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Archive | April, 2013

Klauf Lighting Launches New Remote Phosphor LED Lighting via Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign to Save Money and Energy

30 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

The most intriguing thing about the Klauf light bar is its price point. At only $55 for the 12-inch unit, it’s more than 70% less expensive than linear fixtures from other quality manufacturers – fixtures using nearly the same or even less forward-thinking technology.

Klauf LIghting Bar Launches Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign to Save Money and Energy

Klauf LIghting Bar Launches Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign to Save Money and Energy

A year ago, Klauf Lighting got to work on an LED linear fixture which could deliver new technologies, dimmability, better light, and a price point accessible to most consumers. The company tried and tested many new LED technologies, giving up on most. Then, better-quality TRIAC dimming drivers and remote phosphor technologies started making steady headway into the luminaire industry. In rapid development form, the Klauf staff worked through difficult challenges, developing a lamp which exploits these cutting-edge technologies, yet could be deployed with quality components at a lower consumer price point.

Enter the Klauf light bar. The end result of a year of research and development is a quality-made, warm white, and dimmable (with standard inexpensive dimmers) linear lamp. It doesn’t look much like an under-cabinet lamp, nor does it resemble most other linear fixtures from local big box stores. It’s in a class of its own.

Sporting a high-tech extruded aluminum housing and a yellow-orange diffuser, which consumes much of the fixture’s exterior profile, the Klauf light bar is different. It’s unique. It’s interesting. It’s cutting edge. And it’s very bright!

Typical high-brightness LEDs are manufactured with a potting compound, containing phosphor, flooded on top of the tiny and heat-sensitive, light-producing chip. When the chip’s blue light waves pass through the phosphor, they are combined with yellow light waves and a more natural white light is produced. However, this also keeps a blanket of heat at the source, diminishing the LED’s light quality and lifetime.

By separating the phosphor from the LED chip and instead coating the Klauf light bar’s diffuser with the phosphor compound, the LEDs are ensured a cooler operating temperature. This also ensures a longer life and allows the fixture to produce better-quality light – 80CRI and a 2700K warm white color temperature.

More innovations are packed into the Klauf light bar. One is the ability to near seamlessly chain multiple fixtures, end-to-end, and with only one power cord. No bulky and unsightly transformers are required, as the LED driver electronics are all somehow contained in the small fixture’s housing (self-driven). The light emitted is fluid, not pixelated like most other linear fixtures, eliminating multiple shadows on work surfaces. And since the fixture is cool to the touch and small enough to hold in your hand, the light bar’s design also allows for portability. It’s available in 6 and 12-inch segments, can be used as a standalone fixture, or connected to a series of other light bars.

Klauf has decided to launch its light bar on Kickstarter.com’s crowdfunding platform. “With this new and innovative fixture, we wanted to put it in the hands of the real consumer, people who might not have been able to afford newer LED technologies,” states Susan Hendrix of Klauf. “The Kickstarter community is made from people who are excited to back projects by companies which strive to produce better, more efficient, and affordable products.”

The Klauf light bar’s Kickstarter campaign will run for 30 days and allows Kickstarter members to receive their own Klauf light bar at a 40% discount.

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YouCaring.com Offers Free Online Fundraisers and Crowdfunding Donations Raised

29 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

YouCaring.com set a new records for visitors and money raised for its users during April 2013. In one day, the site attracted more than 87,000 unique visitors and raised $181,841.

YouCaring online Crowdfunding Website

YouCaring online Crowdfunding Website

The increased traffic continues a trend for YouCaring, which has nearly doubled its traffic since February to more than 1 million visitors in April. Site founder Brock Ketcher believes the growth is due to an important feature of the site that sets YouCaring apart from other fundraising websites.

“When people fall on hard times, other people are always looking for ways to lend a helping hand,” Ketcher said. “And YouCaring.com is the first truly free way to raise money online. Every dollar our users raise from friends and family is able to go to their medical expenses, vet bills or memorial fund.”

Unlike other crowdfunding websites, YouCaring does not take a percentage of donations to cover its costs, but instead relies on the generosity of donors to support the site along with the cause they’ve chosen to fund.

“Our users make all the difference, and we are happy to provide a place where more people can raise the money the need for any cause that they believe in,” Ketcher said.

