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.

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.

Taxi Fabric & Loveability Dating App: A look at some popular Indian crowdfunding campaigns this summer

Crowdfunding has been enabling millions to pursue their dreams, either through their own project ideas or by supporting other projects with their time and resources. At any given point there are several thousands of projects live on a host of crowdfunding platforms around the world, with project-owners telling their story or seeking your support.

There have been many Indian projects from the technology, social and creative spaces tha have leveraged the medium of crowdfunding to realizing their goals – including in market validation and engaging with investors, customers and talents. Despite a few success stories from this region, many in India are yet to leverage the massive potential of crowdfunding.

(Also Read: 2014 and looking ahead: what’s in store for crowdfunding in 2015 India?)

Here are some compelling Indian crowdfunding projects that have generated a lot of interest in the community this July.

Taxi Fabric: Find your new design canvas

This creative project seeks to provide designers an opportunity to show off their design skills using taxi seats in Mumbai as their canvas. The campaign has received around 100 backers already, and upon reaching their goal they intend to create exquisite taxi seat covers and fit one taxi each week with these designer covers.

More on this Kickstarter project

Loveability: Not just another dating app

This one-of-a-kind matchmaking app focuses on those with disabilities. At this moment around 80 million people with disabilities live in India alone and of which only a small percentage manage to find partners and get married. The team behind Loveability plans to scale fast and with support can further the app development and user-experience.

More on this Wishberry project

 

Are you an Internet of Things (IoT) company keen on leveraging crowdfunding for your new product? We can help!

PLAN YOUR IOT CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN NOW (1)
A crowdfunding campaign for hardware projects can have many benefits – those from engaging with early adopters, product pre-sales to ensuring better inventory planning – these and more can be achieved provided one strategised well for the campaign.

Before taking up a crowdfunding project, do explore –
a) various ways of Asking for the community’s support
b) who are those Influencers who can amplify your reach
c) how much time and effort can you put into its Planning
d) you and your team’s record of Delivering on promises
e) Storytelling as a way of connecting with the masses

I’d presented these learnings during this year’s Global Crowdsourcing Week, where industry leaders agreed crowdfunding was one of the more cost-effective and quicker ways to realise one’s goals, but there was indeed a method to the madness.

My experience working with the IoT community has enabled me to understand the space better (global and local trends) and how projects can see the light of the day. Over the last year or so I’ve also had the opportunity to work closely with IoT projects who that explored their product pre-sales via crowdfunding. Presently along with recent crowdfunding successes, I’ve also been regularly engaging with successful IoT crowdfunding project-owners. The below image’s from a recent IoT startups round-table discussion at NASSCOM.

nasscom-iot2

Now, in order to move the IOT and Crowdfunding space forward, we at CrowdNavigator are looking to assist 3 IoT projects that are looking to take the crowdfunding route within the next 6 months. If you’re a crowdfunding company and interested in seeking CrowdNavigator’s resource networks and expertise in the space, do APPLY NOW. We will finalise the 3 projects by 31 August 2015 (6PM GMT).

Crowdfunding as Growth Hack Tool

(Image source: hockeystickstrategies.com)In our earlier posts we have been sharing how crowdfunding has been adopted well by startups and some in the corporate sector. These apart, and based on my experience working with global platform teams and individual startup projects, it’s venture-funded / growth companies that are most likely to benefit from running a crowdfunding campaign.

Need of the hour for growth companies – those startups which have got their idea validated, a decent set of early-adopters and possibly seed-funding too – is to scale up as the next logical step. In the quest to get more customers and turn big (10-50X), some companies end-up spending more on traditional marketing methods – ones which larger brands can easily match and beat. Instead these growth companies need to explore more out-of-the-box solutions to engage with the large community and attract potential customers.

Crowdfunding project with an initial investment – enough to cover costs of an effective pitch video as well as online and offline resource(s) during the course of the campaign – has a better chance of turning the campaign into a success and realising larger goals in quick time. For growth companies to compete with established firms, how creative one gets with their crowdfunding campaign along with sustaining the community outreach momentum can make a huge difference.

Want implementable strategies to turn your ideas or projects successful? Write to me on vinay@crowdnavigator.com, I’ll be happy to help.

