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Daily Grommet Touts New Crowdfunding Campaigns for THINX, Frogglez Goggles, DoorJamz and MAX’IS Creations

28 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

Daily Grommet, an online shopping site and product launch platform, has announced that four of the teams who participated in its live ‘From Home Plate to a Home Run’ competition have launched Indiegogo campaigns as a significant step in developing interest and further investment in their product concepts. Crowdfunding is a critical step in the journey to becoming a market-ready product.

Daily Grommet Touts New Crowdfunding Campaigns for THINX, Frogglez Goggles, DoorJamz and MAX’IS Creations

Daily Grommet Touts New Crowdfunding Campaigns for THINX, Frogglez Goggles, DoorJamz and MAX’IS Creations

The four companies who participated in the event currently have live campaigns that will run until May 1, 2013. All have an early stage product that is ready to receive an appropriate level of funding to either create a prototype, secure a distribution channel or facilitate another aspect of their growing business. Each campaign will be featured on the Daily Grommet partner page on the Indiegogo site, which can be viewed here.

THINX, the winner of the product competition is asking for $10,000 and hopes to continue the momentum and production for their leak and stain resistant underwear with this new campaign. They’ve already received strong public interest and media attention since they took the top spot at the event last week.

Frogglez Goggles, comfortable kid’s swim goggles, was the runner-up at the event and has also gone live with a campaign. The founder is asking for the public’s help with his $20,000 goal to manufacture enough goggles for an initial order.

DoorJamz, a customizable doortone for your home, is hoping for $90,000 to finalize their design and begin initial production.

MAX’IS Creations, a mug designed with a basketball hoop attached was designed by an 8-year-old-boy and the winner of the community’s popular vote at the event. His campaign is live and is hoping the campaign will help with manufacturing as well as promoting awareness for dyslexia research. They’ve included a $5 donation level in their campaign, 100 percent of which will be donated to dyslexia research at the Carroll School in Waltham, Massachusetts.

“These products all have tremendous potential and are only at the start of their journey. Once they are successfully funded, the real work begins. We are proud to watch them from start to finish and plan to share their story along with Indiegogo and gain as many contributions as possible” says Jules Pieri, CEO and Co-Founder of Daily Grommet.
The Daily Grommet is a highly curated online marketplace and launch platform for products of great utility, style or invention that haven’t hit the big-time yet. Daily Grommet seeks out these unique products, carefully tests them, and produces a video review of each one telling the story behind its creation. Daily Grommet is rooted in the philosophy of Citizen Commerce whereby regular people form the commerce experience by suggesting products that reflect their values and interests. Citizen Commerce turns the typical top down retailer approach sideways, encourages global product innovation from small producers, and satisfies the consumer’s need to know the stories behind and origins of favorite products.


AlumniFunder Launches Crowdfunding Platform Where Alumni Can Back Student Entrepreneurs

28 Mar

By Rip Empson

TechCrunch – AlumniFunder launched in beta this week with a simple mission: Help create a deeper relationship between current students and alumni, while supporting collegiate entrepreneurship and creativity. To do that, AlumniFunder wants to give alumni a platform by which they can invest in innovative projects created by students at their alma mater. Whether it be for a new science lab, natural language processing research or a documentary film, the startup also wants to help give students access to the capital they need to get their ideas off the ground.

AlumniFunder Launches A Crowdfunding Platform Where Alumni Can Back Student Entrepreneurs

AlumniFunder Launches A Crowdfunding Platform Where Alumni Can Back Student Entrepreneurs

Riding the crowdfunding wave, the startup is essentially putting a spin on (or splitting the difference between) Kickstarter and education-focused, P2P funding platforms like SoFi and CommonBond. Not unlike these platforms, AlumniFunder has no affiliation with a specific college, instead providing a marketplace for those with ideas that need funding to connect with those looking to open their wallets to a worthy cause.

In other words, the platform works like this: Those registering for AlumniFunder are split into “Doers” (those looking to create a project) and “Alumni” (those looking to browse and fund projects). Doers are required to register with a “.edu” email address to set them up as part of a particular collegiate and alumni network, and then, like Kickstarter, their projects are posted to that network for a specified duration — usually between 30 and 60 days.

If the team or student hits their funding target, the money is then transferred via Stripe to the team; if not, no credit cards are charged. AlumniFunder provides a layer of oversight during the process to make sure the projects meet a minimum level of decency and appropriateness, while providing students with tools from Prezi and Vimeo, for example, to help them build and share their presentations with alumni.

The core value behind AlumniFunder, co-founder S. Ryan Meyer tells us, is to create a more direct and transparent channel for alumni to connect with students, in turn supporting alumni engagement in on-campus programs and entrepreneurial initiatives. Rather than crowdfunding being the focus of the platform, Meyer sees it as a technological tool for pooling resources — not a panacea for every capital-raising scenario and every hobby project out there.

Meyer started AlumniFunder last July as an “elaborate work-around,” he says after experiencing problems raising money for “the technology spinoff” of his brick-and-mortar, children’s brain-training company, Minds-in-Motion. Looking into crowdfunding as an alternative and, after considering using Crowdtilt’s white-label product, Meyer and team decided to create their own solution.

Meyer has raised $125,000 thus far, mostly from friends in his alumni network, he says, “crowdfunding it the old-fashioned way” through phone calls and in-person meetings. Crazy, I know. The team has since grown to five, including CTO and co-founder Brandon Goldman, who was the 13th employee at Box and is building the site in Node.js.

As for pricing, at launch, the site is free to all users, save for the requisite credit card processing fees. Going forward, AlumniFunder plans to launch an equity investing platform (set to launch at some point this summer), which will also be free-to-use. The team is currently raising a fund (at an undisclosed amount) that it will likely use to co-invest one-third with the accredited investor crowd in equity-based campaigns, “using crowd-vetting as a way to deploy capital to early-stage investments,” Meyer says.

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