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Albert Dabah Launches Indiegogo Film Crowdfunding Campaign to Raise Awareness for Mental Health

29 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

The Indiegogo campaign features three scenes that were filmed from the Extra Innings script and a short video where Albert Dabah speaks about why he is making this film. Beyond its Indiegogo campaign for Extra Innings, Ocean Parkway Productions will be seeking investors to back the production of the film and fund the project.

Ocean Parkway Productions Announces

Ocean Parkway Productions Announces “Extra Innings,” a 1960’s-based Film Raising Awareness for Mental Health

Growing up is hard to do, especially in the early 1960’s in a strict religious community in Brooklyn, NY. This is the backdrop for the film Extra InningsBased on a true story, it was written by Mr. Dabah, a video producer for over 30 years and owner of Simba Productions. Following the successful opening weekend of fellow baseball-themed period film 42, Albert is gearing up to direct his debut film at just the right time.

Ocean Parkway Productions announced today the release of its Indiegogo campaign to start pre-production on Extra Innings. Through Indiegogo, fans and supporters can contribute funds toward beginning principal photography on the project. For their generosity, contributors who match targeted pledge amounts will be eligible for exclusive rewards such as tickets to a 2013 Yankees home game, a visit to the film set and film premiere, VIPinvitations to join cast and crew at an exclusive suite during a Yankees home game, plus T-shirts, signed scripts and advance copies of the Blu-ray™/DVD. Producers will also be donating 5% of contributions to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation to promote “Mental Health Month” in May.

Extra Innings is a character-driven film that explores the difficulties our protagonist, David, encounters when trying to branch out from his community and religious family to pursue his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. There are moments of great loss and great triumph, as the film also revolves around a family evolving together while dealing with mental illness and tragedy.

“I read scripts all the time, that’s what I do. I never cry. This script made me cry, it was really beautiful,” says Adrienne Stern, a casting director with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience who has recently signed on to cast Extra Innings. Her films have premiered at Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Tribeca, Berlin, South by Southwest, and other prominent film festivals, many taking home prestigious rewards.

Extra Innings is a New York story that deals with universal issues such as struggles between parents and children, pursuing your dreams, religion and adolescent love. It also touches upon mental illness, and highlights how the stigma of mental illness is extremely debilitating and prevents adequate care from reaching families and individuals who need it.

“Like many, my life has personally been affected by mental illness. I grew up with two older siblings who struggled with their mental health. My brother suffered from schizophrenia and my sister from bipolar disorder. In the 1960’s, it was not something that was spoken about, either out of fear or shame. I lost both siblings to suicide. These two great heartbreaks forever changed the person I would become,” reveals Extra Innings writer Albert Dabah.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. It is our job as a society to come together in open dialogue to help erase the stigma of mental illness and suicide. For over 60 years, Mental Health America has considered May “Mental Health Month” to drive attention to these issue and support a path to wellness.

“Along with entertaining people and telling a good story, I’m hoping this film can open a dialogue and aid in spreading awareness about the stigma of mental illness and suicide,” Albert says, “Even in the most trying circumstances, it is important to speak up and take action on behalf of those we love.”

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Zivix Launches Indiegogo Music Crowdfunding Campaign for JamStik, which Won a Popular Science 2013 Invention Awards

29 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

Zivix, LLC announced it has partnered with Indiegogo to launch a crowdfunding campaign for its  popular JamStik, a portable, easy-to-use guitar-like instrument for iOS. Recently named a winner of the Popular Science 2013 Invention Awards, the JamStik enables a new dimension for learning, experiencing music and giving both novice and experienced players access to hundreds of existing midi-based applications. Over a span of 40 days, the campaign aims to raise $100,000, which will go toward prototypes, tooling, manufacturing set-up and consumer experience enhancements.

JamStik enables a new dimension for learning, experiencing music and giving both novice and experienced players access to hundreds of existing midi-based applications

JamStik enables a new dimension for learning, experiencing music and giving both novice and experienced players access to hundreds of existing midi-based applications

Making its debut in Las Vegas at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, Zivix demonstrated for attendees how JamStik bridges music with mobile technology to provide consumers with a real-time, life-like guitar experience on the go. The easy-to-use instrument transforms your mobile device into a guitar speaker and musical interface with real strings and frets that users can pluck and play while experiencing the real “feel” of a traditional guitar. Based on the company’s multi-patented IR fingertip-sensing technology, JamStik delivers an authentic guitar experience in a mobile-friendly style and with mobile-friendly connectivity.

