Alternative Methods for Entrepreneurs: Crowd Funding
If you’ve heard of Kickstarter, you have a passing idea of what “crowd funding” is. For the uninitiated: “crowd funding” is when an individual or organization raises funds for a project by accepting micropayments from a multitude of people online. This can range from an author who gets people interested enough in his novel to spend money (perhaps with the promise of autographed copies) to major start-up businesses getting funding from would-be investors.
Here’s how crowd funding usually works: a company (or person, or charity) sets up an account on a crowd funding site and posts as much information as they can about their project, including a target goal, the minimum amount needed to carry out the project. They offer perks to people who pledge different amounts of money, which may be a product, credit, partial ownership, or dozens of other possibilities. Individual users see the project’s information and decide to pledge their own money. If the project reaches its goal, it moves forward! If not, the investors or donors aren’t charged.
Many businesses are finding success with this model, whether they’re trying to fund a single project for consumers or building a whole new start-up! Here are eight crowd funding sites we’re especially fond of for inspiration, business ideas, and more.
If not the first crowd funding site, Kickstarter is the largest and best-known. With a focus on creative projects, you can find music, novels, plays, movies, video games, and more all underway. Many of these projects have seen wild success, such as a Pebble watch for iPod (Raised $10,266,845.00 in pledges) and a video game called Double Fine Adventure raised $3.3 million in 8 hours!
Music plays a huge part of daily life at Ilfusion, and Sellaband is a platform for independent musicians to acquire funding to make their music, and for fans to buy that music outside of the traditional music industry. Note: the site is international and operates in Euros!
If Kickstarter’s focus is creative works, RocketHub tends to attract more science, technical, and research projects. In addition to the traditional crowdsourcing setup, RocketHub has a “LaunchPad” where creatives can find new opportunities to work on cool projects.
Journalism is irrevocably changing as new technology developments, and citizen journalists are everywhere. Spot.us allows people to fund investigative projects developed by independent journalists. Topics range from the political to the practical, from Homeland Security research to discovering the true price of groceries.
5. 8-Bit Funding
If you visit Ilfusion’s Fort Worth headquarters in the West 7th district, one of the first things you’ll see is our custom video game arcade booth, featuring tons of awesome, classic games. 8-Bit Funding is all about video game development and other contributions to the industry, which is one near and dear to Texas.
UPDATE: Now called GoGetFunding.
Many of the projects on these other sites are developed by an individual, or a couple of people working together. GrowVC takes the idea to a larger scale, aimed at funding entire start-up businesses rather than individual ideas. With locations in New York City, the UK, and Hong Kong, GrowVC is decidedly international in scope.
Like GrowVC, Fundable is focused entirely on helping start-ups find their funding. But there’s a twist, one that has become possible thanks in part to the JOBS act: funders can stick to the usual route, submitting funds and gaining a reward in exchange, or they can choose to earn equity shares in the newly-formed company instead.
It’s really awesome to see independent people getting together and making amazing things…but one of the best parts about crowdsourcing is the ability for people to donate money to specific projects for the betterment of their communities, or for the whole world for that matter! CrowdRise is one such site, and it’s a great place to help out.
Whether you’re trying to get funding for your project or you’ve already met your goal, we can help you get the word out about it. Click here for info on our PR services!Tags: crowd funding, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, kickstarter, social funding, social giving, social media, start-up, startup, startup funding, startup help, startup pr, vc funding, venture capital