Crowdfunding with Cryptocurrencies

(Image source: bitcoinhub.co.za)

(Image source: bitcoinhub.co.za)

This month we take a look at some of the platforms offering crowdfunding through cryptocurrencies.

We expect blockchain funding to slowly but surely compare to VCs or Kickstarter-styled funding into ideas and startups, in the coming years. The future of crypto tokens will however depend on its reliability, clarity and legality in the various jurisdictions that it can be used and transacted.

For the uninitiated, cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that uses a peer-to-peer system such as bitcoin. They are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency as well as verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a centralised authority or bank.

According to Coinstaker’s definition: Crypto Tokens represent a specific value and each cryptocurrency token embodies a tradable good.   This means that crypto tokens can be used to represent a share in a company or can be used as central committee voting rights. They are often used to raise funds in a crowdsale (A Crowdsale is a new way to use cryptocurrency technology to issue tokens that can represent shares or equity in a company).   With the year 2016 having seen more than US$ 200 million worth of cryptocurrency investments raised via Initial Coin Offering (ICO is an unregulated means of crowdfunding via cryptocurrency).

Here are some news updates on the topic:

Singapore-based FundYourselfNow.com platform is set to enable future project creator to raise funds for their campaigns in Ethereum and Bitcoin by 2018. (Ethereum and Bitcoin are cryptocurrencies that use the Blockchain technology).

According to the CEO of FundYourselfNow, Jack Ser: With the recent mainstream acceptance of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, we want to build an ecosystem that offers entrepreneurs an alternative funding raising platform for their product, with minimal technical and marketing knowledge.

There are more developments happening, those from other online platforms that help connect crowdfunding and cryptocurrencies such as Tokenly to those companies creating their own cryptocurrency like StartCOIN. According to the people behind StartCOIN, they aim to be the first stable digital currency created to promote and support crowdfunding. 

The bottomline in cryptocurrency-based crowdfunding is how compelling the end-users find it to pledge their support to campaigns. In the coming months we will be sharing more updates with you on this developing space. Tell us what you think about the latest forays into cryptocurrency and crypto-token crowdfunding.

VR Crowdfunding: Are You Game?

Ever since VR (Virtual Reality) headset Oculus Rift’s crowdfunding campaign success on Kickstarter, followed by its acquisition by Facebook Inc., the space has taken off like never before. Many a gaming companies have leveraged crowdfunding platforms to directly get VR enthusiasts and avid gamers support VR initiatives.

At a recent VR workshop and pitch event in Bangalore, people with backgrounds such as film-making, animation, interaction design, sound engineering, 3D gaming, human resource development, psychology, etc got together and came up VR projects. The projects included those in exploring art, addressing mental health, inspiring moonshot ideas, bringing social causes and historic narratives to the fore.

The event’s participants also shared some of the areas where VR can be beneficial:

  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Defence & Learning
  • Construction & Real-Estate
  • Disaster Response
  • Sports & Fitness
  • Automobiles
  • Advertising
  • Film & Theatre
  • Celebrity Engagement
  • International Relations

The events conclusion on the ‘Future of VR’ based on the insights received on Crowd Product was:

The future of VR would be multi-sensory (involving multiple senses, besides eyesight), with mass teleportation (being at places without any physical movements required) and being part of 3-dimensional experiences. These will help business leaders and policymakers explore, learn and create better experiences for audiences.

Let us know in the comments if you’re interested in VR Crowdfunding.

Recent Reads on VR Crowdfunding
1. Kickstarter Alum Oculus Pulls the Plug on Virtual Reality Shop Story Studio (source: crowdfundinsider.com)
2. Zero Latency Shoots For Multiplayer VR Arcade Network With 24 Locations In 2017 (source: uploadvr.com)
3. Grazer VR glasses ExChimp reaches crowdfunding goal (<German> source: futurezone.at)
4. This VR Camera Is the Size of a Smartphone and Designed for Anyone to Use (source: Inc.com)
5. Virtual Reality in India: A Closer Look (source: via LinkedIn post)

