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Why the payments market is - still - huge

Why the payments market is - still - huge | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it

"In the VC world, there seems to be a fairly strong bias against pitching your company by saying, “We’re like X, but for Y. Most commonly, the “X” in the aforementioned sentence refers to Uber or Warby Parker..."

 


Via Huy Nguyen Trieu
VisionFunder's insight:

A very insightful piece from Doug Nelson about the potential to launch payment solutions in various verticals. In general, it's a very good example of how Fintech startups need to carefully choose their markets, and define their positioning in great detail - notice how a simple application (payments) can be adapted to many different customer bases in very different ways. It also shows that the market size for Fintech is huge, with many different segments still unadressed. Great read (and great picture too!).

 

f you want updates on Disruptive Finance and Fintech:
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Huy Nguyen Trieu's curator insight, March 2, 2016 5:48 PM

A very insightful piece from Doug Nelson about the potential to launch payment solutions in various verticals. In general, it's a very good example of how Fintech startups need to carefully choose their markets, and define their positioning in great detail - notice how a simple application (payments) can be adapted to many different customer bases in very different ways. It also shows that the market size for Fintech is huge, with many different segments still unadressed. Great read (and great picture too!).

 

f you want updates on Disruptive Finance and Fintech:
– You can enter your email address to receive an email whenever I write a new post
– You can also follow me on Twitter here
And thanks for reading. Don’t hesitate to share if you like this post

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The Ultimate Crowdfunding TO-DO list: BEFORE YOU LAUNCH

The Ultimate Crowdfunding TO-DO list: BEFORE YOU LAUNCH | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
Through trial and error on over a dozen kickstarter projects, hours of lectures at Emerson College, and countless meet ups, phone calls and emails with artists and innovators, I’ve refined a “best practices” list that I share when I decide to get involved with a project.

Via The Digital Rocking Chair
VisionFunder's insight:
A great crowdfunding campaign starts with a good plan. 
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10 Ways to Boost Your Startup Crowdfunding Campaign

10 Ways to Boost Your Startup Crowdfunding Campaign | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
Crowdfunding is no easy feat, but you can create a successful fundraising campaign if you apply these 10 tips.

Via TechinBiz
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A good boost can make all the difference
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How businesses can really take advantage of crowdfunding » ClickZ UK

How businesses can really take advantage of crowdfunding » ClickZ UK | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
It’s no secret that crowdfunding is still exploding in popularity. From businesses raising millions to the internet getting together to help devastated communities in their time of need. How can you get a slice of the pie?

Via Bill Cosgrove
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VisionFunder's curator insight, March 17, 2016 4:36 AM
crowdfunding is creating new opportunities for businesses to fund and promote new ventures
VisionFunder's curator insight, June 22, 2016 1:23 PM
Crowdfunding is ripe for the picking. Although many businesses have inadequate access to financing, sadly many small businesses are not taking advantage of the benefits and opportunities of crowdfunding.
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5 Rookie Crowdfunding Mistakes

In this webinar we will explore some of the misconceptions and common mistakes made by first-time campaign owners. We discuss methods for avoiding early mishaps as well as best practices for seeing a successful campaign through to the finish. Sign up for our next webinar:http://landing.indiegogo.com/webinars/

Via Berend de Jonge, Dirk Ahlborn
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7 Tips for Aspiring Startups

7 Tips for Aspiring Startups | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
When you finally get the nerve to start your business, you want to be sure everything will work out in the best way. Only five percent of those who want to start a business are able to make their dream come true.
Via Anthony M Turner, Small Business Online Solutions - Patant Consultants
VisionFunder's insight:
Plan, Pivot and Persist
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Anthony M Turner's curator insight, June 18, 2016 7:07 PM

Yep, can definitely agree that starting a business is not as glamorous as many considering it think - lots of hours, lots of frustration BUT huge amounts of satisfaction once it works...

Small Business Online Solutions - Patant Consultants's curator insight, June 27, 2016 6:52 AM
Its always tough starting up. Good to get all the advice you can get. Thanks.
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7 Quick Tips for Crowdfunding Campaigns

7 Quick Tips for Crowdfunding Campaigns | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
“ Photo
Are you self-employed or an entrepreneur?
Whether you are contemplating, fairly new, or a veteran at running your own business, for the next four weeks, Black Enterprise is offering free...

Via Skip Boykin
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plan plan plan and then execute above and beyond the ordinary
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5 Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

5 Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
Here are five tips for making your crowdfunding campaign a success.

