Crowdfunding

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Crowdcasting to Drive Innovation and Manage Customer Relationships

Crowdcasting is the newest use of the crowd to change the paradigm of two important functions of business: innovation and customer relationship management.

Innovation is being moved from the realm of experts to the crowd via problem-solving platforms like Hero-X. Incentives include contests and other forms of interaction, including cash prices, and problems that range in complexity are presented to the group. This use of the crowd as a group of out-of-field experts has produced some innovative and quirky thinking on knotty problems. Unlike university and other expert-based methods of traditional problem solving, issues of intellectual property and royalties for this work are managed by participants trading off their ideas for a possible prize.

This type of crowdcasting works to find innovative solutions to both business problems and complex social problems. Businesses can bring a problem to the crowd, where groups of unusual and esoteric specialists can collaborate. Non-profits can bring the complexities of social change and social justice to individuals and groups who bring off-center and out of the box thinking to multi-faceted issues.

One of the benefits of the crowdcasting model is the open-source ethos of shared problem solving. With the understanding that unusual solutions can be shared across industries and communities, the ideas and work are regularly published for use by others, with their different problems to solve.   Continue reading

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Equity-Crowdinvesting Developments

Equity Crowdinvesting is a crowdfunding rose of a different color, and while it shares many elements of donation or reward crowdfunding, its nature as a capital investment means it comes under securities laws in the country of origin. In essence, crowdinvesting is equity-based crowdfunding. With crowdinvesting the investor moves beyond simply supporting start-ups, and becomes an active player in the future of that project. Equity crowdfunding means an investment through a crowdfunding platform, usually for a startup or early business, in exchange for a piece of the business. It is hoped by both the investor and the business owner that the value of the business, and the value of the equity investment, will grow over time.

The popularity of crowdfunding of all types has put the pressure on governments to try and regulate the practice, especially equity crowdfunding. Capital investment has in the past been made with large sums of money by big corporations. Securities and investment law has been set into place regulating what should be done on both sides of the investment equation. There have been laws about who can solicit investments, how much, how much an investor has to have in order to invest, and similar. All of these laws are designed to protect both parties.

But equity crowdinvesting is different in that it allows, and is usually comprised of, the small investor with little to give and little to lose. The regulatory burden is significant, and involves financial statements, prospectus, and other documentary evidence suggesting the business is sound. This degree of regulatory requirement is in general not reasonable for the startup business – but there are certain reliefs in some european countries. So the new crowdfunding platforms that are offering equity crowdfunding are a new option for small investors who were previously not allowed into the market, and startups who had to find other ways to raise capital. These types of business investment also come with significant risk for capital loss. Continue reading

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Tips for Getting Your Crowdfunding Campaign Off the Ground

Getting your campaign off to a good start is perhaps one of the most difficult parts of launching a crowdfundingcampaign. Once your campaign gets off the ground, it’s easier to attract more publicity. Here are a few tips for getting your campaign off to an awesome start.

Build Up Momentum Beforehand

Build up hype and publicity before your campaign actually launches. Use this time period to attract supporters; get as many backers as you can. If you have social media profiles for your campaign, aim to get as many likes and followers before your campaign actually goes live.

Activate Your Support Network

Once your campaign goes live, activate the support network you’ve just built up. Encourage your backers to finally contribute. In addition, enlist the support of your family, friends, and anyone else you know. This way, you won’t have to deal with a campaign that’s still floating around with $0 invested.

Attract High-Profile Investors

Do your best to attract even just one high-profile investor who would be willing to invest a nice sum of money. This will give your campaign additional publicity and will give it even more traction. If possible, enlist their support before your actual launch, so that your campaign has sizeable investments right at the beginning.

Market Aggressively

You do need a marketing campaign in order to attract investors. Invest in some online marketing. Social media is a great marketing platform; you can invest in either paid or free social media traffic.

Want to launch your own crowdfundingcampaign? Contact us today!

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Crowdfunding Tips for Attracting Investors

The most important part of any crowdfunding campaign is getting people interested enough to invest. Anyone can launch a campaign, but you need people’s attention in order to succeed. Use these crowdfunding tips in order to attract more investors.

Have a Clear Plan of Action

Don’t start a fundraising campaign on a vague idea. People want to know that you are serious. They want to know whether your project has any chance of success and whether or not you know what you are doing. Lay out a clear plan of action for potential investors to see.

Focus On Benefits

Let investors know what’s in it for them. Focus on how they will benefit from rewards or equity. Don’t make it all about yourself and your project.

Enhance your Social Media Presence

Create new social accounts (if needed) and engage “multipliers” where investors and the media can get information about your project. Include your plan, any endorsements, images that journalists can use, etc. This will make it easier to attract funds and publicity.

Create a Video

Having a video that will showcase and explain your project is extremely powerful. It’s also a great marketing tool and a chance to get your pitch out there. However, remember that a poorly created video is worse than no video at all. If you can’t afford a professional video, skip it (or ask us). If you can, do it and put it up on your webpage and link to it from your social profiles.

Want to launch a crowdfunding campaign but not sure where to start? Contact us today for help!

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Crowdfunding has matured

Crowdfunding has changed since the first exciting days, and several new trends show the maturing industry. Projects rooted in sustainability remain popular, such as hemp fiber glasses frames and window blinds with integral solar panels. There is an emerging trend in remaking classic equipment using new lighter and less expensive technology, such as a large format camera with a lightweight wooden body, and a turntable with all-in-one functionality. Fashion and design projects remain popular, with a move toward minimalism and simplicity in clothing, shoes, and accessories such as watches.

Running crowdfunding campaigns has also matured. Those who invest in new product development have come to expect a degree of sophistication in the marketing of a campaign as a sign of business maturity. Common best practices have been identified, such as video marketing, a strong mail campaign before the crowdfunding (CF) campaign opens, contests to build up the mailing list, and access to products from the first production run at below cost. This last is a critical piece for companies with a working prototype, and allows the crowdfunding campaign to be used to estimate demand, take first orders, and form a customer base.

Some companies are also using multiple CF-campaigns through the course of their business growth. Expansion, new product development, and opening new branches or outlets are all reasons for a second or third crowdfunding campaign. Companies that have had success with crowdfunding are turning back to it as a method of funding business growth and expansion.

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Crowdfunding Strategies

Crowdfunding is a unique funding opportunity for new ideas. Our platform offers innovative businesses and entrepreneurs the possibility to fund their products. Preparation for a crowdfunding campaign will need approximately the degree of preparation and planning of any business going to the bank to request a loan, including a functional business model and a business plan with projections. In addition, there is some planning and work that is unique to the crowdfunding platform:

  • Have your financial and business planning done before beginning the campaign.
  • The R and D should be done before a decision to monetize the product. Have a working prototype on hand.
  • Tell the story of how your business will change the world.
  • Successful crowdfunding campaigns, in addition to the financial planning for the business, plan marketing and outreach for several months before the launch of the campaign.
  • Start the buzz early about the campaign; showcase your social justice roots; convert backers to customers with discounts, information, and shared goals.
  • Clear communication with backers about the state of the project is another best practice.
  • Keep backers informed about progress, and convert backers to customers with financial incentives, information, and shared goals.

Our platform team supports you in achieving your goals.