20, 2017.

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

Christopher’s Haven and, in doing so, childhood cancer patients and their families.

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

The winner (+3 friends) are flown out to Boston and put up in a 4-star hotel. They complete an Escape Room challenge with Chris Evans as Captain America plus a burgers and beer dinner.

Donors get various perks depending on the level of their donation. For example, donors who give $1,500 get an autographed copy of Captain America: Civil War DVD signed by Chris Evans. Donors who give $2,500 earned an outgoing voicemail message from Chris Evans.

Check out the campaign.

 

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!

 

Help Raise Money For “Torchbearer Collection” to Support the Hardworking Oysterman

The Torchbearers Collection is a tribute to the Gulf Coast oyster and the hard-working men and women who bring it from the ocean to our plates. They are raising money on Kickstarter. Recently I caught up with Ashley Porter 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?

Our project has four main social objectives:

  1. To raise awareness about the plight facing Gulf Coast oyster fisheries
  2. To preserve the traditional craft of oyster tong making, a piece of maritime culture that is fading
  3. To provide direct economic support to craftsmen like Rodney, by sourcing materials from them
  4. To raise money for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper organization

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

We’ve set a goal of $25,000. This money will go to producing the first batch of jewelry, building our supply chain and establishing our brand and marketing materials.

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

The Torchbearers Collection aims to help traditional fisher people in Apalachicola, Florida.

The Apalachicola River Basin is among the most ecologically diverse natural systems in the Southeast — sustaining a staggering array of rare and endemic species and supporting a $7 billion seafood industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

Perhaps nowhere along the Gulf Coast is the tradition of oystering so ingrained with the culture as in Apalachicola, a tiny fishing village perched on Florida’s Panhandle. The town has traditionally produced about 10 percent of the oysters consumed in the United States and 90 percent of those consumed in Florida.

Generations of oystermen have hauled their living from the bottom of the town’s namesake bay, using specialized tools called “tongs.” The task of making these tools has traditionally been the purview of craftsmen like Rodney Richards, who learned the trade from his father — a legendary tong-maker named “Corky.”

Rodney’s ancestral trade — and the way of life it supports — is in peril. Apalachicola’s oyster industry has all but collapsed over the last several years — brought to its knees by drought, the 2010 oil spill and a tri-state water war that is now before the Supreme Court.

Our project would provide direct support to Rodney, giving him a reason to continue plying his trade. It would also support the larger community by raising awareness and providing funding to the Apalachicola Riverkeeper, an organization with a long track record of conserving the Apalachicola River System.

Torchbearers Collection from Paprika Studios on Vimeo.

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

  • Level 1 $5
    Handwritten thank you letter on a vintage oyster tong postcard
  • Level 2 $25
    5 Postcards with antique oyster tong Image
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 3 $95
    Men’s long pendant necklace (Retails $125)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 4 $95
    Long labradorite pendant necklace (Retails $125)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 5 $150
    Horizontal pendant tong necklace (Retails $175)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 6 $250
    His and her necklace set (horizontal for her) (Retail $300)
    2 tickets to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 7 $ 2,500.00
    Limited edition solid 14K gold tong pendant
    4 tickets to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
    (First person to pledge receives a two-night stay for two in French Quarter)

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter: @PorterLyonsLLC

Your Support to “Beyond the Backpack” Project Helps Animal Conservation and Saves Endangered Wildlife

“Beyond the Backpack” project produces tank tops from sustainable and ocean cleaning fabric and a part of the profits will be donated to animal conservation and the fight to save endangered wildlife. He is raising money on Kickstarter. Recently I caught up with Micah Teixeira 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?

Beyond the Backpack. It’s way of living. It’s the hope to inspire others to live well and do as much good as we can.Backing our project funds the production of our tank tops. Doing so also supports animal conservation, sustainable and ocean cleaning fabric, ethical supply chains and transparent giving.

We need to be more than just tourists. More than just travellers. We need to go Beyond the Backpack.

50% of the profits from every sale will be donated to animal conservation and the fight to save endangered wildlife.

This innovative material is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and ocean plastic. rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) uses less water and energy, its carbon footprint is smaller than most fabrics. It cleans up our earth and oceans. Reducing the risks of hurting animals. And it’s insanely soft!

When you purchase an item, you’ll actually be given the option of where you want the donation to go towards. Fully transparent and track-able giving. So you see that your money goes to where it’s needed most.

Animals and humans alike should never have to face exploitation. Production takes place in the USA, an ethical factory where workers are treated with respect, and paid properly for their work. Human and animal cruelty free.

Beyond the Backpack is meant to be a full process of giving back. We hope we’ve achieved that goal!