(My recent article on YourStory: Sony joins the crowdfunding bandwagon. Find out other companies that have leveraged crowdfunding)

How Corporates Use Crowdfunding

corporates-cfHuman behavioural traits and values of the new-generation crowd economy are, as expected, not restricted to startups and creative communities alone. Large corporations like GE, IBM and Walmart have demonstrated that crowdfunding can do them a world of good for them too. Here’s a look at some of forays by large corporations.

GE partnered with OurCrowd to co-invest with the crowd in select early-stage companies is areas such as healthcare, energy, software and advanced manufacturing. The initiative was led by GE Partners.

IBM had organised an internal crowdfunding platform for its employees and partner companies to explore innovative ideas in categories such as software, hardware equipment, travel, events and much more.

Walmart through its ‘Get on the shelf’ contest reached out to customers to find out what products they would want on their store shelves. The initiative was led by Walmart Labs.

There were plenty of takeaways here for corporates – from re-invigorating their workforce and learning about new ideas to trend-spotting, future planning and staying up-to-date with the forces of change. If you’re a corporate looking to explore ways for solve some of your company’s challenges, our team would be glad to engage with you and provide some unique strategies that may help you realise your goals.

Crowd Investors, Our Superheroes

(Image source: http://cdn4.list25.com)

(Image source: http://cdn4.list25.com)

At a recently concluded Global Crowdsourcing Week event in Singapore I got an opportunity to share how crowd investors are disrupting the investments space – adding value beyond the regular legal, financial and tax due diligence of startups. I’m not disputing that the legal, financial and tax reviews are important, but along with the assessment those and the technology, what can decide between a startup’s success and failure is evaluating the team’s activities. These are the 5 evaluation of team efforts I’d shared during the event’s Startup Workshop:

Power of Asking
Many of us from the crowdsourcing community, especially those of us involved in the startup space, have seen many startup entrepreneurs shy aways from ask for contributions – even when running a crowdfunding campaign. There can many reasons here, including being labeled desperate for funds and fear of rejection. Startup projects, much more than creative and social ventures, seem to have this challenge.

Power of Influencers
These people are not just those with a large following or having some sort of a celebrity status but also ones who can help create more value from your project. An example here is of an Indian IoT crowdfunding project called ‘Gecko’, who didn’t get much traction until their product message was retweeted by Steve Wozniak (Apple’s cofounder). The media outlets that earlier ignored and rejected them, then started reaching out to them and amplified their campaign’s goal even further.

Power of Planning
Projects like ‘Gecko’ also had a good plan to execute – having 4 top team-members focusing on the project’s outreach efforts. It’s important to identify a team that can give all to the crowdfunding campaign – a success here can do a world of good to their confidence and the company’s growth plans. I would recommend teams plan on not just online activities but also the offline activities, especially the offbeat ones.

Power of Delivering
Most crowdfunding campaigns have giveaways to contributors. If one wants to win not just the minds but also the hearts of contributors, a personalised touch and the speed of delivery can be the answer. Offer additional rewards if one can, nothing like a pleasant surprise for one’s backers. As in most cases, under committing and over performing, can work like a charm.

Power of Storytelling
There’s nothing like listening to a good story. A story that can seamlessly integrate multiple formats of media. They may include those like relevant tweets, infographics and other visually-appealing content, to make the story experience compelling. The impatient generation of today may not have time for lengthy articles like this :p Make sure you share your project updates regularly, so to have your supporters follow your journey right through and much beyond the crowdfunding campaign.

A team and a crowdfunding project that aces all these will be worth investing in. To help you remember these 5, think of a today’s generation that used the power of IPADS (Influencers, Planning, Asking, Delivering & Storytelling). Here’s a random video, but one you’ll love 🙂

CF Platforms: Own no startup, no investor

collaborative-consumptionA message that has been doing the rounds these days:

Uber, the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles.

Facebook, the world’s most popular media creates no content.

Alibaba, the world’s most valuable retailer has no inventory.

Apple, with sales of over 200 million smartphones and tablets does not own a factory.

Whatsapp with 3 million messages a does not own servers.

Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider owns no real estate.

– Disruptive, innovative and collaborative consumption is shifting the lines of the economy.

