Advertisements
Tag Archives: crowdfunding campaigns

Investors Offered $82 Million New Jersey Commercial Real Estate Property via Equity Crowdfunding Site 

11 Aug

The target annual cash yield to investors is 10.5 percent and backed by value of  $92/sq. ft., which is covered by the current property value of $119/sq. ft.

By Robert Hoskins

Portland, OregonCrowdStreet listed a mezzanine financing for 30 Knightsbridge Road, a four-building class B+ office complex in Piscataway, N.J., sponsored by EverWest Real Estate Partners, a privately held Denver-based real estate investment and operating company. By listing on CrowdStreet, a crowdfunding marketplace connecting accredited investors with institutional-grade real estate investments, EverWest is targeting a raise of $1.7 million as part of its $6 million mezzanine financing.

CrowdStreet Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Platform in Indianapolis, Indiana

CrowdStreet Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Platform in Indianapolis, Indiana

The target annual cash yield to investors is 10.5 percent. The investment opportunity in 30 Knightsbridge offers attractive risk-adjusted returns, as the total debt position through the mezzanine loan of $92 per square foot is well covered by the current property value of $119 per square foot.

“CrowdStreet is excited to work with EverWest and provide access for investors to participate in the 30 Knightsbridge mezzanine loan,” said Tore Steen, CrowdStreet’s CEO. “With the property’s strong tenant base, proximity to major transportation routes and New York City, as well as advanced infrastructure and amenities, we believe that 30 Knightsbridge is a great example of the institutional-grade deals we are listing on the CrowdStreet marketplace.”

30 Knightsbridge, which is valued at $82 million, is comprised of 686,316 square feet of commercial office space. Currently 91 percent of the four-building property is leased to nine tenants, including AT&T Corp., QualCare Inc., AECOM Technology Corp., Cablevision and Paychex North America Inc. Keystone Property Group acquired the property in June 2014 as part of $230 million purchase of a 2.3 million square foot, 12 building office portfolio owned by Mack-Cali Realty Corporation.

“We chose to post 30 Knightsbridge on the CrowdStreet platform because they focus on and understand institutional-grade commercial real estate,” said Thomas Ling, director at EverWest Real Estate Partners. “The CrowdStreet business model provides a modern approach to online capital formation that complements our traditional fundraising process. The senior management team at EverWest has collectively invested over $30 billion across the United States and we are confident that 30 Knightsbridge presents an attractive opportunity for investors.”

CrowdStreet recently closed a large fundraising effort on behalf of Mainstreet, the nation’s largest and most innovative developer of short-stay rehabilitation and long-term care properties, in May, raising $1.6 million in just four weeks, one of the largest raises for a real estate crowdfunding transaction.

CrowdStreet provides accredited investors with unique access to commercial real estate investment opportunities through an intuitively designed portal that makes it easy to find opportunities, manage offers, track investment performance and build a commercial real estate portfolio — all at no cost to the investor. The CrowdStreet marketplace allows investors to search and select pre-screened commercial real estate opportunities by product type, geographic region or risk allocation.

CrowdStreet provides a crowdfunding marketplace that connects accredited investors with institutional-grade real estate investments. With its cloud-based fundraising and investor relationship management platform, CrowdStreet offers real estate operators, funds and private equity companies an online vehicle to raise capital and manage relationships with new and existing investors more efficiently and cost effectively. Based in Portland, Ore., CrowdStreet was founded in 2013 by a team with deep experience in commercial real estate, finance, consumer Internet and software development.

EverWest Real Estate Partners, LLC is a Denver, Colorado-based leading private real estate investment manager and operator who invests in core, value add, and opportunistic investments in office, industrial, multi-family, retail, and mezzanine debt investments. EverWest serves a variety of clients that include major institutional investment managers, pension plans, foundations, endowments, and high net worth individuals. EverWest provides a full-service investment management operating platform through its six regional offices with established acquisition, asset-takeover, asset management, property management, financing, operations, risk management, advisory, and reporting capabilities to its clients.