IR Fingertip-sensing Technology at Heart of JamStik

Zivix’s proprietary, multi-patented (more than 90 claims), optical fingertip-sensing technology, which makes guitars compatible with the digital world, is at the heart of JamStik. This technology is unique in being able to precisely locate the position of the user’s fingers even before they touch the strings. High-speed scanning of all finger positions ensures there is virtually no latency. Since JamStik is a digital instrument, users do not have to tune it, which makes it easy for beginners. When they are ready, users can transfer the skills they learn on JamStik to a guitar.

JamStik Complemented by Bundled Apps, MIDI Apps

Zivix has developed a suite of bundled apps that broaden the appeal and depth of JamStik:

  • JamTutor is a truly interactive system that teaches entry-level guitar. Users can actually see where their fingers are on JamStik’s frets, get instant feedback, and learn at their own pace.
  • Using a variety of interactive game-like activities within JamTutor lets users learn and play songs in fun, engaging and rewarding way.
  • JamMix is a hybrid experience that combines guitar and DJ elements for instant action for both beginners and advanced players. JamMix enables players to mix loops, sounds and instruments on the fly to explore and create original music.

Over the past couple of years, crowdfunding has emerged as an alternative to the traditional Venture Capital or Angel investment route for start-up companies or products looking for funding. Launched as a collective public effort to fund companies and products, individuals have the ability to invest money in a product or cause based on tiered investments. In most cases each investment tier is accompanied by a return for the investor with the reward being early product access, mention as an investor in the campaign product campaign, or the ability to show support at an early stage for a new and exciting idea. Indiegogo, an international crowdfunding site and crowdfunding partner of JamStik, is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., and has hosted over 100,000 funding campaigns in the music, charity, small business and film space.

The Zivix team, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, needs funding to get the JamStik in the hands of guitar players, both expert and novice, throughout the United States. For contributing to this Indiegogo campaign, Zivix is offering various rewards in appreciation. Everyone who donates $25 will have their name creatively displayed on the Founder’s Page at JamStik.com, which will be incorporated into the JamStik Founder’s Poster design, as well as exclusive progress updates and a JamStik-backer T-shirt.

Those who donate $50 to the campaign will additionally receive a $35 discount coupon towards their future purchase of a JamStik. Other rewards include owning the JamStik prior to in-store and online availability, an option for an exclusive numbered version of the JamStik, receiving developer credit and being personally invited to attend Zivix’s official JamStik release party as a VIP.

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BancBox Launches First Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowdfunding Platforms

28 Apr

By Mike Butcher

Last June, BancBox, a payment services platform similar to Stripe, debuted its platform allowing developers to build a lot of different payment services. As cofounder Sanj Goyle claimed at the time, “PayPal could be built on top of our platform.” Now it has launched BancBox Crowd, what is — as far as we can tell — the first independent escrow service aimed at crowdfunding portals that operate on equity, debt or revenue share models.

BancBox Launches ‘First’ Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowd Funding Platforms

BancBox Launches ‘First’ Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowdfunding Platforms

The company is also announcing partnerships with crowd investing services 99Funding, SoMoLend and Localstake.

BancBox Crowd claims to be the only solution on the market that provides online investment portals with an automated escrow solution that can replace the manual paper escrow process. They also say it is compliant with FINCEN, FINRA and SEC requirements.

In essence it means being able to create independent escrow accounts for each crowd-backed project, collect funds from those many investors, and either safely return funds if the project doesn’t work out, or disburse those funds when the project, whatever it is, reaches its funding goal.

Goyle says, “We want to have the payment part of the experience of an investor to be a sticky experience so we make it as easy as possible to pay and go through the process.” He says the business model is based on a set transaction fee to the platform partner.

You could say they know about payments. BancBox manages $100 million in consumer deposits daily in nearly 200,000 individual accounts. Its transaction volume has increased 100 percent to nearly $2 billion annually.

Read more…

The iSmartAlarm Home Security System Closes Crowdfunding Campaign at 450% of Goal on Indiegogo

27 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

iSmart Alarm, Inc. has announced the completion of their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, reaching their goal of $50,000 in under 3 weeks, and ending the campaign on April 1 at over 450% of the goal.  The fundraising campaign set an important precedent for the crowdfunding industry by launching at one of America’s largest computer trade shows.