Dare to innovate.”

Looking at the many other popular companies, including the crowdfunding ones, this has been the trend. In fact the crowdfunding and crowdsourcing epitomise the above qualities of being disruptive, innovative and collaborative. After startups and investors in such scenarios need to taught make change with the resources at their disposal.

This month during Crowdsourcing Week’s signature event (April 20-24) in Singapore, the community influencers and thought-leaders (including those from Airbnb & those working closely with Facebook on projects) are together doing to explore ideas, disrupt and may well together create a new global economy.

For the initiated keen to know more about how to accelerate their business through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding there’s a specially designed workshop on April 24th. Here’s your chance to explore how you too can disrupt and grow together.

Crowdfunding @ Bangalore City

On a week when Bangalore had a series of events coinciding with Social Media Week and the Construkt Festival – India’s Largest Startup Festival, it was Crowdfunding which took centre-stage.
Startups, investors, innovators and the crowds gathered for Catapooolt’s Crowd Pitch Challenge event where close to two dozen startups presented to an investors audience – both seasoned and crowd investors. The crowds were empowered with virtual voting access and had a lot to takeaway from the event.

BANGALORE CROWD PITCH

The culmination of the week of activities also saw a local crowdfunding campaign by social enterprise Bal Utsav organise a ‘Pub Crawl for a Cause’ to raise funds for their crowdfunding campaign.

Pub Crawl DC

The bottomline’s that there more fun and interesting ways to reach out, not just to compelling ideas from a pool of talent but also to crowd investors to raise funds for a project. Get in touch for more unique ideas and success stories.

 

 

Crowdfunding Eve & Steve #Jobs

(Image: itugivakudo.sourceforge.net)

This post’s a reflection of the couple of crowdfunding reads and writes I’ve done during the past couple of weeks. My latest posts featured on YourStory have been on India, currently my home, and a country which has just witnessed a transformational political change. Next up’s an economy’s rejuvenation, led by the creation of #Jobs.

The YourStory article shares ‘10 reasons why India could fall in love with crowdfunding‘ and ‘Five ways investors can make the most of crowdfunding‘ frames some of how entrepreneurs and investors are and can leverage crowdfunding. Most, if not all, of what has been shared makes sense to the global community as well. Here are excerpts from the article:

1. More Jobs For Young India. 9 million Indians enter the job market each year, and this rising number will require the government to prioritize job creation plans, especially if they want the young and restless to be engaged and productive. How better to create jobs than to encourage entrepreneurship! Crowdfunding makes it easier for entrepreneurs to access the early capital they need for their business.

2. Global VCs Track Indian Startups. Stats like 3 out of 4 VC-backed startups fail and 4 out of 5 startups in general tend to fail, do little to increase investor confidence in startups; added to that the fact that most global investors, many US-based, tend to focus on startups in their vicinity. Therefore for Indian startups to grab attention of global VCs they will need to do much more. A successful crowdfunding campaign with some good traction can go a long way in helping investors buy into a startup’s offering.

3. Customer Demand Leads Production. The notion that crowdfunding revolves only around funds can be misleading. While receiving funds may be the ultimate goal, it is the engagement opportunity with potential customers that is one of the biggest value-adds of running a crowdfunding campaign. With the delivery time established in the campaign, the product manufacturers can plan their product as per demand. There are many startups that have successfully planned and sold products with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding helps maintain a good inventory turnover.

4. Collaborative Teams, The New Mantra. Thought-leaders have been regularly sharing various qualities needed for a startup to succeed — from founders’ drive and passion to having the right team in place and a good working relationship with partners. A successful crowdfunding project also requires the various stakeholders to collaborate for the larger goal. For example a product manufacturing company will need its production, delivery, sales and marketing teams to collaborate seamlessly in order to become successful.
Read 6 more reasons & rest of the article

Another important advantage of crowdfunding that I recently read on Forbes was how the concept could be game-changer to help balance the men-women entrepreneur ratio. An untapped pool of talent, crowdfunding’s ideal for stay-at-home moms – who could be aided through funds and other support to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. More from 2013 Forbes article

Crowdfunding For Product Pre-sales Enthusiasts [Infographic]

Full article on Yourstory.com