Via Skip Boykin
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Its important to model success.
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Tips on how to Stand out from the Crowdfunding Crowd

Tips on how to Stand out from the Crowdfunding Crowd | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
With new businesses launching crowdfunding campaigns every day, it's getting harder to hang onto donors' attention. If you fear getting lost in the shuffle, here's how to make your venture shine above the rest.

Via TechinBiz
VisionFunder's insight:
In crowdfunding your business, you have 2 sets of competitors. That is, direct competitors as well as other unrelated projects on the same platform competiing for the attention of your audience
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VisionFunder's curator insight, June 22, 2016 1:21 PM
Its important that you campaign has a distinct edge in order to get funding support
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Can Your Crowdfunding Campaign Compete?

Can Your Crowdfunding Campaign Compete? | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
These tips can help level the crowdfunding playing field.

Via Skip Boykin
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Kickended: the enthralling world of crowdfunding flops

Kickended: the enthralling world of crowdfunding flops | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
In the world of crowdfunding, the line between success and failure is remarkably thin. Potato salad thin. Christian rap album thin. Conspiracy novel about the “possible antichrist” Bill Clinton thin. Which is one of the reasons why the Italian artist and researcher Silvio Lorusso created Kickended, an online archive of every Kickstarter campaign that failed to gain a single dollar of support. Using KickSpy, the site trawls the crowdfunding platform to bring those silent, failed projects into the light. Not to mock, but to mark.

Via jean lievens
VisionFunder's insight:
I love the concept behind Kickend. Many important crowdfunding lessons to be learnt
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26 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire Success In 2016

26 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire Success In 2016 | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
the way you think and feel about yourself, including your beliefs and expectations about what is possible for you, determines everything that happens to you. when you change the quality of your thinking, you change the quality of your life, sometimes instantly.

you have complete control over only

Via Skip Boykin
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Sometimes a few words of wisdom is all the inspiration you need to succeed.
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How To Raise Funds For Your Book

How To Raise Funds For Your Book | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
BUSINESS CREDIT RADIO is indeed honored to welcome Amanda L. Barbara the vice president of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform only for books.

Via Skip Boykin
VisionFunder's insight:
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money and awareness when publishing your book. This can be especially useful to first time authors.
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The Crowdfunding Death Zone – How to Avoid It!

The Crowdfunding Death Zone – How to Avoid It! | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
5 Must-Know Things Before You Launch Your #Crowdfund One glance at this u-shaped graph of 200,000 crowdfunds is enough to tell the story to anyone who’s seen many crowdfunds succeed and fail.

Via jean lievens
VisionFunder's insight:
A great product and an epic pre-launch marketing campaign is the key to crowdfunding success
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5 Free & Effective Publicity Tools to boost your Crowdfunding Campaign

5 Free & Effective Publicity Tools to boost your Crowdfunding Campaign | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
Johnathan Leow is the author of “The Crowdfunded Kit.”  If you want your crowdfunding campaign to really succeed, it’s not enough to raise funds from your family and friends – you’ll want to have wider coverage in the media.

Via TechinBiz
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BSN's curator insight, October 27, 2014 3:50 PM
5 Free & Effective Publicity Tools to boost your Crowdfunding Campaign. #crowdfunding #business
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5 crowdfunding press release mistakes

5 crowdfunding press release mistakes | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it

5 Deadly #Crowdfunding Press Release Mistakes 


Via Will Corry
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Four Lessons of Crowdfunding

Four Lessons of Crowdfunding | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it

As you may know, we concluded an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign recently. It was not only to raise funds for the Universe City initiative—but also to explore innovative mechanisms in the world of “money”

VisionFunder's insight:
The best way to avoid crowdfunding failure is to apply the lessons of successful campaigns
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VisionFunder's curator insight, June 22, 2016 1:25 PM
Successful crowdfunding campaigns are built successfully on the failures of others.
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Launching a Crowdfunding Campaign Checklist

Launching a Crowdfunding Campaign Checklist | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it

dingHow to launch a successful campaign using Crowdfunding techniques.


Via Giles Dawe
VisionFunder's insight:
As the progresses it can get pretty hectic as you try to pivot based on actual events. Having a checklist helps to keep you grounded.
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Giles Dawe's curator insight, July 21, 2015 6:24 AM

Essential advice on launching a crowdfunding campaign.

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How To Come Up With Great Tech Startup Ideas

How To Come Up With Great Tech Startup Ideas | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
This podcast is a follow up from my very popular article about tech startup ideas that I’ve come up with!
We’re living at the best time in history to start

Via James Boss
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With so many opportunities to choose from its getting more and more difficult to quickly zoom in on the perfect business idea
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12 Tips to Write an Engaging Crowdfunding Campaign

12 Tips to Write an Engaging Crowdfunding Campaign | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it

You’ve carefully chosen your campaign's goal, rewards and promotion, but —have you paid enough attention to your messaging? One of the most important aspects of your crowdfunding campaign is the message you transmit, as it has a direct impact on the overall impression that your project conveys. In the end, this is what will get someone to become your supporter. As a Georgia Institute of Technology researchhas showed, your choice of words can actually make a huge difference on your campaign’s results.