# # #

Advertisements

NXGen Capital Launches Commercial Real Estate Crowdfunding Site for Developers, Promoters and Institutional Investors 

14 Jul

New commercial real estate equity crowdfunding site offers investors a robust pipeline of high-quality, high-yield, pre-vetted investment real estate properties across the western United States

By Robert Hoskins

Fair Oaks, CaliforniaNXGen Capital.com launched a new real estate equity crowdfunding site that provides accredited investors access to pre-vetted commercial investment properties across the western United States. The website debuts with a robust portfolio of available commercial projects, ranging in scope from exclusive hotels, luxury condos and office space to assisted living and memory care facilities. For example, a recent assisted living and memory care facility in Citrus Heights, Calif. has already raised over $1.1 million of its initial $2.1 million equity goal.

NXGen offers investors a robust pipeline of high-quality, high-yield, pre-vetted investment real estate properties on a consistent basis

NXGen offers investors a robust pipeline of high-quality, high-yield, pre-vetted investment real estate properties on a consistent basis

Each project on the site has been thoroughly investigated prior to being offered to the public. This information is openly shared on the website in the form of general property statistics, financial summaries, financial overviews and market summaries—so investors can quickly assess a project’s potential.

Additionally, investors are able to quickly and easily conduct their own due diligence across multiple projects at a time, since all projects fall under themed commercial categories. The entire crowdfunding process can be completed online and easily tracked through the customer login feature.

“In the last year or so, real estate crowdfunding has made earning power available to the public at large,” said Brian Clark, co-founder and managing director of NXGen Capital. “But we see NXGen Capital as the next generation of real estate crowdfunding. We want to bring greater transparency to the real estate crowdfunding platform and put all investors on a level playing field. Potential investors no longer need to be ‘in-the-know’ in order to diversify their portfolio.”

Due to its close relationships with developers and other industry professionals, NXGen plans to offer investors a robust pipeline of high-quality, high yield investment properties on a consistent basis. Clark added, “Investors will always have a wide range of real estate deals to choose from at any given time.”

With so much volatility in the stock market, investors are flocking to invest in tangible assets. Investors far and wide have already been attracted to the returns that NXGen Capital offers through developers, promoters and directors supplying high-quality real estate investment opportunities. While other real estate crowdfunding platforms typically offer 10-18% returns, the lowest annual return currently offered on the NXGen portal is 25% and some projects reach 40% or more.

# # #

 

hyperfund Launches Business Crowdfunding Site that Makes It Easy for Investors to Find, Research and Invest in Private Business Equity Deals

9 Jul

hyperfund offers crowdfunding site where businesses at any stage of the growth cycle can find and reach potential investors using crowdfunding advertising, email marketing, PR and social media campaigns

Anacortes, Wash. – hyperfund is a new business crowdfunding marketplace where investors can easily find, research and invest in private businesses. It is a crowdfunding site where entrepreneurs can easily and efficiently reach a large number of potential investors and is one of the first crowdfunding platform providing all three primary strategies for businesses raising capital on the internet with rewards, security, and debt crowdfunding options.

hyperfund enables entrepreneurs, startups as well as growing businesses to take advantage of the explosive growth of crowdfunding campaigns and leverage the power of the SEC’s new General Solicitation Rules that allow private companies to market their equity investment opportunities to millions of accredited investors via advertising, marketing, PR and social media programs.

Hyperfund Local National Crowdfunding for both Rewards and Equity Based Crowdfudning Campaigns

Hyperfund Local National Crowdfunding for both Rewards and Equity Based Crowdfudning Campaign

The investing ecosystem continues to evolve as traditional sources of funding, angel investors and venture capitalists, focus more on revenue-producing businesses. At the same time, new technologies enable new ways for growing companies to connect with potential investors. Crowdfunding is becoming a primary solution for pre-revenue businesses to raise capital and most crowdfunding platforms, to date, have only offered investors a single option.

hyperfund offers three different crowdfunding options:

  • Rewards, such as preferential product acquisition opportunities,
  • Security, to participate more directly in a company’s financial growth, and
  • Debt, to be repaid over time.

“Now startups and growing businesses can raise capital on the Internet with a reward-based seed funding round to validate their business model, followed by an equity or debt round on the same platform,” said hyperfund’s CEO Denis duNann. He emphasized, “On hyperfund’s marketplace, investors can now back business-focused rewards rounds, track the businesses performance and potentially invest in a later securities round.”

