Tag Archives: IBM

IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things with Crowdfunding

20 Feb

Entrepreneurs to Get Free Access to IBM’s Watson IoT Platform and Discounts on Cloud Services

By Robert Hoskins

Munich, Germany – IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced a partnership with Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics (NYSE: ARW) to help bring new Internet of Things (IoT) ideas to life. This collaboration brings IBM’s Watson IoT platform and cloud services together with ideation to production services from Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo – the world’s largest crowd sourced funding platform with more than $1.1 billion raised.

IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things Startups

IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things Startups

Now, qualified Indiegogo entrepreneurs will have no-charge access to IBM Watson IoT Platform via Bluemix for an unlimited amount of time, giving them access to more than 160 industry-leading cloud services to incorporate ready-to-use capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, Blockchain, advanced data analytics and cyber security into their latest IoT inventions. In addition, qualified startups will have access to IBM’s global network of technical and industry expertise, education, mentoring and enterprise customers and business partners, all of which can help to bring new and innovative IoT products to market quickly.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with Arrow and IBM to help entrepreneurs bring their wildest IoT dreams to life,” said David Mandelbrot, CEO of Indiegogo. “We know that fundraising is only one piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle, and by working together with IBM and Arrow we’ll be able to continue making it easier for entrepreneurs to bring their ideas all the way from concept to market.”

Experts predict that by 2022, the IoT landscape will be worth $14.2 trillion.1 A critical driver to this growth will be entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses which, while armed with ideas, lack the resources and skills to develop these next-generation IoT innovations and bring them to market.

Early examples of Arrow Certified Indiegogo IoT startup projects include:

  • Fitly, which created Smart Plate, the first intelligent nutrition platform that instantly analyzes and tracks what you eat. An industry first, Smart Plate was developed with support from Arrow and IBM Cloud, and was successfully funded on Indiegogo.
  • PlayDate, a startup that launched on Indiegogo, created the first smart ball for pets that lets owners interact with their dogs and cats from anywhere in the world. The PlayDate team ran the highest grossing pet tech crowdfunding campaign to date, but used Indiegogo for much more than just funding. They were one of the first campaigns to get Arrow-certified, a badge of approval on their manufacturing plans, and they received $100,000 in flash funding as well as engineering design support. “Arrow and Indiegogo’s support was incredibly valuable,” said Kevin Li, CEO at PlayDate. “Our campaign with Indiegogo opened doors with partners and acted as market validation for investors. Indiegogo and Arrow partnering with IBM will be a huge benefit for entrepreneurs using the platform.”

Through this partnership, IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow are removing key barriers and providing the expertise, resources and funding that entrepreneurs need to develop innovative new connected products and quickly and cost-effectively bring them to market. Combining IBM’s powerful cognitive capabilities with Indiegogo’s entrepreneur platform and Arrow’s end-to-end technology design and production expertise will rapidly increase the volume and quality of IoT devices in market and help fuel a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“Entrepreneurs and startups play a vital role in creating the next generation of businesses – their drive, innovation and passion for bringing new ideas to life is particularly important in building the IoT,” said Harriet Green, General Manager Watson IoT. “We are thrilled to partner with Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics to accelerate IoT innovation and development around the world working hand in hand with some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs, developers and startups to build an even better IoT.”

In addition to IBM’s benefits, Arrow provides qualified Indiegogo campaigns with up to $500,000 in benefits, such as component parts, online product design and prototyping tools, comprehensive technical reviews with Arrow engineers, manufacturing and supply chain services and sustainable recycling. As the only global technology company capable of providing comprehensive, sensor-to-sensor, full IoT product lifecycle solutions, Arrow is uniquely positioned to guide the biggest names in technology, and startups and makers alike, along their IoT production journey.

“IBM will take our groundbreaking collaboration with Indiegogo to a whole new level, helping us reach more entrepreneurs and get their innovative products to market quickly and cost-effectively,” said Arrow’s Chief Digital Officer Matt Anderson. “As one of the world’s largest providers of electronic and IT products and services in the world, Arrow has the breadth of resources and depth of expertise to successfully shepherd promising entrepreneurs along their path to market. Arrow engineers around the world are eager to collaborate with Indiegogo entrepreneurs on cutting-edge tech designs that incorporate the best that IBM’s Watson IoT and cloud services have to offer.”

IBM made the announcement at its first-ever Genius of Things Summit at the company’s Watson IoT headquarters in Munich, where customers, partners and influencers gathered to examine how Watson clients are implementing IoT solutions that drive exceptional outcomes. Around the globe, IBM is working with more than 6,000 clients, across industries, to help them truly realize the benefits of IoT. For more information, please visit:on IBM Watson IoT

Originally launched as a crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo is the place for entrepreneurs to move their ideas quickly from concept to market. Entrepreneurs on Indiegogo are able to showcase their ideas directly to users, take orders for products early in their lifecycle and ultimately build direct relationships with their first customers. Indiegogo is the platform of choice for early stage entrepreneurs and the creative teams of some of the most successful consumer product companies in the world. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

Predictions for the Top 15 Crowdfunding Trends that Will Emerge During 2015

22 Dec

New Developments Expected from the SEC, Texas Crowdfunding Portals, Crowdfunding Service Providers, State Banks, Corporate Crowdfunders, Non-Profits and Secondary Trading Markets

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Front Page PR predicts the top 15 crowdfunding trends that will emerge by the end of 2015 for the United States crowdfunding industry:

  1. The SEC will do the right thing and surprise the U.S. by introducing rewritten Title III crowdfunding regulations formulated to appease both Wall Street and entrepreneurs.
  2. Texas Incubators/Accelerators will add equity crowdfunding portals to their investment models to earn extra revenue, improve deal flow and tap 20 million unaccredited investors.
  3. There will be a rising tide of third-party crowdfunding service providers needed to produce Private Placement Memorandums (PPMs) and necessary disclosure documentation.
  4. State banks will seize the opportunity to create new revenue streams by setting up crowdfunding equity escrow services that larger banks will probably ignore.
  5. Advertising, PR and social media firms will improve the success rate of million dollar crowdfunding campaigns to more than a 50% success rate regardless of crowdfunding site.
  6. Major corporations like Sony will begin to launch substantial crowdfunding campaigns to test the market demand for their company’s latest and greatest high-tech, clean-tech, bio-tech, fin-tech and film/music products and services
  7. Major corporations will follow IBM’s example by opening their own intranet crowdfunding platforms to allow employees to fast track innovative products and services by using crowdfunding campaigns to override political and corporate management roadblocks.
  8. Major publishing houses will follow Reddit’s and YouTube’s example by launching their own crowdfunding platforms to harness mature electronic commerce & marketing capabilities.
  9. Real Estate will lead the marketplace in offering attractive equity crowdfunding deal flow.
  10. Texas will become one of the largest equity crowdfunding markets in the United States.
  11. More than 50% of U.S. states will approve crowdfunding exemptions by the end of 2015.
  12. By Q4 2015 a secondary market will begin to emerge for trading equity crowdfunding shares.
  13. Crowdfunding investing will cause private equity investors and venture capitalists to lose their ability to take advantage of startups/entrepreneurs who will find it much easier to raise venture capital funding.
  14. Non-profit fundraising organizations will move their entire fundraising operations to a pure online donation-based crowdfunding platform to substantially streamline their organizations and reduce their operating expenses.
  15. As in many early growth industries, large players like GoFundMe, IndieGoGo and Kickstarter will begin buying up smaller sites to increase market share and expand their global presence.

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins
Front Page PR
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR
@FrontPage_PR
@Crowdfunding_TX

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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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.

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