Below we have gathered some advice and key strategies that will help you create a persuasive pitch: The message you transmit is not just about what you say, but also how you say it.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Marc Kneepkens
VisionFunder's insight:
engagement is key for successful crowdfunding
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 6, 2014 2:23 PM

Tips that work! Read this article before starting your campaign. Don't make any beginner mistakes. You only get one chance.

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Consider These Key Factors When Setting Your Crowdfunding Goal

Crowdfunding consultant Sally Outlaw shares tips about how to pare down targets -- but not too much -- as well as the benefits of stretch goals. Read more at: ...

Via Skip Boykin
VisionFunder's insight:
You know what they say. Fail to plan and you plan to fail. Goal is pretty important.
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Learning from the Failures: Building Trust in Crowdfunding Campaigns - Crowdsourcing.org

Learning from the Failures: Building Trust in Crowdfunding Campaigns - Crowdsourcing.org | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
In this Rose Recommends column, crowdfunding coach Rose Spinelli looks at some questionable campaigns, and shares tips on how to make sure your campaign comes off as genuine. Read Rose's advice and leave her your own questions in the comments!

Via jean lievens
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101 Awesome crowdfunding reward ideas - Kick Start your journey

101 Awesome crowdfunding reward ideas - Kick Start your journey | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
Below is a big list of 101 awesome crowdfunding reward ideas dreamed up by yours truly. Some are practical and some are a little cheeky. Others are just down right sexy and creative. You are the creative type?

Via Berend de Jonge, Negotei Elena
VisionFunder's insight:
Many crowdfunding campaigns ail because their rewards simply aren't exciting to their audience.
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The benefits of crowdfunding aren’t what you think

The benefits of crowdfunding aren’t what you think | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
Local founders agree: marketing, not money, is crowdfunding's true value.


Crowdfunding’s appeal is obvious — it’s essentially free money just for having a clever idea. At least, that’s the impression the casual observer gets when they see a guy raise $55,000 to make some potato salad or $6,000 to “hire a man in a plane to write stupid things with clouds in the sky.”

Even with “reward-based” crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, the crowdfunding process allows new companies to gather the capital necessary for their business without giving up equity in their business or taking on expensive debt burdens. It seems like a no-brainer: anyone with sufficient social capital can parlay it into some tangible capital.

But if you speak with the entrepreneurs behind successful crowdfunding projects, most will only mention the cheap money as an afterthought. To them, crowdfunding’s real value isn’t raising funds — it’s raising awareness.

According to a recent survey of Kickstarter projects by Wharton’s Ethan Mollick and the University of North Carolina’s Venkat Kuppuswamy, crowdfunding’s ostensibly ancillary benefits are actually the primary reasons why successful startups use it. “Crowdfunding is not just a means for immediate funds,” said Kuppuswamy. Rather, it’s a way to validate ideas, test markets, launch brands, find customers and impress investors.

"I was almost immediately approached by investors following success of the campaign."Cora Founder Molly Hayward

When asked why they turned to crowdfunding, 70 percent of successful campaigns said “to see if there was demand for the project,” making it the most popular response, followed by marketing and connecting with a community of supporters. Only 54 percent said “the project could not have been funded without raising the goal,” and a mere 30 percent said they turned to crowdfunding because “other traditional financing options weren’t available.” Among savvy startups — 59 percent of respondents said they were using crowdfunding to launch a new business, and another 17 percent said they were launching a new product for an existing company — the “crowd” is more important than the “funding” in crowdfunding.

 

Is this really a good idea?

So, why crowdfund? “Proof of concept and market validation,” said Lorenzo Buffa of Analog Watch Co., which raised $73,000 on Kickstarter for its Carpenter Collection, an all-natural, soft-strap wood watch.

“Proof of concept” was also “the main reason” why Rooster Soup Co. turned to crowdfunding, according to Steve Cook of CookNSolo Restaurants, the guys behind Federal Donuts, Zahav and a few other esteemed eateries. Their latest is a charitable joint venture with Broad Street Ministry that will uses the profits from selling soup made from Federal Donut’s excess chicken to expand BSM’s hospitality collaborative. Despite having an enviable track record that would make even Allen Iverson levels of over-confidence understandable, Cook said they turned to Kickstarter “basically, to understand whether this was a good idea.” Forty-five days, 1,587 backers and $179,000 later, they knew they had an idea that Philadelphia would get behind.

By going on Kickstarter first, companies obviate the risks of investing a ton of time and money in a product no one wants (sadly, it is too late for AC to crowdfund Revel). “I could have spent a lot of my own money,” said Buffa of Analog Watch. “But that’s such a high risk on my end. On Kickstarter, it’s such a low risk venture.” And even though Buffa “already knew there was demand and interest” for his watches, Kickstarter gave him a better idea of how much demand. “I didn’t know it’d be that popular,” he said.

The risk, of course, is that a failed crowdfunding looks worse to potential investors than a successful campaign looks good.

Crowdfunding “speaks to the desire in the market for your product,” said Molly Hayward of Cora, which raised $30,000 on Plum Alley, a crowdfunding platform specifically for women. Cora delivers a “personalized menstruation management kit” replete with tea and chocolates each month, while also delivering a similar package to a girl in India who would otherwise need to skip school during her period.

Cora went on women-centric Plum Alley to create a customer base. “We were essentially pre-selling our products,” said Hayward, adding that the crowdfunding was really just a bridge to a larger, more traditional capital raise. Crowdfunding “was a way to get some validation, to increase our customer base and sort of get a little bit of money until we could open a few [angel investment] rounds and close a few rounds.”

 

Getting ready for Round 2

Building a larger, and loyal, customer base is critical for Cora’s next project: raising $500,000 in capital this fall. “One of the great benefits of crowdfunding … is that I was almost immediately approached by investors following success of the campaign,” said Hayward. “That was a huge benefit; it opened a lot of doors. If you can galvanize 250 people around what you’re doing, and get them to open up their wallets, it says something about your product that really can’t be conveyed before you have your product. It’s a form of traction that investors usually can’t see and really want to see.”

According to Kuppuswamy of UNC, many businesses use crowdfunding to make themselves more attractive to potential investors. Startups use their crowdfunding success as a way of impressing loan officers, angel investors and venture capitalists. “Assessing demand is a big deal,” he said, not just from an operational standpoint, but also as a way to pique the interest of investors.

Impressing would-be investors was one of the main reasons why Pete Merzbacher of Philly Muffin took out a $5,000 loan on Kiva Zip. By demonstrating he can make those loan payments, Merzbacher says he’ll have an easier time convincing future creditors to loan him money. “It’s a way of building a track record. It’s like very public credit.”

"The marketing and exposure is fantastic."Analog Watch Co. Founder Lorenzo Buffa

Analog Watch Co. will, in time, turn to investors to ramp up international distribution and marketing, but Buffa is in no rush to give away large chunks of equity. That’s why he’s returning to Kickstarter to launch a second, “more high-end” collection this fall. “If I can say I’ve launched two successful products [on Kickstarter], do you think I’ll hold onto more equity in my company when I go to investors?”

The question was rhetorical. “Hell yeah!”

The risk, of course, is that a failed crowdfunding looks worse to potential investors than a successful campaign looks good. A founder can — and likely will — flub a few investor presentations without causing too much harm, but  “an unsuccessful [crowdfunding] campaign is pretty damning,” said Hayward. The research bears that out: 90 percent of the successful campaigns studied by Kuppuswamy and Mollick turned into ongoing projects, compared to just 60 percent of unsuccessful campaigns.

The same publicity spotlight that sets the stage for a successful company exposes an unsuccessful company’s failure for all to see.

And successfully raising money is just one half of the battle. “Crowdfunding alone isn’t validation, unless you can get enough customers and then keep them,” said Cora’s Hayward. Investors want to see the demand for the product and that you can actual produce and ship it, she said. Otherwise, the successful campaign faces another risk from all its exposure, says Kuppuswamy: failing to deliver on a good idea that you’ve now published for all to see on the Internet invites imposters to take your market-tested concept and run with it.

 

Crowdfunding and marketing

If you ask a marketer, Shakespeare was wrong: A rose™ by any other name does not smell as sweet.

As The Economist recently noted, brands can be the most valuable asset a company owns. And though intangible, brands are built just as surely as inventories, factories and other company assets. Brands are built on words, from stacking the bricks of consumer opinion and the mortar of corporate communications. And in the hands of the right marketing masons, crowdfunding is a powerful tool.

“Performance on Kickstarter can create immense buzz around a product,” said Kuppuswamy. Moreover, that buzz “can just really feed into the success of the product,” creating a virtuous cycle of ever-increasing buzz and funding.

Crowdfunding gives startups shortcuts to building at least two of the three elements of brand equity: consumer awareness and brand loyalty. And it doesn’t necessarily detract from the third: brand association (“association” here refers to the brand’s qualities rather than its associates — e.g. PBR says “cheap,” not “and a shot of Jim Beam.”)

Kuppuswamy pointed to Pebble as a famous example of a company that leveraged its crowdfunding buzz into greater consumer awareness. “Pebble would have had trouble getting into E3 and SXSW without the publicity and attention they received on Kickstarter,” he said.

When Buffa launched Analog Watch on Kickstarter, he “knew [he] was trying to cultivate a brand.” Like Pebble, Buffa was able to leverage its crowdfunding into the kind of advertising that money literally couldn’t pay for: an invitation to show his watches at a Museum of Modern Art show featuring crowdfunded pieces. For Buffa, who said he set out to design watches “for people who shop at MoMA,” crowdfunding gave him access to his ideal audience.

The ability to build awareness among a niche audience was also why Cora’s founder chose Plum Alley for its crowdfunding. For obvious reasons, Hayward was only interested in reaching half of the population. Crowdfunding on Plum Alley provided Cora an automatic hook for the press — Cora wasn’t simply an interesting company, it was a company that needed the reader’s support. Similarly, Rooster Soup and Analog Watch both used the crowdfunding angle to pitch coverage of their campaigns — and, thus, the actual businesses behind the crowdfunding.

But more than just brand awareness, crowdfunding breeds brand loyalty.

When I asked Kuppuswamy whether backers of crowdfunding companies are any more likely to support a business than other customers, he responded with two anecdotes. The first was about a coffee cart in Durham that used crowdfunding to build a brick-and-mortar shop, leading the customers-cum-backers to drag friends to the café to say: “I helped make this happen.”

Successful campaigns are meticulously planned and require huge amounts of personal outreach.

The next anecdote was a bit more famous: Oculus VR, a crowd-funded virtual reality headset maker. Originally backed for nearly $2.5 million, Oculus was subsequently bought by Facebook for $2 billion, causing a huge backlash among its backers. “That sense of violation [of trust]” proved that a sense of community existed, Kuppuswamy said. That sense of community is something major brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and Harley-Davidson spend untold millions cultivating and developing over years. Crowdfunding generated that loyalty almost overnight — and for free.

Well, nearly for free.

Most platforms take a small percentage of the money raised and successful funders need to deliver rewards to backers. But that cost is about the same as what a good marketing company would cost, says Buffa. A good Kickstarter campaign, combined with shipping fees, might take about $9,000 out of a $100,000 campaign, “and that’s what you would have paid a marketing agency to do stuff for you.”

With crowdfunding, “the marketing and exposure is fantastic,” Buffa added.

Still, crowdfunding isn’t for everyone. While many of its benefits — marketing, branding, investor outreach and idea validation — seem free, and the platform fees are low, crowdfunding is extremely costly in one regard: time. Successful campaigns are meticulously planned and require huge amounts of personal outreach. And as some crowdfunding catastrophes have shown, the backlash from a failed crowdfunding can be devastating.

Still, if there is any truth to McLuhan’s famous line, “the medium is the message,” crowdfunding — done right — can say more about a project than how much money it raised.


Jim Saksa is a freelance writer and attorney who has written about esoteric beer laws, behavioral psychology and complex securities legislation for Slate, City Paper and PlanPhilly. He tweets bad puns at @Saksappeal and loves to receive tips at james.f.saksa@gmail.com.



How to create a successful crowdfunding campaign. Watch Growthink's video:

https://growthink.isrefer.com/go/newmoneysource/gt4045/



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Via Marc Kneepkens
VisionFunder's insight:
The benefits of crowdfundin are huge. Even unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns can generate big opportunities for their project founder
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, September 10, 2014 10:08 AM

Crowdfunding works! But the main benefits aren't in getting funded. It's all about market validation, brand awareness, and more. Very interesting article.

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10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
It really comes down to managing three segments in your life: time, space and mindset.

Via Skip Boykin
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Staying organised and working quickly but effectively, is often the difference between crowdfunding success or failure.
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How to Use Crowdfunding to Market Your New Business - SEMrush Blog

How to Use Crowdfunding to Market Your New Business - SEMrush Blog | Vision Funder crowd funding | Scoop.it
You have a great idea for a business. You are smart, you are motivated and you are driven. But you’re only missing one thing: the money. So what do you do? Well, many fledgling businesses are now turning to crowdfunding to fill in the financial gaps. Crowdfunding or setting up a “Kickstarter” campaign has quickly …

Via Pantelis Chiotellis
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launchin a crowdfunding can help give new businesses an unfair advantage in their market
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