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Gridmates.com Unveils New Energy Crowdfunding Site for Electric Utility Companies, Corporations and 501(c)(3) Non-Profits to Help Raise Money to Pay for Low-Income Customers’ Electricity Bills

13 Apr

The crowdfunding site will allow non-profits, disadvantaged, disabled and low-income customers to build profiles detailing their need for energy assistance and then match them to energy donors

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Gridmates.com announced a new donation-based, energy crowdfunding site that will allow donors to browse through a directory of distressed electricity customer profiles and then donate energy assistance. The site seeks to help low-income customers such as single moms with young children, elderly couples, disabled veterans, storm/hurricane survivors and unemployed people that for some reason are living in energy poverty and need temporary help paying their electricity bills.

Gridmates Energy Donation Crowdfunding Site for Low-Income Homes

Gridmates Energy Donation Crowdfunding Site for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Programs

For fun, please check out the energy donation process. It is very easy. Donors simply search through the Gridmates energy crowdfunding profiles until they find one they want to support. Next, donors simply type in a dollar amount into the energy calculator, which shows contributors how many days of energy they will be sharing. Energy donations can be billed to any valid credit card or to a PayPal account.

The first energy crowdfunding profile to be listed is Mobile Loaves and FishesCommunity First Village located in Austin, Texas. This coming June, the Community First Village will be moving 240 homeless and disabled people off the streets of Austin into new shelters where they will receive warm meals and hot showers.

The Community First Village’s energy crowdfunding goal is to raise $85,000, which will provide enough electricity to power the homeless community for several months. The Gridmates site has already successfully raised more than 50% of the fundraising goal ($42,500), but more donors are needed to reach the final goal by the end of May.

All energy donations to the Community First Village are tax-deductible and are a great way to support people who are currently living without electricity.

People who donate $17.50 of energy will receive the reward of knowing that their contribution will be enough to pay for one week’s worth of electricity. A donation of $75 will be enough to pay for an entire month. These electricity donations will be used to turn on the lights, heat water, wash clothes, refrigerate/cook food and assist with many other household chores that most people take for granted.

“Imagine what it’s like to live in a dark shelter with cold showers and no way to refrigerate food or cook warm meals,” said George Koutitas, Gridmates’ CEO. “The Community First Village is a great opportunity for supporters and community relations managers throughout Texas to make a big difference for people who are living without electricity.”

“We are currently seeking more corporate sponsors to work with Austin Mayor Steve Alder and the City of Austin to raise enough money to pay the entire electricity bill,” Koutitas added. “If your business would like to help us raise money to fund this project, please give me a call on my personal cell phone at (512) 632-4363.”

As the Gridmates site grows, more and more energy poverty profiles will be added. The future platform will be able to segment energy crowdfunding profiles by energy needs, zip codes, geographic locations and by utility company service areas. Gridmates soon will be positioned perfectly to help electric utility companies throughout the United States begin collecting online donations to help them pay for their Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP).

Gridmates is developing and soon will be beta-testing a new, scaled-up version of its energy crowdfunding site. The company is seeking Texas electric companies such as AEP, Austin Energy, CenterPoint Energy, Oncor Electric, Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), Reliant Energy, TXU Energy or any of the seventy-plus Texas electric cooperatives to help stress test the future site’s functionality.

Instead of blind giving, Gridmates’ mission is to let donors and philanthropists browse through real-life energy poverty profiles and find their own personal grid mate that they will enjoy supporting with their energy donations. Once the energy crowdfunding site has been verified and is ready to scale, Gridmates plans to rollout the service state-by-state in the U.S. and then on a country-by-country basis in international markets.

To participate, electric utility companies, corporate sponsors and non-profit organizations can all sign up at www.gridmates.com/corporations. Or send an email to contact@gridmates.com for more information on how to get started.

More details, facts, figures, logos and photos are available via the Gridmates online pressroom.

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Just in Time for Spring BBQs – the GoBQ grill is the Perfect Portable Solution for the Football Tailgating Crowd

13 Apr

The GoBQ Grill is the coolest way to cook a hot meal at the game partying with friends and then put it safely away before the first kickoff

By Robert Hoskins

Chicago, IL – Grilling enthusiasts across the globe are gobbling up a good opportunity to buy a GoBQ Grill during April. Right now outdoor adventurers can get a hot deal on a cool way to grill food at tailgating parties as well as other types of remote grilling opportunities such as hikes, trips to the beach and remote backpacking trips. Apparently the portable grill is serving a big appetite. In less that two weeks, their Indiegogo campaign  has raised more than 120% of their $30,000 goal with 196 backers from over 19 countries worldwide.

The GoBQ Grill is the coolest way to cook a hot meal

The GoBQ Grill is the coolest way to cook a hot meal and pack it away safely before the 1st kickoff!

The Indiegogo campaign can be found here:http://www.IndieGoBQ.com.

I guess that means it’s time to buy a grill and get ready to start cooking outdoors, but now grillers won’t have to be confined to their backyards or tethered to their SUVs.

Weighing in at only eight pounds, the patented GoBQ is a revolutionary grilling system complete with a metal grate cooking surface large enough to feed a family, chain basket to hold charcoal, and lid to contain heat.

