Staying ahead of the curve is hard work. There is always something new out there. I am constantly reading books, blogs and ebooks, attending webinars, talking with people and attending training, like I did last week, to keep myself up to date. A few years ago I became aware of crowdsourcing. It’s not a new idea but it has been named and taken online. The way it works is you put a project out to a group of unknown people and they bid on it or show their work to get you to choose them. You usually can get a better price than going out to bid at brick and mortar vendors in your area. Lots of startups use this method to get websites built, graphic design done, to find writers and editors and people who will run spreadsheets and do research and all sorts of things. Here are a couple of examples of crowdsourcing sites.
www.crowdspring.com Tell us what you need, The world submits designs, Choose your Favorites
www.99designs.com Watch their video!
Now, you get the idea. Right, so I still haven’t told you what crowdfunding is but you might be able to guess by now. It’s a way to get financing from a crowd. Accourding to PlantoStart, who put out a list of sites, “Crowdfunding is basically a community that funds ideas, dreams and projects. ”
According to Wikipedia:Crowdfunding describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowdfunding occurs for any variety of purposes, from disaster relief to citizen journalism to artists seeking support from fans, to political campaigns, to funding a startup company, movie or small business or creating free software. Another aspect of crowd funding is tied into the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act which allows for a wider pool of smaller investors with fewer restrictions. The Act was signed into law by President Obama on April 5, 2012.
Crowdfunding sites to take a look at:
www.kickstarter.com Fund & Follow Creativity (I like this site)
www.funderthunder.com When Creativity Strikes (Watch this video)
So why am I writing about crowdfunding? Well, here’s another thing I do sometimes, I try new things to stretch myself. My good friend Debe Fennell started up a new project with her friend Aggie Kobrin to help more women get their start ups funded through crowdfunding and realized that most women hadn’t even heard of crowdfunding. Women own 48 percent of the small businesses in the U.S., yet only five percent of traditional funding goes to them. Even in crowdfunding, more than half the projects fail to gain traction, so they decided to bring experts, successful crowdfunders and those hoping for funding together on one day to discuss how to set up a powerful and ultimately successful crowdfunding pitch. They decided to hold an event called Crowdfunding Live and invited me to be a speaker. Well, I knew nothing about crowdfunding, but what did I say, “Yes” of course. So since I was schooling myself anyway, I thought I would share with you. If you want to learn more than just clicking on all the links I sent you here is the website for the event www.crowdfundinglive.com. Now, I am not billed as one of the crowdfunding experts. I am speaking on my favorite topic which is how to get connected which is critical for crowdfunding to work. Live networks and online social media connections are the path to getting a project funded. I’m excited and I hope some of you will join me in LA for Crowdfunding Live on June 9th.
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