Luan Cox, CEO at partner company Crowdnetic, stated, “We are impressed with hyperfund’s unique and complete approach to business crowdfunding. The breadth of their offerings addresses the needs of small businesses throughout the growth cycle.” She added, “We are pleased to include their Private Issuers Publicly Raising (PIPR) listings in our marketwatch.com feed, the nation’s first real-time aggregated listing of offerings and pricing information on private issuers raising capital.”

There are no transaction or subscriber fees for investors to research private offerings on hyperfund. There are no upfront fees for entrepreneurs to easily and efficiently reach millions of potential investors.

hyperfund is launching with two recent winners of the Florida Atlantic University’s Business Plan Competition:

  • BiologicsDirect™, the first and only online virtual marketplace that connects blood centers, which are the suppliers of blood products, with hospital and blood center users, positively impacting critical blood-product supply chain management.
  • Owl Educators, with its breakthrough online service, connects tutors and students, making their educational relationship more effective and efficient.

# # #

 

 

 

New U.S. Hybrid Rewards and Equity-Based Crowdfunding Site Based in Columbus, OH Surpasses $100 Million Milestone

17 Apr

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

By Robert Hoskins

Columbus, OH – In a prelude to what may become the industry norm, Fundable.com announced that backers and accredited investors have pledged over $100 million in funding commitments for both rewards-based and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. During the past 18 months, startups across all industries have utilized Fundable to move their businesses forward. Different from any other crowdfunding platform, Fundable is dedicated exclusively to helping businesses as they seek early stage growth capital. The crowdfunding platform claims to be receiving over 15,000 new company registrations each month.

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

According to Fundable CEO Wil Schroter, “We are thrilled with the incredible success that companies have found through Fundable. It’s amazing to see companies using funding to grow real businesses that are creating jobs and making an impact on the economy.” A veteran entrepreneur himself, Schroter has nearly 20 years of experience founding successful venture-backed startups. Schroter knew firsthand that access to early stage capital was a critical problem for emerging entrepreneurs, and wanted to create a platform to solve this.

Schroter says, “the success of Fundable’s hybrid rewards and equity system proves the need for additional expansion capital after a successful rewards campaign. Companies can prove demand for their business through a rewards campaign, and then meet demand and continue to grow through an equity crowdfunding campaign.”

Due to Kickstarter’s and Indiegogo’s lack of equity investment options,  successful crowdfunding campaigns are the taking the next step on Fundable when seeking addition rounds of funding.  For example, HIDDEN, Ube and Uncharted Play all utilized Fundable to raise additional expansion capital.

Unlike Kickstarter, which experienced a huge backlash from Oculus backers that cried foul when their early rewards -based  crowdfunding campaign raised $2.4 million dollars to launch the virtual reality computer goggles product line, Fundable can follow initial seed funding rounds with equity investment deals.

But just like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and more than another 1,000 crowdfunding platforms worldwide, Fundable is not allowed by the SEC to allow unaccredited investors to invest in equity investment deals.

Hopefully by the 3rd quarter of 2014 the rest of United States will be given the opportunity to strike it rich by investing in small startups.  If pledgers are willing to back a set of Oculus goggles for $300 to jump start a business, the same backers should certainly should have been allowed to recoup their investment when Oculus accepted a $2 billion buyout from Facebook.  According to Forbes, that $300 investment risk would have paid hobby investors a whopping $20,000 return on investment on their investment.

Fundable.com is one of the largest business crowdfunding platforms, with over $100 million in commitments, and is dedicated exclusively to helping entrepreneurs. Different from any other crowdfunding platform, Fundable offers both rewards and equity business crowdfunding options.

In an upcoming crowdfunding trend, Fundable recently acquired LaunchRock, a premiere tool for launching startup ideas, in order to acquire over 500,000 registered startup companies, 10 million users, and 15,000 companies.

The crowdfunding site is the brain child of veteran entrepreneurs who have raised countless venture capital and angel investment rounds to finance early stage growth startups.

