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Crowdtilt Raises $12 Million in Series A Funding to Support Explosive Crowdfunding Industry Growth

21 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

To meet the growing demand for crowdfunding financial services, Crowdtilt announced the close of their $12 million Series A funding. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Sean Parker, SV Angel, DCM, as well as CrunchFund, Alexis Ohanian, Elad Gil, Naval Ravikant, Sam Altman, Matt Mullenweg, Dave Morin and Justin Kan. Also joining Crowdtilt’s board of directors is Jeff Jordan, partner at Andreessen Horowitz and former CEO of OpenTable.

Crowdtilt Closes $12 Million Series A Funding Led by Andreessen Horowitz

Crowdtilt Closes $12 Million Series A Funding Led by Andreessen Horowitz

The investment will support the explosive growth of the company, while further improving the product and user experience. Crowdtilt is being used for everything from collecting money for a fantasy football league among friends, all the way to an entire community rallying together to save their iconic toy store from closure.

“Our product and team are kicking ass, so we want to further invest in growing and expanding both. Our ultimate goal is still to help groups do more with each other, and this funding allows us to double down on various extensions of our product, such as our API, to further that goal,” said James Beshara, CEO of Crowdtilt.

Crowdtilt’s API, currently in closed beta, also allows anyone to create their own crowdfunding application, such as group payments, pre-sales commerce options, complete standalone crowdfunding applications or even social fundraising sites.

“Manual processes for coordinating payments across groups is inefficient and increasingly obsolete. Crowdtilt has built a highly efficient platform that is being used by all kinds of groups for all kinds of use cases — buying movie or concert tickets, collaborating on gift or travel spending, even funding school programs or public works projects. It is a robust collaborative payments platform for an increasingly collaborative web,” said Jeff Jordan, partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

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.

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Crowdfunding Isn’t Just for Adults Anymore; PiggyBackr Teaches Youth K through College Successful Crowdfunding Skills

21 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

Piggybackr launched a new crowdfunding website that teaches young people how to raise money for their teams, schools, and projects, launches today with over 1,500 youth and 10 partners nationwide. The crowdfunding website helps youth (K-college) bring their fundraising efforts online while applying skills needed to successfully raise money.

Startup piggybackr Launches Fundraising Website for Next Generation of Crowdfund Leaders

Startup piggybackr Launches Fundraising Website for Next Generation of Crowdfund Leaders

To date, Piggybackr has enabled youth to raise over $250,000, send 20,000+ emails to donors, and raise an average of $75 per supporter (equivalent to the margins of selling 150 candy bars or 25 boxes of Girl Scout cookies).

Founder Andrea Lo, a former Girl Scout and college fundraising chair, was inspired to start Piggybackr after helping her 11-year-old sister, Chelsea, set up a webpage to sell bracelets for the rainforest. Chelsea’s fundraiser was a success; she learned about pricing and online outreach.

“While entrepreneurs, artists, and nonprofits are increasingly going online to raise money from the ‘crowd’, crowdfunding hasn’t spread to youth,” Lo says. “Each year, youth communities are selling $3-4 billion dollars worth of fundraising products, but that number hasn’t grown for 10 years,” based on AFRDS data. “Kids don’t know how to fundraise online and aren’t allowed on most crowdfunding sites,” Lo adds.

Based on this, the Piggybackr experience centers around the efforts, learnings, and stories of kids. Rather than selling physical products, youth receive online donations in exchange for ‘thank you’ gifts (e.g. a day of volunteering or advertising a logo). Kids raise more, reach broader audiences, and learn business skills like building online communities and leveraging technology to advocate for themselves. Kids also earn digital badges as they complete tasks and learn skills. Safety is also an important consideration; users under 13 require a parent’s approval to participate.

Piggybackr has attracted diverse projects including a science museum engaging its youth, a wheelchair basketball team in need of new equipment, and a young entrepreneur building a Google Glass app for the deaf.

Piggybackr launches with 10 partner organizations Ashoka Youth-Venture, Bizworld Foundation, Cal Corps Public Service Center, California YMCA Youth in Government, GreeningForward, FIRST Robotics in the Pacific Northwest & Southern California, Mobilize.org, NCWIT Aspirations in Computing, SPARK Movement, and United Way Youth-Venture to support youth projects and causes nationwide.

“We are excited to offer Piggybackr as a tool to our youth,” says Rebecca Korduner, Assistant Director, United Way Youth Venture North Central Massachusetts. “United Way Youth Venture and Piggybackr see the value in educating kids to solve problems with self-funded solutions. These are skills that prepare them to be our future leaders.

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

WestPark Capital to Sponsor CROWDIMPACT Live Social Enterprise Crowdfunding Event and Contest on April 23rd in Los Angeles

21 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

WestPark Capital, Inc. announced they will be the Title Partner of CROWDIMPACT ‘s upcoming competition for small businesses, with a focus on social enterprises, combining profit and social impact.  The involvement of key supporters representing over $100 million makes CROWDIMPACTone of the world’s largest social enterprise live presentation forums to date, and on April 23rd, finalists will present their companies to judges deciding on over $30,000 in prizes for the top companies in Los Angeles, CA.

CROWDIMPACT Live Social Enterprise Presentation Forum & Social Enterprise Party

CROWDIMPACT Live Social Enterprise Presentation Forum & Social Enterprise Party

Using a proven model, CROWDIMPACT will operate similarly to Crowdfunder’s previous live events, CROWDFUNDxLasVegas and CROWDFUNDxLA, which collectively drew over 11,000 entrepreneurs and investors and over 900 early stage businesses.  Since February 20th, over 150 companies have registered on Crowdfunder’s CROWDIMPACT online community.