Our Favourite Crowdfunding Stories of 2016

(Image source: Ernest Barbaric)

(Image source: Ernest Barbaric)

The Supreme Court Brexit case only happened because of crowdfunding – and you won’t have heard of the people who did it
When you volunteer in a legal aid clinic, you see how many people aren’t able to access justice because of a lack of funds. Crowdfunding bolstered the Brexit case and has even been used by cleaners to bring their own employment tribunals to court. Read more
Source: The Independent Online

How crowdfunding multiplied our career options
Luckily, it’s getting a little easier to change careers no matter how old you are, or where you are in your career. In today’s increasingly connected world, the tools you need to prepare for your journey are much more accessible. Indiegogo campaigners, for example, are doing it all the time. People of all ages venture outside of their “careers” to pursue their passions. What usually starts as a side-hustle often becomes a full-time job. We started Indiegogo for that reason exactly; we wanted help people make their dreams a reality, regardless of their age, the size of their bank account, their gender, or their race. Read more
Source: virgin.com

10 aspects of crowdfunding campaigns worth mentioning from a rookie’s point of view
1) Don’t announce your campaign’s launch date until it’s completely set up
2) Make sure you can deliver what you promise
3) A campaign is stressful
4) Try to build a fanbase
5) Announce your campaign loud and clear
6) Keep in touch
7) Don’t rely on promotion services
8) Speak to your tax consultant
9) Stay true to yourself and keep on top of your project
10) There’s other important stuff apart from the campaign
More details Source: Indiewatch.net

What are the most important points to remember while making a crowdfunding pitch video?
What are you crowdfunding?
Why are you going for crowdfunding?
Why do people need to back you?
What are they getting in return? (Applies to reward-based crowdfunding)
Showcase your previous works or recognitions (Important if you are an artist)
End note with CTA
Make sure there is a smooth flow in the video and that you connect all these points.
Your video should not just be interesting enough to watch but should also encourage the viewer to fund your project. That’s the whole point of making a pitch video!
8 Tips On How To Make A Killer Crowdfunding Pitch Video! Source: ZingoHub Edge

Creative Projects Crowdfunding

This month we go back to the roots, to the origins of the concept of Crowdfunding. The whole idea took off when a music band unable to travel and play to an audience saw their fans fund their expenses. Since then not just music projects, but several other ventures leveraged this medium of reaching out to the crowd to realise their goals. Here we take a look at the creative categories in crowdfunding with a recent example from Kickstarter.

Art

Beautifully Nerdy Deep Space Paintings & Prints
Deep-space oil paintings & fine art prints, featuring breathtaking galaxies, nebulae, and black holes. Art for awesome nerdy people. See More

Comic

Theatrics – The Graphic Novel
A Broadway actor’s world crumbles when he’s mugged, beaten up and left for dead. Some would despair, but Rudy has an idea.. See More

Crafts

Wildlife Toys-Animated Hardwood Toys since 1978
Animated wood toys that engage a child’s imagination with out overwhelming them. See More

Dance

Get Hyped!
Get Hyped is creating a culture of estatic joy through our first event: a 70’s & 80’s themed ROLLER SKATING DANCE PARTY! See More

Fashion

Citee: map T-shirts and map posters
Map T-shirts and map posters showing detailed cities all over the world – now with over 230 locations. See More

Film & Video

ANDY: The Untold Story of Andy Irons
Andy Irons, 3-time world champion surfer who lived at the extremes of emotion, chased success only to be faced with challenges on shore

Music

DRIVIN’ IT DOWN!
Full-band, Revved-Up, Electric Blues & Roots Album by Justin Johnson

Photography

Beauty of street vendors
A photography book filled with amazing pictures showcasing the diversity in colors and the life of street vendors in Hanoi. See More

Publishing

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species
A picture book adaptation of the classical On The Origin Of Species. Great for children and grownups! See More

Theater

THE HUNT
An adventurous new production, The Hunt blends dance, immersive theater, and witch hunt hysteria in a reimagined Salem. See More

Let us know what are the other categories of Creative Projects you think are suitable for crowdfunding.

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

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.