Last night on Twitter, via The Project, comedian and host Dave Hughes advised he was looking for a startup to get involved in. With 70,000 plus followers (and 190,000 plus of his own), The Project Twitter account is a clever spot for Hughesy to search out a cause to sink his money into, but this ‘primitive’ form of finding a cause is now a little dated.
Show Me The Money
No longer do the people with the startups need the guys with big cheque books to finance their creativity. Crowdfunding has evolved and in 2012, you can have hundreds of people pledge as little as a couple of dollars to support your idea. Big ideas plus lots of support equals the modern way to get your startup going.
Websites like Pozible and Kickstarter are hubs of creativity, showcasing the brilliance of those with an idea, and bringing it to the world. Through the simple act of having many people support an idea they believe it, a startup venture can raise the capital they need to get a business going, without having to sell any part of their idea to a corporate or sacrifice profit.
In addition to raising the money required to get going, crowdfunding has the added benefit of being able to see what the take up of an idea, product or service will be, answering questions about viability and ling tern success. After all, if no one wants to invest even a couple of dollars in your idea, who is going to buy it?
What’s In It For Me?
Businesses can offer incentives to those willing to invest, such as sending them product once the startup gets going, offering invitations to functions such as a launch parties or something as simple as a personal thank you from the CEO. Anything goes – it all depends on your business and the time and energy you are prepared to put into a crowdfunding campaign.
It is important to remember that if you engage in crowdfunding, you are competing with many other businesses for the average Joe’s dollar, and this can mean disappointment too. Crowdfunding does have its perks, but also its pitfalls.
Australian based site Pozible is currently showing many creative projects in the Arts space, while my favourite Kickstarter project is a range of pants for men that can be worn for days without washing or ironing. They have raised $30,000 from 287 backers so far – presumably single men or the women who don’t want to wash their partners’ clothes.
Have you supported any crowdfunding efforts and been rewarded?