# # #

Feedback Wanted: Creating a National Crowdfunding Campaign Rating System

14 Jan

Crowdfunding platforms need to add crowdfunding campaign rating systems, portfolios of crowdfunding service providers and social media network graphing APIs to improve success ratios

By Robert Hoskins

We work with lots of people who want to launch crowdfunding campaigns.  It is surprising how many are completely unaware that they need a startup business plan before considering launching a crowdfunding campaign, especially when the main goal is to raise money to start a new business.  Even project related crowdfunding campaigns would benefit from writing up a business plan to help campaign managers organize and to think logically about what they are trying to accomplish with their fundraising campaign.

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

One of the most popular crowdfunding services that is in demand from crowdfunding campaign managers is quality advice/feedback on their initial efforts to shoot a good crowdfunding video, write up an effective crowdfunding profile and write enticing calls-to-actions for their campaign’s perks, rewards, donations and soon-to-be investment performas.

The biggest reason that crowdfunding campaigns fail right now is because they do a poor job of providing elementary campaign planning requirements such as conducting a thorough competitive analysis, writing a business plan, creating a corporate message map, building an experienced management team, establishing a target audience, planning a marketing budget to reach their target audience, and predicting with some certainty a perks/rewards (sales) forecast complete with a return-on-investment analysis.

It sure would be great to see crowdfunding platforms start requiring campaign managers to fill out both a business plan section as well as the crowdfunding campaign. It may require extra work, but it certainly would improve a platform’s success ratio.

During this campaign planning process, it would be extremely beneficial for campaign managers to be provided with a database of third-party experts to give them professional advice and counseling.   This behind-the-scene step would allow them to seek professional advice from marketing, financial, legal and other pre-qualified crowdfunding service providers in order to evaluate and critique their campaigns before they went live. In addition, they could utilize these same experts to help them build a professional management team that would add credibility to their crowdfunding profiles.

After the campaign goes live, a public rating system would kick in that would allow investors/donors to rate each module of the business plan and the crowdfunding campaign on a scale of 1 to 10 based on their perception of the information provided. Or, perhaps the crowd should be allowed to ask questions or click on a green, yellow or red flag depending on how they felt about each section of the crowdfunding pitch provided. This would be an extremely good way for thousands of people to work together to vet and weed out fraudulent campaigns by raising red flags at the appropriate time.

To keep negative sharks from bashing without compassion, other users could evaluate advisers and ban people that are considered to be trouble makers after a certain number of derogatory comments that are detrimental versus instrumental.  The purpose would be to educate the masses as more and more investors begin logging on to invest in upcoming equity crowdfunding deals.

In addition, all crowdfunding platforms should be required to use the social graphing APIs from Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other social media networking sites so that everyone can research everyone to see who they are and what their professional credentials are.  This would also encourage crowdfunders to do a lot more work on improving their social media profiles and networks before attempting to launch a fundraising campaign.

Just like media outlet comment sections, people without social media profiles should be banned from creating crowdfunding campaigns as well as critiquing them.  This also might be an easier way to govern who is allowed to invest and what their budget level is on an annual basis based on their status as an accredited or unaccredited investor.

Once a national, standardized crowdfunding rating system is up and running, which may take quite a while, it will be easier for novice investors to search secure crowdfunding platforms for investment opportunities based on their desired crowdfunding rating and risk assessment criteria.

Some basic Crowdfunding Rating Modules to get the conversation started:

Business Plan Rating Modules:

  • Mission Statement
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Management Team
  • Legal Issues
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Target Audience
  • Positioning
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Place (location)
  • Distribution Channels
  • Campaign Goals
  • Campaign Expenses
  • Campaign Revenue
  • Campaign Deliverables
  • Campaign ROI
  • Exit Strategy (even though Mark Cuban says no)

Crowdfunding Campaign Rating Modules:

  • Crowdfunding Goal
  • Campaign Length
  • Pitch Video
  • Pitch Profile
  • Perks/Rewards/ROI%
  • Marketing Budget
  • Industry Growth Predictions
  • Sales Forecast
  • Funds Usage
  • Barriers to Success
  • Fulfillment Milestones
  • Social Impact
  • Post-Campaign Fulfillment Audit

 # # #

Movie Stars, Rock Stars and Celebrities Can Now Use their Star Power for Social Good on CelebrityCrowdfunding.com

14 Aug

Need a Star for Your Next Crowdfunding Campaign? That is One of the Perks for Launching on CelebrityCrowdfunding .com

By Robert HoskinsFront Page Public Relations

CelebrityCrowdfunding.com developed to showcase campaigns for or by celebrities is also offering Complimentary Celebrity-led disaster relief and charity Crowdfunding fundraisers and more. The website is now in the process of raising funds for marketing and promotions.