“We are very pleased to take part in this exciting event that brings together great talents and companies from so many corners of the market.  The sharing of ideas and coming together of so many great businesses and professionals, each on the cusp of incredible things in their individual areas, is a unique opportunity that we are happy to take part in.  The event format suggests it will be as much fun as it is professionally rewarding.” says Jason Stern , Chief Operating Officer of WestPark Capital.

Crowdfunder’s CEO Chance Barnett adds, “Over the last 10 to 15 years, investors have come to understand that profit and social purpose can go hand-in-hand.  CROWDIMPACT helps top social enterprises across the globe to finally have a place to gain visibility in front of a community of impact-minded backers on the Crowdfunder’s social network.”

CROWDIMPACT brings together Crowdfunder’s business social network platform, WestPark Capital’s transactional, corporate finance, and advisory services experience, and innovative partners and communities that support and empower social entrepreneurship­­­­.  CROWDIMPACT Title Partners include Demand Media and Cal-X Crowdfund Connect.

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.

Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign Kicks Off for HAPIfork to Help People Slow Down How Fast They Eat

21 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

HAPILABS announced the launch of their Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the manufacturing and distribution of HAPIfork – the world’s first connected fork that helps people monitor how much they eat.

HAPIfork is the world's first connected fork. The personal technology tool monitors how fast people eat and helps them slow down

HAPIfork is the world’s first connected fork. The personal technology tool monitors how fast people eat and helps them slow down

HAPIfork transforms people’s relationship with food as it monitors how fast the user is eating and helps them slow down. Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, HAPIfork was selected among the finalists for the CES Innovations Award, Health & Wellness category. The word quickly spread in over 50 countries globally culminating in hundreds of articles, blog posts, tweets, television and radio appearances as well as a fun shout out from The Colbert Report.

“While our product is still a prototype, we’re thrilled by the global response so far,” says Fabrice Boutain, HAPILABS founder. “We believe this is affirmation of the growing consumer health awareness movement to gain better control of issues impacting weight and digestive issues as well as more serious issues such as diabetes and other chronic conditions.”

Keeping in line with Kickstarter rewards at various funding levels, the HAPIfork will be offered as a perk for up to 2,500 people funding $89, and at the $99 level for anyone else who would like to be in the first commercial batch. In addition, the opportunity to be part of the beta testing program, receiving the HAPIfork at the earliest possible availability date, is offered at the $300 level perk. The campaign, which starts today and runs until May 31, 2013, has a fundraising target of $100,000.

HAPIfork was designed by French entrepreneur and inventor Jacques Lépine whose idea was based on research which shows that by eating slower, people can improve the way they feel, improve their digestion and lose weight. HAPIfork aims to modify eating behavior by slowing down how fast people eat and being more present with when and how long it takes to eat, leading to an overall healthier state of being and living.

Unlike other health related tools, the HAPIfork is inconspicuous and appropriate for out of home use. The Bluetooth enabled smart fork also collects information for future analysis or monitoring in clinical settings. All data is transmitted to a ‘personalized online dashboard’ when the HAPIfork is connected to the users computer or mobile device making it easy to monitor eating habits and health improvement at home or on the road.

HAPIfork will be released in three colors (blue, green and pink) and will ship to Kickstarter funders first before the general public. HAPIfork comes with a color coordinated case making it easy to carry everywhere. The product will initially go on sale in the US and EU in the fourth quarter of this year.

HAPILABS helps individuals in the 21st century take control of their HAPIness, health and fitness through applications and mobile connected devices. HAPIfork is part of suite of devices, applications and services from HAPILABS aimed at improving overall health, well being and happiness. Products in development include the HAPIwatch to help people sleep better and the HAPItrack to help people stay in great shape. Offering elegant and simple solutions, HAPILABS helps people achieve a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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 Crowdfunding Platform Launches to Help Save 3,000 Movie Theaters from Going Out of Business as Hollywood Converts to Digital and Completely Eliminates 35-millimeter Film Distribution

21 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

A new crowdfunding platform, SaveOurCommunityTheaters.org, has launched to help rural movie theaters make the migration from analog to digital media. In a move that is expected to save billions in distribution costs for movie studios, by the end of 2013 Hollywood plans to to stop distributing movies on 35-millimeter film and convert entirely to digital movie distribution.

This conversion will save billions for studios, which will no longer need to deliver cumbersome film.  Most movie theaters in large cities have already converted to digital media, but more than 3,000 throughout rural America have not made the change due the cost of installing new digital movie equipment.

SaveOurCommunityTheaters.org Allows Movie Theaters Nationwide to Crowdfund their Transformation from 35 millimeter to digital

SaveOurCommunityTheaters.org Allows Movie Theaters Nationwide to Crowdfund their Transformation from 35 millimeter to digital

“The problem,” said SaveOurCommunityTheaters.org spokesperson Scott Wilson , “is that over 3,000 cinemas across the United States are in real danger of closing. They simply don’t have the extra $50,000-$80,000 per theater needed to make the conversion.”

Michael Hurley , owner of the Colonial Theater in Belfast, Maine estimates that 20% of all theaters in North America could be lost.

SaveOurCommunityTheaters.org believes this loss is unacceptable, said Wilson. “We are harnessing our social media Circlefunding(SM)  technology to make sure community theaters are here to stay.”

Community theaters are fundamentally important to the health and wellbeing of communities. Often these theaters have been around for generations and are part of the fabric of the town. They provide history, a meeting place, and employment, said Wilson.

SaveOurCommunityTheaters.org has fundraising project ideas, web assistance, promotional suggestions and utilizes next generation fundraising technology – Circlefunding – to assist small town theaters.

Unlike many other Crowdfunding sites, which promote a variety of projects, SaveOurCommunityTheaters.org focuses entirely on community theaters.

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