Crowdsourcing Your Way Forward

CSW2015-SingaporeWhile I’ve been part of a few crowdfunding platforms, have also had the opportunity to be part of a host of crowdsourcing initiatives. In fact at Crowd Product Pitch we leverage our crowdsourcing and community learning to encourage startups pitch early, share and win.

Having been part of a couple of Global Crowdsourcing Week conferences (2013, 2015) held in Singapore I can vouch for the team’s expert speaker curation and the unique set of learnings one receives at CSW events. I’m confident India’s first-ever Crowdsourcing Week Summit to be held in Bangalore will have the same impact, if not much more.

Who better to share the future of collaboration and innovation in the region that some of its pioneers. Here’s a look at some of the speaker list:

Osama Manzar: Founder and Director of Digital Empowerment Foundation, Osama has been =on the mission of eradicating information poverty from India and global south using digital tools. Osama’s also chairs the Manthan and mBillionth awards, which focuses on the digital inclusion for development and in recognising innovators.

Preethi Herman: She’s the Country Lead & Campaigns Director of Change.org. Preeti envisages an India where change is ‘bottom up’, where anyone and everyone can be a change-maker, their caste, creed, color, gender or regional identity notwithstanding.

Aarushi Batra: She’s the Social Media Head of Robin Hood Army, a volunteer organisation which collects and distributes excess food from restaurants to the the less fortunate. The organization has now expanded to 27 cities, 4 countries, 5000+ Robins and served around 600,000 folks.

Smita & Ramakrishna NK: Co-founders at Rang De, they are firm believers in the social business model and the power of civil society to bring about change. They began Rang De in 2008 as a platform to raise social investments for individuals and its impact on communities.

Epi Ludvik Nekaj: Founder and CEO of Crowdsourcing Week and the man behind the 5 P’s of the Crowd Economy – People, Purpose, Participation, Platform and Productivity. He has been consistently bringing together the thought leadership behind the Crowd Economy, including across India.

On the entrepreneurial side, the speakers include Ishita Anand (Founder & CEO of Bitgiving), Karma Bhutia (Founder & CEO of iShippo), MadanMohan Rao (Research Director at YourStory Media), Rajan Narayanan (Director, Second Avenue), Sanjeeva Shivesh (Founder & CEO, The Entrepreneurship School), Satish Kataria (Managing Director of Catapooolt) and many more thought-leaders (event link). Check out one of talks ‘Why is (Equity) crowdfunding growing?’ from a previous event.

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Cool Crowdfunding Projects & Pitches

If you’re working on a new IoT-based product or prototype and want to seek community feedback and validation, the upcoming IoT Crowd Pitch event’s just the kind you may want to attend, pitch at and follow.

IoT_CrowdPitch_BangaloreYou never what cool stuff you may come across at these pitches. Also over the past few weeks I’d come across some exciting new products being showcased on various crowdfunding platforms as well as on CrowdProduct. Here are my top 4 picks from the week:

1) Walli: Imagine the stress of losing your wallet, all the credit, access and identity cards? Well, now with Walli you will be notified on your phone whenever and wherever you leave it behind. See More

2) Nico360: It looks like a GoPro, this 360 degree affordable VR camera has the additional live streaming of activities now. You can pre-order now on Indiegogo.

This product’s kickass. The world’s first hubless smart bicycle which full integrated and has an electronic e-gear box. It’s made up of space grade carbon fiber, and can be connected to via one’s iPhone or Android app. See More

In this Olympic season, time for drones to keep up with your fast movements. That’s exactly what Staaker drone does. There are also robotic drones like Lily that can follow your movements. Watch below:

Rate Global CF Platforms

worldmap-cf
As part of a university thesis project and with feedback from crowdfunding experts, the Crowd Navigator team has been able to evaluate crowdfunding platforms. The parameters are:

Transparency
Transaction fee, investors, founding members and other pertinent project details.

Level of Activity
CF company and project updates on website, social media platforms and blogs.