The iSmartAlarm home automation devices makes a great solution for millions of renters and homeowners

The iSmartAlarm home automation devices makes a great solution for millions of renters and homeowners

In closing with over $226,000 raised by 1,600 contributors and customers, the iSmartAlarm Home Security System is the 7th most funded technology project in the history of Indiegogo. Manufacturing and assemblage is being completed, and the system is projected to begin shipping at the end of May.

During the campaign, as “Perks” for different levels of contribution, iSmart Alarm, Inc. offered different packages of their home security system, ranging from a dorm or studio to a large house. Contributors could also purchase the devices a la carte as well, and the CubeOne CPU understands and adds them to the network. The system communicates with the user’s smartphone, giving unprecedented access to monitoring, system control, and statistics to increase the safety of home, property, and family.

“The Indiegogo campaign was a great adventure, and we were able to pre-sale to hundreds of families and individuals that are in need of home security but don’t want to pay monthly fees or be locked into contracts. Our goal is to make the iSmartAlarm home security system affordable and available to every family,” said Raymond Meng, Co-Founder and CEO. “We were also able to interact with our customers and fans, evolve our current products to match their needs, and tailor our roadmap to more home automation and smart home devices for the future.”

Now accepting orders on the iSmartAlarm.com eCommerce platform, consumers will be able to purchase packages including motion sensors, door and window sensors, home remote controls and panic alarms, the streaming and pan-tilt iCamera (controllable at any time, from anywhere, from the user’s smartphone), as well as individual devices a la carte. As new devices such as home light control, thermostat control, glass breakage sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide sensors and water leak detectors are added, the user’s system will automatically update to include the new devices.

The idea behind the iSmartAlarm system first began when Steve Jobs’ home was broken into in mid-2012 while under construction, and over $60,000 worth of Apple products and personal belongings were stolen. The iSmartAlarm system integrates with the free iPhone App to allow the user to remotely arm, disarm, and monitor their security system from anywhere, at any time.

iSmartAlarm puts a 21st century spin on traditional security systems. The sleek, sophisticated system utilizes the iPhone to put home security and home control in the palm of its users’ hands. The iSmartAlarm home security system is portable, wireless and requires no contracts or monthly fees. In addition to keeping homes protected, iSmartAlarm has embraced the developer community, with an open platform intended to expand the abilities of the system and increase the speed of the evolution of home security.

CommunityLeader Launches 85% Finance Program for Qualified Broker/Dealers that Want to Launch a Turnkey Crowdfunding Platform

27 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

CommunityLeader, Inc. announced it has secured the necessary capital resources to provide financing for the development and launch of turnkey crowdfunding portals for qualified broker/dealers.  CommunityLeader is an industry leading full-service provider of custom and private-labeled crowdfunding platform solutions for individuals, organizations and businesses seeking to sponsor, host and run their own crowdfunding portals.

CommunityLeader Launches 85% Finance Program for Qualified Broker/Dealers that Want to Launch a Crowdfunding Platform

CommunityLeader Launches 85% Finance Program for Qualified Broker/Dealers that Want to Launch a Crowdfunding Platform

“Our complete portal solution provides a community-focused business professional or organization everything they need to launch a compliant crowdfunding portal,” said Joseph Barisonzi, CEO of CommunityLeader, Inc. “As of today, no longer should cash flow be the barrier to building a crowdfunding portal.”

“Launching a crowdfunding portal is much more than an investor-facing website,” stated Jennifer Amys, CommunityLeader’s CIO. “It is about having the systems in place to effectively solicit and promote a qualified investment opportunity to a qualified investor, manage the settlement and fulfillment process, and then provide transparent ongoing support. A CommunityLeader crowdfunding portal has the power to manage all of the required and necessary steps.”

CommunityLeader’s financing option provides qualified portal partners the opportunity to minimize their upfront financial outlay so they maximize the resources they have for recruiting quality businesses and educating investors. CommunityLeader is offering three financing packages designed for individuals and organizations seeking to launch an integrated community-based crowdfunding portal.

“Everyone who wants to launch a portal has to consider whether to build their own system or to partner with an experienced platform provider,” said Scott Bachman, CommunityLeader’s CMO. “The CommunityLeader Portal Platform solution makes this an easy choice. For probably less than 20% of the cost of building out a proprietary solution, we can deliver a personalized portal with everything needed to solicit and sell securities in today’s regulatory environment.”

CommunityLeader is seeking portal operators who have deep connections in their chosen community. Communities may be geographic, industry, affinity or business model; and will evaluate qualified operators on depth of their business plan and their personal and professional attributes. With as little as 15% down, CommunityLeader’s financing packages cover the upfront license fee, configuration, custom development and training.

Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran Joins RockthePost Equity Crowdfunding Board of Directors

24 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

One of the leading equity crowdfunding platforms, RockThePost, announced that Barbara Corcoran, one of the Shark Tank‘s stars, will be joining its Board of Directors.  RockthePot is an investment crowdfunding platform that connects high quality entrepreneurs with accredited investors interested in investing in exciting new start-up companies. The site aims to be a resource for both entrepreneurs and investors by streamlining the capital raising lifecycle and providing crowdfunding support during the fundraising process.

Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank Billionaire Joins RockthePost Crowdfunding Board of Directors

Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank Billionaire Joins RockthePost Crowdfunding Board of Directors

Via its services, RockThePost aims to be a resource for both entrepreneurs and investors by streamlining the capital raising lifecycle and providing the needed support during the fundraising process. The company’s mission is to democratize the fundraising practice.

In this regard, Barbara is one of the “Sharks” starring in the hit ABC TV show Shark Tank, where she has personally invested in over 20 startups. She converted a $1,000 loan into a $5 billion dollar real estate empire. In addition, Corcoran is a contributor to the NBC’s Today Show, and hosted “The Millionaire Broker with Barbara Corcoran ” on CNBC.

“It seemed like a natural fit for me to join RockThePost’s board and help them flourish in the brave new world of online capital raising. Startups are having a lot of difficulty getting their hands on the needed capital to start and grow their business and RockThePost changes all that. With the new Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”) signed and once the SEC finalizes its rules, the days of start-up capital only coming from accredited investors are over. Now Joe and Sue from down the street will soon have the opportunity to also invest in startups and participate in deals previously only offered to accredited investors,” added Barbara.

With this new addition to the Board of Directors, RockThePost is establishing itself as one of the leaders in the equity crowdfunding space. On the platform, startups can raise money in 60-90 days, without having to do the offline roadshow of 8 months. They accommodate raises anywhere between $100K to $5M for early stage companies that have a minimum viable product with some market validation in the hardware, tech, healthcare and consumer product verticals.

Top 10 Marketing Programs that Every Crowdfunding Platform, Portal or Fundraising Website Needs to Attract Potential Investors and Fundraising Profile Managers

24 Apr

Crowdfunding Research Reports Predict Crowdfunding Industry to Grow into a $150 Billion Industry by the End of 2015

By Robert Hoskins, Front Page PR

According to a leading crowdfunding industry research report by massolution, the crowdfunding industry in the United States grew by approximately 105% in 2012 and represents the largest crowdfunding marketplace in the world.  And, according to a recent TABB Group crowdfunding research study, the alternative financing industry is expected to grow into a $150 billion powerhouse by the end of 2015.

Top 10 Value-Added Business Marketing Programs that Every Crowdfund Platform, Portal or Fundraising Website Needs to Attract Potential Investors and Fundraising Profile Managers

Top 10 Value-Added Marketing Programs that Every Crowdfunding Platform, Portal or Fundraising Website Needs to Attract Potential Investors and Profile Managers

What is really impressive is the fact that the nascent crowdfunding industry is just getting started. But once media outlets, national associations, chambers of commerce, ecommerce centers, vertical business-to-business industry portals and/or franchising sites with several hundred thousand readers, subscribers or followers realize they have what it takes to launch a crowdfunding platform website, they will do so in droves.

As soon as these players begin crunching the numbers and learn how much they can collect at 4% of the total amount of crowdfunding raised, a multitude of new websites will join the 500 or so crowdfunding pioneers that are already making it possible to launch all kinds of new businesses.

Many entrepreneurs like the idea of crowdfunding because they do not have to surrender any control to outside venture capital investors.

For example, a successful $50,000 crowdfunding campaign would pay the crowdfunding platform owner a 4% commission of $2,000.   A small website managing 100 successful  crowdfunding campaigns per month at $50,000 each could earn up to $200,000 a month or $2,400,000 over twelve months.  This will be a very lucrative business for platforms that understand how to generate a steady stream of crowdfunding profiles and investors to fund them.

Many argue that there are too many crowdfunding platforms already in existence, but trust us when we say that 2012 was just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come over the next five years.  The biggest challenge that many early adopters in the crowdfunding industry will face is the need for strategic marketing programs.  Like many small technology companies, however, many crowdfunding platform invest everything they have in the underlying technology and/or cloud-based systems needed to create a crowdfunding platform, but invest very little in the marketing programs needed to make their platform successful.

We talk to lots of new crowdfunding platforms on a daily basis and are surprised at how many do not have formal marketing programs. In the beginning stages of building a crowdfunding website is to amass a large following.  Without a high volume of potential investors and plenty of crowdfunding campaign profiles to browse through crowdfunding platforms will generate very little, if any revenue to sustain their operations.

A secondary challenge that crowdfunding platforms are facing is how to offer a portfolio of value-added business services to help their campaign managers launch successful marketing programs necessary to plan and execute a successful fundraising campaign.

The reason that Kickstarter currently rules the roost is because they have figured out how to make sure that their crowdfunding campaign managers have access to very cost-effective marketing programs. Instead of spending a lot of money on its own marketing programs, Kickstarter provides subsidized marketing programs that make it easy and very affordable for their crowdfunding campaign managers to get the professional help they need to develop great crowdfunding profiles and then generate free publicity by utilizing strategic public relations (PR) and media relations services.

The result is that instead of Kickstarter spending a lot of money on its own publicity campaigns, they have hundreds of crowdfunding clients generating publicity for their individual Kickstarter fundraising campaigns.  The result is widespread news stories that generates a significant amount of interest in Kickstarter’s platform from funding raising campaign managers and donors/investors who are looking for the best crowdfunding website to do business with.

Using Google Analytics and other website measurement services such as Alexa, it is fairly easy to do Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo comparison to see which site is generating the most traffic.   performing a

Thus, Kickstarter has become the 800-pound gorilla.  But at one time, only a few years ago, they were in the same spot as most small crowdfunding platform are today – small, hungry and hoping they will succeed.

The key to success are successful advertising, marketing, PR and media relations programs.  A good example to reflect on was the competition between IBM’s OS/2 operating system versus Microsoft’s Windows operating system in the 1990’s.  Technology experts agreed that IBM had a superior product, but IBM lost the battle because they under estimated Microsoft superior marketing, business development and channel marketing programs that effectively build worldwide distribution channels.

Another good example of superior marketing was the Intel Inside marketing program was very successful.  Intel would pay for 50% of all costs for computer manufacturer’s advertising campaigns as long as the Intel logo was featured prominently in leading trade publication advertisements.  This allowed both Intel and computer manufacturers such as Texas Instruments, Dell, Gateway and others to double the power of their marketing budgets.

So what type of marketing programs does it take to make a crowdfunding platform successful?  It would be wise for every crowdfunding site, regardless of industry, to add a menu tab to their crowdfunding websites offer the following value-added crowdfunding support services:

  1. Social Media Campaigns
  2. PR/Media Relations Campaigns
  3. Press Room with News Story Building Blocks
  4. Crowdfunding Video Production
  5. Donor Email/Newsletter Marketing Campaigns
  6. Google Advertising Campaigns
  7. Google Analytics Conversion Tracking
  8. Event Marketing Campaigns
  9. Perks-Based Fulfillment Companies
  10. Affiliate Marketing Programs

It is very simple for every crowdfunding platform to build a directory of service providers for each category of value-added services.  Providing a list of qualified service providers makes it easy for crowdfunding campaign managers to shop for the best deal on copy writing, video production, PR,  perks fulfillment and other types of crowdfunding services they need to help them launch fundraising campaigns.

As platforms mature, the more sophisticated crowdfunding platforms will soon allow crowdfunding campaign managers to request bids for these types of services when they create their initial crowdfunding profile.  This will enable crowdfunders to subscribe to important marketing services before the campaign begins versus half-way through the campaign when they are in fear of failure.  Creating professional profiles supported with well-thought out marketing campaigns, which will raise the visibility of the both the crowdfunders as well crowdfunding websites and will ultimately lead to an overall crowdfunding success rate due to increased web site traffic and and higher donation/investement conversion rates.

Building a rock solid database of potential donors/investors with a known-propensity to support various crowdfunding campaigns along with a high conversion rate for vertical financial marketing programs will be extremely valuable in the future of the booming crowdfunding industry.

