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Crowdfunding Platform Crowd Supply Adds Value-Added Fulfillment Services for Successful Fundraising Campaigns

26 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

Crowd Supply is publicly launching the first marketplace that supports project creators from crowdfunding through product delivery. In addition to hosting crowdfunding campaigns, Crowd Supply offers the management of pre-orders, warehouse fulfillment and ship-from-stock e-commerce. Founded by a team of highly experienced engineers and product developers, the company welcomes a wide range of design and technology projects and stands ready to help creators in ways that other crowdfunding sites do not.

Crowd Supply

Crowd Supply Adds Value-Added Fulfillment Services for Successful Fundraising Campaigns

“Everything about Crowd Supply is different from other crowdfunding plaforms,” said Lou Doctor, co-founder and CEO of Crowd Supply. “By teaming up with project creators for long-term success, Crowd Supply is ushering in a new generation of exciting products and businesses. Our pre-approval support process enables creators to speak and work directly with experienced engineers and product designers to improve the quality of their business plans and schedules. After crowdfunding, our pre-order and fulfillment services allow project creators to focus on their designs and future projects instead of packing and shipping boxes. The net result is a better experience for consumers, an easier time for project creators, and new businesses that have the foundation they need in order to succeed in the long run.”

Concept-to-Commerce Support

Rather than treating the crowdfunding of a project as a single, one-time event, Crowd Supply supports creators with the critical services they need in order to successfully deliver their products into the hands of their customers:

  • In the pre-approval phase, Crowd Supply partners with creators from the moment they submit their project, providing actionable feedback from its experienced engineers, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals.
  • Once a project is approved, a minimum funding goal is established and a production delivery schedule is agreed upon, Crowd Supply hosts the cross-platform campaign (mobile, tablet, desktop) to gather pledges.
  • As soon as the minimum funding goal is reached, backers’ funds are made available to the project creator, as much as six to eight weeks sooner than other platforms. In this way, Crowd Supply gives creators a head start on their development schedules to improve the odds that backer expectations will be met.
  • Post-crowdfunding, the project’s campaign page on Crowd Supply converts to a ‘pre-order page’ for consumers who wish to receive an early delivery of the product. Creators determine retail pricing and an estimated ship date, and this is accurately communicated to potential pre-order customers.
  • Once the project becomes a finished, manufactured product, Crowd Supply becomes an e-commerce reseller. Customers can order these recently crowdfunded products for same-day shipment.

Crowdfunding Growth Creates New Opportunities

Crowdfunding continues its dramatic upward trajectory, with annual totals expected to reach $6 billion in 2013, more than double the amount raised in 2012. The challenge of raising money is largely solved, but after funding is acquired, a project creator must transform an idea or prototype into a tangible, manufactured product, and ultimately into a sustainable business. Companies that can capitalize on the early interest generated from backers and consumers are at a distinct advantage, since a product’s highest rate of revenue growth occurs immediately after it exits the research and development stage.

With Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms, creators who are fully funded often must figure out a way to accept pre-orders, then create their own e-commerce stores, and finally pack and ship potentially thousands of items, all with mixed results.

“Few people realize just how hard it is to produce and deliver a finished product, even if there’s sufficient funding,” said Jim Clark, inventor of the Reactor — a revolutionary iPhone case that incorporates an ultra-thin generator to manually charge the iPhone’s battery — currently being crowdfunded on Crowd Supply. “Creative people need a long-term relationship with talented partners in manufacturing, engineering, distribution and sales, so that they can focus on their projects and let experts help execute on the other pieces of the puzzle. I did a successful Kickstarter project last year and along the way learned just how ‘on your own’ Kickstarter can make you feel. I really like what Crowd Supply offers in the way of support to entrepreneurs like me. What Kickstarter started, Crowd Supply now finishes.”

“I like to build things, and I like to ride my bike,” said Patrick Croasdaile, Project Manager at Bike Soles. “We chose to launch our new LIT tire project with Crowd Supply because we wanted urban cycling enthusiasts and commuters to see our new tires and back our campaign. Crowdfunding will enable us to bring our superior tire to market while Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service spares us from being bogged down with packing and shipping of individual orders. Their support for early-stage businesses like ours allows us to focus more of our energy on our new products.”

Cycling and eco-friendly transportation is currently a popular project category on Crowd Supply. Asylum Cycles, which is launching a full-carbon cyclocross bike called the Asylum Meuse, joins Bike Soles among the many promising creators in this category.

Unlike Kickstarter, Crowd Supply doesn’t arbitrarily exclude categories. Pet products, for example, are forbidden on Kickstarter, but Crowd Supply welcomes them. The Rollo, a versatile new dog collar with an integrated leash, is the first of many pet products that Crowd Supply is proud to feature.

“Rollo introduces an innovative product to the pet category that provides dogs and their owners with newfound freedom,” said Tony Lord, co-founder and creator of Rollo Pet Company. “We see Crowd Supply as a great partner for bringing this product to market.”

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EcoHub Launches Vermont-based Crowdfunding Platform to Fund Eco-Friendly Projects

26 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

EcoHub, Inc. launched an online community in Vermont devoted to a crowdfunding platform for eco-friendly projects (EcoProjects) and nurturing healthy relationships between people and the planet. More than just Crowdfunding, the EcoHub connects individuals to create a critical mass that is collectively working to improve the environment. The goal of the EcoHub is threefold:

The EcoHub Launches Crowdfunding Platform to Fund Eco-friendly projects (EcoProjects)

The EcoHub Launches Crowdfunding Platform to Fund Eco-friendly projects (EcoProjects)

  1. Be a crowdfunding agent for EcoProjects with built-in accountability measures;
  2. Nurture a community-driven educational outlet for individuals to learn about the issues; and
  3. Create a viable market for environmental initiatives.

The EcoHub launches with two Vermont-based EcoProjects ready for funding:

  1. The Bin Genie, created by Denise Schomody of Trip Trap Recycling, is a cover made for curbside recycling bins from nylon woven out of recycled fishing net. The goals for the Bin Genie are to keep neighborhoods clean, maximize the efficiency of recycling efforts, and create jobs in Vermont.
  2. The Vermont Sustainable Heating Initiative (VSHI), created by Tom and Beth Tailer, is a volunteer ­run, non-profit organization working to establish a sustainable heating economy for all Vermonters. For the past five years, VSHI has worked with the state’s fuel assistance program to provide pellet stoves and wood pellets to fuel assistance clients.

Co-founded by three women with Vermont Law School ties ̶- two current JD candidates, Shannon Clarke and Brianne Fischer, and one master’s program (MELP) alumna, Susan Goehring Bailey – the founders credit their time at Vermont Law School and its environmental curriculum for enabling their business concept to grow. The executive team is comprised of these three, acting as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer respectively, and Burlington resident Casey Lyon, who is Chief Technology Officer.

“Our scope of impact surpasses typical crowdfunding platforms because our value comes from connecting individuals to create a community working together to improve and invest in the environment,” explained the EcoHub’s Co-Founder and CEO Shannon Clarke, “Our mission is to leave the world better than we found it and with your help we can do that and make it possible for millions of others to do the same.”

Big-Concepts Launches New Crowdfunding Platform in Virginia to Fund Creative Projects

26 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

Big-Concepts allows people to utilize social media in order to reach out to people who believe in them and their concepts. The owners of Big-Concepts said, “we help dreamers, designers, artists, gamers, techies, and business owners find the support they need to build, produce, and create their very own Big-Concepts.”

Big-Concepts Launches Creative Crowdfunding Platform to Fund Future Creative Projects

Big-Concepts Launches Creative Crowdfunding Platform to Fund Future Design, Art, Games, Technology and other Creative Projects

There are many reasons why crowdfunding has been so effective. With crowdfunding, it is easier for people to disseminate their goals and their business plans to the general public. Social media tweets and Facebook posts allow others to further dispel these campaigns to their own networks once they are involved. Quickly, crowdfunding has become an effective way to fundraise for individuals, businesses and organizations.

Crowdfunding is really great for those who are creating new concepts. Game developers, new technology, inventions, design fashion, art, music, and film makers are a few of the categories who typically receive significant funding from effective crowdfunding campaigns.

With crowdfunding, there is no need for people to come to a specific event or fundraiser. Because of this, it is easier for emerging businesses or artists to reach out to media contacts, online publications, and their email lists in order to generate increased exposure and support. Through a continuous online fundraiser, it makes it possible for people – anywhere and at any time – to support a cause or organization that they believe in.

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