Crowdfunding is now the “go-to” source for raising capital for Celebrities and those with STAR Status.

Crowdfunding is now the “go-to” source for raising capital for Celebrities and those with STAR Status.

Prior to Crowdfunding and websites like Kickstarter and Indegogo you had to have your own funds or good credit, a job and a business plan if going to a bank for money. Then if approved have to worry about being successful enough to pay back your brand new Company’s brand new debt. With Crowdfunding anyone can raise the funds needed for any idea or cause. Based on the popular growing trend for Celebrities to Crowd Fund, launching the first official “Celebrity Targeted” platform is a great idea.

Celebrities are using their Star Status to their advantage and are Crowdfunding and asking fans to make donations towards their personal ventures or favorite causes. James Franco recently launched an Indegogo campaign to fund three individual films and is seeking 500K. Joining other celebrities to Crowd Fund Kristen Bell, who successful campaign raked in a record-breaking $5.7 million on the Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie. Zach Braff also successfully completed a $3M dollar campaign on Kickstarter.com.

FundAnything now features its first celebrity campaign with comedian Adam Carolla who is Crowdfunding his next movie, titled “Road Hard.”

When asked about deciding on which platform to run his Crowdfunding campaign. “It was a no-brainer” said Luis Sevilla, Owner of CelebrityCrowdfunding.com. “ While Fund Anything recently launched only two months ago, it was started by Learning Annex-founder Mr. Bill Zanker and is backed by the rich and famous Mr. Donald Trump. The incentive being that Mr. Trump has promised to promote selected campaigns through his Twitter account. As well as personally contributing to one or more projects that strike his fancy. Since the two portals visions are like-minded I believe FundAnyting is the most obvious portal.”

Despite the fact that the domain name CelebrityCrowdfunding.com is the best-suited name for the Celebrities Crowdfunding on the Internet the website still faces the same challenges of any new start-up. Including being an unknown and the lack of a huge marketing budget.

However the website is counting on its “out-of-box” and “not-to-be-seen” anywhere else in the Crowdfundiing industry content, features and programs to entice and persuade celebrities, fans and backers to visit and make use of the website.

Some of the website’s list of benefits or rewards called perks you will find:

  1. Pay-IT-Forward Program that “Gives Back” To Celebrity Backers!
  2. Complimentary Campaign Summary Reviews and Press Releases
  3. Celebrity “Crowd Booking” Crowd Fund & Book a Celebrity for Your Next Event
  4. Celebrity Campaign Rewards and Incentive Perks
  5. Celebrity Group or Private Chat
  6. Celebrity Cam 2 Cam
  7. Campaigns Built-in Digital Downloads
  8. On-site Celebrity Charity Auctions, Classifieds and more

Only on CelebrityCrowdfunding.com Celebrity Specific Categories:

  • Celebrity Do-Gooder – Celebrities Star Power rallies up fans to donate to their favorite charity or cause.
  • Stop The Violence – Celebrity-led campaigns to raise funds for families of those who have lost their lives behind senseless violence. As well as campaigns to raise awareness and to take actions to stop it.
  • Hope, Prayer and a Celebrity! – Request a celebrity to sponsor your campaigns or make a partial or full donation.
  • Secret Celebrity Fundraiser – Celebrity invite only fundraiser.
  • Celebrity Dare – Celebrities daring Celebrities to do something daring for a cause or for fun

The website is climbing up daily on search engines and the only thing missing America is the funds to spread the word to let celebrities, their fans and others know about it. Hopefully we can all team up together to help make a difference in the world!

# # #

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.

Crowdfunding helps inventors bring ideas to life

13 Feb

by Triangle Business Journal

Attention all inventors who just need a little seed money to get your idea off the ground: Indiegogo – and other crowdfunding services like it – say that if your idea is good enough, you will get the money from ordinary folks.