Ease of Navigation
Website look and feel on different devices. Time taken to access useful information.

Information Availability
Availability of details like how the CF website works and other FAQs.

Innovation Index
Tracked based on latest technology used as well as uniqueness in business model.

Now now we would like crowdfunding users to be able to rate select platforms based on 1) Level of Activity, 2) Ease of Navigation, 3) Innovation Index. You can rate 7 platforms from US, Sweden, India, Singapore and Australia at the following link.

Reach us incase of any queries. We will announce the results in September 2016.

Live Equity Crowdfunding Event

On May 16th 2016, the Title III of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act became a reality in the US. To reiterate this piece of legislature enables everyone to privately invest in startups online, and in the past I’d done my bit to allay some of the fears around Equity Crowdfunding.

DreamFunded, a Silicon-Valley based private tech stock market is now capitlising the recent changes in regulation. After releases its 7-Key Principles of Equity Crowdfunding, the team’s now preparing for USA’s first-ever Live Equity Crowdfunding Event:

You can witness this historic activity on July 7th on DreamFunded CEO Manny Fernandes Facebook page. The event will start off with an Investor Education seminar followed by the live crowdfunding event. Startups keen on raising upto $1 million can apply here. #exciting

Time to Crowd Pitch

Crowd Pitch is a form of crowdsourcing like crowdfunding and other mass engagement activities, just that here one’s primary goal is to seek crowd validation. What crowd validation does for startups, especially B2C products, is that it ensures a transparent process and gives potential backers a better understanding of the kind of traction a product has/will receive.

While online platforms serve to validate ideas too, one cannot ignore offline showcases where ideas receive direct feedback. Crowd Product’s efforts on using online voting for offline events, makes the experience of validating startup pitches wholesome.

Why Pitch at Crowd Product?
Feedback from industry professionals & investors
Gauge the crowd and potential customers interest
Win cash prizes, co-working seats, invitations to investor meets, conference & much more

Why Attend Crowd Product Pitch?
Access to some of the most fresh product startups
Actively participate by voting on all startup pitches
An evening to network with entrepreneurs & investors

If you’re interested in creating or being part of a pitching event do write to us. Crowd Pitch puts power of achieving greatness (read investments & growth) in your hands!

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Leverage Crowdfunding Credits

CN-Marchblog-imageAre you organizing a crowd pitch for startups or similar activities with corporate customers? Well if you are, might want to consider providing teams and winners crowdfunding credits. Crowdfunding credits have in the past motivated individuals and teams to work on goals, those that help them focus and realize their objectives quicker. In a recently held pitch event, ISK Crowd Product 2016, amidst the cash prize and a seat at the swanky T-Hub space, the winning team received close to $1000 worth of crowdfunding credits that can redeemed in the following ways:

a) Crowdfunding videos
Visual being the name of the game, a good video pitch has in the past enabled many a campaign stand out from the rest of the pack. Through Crowd Navigator services and partners one can receive assistance with build their campaign video as well as execute a  specific social media video strategy with a team of experts in the field.

b) PR and media connect
Nothing like a well-planned public relations and mainstream media attention to amplify one’s campaign. Like many of our past success stories would reiterate, the media has given them just the kind of visibility and traffic to the page. However media coverage alone might not be enough to get people to fund.

c) Social Media outreach
Along with visibility through the press, a solid social media strategy can drive in considerable traffic and engagement to the campaign. The popular social media channels include Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, etc, and will depend on the kind of target audience the campaign mandates.

d) Offline roadshows & activities
One might want to leverage the many urban retails spaces where potential customers and crowdfunders frequent. Apart from retail spaces, having a prominent presence at corporate locations helps immensely. Many corporates have large disposable incomes and may want to live their dreams through initiatives like yours.

e) Make use of technological trends
Automation and building applications that can help one growth hack their campaign’s and product’s goals can drive in a lot of interest and expedite one’s efforts. One will do well to spend their cash and credits on developing applications that matter and with qualified teams as may be needed.

If you need any assistance with crowdfunding credits or have any other queries, do feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to help.

Get Noticed With Crowdfunding

When Coldplay came out with latest song ‘Hymn For The Weekend’ there were many a detail that caught our eye. The song, shot in India, had elements of crowdfunding projects in it. See for yourself:

Did you notice ‘TaxiFabric’? We covered the Kickstarter project in our September theme of the month post. TaxiFabric provides designers an opportunity to show off their design skills using taxi seats in Mumbai as their canvas.

This instance goes to show how celebrities, especially those from the West, are exploring global stories through crowdfunding. Some crowdfunding superfans have also suggested the video has facets of another India-based crowdfunding project Tomorrow We Disappear.

Hence the point I’m making here is, if beyond funds your goal includes:
a) Reaching out to a global audience
b) Increasing your media exposure and PR
c) Getting noticed by celebrities & investors
d) Getting connected with partners & team-mates
e) Receiving early feedback from potential customers

.. running a crowdfunding campaign (if done well) can help you realise your goals quicker and amplify your message like no other medium. We know a thing or two about campaign successes as in the past we have worked closely with project-owners, ecosystems developers and large organisations to help them realise their objectives.

If you’re keen on learning more about crowdfunding, write to us and we will be happy to help you.

Crowd Navigator at Youth Event

Crowd Navigator will be showcasing its abilities at ISK Crowd Product 2016 (see poster below), seeking to engage with the event’s highly-talented and large college-going crowd. We understand it’s this youthful tech-savvy audience who more or less reflect the latest users trends, are early-adopters of new products and seem more than willing to innovative with the new. Like many startups in the past and even present, we expect the disruptive field of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to find favour among the young and young-at-heart communities. Further, we would also continue offering our crowdfunding planning and other crowd engagement services to startups and corporates.

CN_ISkCrowdProductLook forward to seeing you at this unique event! In the meantime you can reach out to us here anytime.

Popular Crowd Products from 2015

The year has seen some kickass products and prototypes get discovered and come to the fore, a large number of them through crowdfunding platforms. The success of these product augurs well for the future generation of hobbyists, creators and makers, who may be motivated to turn full-time entrepreneurs. Here’s a look at some of the products that caught the eye this year.

1) Lily Robotics Drone

This flying camera when tossed into the air, starts follows its owner around with the help of GPS and computer vision. Along the way this water-proof and ultra-compact device shoots HD pictures and videos.

2) Air 2 Wireless Floating Sound Bluetooth HD Speaker

The Air 2 bluetooth speakers by Coby Electronics has in-build magnets to help it mind-blowing levitate. These speakers can also be mounted on a wall.

3) Qwertywriter

This 84 keys, USB, Bluetooth enabled typewriter-inspired keyboard gives one the look and feel of a vintage typewriter. This classy keyboard design can be easily integrated with a wide range of tablet devices.

If you come across any other interesting products from 2015 via crowdfunding platforms or elsewhere do let us know with the name of the product and its link. We will be happy to showcase compelling products you refer.

Startup Countries Where Equity Crowdfunding’s Legal

Title III of the JOBS Act has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), paving the way for legalisation of crowdfunding in USA.

Now anyone can invest into startups and small businesses, 5% if their annual incomes or net worth’s less than $100K and up to $2K or 10% if greater, via an online platform. These online platforms will need to follow necessary regulations as mandated by the new laws and can begin operating by late January 2016.

Other countries where Equity Crowdfunding are legal include: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK.

The journey to the legalisation of crowdfunding in the USA has been a long one, and comes years after the US Senate and President Obama passed the JOBS Act. In fact 3 years ago through the GrowVC blog I’d shared this graphic post ‘Is Crowdfunding Safe Enough For Investors?..’ – now it’s finally time to see some real action.

Equity Crowdfunding USA

Expect to see more countries, including those from the growth, and more populous, regions of the world to follow suit and legalise this form of crowdfunding. Reach out to us if you need any information on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, always happy to help.