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

Our goal is $10,000 although we’re really hoping to far surpass that. The funds will be used for the initial order of tank tops. However the special fabric is very expensive, and is being made specially for our order. On top of this it is being produced in the USA, so labour costs are much higher than what it would be overseas. Our actual startup costs are $30,000 and we’ll need to secure funding on top of our Kickstarter campaign as well. This doesn’t include any of the money I’ve already put in from my pocket which included product development, video shoot, etc.

50% of the profits for all the sales will be donated towards an animal conservation charity. We’re affiliated with 3 and the buyer will choose where they want the donation to go.

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

We’re trying to help everyone in a full circle of giving! 50% of the profits will be directed towards animal conservation organizations. This will help not only the animals (which is the main goal), but also the amazing people which work and volunteer their lives there.

The other main group we hope to benefit is the people who are making our clothing. Right now it is being made in the USA, where are able to see fair and ethical sourcing. However we are planning on shifting the production to Guatemala. It would be with the same company, who have their main production centre there. The costs are essentially the same for us, however it checks another pillar which hoped to have right from the start. Being able to support developing cultures and nations and not exploiting them.

Lastly, the actual fabric which is made from recycled plastic bottles and ocean plastic provides work to the actual people who are collecting and cleaning the earth of the plastic. This not only has a significant impact on the earth and animals, but also us who ingest plastic in almost all the food we eat.

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

The rewards are the tank tops themselves! Super cool designs with out logo which we’re very proud of. Made of the innovative, super soft and amazing material which is derived from 100% recycled plastic!

For some of the bigger backers, we’re offering custom designs for them, as well as as trip with us to one of our animal conservation partners!

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.

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!

 

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!

 

5 Key Attributes to Look for in a Startup Founder

Seed Equity Ventures is a sponsor of the Your Mark on the World Center, which publishes GoodCrowd.info.

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

Ordinary investors can now invest in startups as a result of the belated implementation of the JOBS Act in May. As you start thinking about investing in startups, one key is to identify an entrepreneur you can back.

Todd Crosland, CEO of our sponsor Seed Equity Ventures, invests in startups along with investors who use the platform. He is an accomplished entrepreneur himself. He recently wrote a blog post about the five key attributes to look for in a startup founder. I’m sharing them here with permission.

1. Passion

When an entrepreneur is pitching you his or her business, their passion for the venture should be apparent from the time they open their mouth. They need to be fully committed to the mission and exemplify that they will do whatever it takes to see it succeed.

2. Experience

Has the founder started a company before? How successful was it? If he or she was able to grow a successful business prior to this venture, they know the ropes better than a first-time founder and have proven they have the dedication it takes to see a company endure.

3. Adaptability

Plans and challenges change frequently while building a company. Someone who can adapt and focus on the need of the customer, rather than refuse to abandon the original idea, will be more suited to build a winning company.

4. Persistence

Acquiring customers and making sales is not an easy task when a company is getting off the ground. When the founder is likely one of just a few employees, if not the only one, they will need to be persistent, tenacious and motivated to keep the company moving forward. Some will want to throw in the towel after hearing “no” several times. A successful founder will keep pushing through until they hear “yes.”

5. Communication

If you are to be an investor in their company, you want a founder who will be able to communicate issues and how he or she plans to solve them effectively. A founder should be in touch with his or her investors regularly, providing updates on the company and its progress.

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Todd will join me here for a live discussion about these five keys and how they influence investment decisions. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

More about Seed Equity Ventures:

Twitter: @getseedequity

Seed Equity Ventures is a registered broker dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a member of both FINRA and SIPC, providing investment banking services to startups and growth companies from around the world. Seed Equity believes the best entrepreneurs in the world should be funded, no matter who they are or where they live. Investors throughout the world, should have a voice to choose what the future should look like. They should be able to support entrepreneurs who will build that future. Seed Equity was founded to provide growth equity to entrepreneurs and their startups in exciting industries globally.

Todd’s bio:

Twitter: @ToddCrosland

A seasoned entrepreneur, Mr. Crosland has demonstrated the ability to build successful teams and companies. Mr. Crosland was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Interbank FX, LLC (“IBFX”; www.IBFX.com), from 2001 until he sold the firm in 2011. IBFX was a Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer registered with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. IBFX was also authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. IBFX was a worldwide leader in retail Forex trading services. IBFX offered individual traders, fund managers and institutional customer’s proprietary technology and tools to trade Forex online. IBFX saw Global customers grow to over 40,000, in more than 140 countries. Annual trading volume reached $750 billion. IBFX had 120 employees and offices in Beijing, China; Seoul, South Korea; Sydney, Australia; Salt Lake City, Utah and London, England. IBFX and Mr. Crosland have received many awards, including: The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and numerous Inc. 500 awards. Mr. Crosland holds a B.A. in Business (Business Finance) from the University of Utah. He also currently holds the following Securities Licenses: Series 7, 24, and 63 and previously held series 3 and 30 Licenses.

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!

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!
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