Crowdfunding Allows Inventors to Bring Creative Ideas to Life

Crowdfunding Allows Inventors to Bring Creative Ideas to Life

Sort of like, if you invent it, the money will come. At least that’s the idea.

Danae Ringelmann co-founded Indiegogo five years ago after she realized that it was really hard for inventors to get funding to grow their ideas from the concept phase to an actual business with manufacturing and sales, etc. Ringelmann spoke at the annual Emerging Issues Forum hosted by the N.C. State University Institute for Emerging Issues. The event this year is focused on manufacturing and is looking at ways for North Carolina to grow as a national manufacturing leader.

On websites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter, inventors can post a video of why their invention deserves funding and then just wait for others to donate. It might be $1 or $5 or it might be hundreds – even thousands – of dollars they receive from anyone who likes the idea.

Read more…

Front Page PR Offers Free Crowdfunding Training Program for SCORE Chapters Nationwide

7 Feb

Recommended SCORE
Crowdfunding Training Program

By Robert HoskinsFront Page PR

Front Page PR Crowdfunding experts offer free consulting services to help SCORE mentors develop low-cost Crowdfunding training programs that will teach entrepreneurs, startups and expanding businesses how to build a Crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to get their company off the ground.

The good news is that there is zero risk, other than a little time and effort to build a profile. Unlike a real business launch where a business owner invests everything they have into a business and hope that it works, it is free to build a Crowdfunding profile on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and give it a whirl.

Crowdfunding allows small businesses to test the waters first, kind of like a free online focus group to see what customers think. It is very cost-effective to spend a little money on producing a video, shooting pictures of some prototypes, writing and issuing a couple of press releases and then marketing the Crowdfunding profile to their crowd of social media network contacts to see if fans will support the product via donations.  Compared to signing a three-year lease for retail space, buying equipment, hiring staff, and spending a lot of money on marketing only see a business fails in less than two-years time, Crowdfunding makes very good common sense.

If a Crowdfunding campaign fails, Crowdfunders can step back and analyze what went wrong and keep trying until they get it right and lose nothing in the process.

If the Crowdfunding campaign is successful, it allows them to establish a customer base from the very beginning.  Not only do they receive the investment capital they need to get their business started, but they have pre-sold hundreds to thousands of products to customers who actually want the product. A side benefit is that early Crowdfunding customers become brand champions during the campaign and actually help the Crowdfunder promote the product/service to additional circles of social media contacts because they like it and want to share it with their like-minded friends.

Once Equity Crowdfunding becomes legal, Crowdfunding donors can become investors that receive an equity stake in the company, not just a free product or perk.  After an equity Crowdfunding campaign is complete, a local retail store, restaurant or some other type of business opens up, its brand champions will not only continue to encourage their  friends to support the business, but they will receive a portion of the future dividends, revenue sharing, or some type of return-on-investment as the business grows.  For the first time in American history, 98%  more Americans will have the ability to steer the economy by investing in the products and services they really want to buy.  It is a win-win situation for everyone.

For SCORE mentors that have an interest in teaching their clients how to get involved in the growing Crowdfunding industry, we recommend setting up a conference call to discuss the following Crowdfunding topics.  In addition, we will share several different text books, guides and forms that will be very useful in walking business owners through the Crowdfunding process.  Please contact Robert Hoskins to setup a conference call to learn more.


SCORE Crowdfunding Training Outline

I. Introduction to Crowdfunding

  • Rewards – Usually first shipment of the product
  • Perks – VIP treatment, photos, meetings, visits
  • Donations – Giving money to needy people or community outreach programs that help others
  • Equity – Investing money to obtain an equity stake in a company: equity, revenue share, debt, etc.
  • Title II vs. Title III – Accredited investors Q1; Unaccredited Q4 2013
  • Crowdfunding Service Provider – Selecting the right platform based on target audience composition

II.  Building a Crowdfunding Campaign Statement

  • Mission – what is the primary business directive?
  • Management Team – who will be running the business?
  • Bios – what experience qualifies Crowdfunders for this management role?
  • Goals & Objectives – overarching goals and objectives needed for success?
  • Strategies – what strategies will be used to achieve goals?
  • Universe – how large is the market opportunity?