A general rule of thumb is that crowdfunding platform founders/CEOs should dedicate a minimum 4% of their total budget to marketing programs.  And should they decide to invest their marketing dollars in setting up co-operative marketing programs for their crowdfunding clients it will allow them to double down and significantly increase the reach and frequency of every marketing dollar spent.

Even crowdfunding platforms on a shoe string budget should consider matching marketing funds for their most promising crowdfunding accounts.  In most cases, investing wisely in marketing programs will lead to higher commissions received due to the higher amount of funds that will be raised.  Collecting 4% of $50,000 is much more lucrative than 4% of $5,000 and the extra revenue should cover almost 100% of the initial marketing investment.

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Click here to learn more about launching a Crowdfunding Campaign!

Related crowdfunding new articles

Want to generate news for your Crowdfunding PR campaign?  Select one of the following categories and post your press release:  Business CitiesCommunitiesCrowdfunding PlatformsEducationFilmMusicEntertainmentGamesVideosSocial GoodSolarRenewable EnergySoftwareHardware, and Technology Gadgets.   Don’t see your category listed? Tell us to add it and we will.

Both Crowdfunding platform owners and Crowdfunding campaign managers and PR staff can post their news and press releases into these free discussion forums to promote maximum social media exposure.

New Restaurant and Food Truck Crowdfunding Platform Allows Anyone to Launch a Food Service Business

23 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

Foodstart.com opened its virtual fundraising doors for restaurants nationwide in the United States to provide a new finance to help restaurant and food truck owners can raise capital online in small increments from their extended community of friends, family, and future customers. Only instead of a cash return, backers receive perks and rewards like free dessert, discounts, and cooking workshops.

Restaurant and food truck owners now can raise capital online in small increments from their extended community of friends, family, and future customers.

Restaurant and food truck owners now can raise capital online in small increments from their extended community of friends, family, and future customers.

Among its unique offerings: a$1,000 seed-match for businesses, physical cards for backers, and a free, social-media marketing program.  In other words, Foodstart.com enables debt-free financing while also creating a loyal customer base.

“We did a lot of research before starting,” Founder Alex Sheshunoff said.  “Turns out, when it comes to restaurants, many people want to feel like they are on the inside as much as they want a specific financial return. Which makes sense. If you give a friend $200 for his restaurant, you don’t want an 8% return on your money – that’s $16.  Instead, you want your name on a menu item and a behind-the-scene tour.”

Sheshunoff explained that he came up with the idea after being unable to invest in a friend’s new restaurant.  “My friend had a good concept and a great location. I wanted to give him $500, mostly so I could say I was an early backer.  He wanted to take it, but there was no mechanism for him to handle such a small amount. I figured we weren’t the only one with this problem – there are 22,000 independent restaurants started every year.”

Foodstart.com has been up in beta for just a few months, but already more than 30 restaurants and food trucks have signed on, perhaps enticed by its low 4% fee and lack of setup costs.  One was Wilson’s BBQ in Fairfield, Connecticut.  Proprietor Ed Wilson wanted to expand to a second location so turned to Foodstart. “After I posted my campaign,” Wilson explained, “Foodstart sent me some custom fliers.  Turns out, one of my customers is an investment banker, and it looks like we’re going to get all of our funding!”

Sheshunoff chose to focus restaurants and food trucks because of the emotional appeal they have for people.  “No one is really excited to invest $100 in a friend’s dental practice to get a free teeth cleaning.”  He admits that raising money from a broad group isn’t a new idea. “The Green Bay Packers first sold shares to the public in 1923.  Even though shareholders get only a certificate and a behind-the-scenes tour, they now have 360,000 shareholders  – and the most passionate fans in football.  We’re just applying the samBe concept to restaurants.”

Foodstart.com advisory board member, Steve Rockwell a restaurant industry consultant and former equity research analyst, said this kind of community-funding model will be a key part of restaurant finance in the future. And Rockwell should know.  He’s helped companies such as Ruby Tuesday, Outback Steakhouse, Papa John’s, and Jamba Juice raise over $1 billion in public and private equity. “Most independent restaurant owners have limited financing options.  A platform like Foodstart’s not only helps them raise capital, but almost as importantly, it creates a network of loyal customers.  And that’s something traditional sources of capital have a hard time doing.”

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