But unlike other grills on the market, all GoBQ components fold in on themselves to become a black cylinder that resembles a small, sleek duffel bag. Take it with you camping, tailgating, picnicking, biking, boating or fishing, and people everywhere will ask, “Wait, that’s a grill?”

“What makes the GoBQ unique is you can sling it over your shoulder or stuff it in a backpack,” says co-founder and product chief Eric Goeken, who invented the GoBQ and built its early prototypes in his own garage.

After only five days on the market, critics are already weighing in on the ingenuity of the GoBQ. “Imagine a lightweight portable charcoal grill with nearly 200 square inches of cooking surface that fold up into a tiny little package,” says barbecue and grilling expert Derrick Riches of bbq.about.com. The GoBQ “could revolutionize the portable charcoal grill forever.”

The body of the GoBQ is made of a silicon-coated fiberglass material that can withstand flames and high temperatures. The fabric base, nickel-plated metal grate and charcoal basket all fold up to fit neatly inside the grill’s fabric lid, which also folds together to become its own compact carrying bag. Set up and tear down are a breeze, as the GoBQ body cools to the touch soon after dumping the charcoal embers—unlike other metal grills, which can take forever to cool down.

“The GoBQ is a game changer,” says company co-founder and CEO Todd Zaroban. “Those other so-called portable grills are either too cumbersome to carry or too flimsy to properly cook anything. We believe it will change the way people think about outdoor cooking.”

GoBQ is targeted to ship in August of this year, just in time for college and NFL football tailgating season.

The GoBQ Grill is a portable, packable grill made of heat and flameproof fabric that folds up like a camping chair to fit in a backpack or store in a drawer.  The GoBQ is the patented brainchild of start-up company Grillfold LLC and its founders—product design and engineering guru Eric Goeken, and Todd Zaroban, a successful entrepreneur with 25 years of marketing, branding and web development experience.

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Los Angeles-based Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Platform Raises ~$24 Million to Fund Debt Investments and Pre-funded Real Estate Loans

13 Apr

Targeting one of the fastest growing verticals within the lending marketplace, Patch of Land’s real estate equity crowdfunding site has emerged as one of the industry’s most innovative companies

By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, CAPatchofLand.com announced that it has raised $23.6 million to finance one of the leading crowdfunding solutions for the real estate industry that brings together borrowers and lenders through a simple online interface.

The oversubscribed Series A round was led by SF Capital Group, a private investment firm focused on direct equity and debt investments in the financial technology space. Neil Wolfson, President of SF Capital Group will also join the Board of Directors of Patch of Land. Ron Suber, president of Prosper Marketplace, a leading online marketplace for consumer credit, also participated in the Series A round as a strategic investor.

Patch of Land Real Estate Crowdfunding

Patch of Land Real Estate Crowdfunding Raises $23.6 Million to Expand Debt Investments

“We are very pleased to have completed this round of financing,” said Jason Fritton, CEO Patch of Land’s CEO. “We look forward to working with SF Capital Group and welcome Neil to our board. Our ability to attract sophisticated investors such as SF Capital and industry thought leaders like Ron Suber clearly validates the strength of our business model. Neil and Ron understand marketplace lending and their collective advice and network of contacts will be integral to our continued growth and success.”

As one of the biggest issuers, by volume, of 506(c) real estate debt investments, Patch of Land will use the capital from the Series A financing to aggressively increase its market share and further expand the company’s leadership position through additional investment in the technology and data systems that power the marketplace. The company will also utilize these funds to hire additional leading real estate and technology professionals.

“The real estate lending marketplace is quickly transforming the way investors and developers interact, and Patch of Land is at the forefront of this change,” said Neil Wolfson, SF Capital Group’s President. “Patch of Land was one of the first companies to focus exclusively on real estate debt investments and the first to offer pre-funded loans, which dramatically shortens the time developers wait to get funded. The company is a true pioneer within this industry and its consistent and steady focus is clearly evident through the rapid growth of its portfolio. We are excited to work with this dynamic team and help them capture the tremendous opportunity they have identified.”

“I have witnessed first-hand the emergence and growth of marketplace lending. Real estate is one of the fastest growing verticals within all of marketplace lending, and Patch of Land has emerged as one of the most disruptive and innovative companies,” said Ron Suber. “I am very excited to help the company reach the next stage in its growth cycle.”

For over a year, Patch of Land has consistently grown its portfolio of short-term residential and commercial loans to qualified borrowers across America, quickly earning its place as one of the top real estate crowdfunding companies to launch since the JOBS Act was passed into law.

SF Capital Group is a private investment firm representing the interests of a single family. The firm invests across all asset classes with a flexible, long-term investment focus. SF Capital’s portfolios include allocations to traditional as well as alternative investments such as hedge funds and private equity. The firm also invests in direct equity and debt investments of private companies.

Patch of Land (POL) is a crowdfunding solution for real estate financing that brings together borrowers and lenders through a simple online interface. Patch of Land’s goal is to solve the problem of inefficient, fragmented, and opaque real estate lending by using technology, data-driven processes, and expert human touch to create transparency and efficiently underwrite projects.

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