III. Crowdfunding Campaign Elements

  • Company/Product Names – Making the A-list without an explanation
  • Videos – passionate testimonial(s) from the campaign managers
  • Photos – photos or preliminary designs of products
  • 3D Prototypes – early versions of what finished product will look like
  • Patents – file a patent to protect your intellectual property
  • FAQ Sheets – know your industry well to get the facts straight
  • Marketing Campaigns – determining the right mix of adv, PR and social media
  • Manufacturing – don’t wait until the last minute to line things up, plan for success from the beginning

IV.  Crowdfunding Budget Needed

  • How much do you want? – Ask for a realistic amount that is fair and achievable
  • What to do plan to do with it? – Provide a simple budget to show how the money will be spent
  • Step-by-Step – Raising money in steps builds credibility
  • Crowdfunding Timeline – details a timeline from money allocation to final delivery
  • Crowdfunding realty check – it requires work to become successful

V. Building and Leveraging Donor Databases

  • Inside Circle – Friends, Family, and Business Colleagues
  • Social media – Extended circles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup, Twitter, Youtube, etc.

VI. Pledges and Rewards

  • Reward Levels – small, medium and large
  • Pre-selling products – to establish market demand

VII. Building Crowdfunding Campaign Buzz

  • Publicity – using press releases to generate positive publicity
  • Social Media – leveraging the power of large crowds
  • Event Marketing – what to do during the bottom of the U

VIII. Approaching the Finish Line

  • Thank You Notes – Thank donors for their money
  • Quick Replies – Answer Crowdfund campaign comments quickly
  • Ask for Referrals – Don’t be afraid to ask the crowd for help

IX. Mission Complete

  • Success – Satisfaction of achieving your goal
  • Business – Next comes the hard part, building a functional business
  • Fulfillment – Managing time, effort, budget and scalability
  • International – Requires additional shipping time and costs

X. Failure 

  • The Upside of Failure – Unlike most many startups that lose everything when their business is not successful,  Crowdfunders can use a Crowdfunding campaign as a very cost-effective focus group prior to a hard launch

# # #

Please click here to help us Crowdfund this website continued editorial development.

Please click here to help us Crowdfund this website’s editorial development

A Kickstarter project promises crystal-clear-sounding speakers

17 Jan

A Kickstarter project promises
crystal-clear-sounding speakers

CNET (1/16/13) – Tech startup Coleridge Design Associates is trying to raise $45,000 on Kickstarter to manufacture a sleek-looking and transparent-sounding desktop speaker system, the aCube BMR. I’ve covered Kickstarter projects before, but this time I had a chance to listen to the product, and the sound definitely piqued my interest

(Credit: Steve Guttenberg/CNET)

The aCube uses an advanced 4.5-inch BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) driver mounted in handmade clear-cast acrylic 6.5-inch cube enclosures. The $180 speaker houses a stereo 20-watt Class-D amplifier, but if you want stereo sound, you have to buy a second speaker (without the amp) for $120. Optional at extra cost, inputs for Apple AirPlay, Bluetooth, optical digital audio, and USB 2.0 Audio will be available as individual add-ons that plug into the speaker’s 3.5mm jacks.

Coleridge Design Associates sent a pair of speakers. Fit and finish are superb, and the thick, anodized aluminum speaker grilles look great; the quality of the parts is excellent. The sound is, pardon my pun, remarkably transparent, so good recordings sound absolutely vivid and clear. On my desktop, acoustic jazz CDs sound pure and very present, and the stereo soundstage is broad and spacious. Web sites’ streaming audio’s gritty harshness has nowhere to hide. A pair of $199 Audioengine A2 speakers can’t match the aCubes’ clarity, but the A2s sound good with almost every source. They’re more dynamically alive and powerful-sounding speakers.

The aCubes don’t make much bass, so Coleridge Design Associates recommends using your phone’s equalizer or an app to pump up the bass. I tried that approach, but the speaker distorted with extra bass. The aCube’s Class D amp may be the culprit; it seems underpowered for the job at hand. The aCubes sound best played at low to moderate volume with acoustic music, they’re not well suited to rock or any bass-heavy music. Coleridge Design Associates is planning on adding a subwoofer to the line in the future.

Read more….

%d bloggers like this: