Power of the Crowd

wevolunteersAs part of an event by the Digital Empowerment Foundation India, we were introduced to startups that are into spaces such as Crowdsourcing Votes, Volunteers, Food and more. Is Crowdsourcing the way forward to solving global challenges?
Check out some of these startups and let us know what you think of them.

Crowdsourcing Votes
Change.org – A platform that seeks support for petitions directed towards policy-makers in an effort to create a true democracy.

Jaago Re – A cause marketing initiative launched by Tata Tea in 2008 to raise awareness for issues around Indian general elections, citizenship and social causes.

Greenpeace – An activism platform for campaigns dedicated to protecting naturally available resources like air, water and forests to prevent the dangerous impacts of climate change, nuclear power and modern development.

Jhatkaa – A campaigning organisation committed to building grassroots citizen power in effective and innovative ways to engage citizens to hold corporate, cultural and government leaders accountable.

Crowdsourcing Volunteers
Youngistaan Foundation – One of India’s largest networks of volunteers that is committed to making a difference in the community by helping those in need.

iVolunteer – A social enterprise that brings together volunteers and organisations to share time, skills and passion to promote social development.

Bhumi – An organisation that provides youngsters a platform to serve the society and bridge the gap between the educated and the uneducated by educating and mentoring children from orphanages, slum and village community centres across the country.

Crowdsourcing Food
Robin Hood Army – A volunteer-based initiative that crowdsources surplus food from restaurants and makes it available to the less fortunate people.

Annakshetra – Another volunteer-based organisation that targets ceremonies, functions and parties to procure surplus food and make it available to the needy.

Crowdsourcing FinTech Stories

(Image source: venturebeat.com)(Note: FinTech is a term used for startups into Financial Technology)
6 Types of Businesses You Can Start With Almost No Cash

1. Personal creations
2. In-home services
3. Repair or skill based services
4. Consulting
5. Resale
6. Micropreneurship
Read more

4 Reasons Why an Online Business is the Best Investment You Will Ever Make
1. Offers incredible scalability
2. Provides limitless freedom
3. Low overhead and high margins
4. Access to a worldwide market
Read more

5 Fintech Startups To Watch In 2017
1. Metromile – Offers pay-per-mile insurance and a driving app
2. Cadre – Capturing large pools of capital required to fund major commercial deals
3. Stash – Managing your investments via smartphone
4. Tilt – social network built around money
5. Cross River Bank – Marketplace lending
Read more

What Is Your Probability Of Raising Funding?

Crowdsourcing Startup Discovery

matrixpartner2-collage1In the past couple of months there have been several startups that have been discovered by Crowd Product’s peer-driven community-supported efforts. These pitching startups have been validated by those ranging from investors and industry leaders to potential customers. Here are some of the startups that pitch to a large audience, received feedback and validation, and won:

MindIQ – Business On Chat

An Artificial Intelligence company in the B2B space, MindIQ is a plug and play ‘Chatbot builder platform’, which helps businesses get on to any conversational platform in just a few minutes. The conversational platforms here include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and Slack.

PiBell – Smart Doorbell

PiBell achieved a rare feat by receiving a full score from the meetup’s audience. A product by PiOctave, PiBell is a small doorbell that enables video surveillance and aims to move people from just recording video surveillance to reacting live to situations.

Sensy Smart Remote

The remote enables one to personalise their favourite TV shows, channels, actors and movies, all with a simple voice search. The Sensy app aims to revolutionise the way people interact with their television sets.

You can find more recent startups that have been validated by audiences and won startup pitching competitions. Have any interesting startup to add, do share here.

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.


Bringing to you the ‘Era of Trust Economy’

Image credit: learnersonline.comThe sharing economy – where businesses leverage the use of available resources optimally through technology and by reducing wastage of resources, has been evolving constantly. These not-as-usual-businesses include, taxi-sharing startups like Uber, home/room rental companies like Airbnb as well as the many e-commerce marketplaces and crowdsourcing platforms available.
In a recent post I’d come across, it became clear that the ‘Trust economy’ is where we are headed to. Trust economy as defined by the article:

Allows individuals to provide a service, often at a cheaper rate than the standard market price, which is accessible to a large network of users through a branded platform, which acts as a vehicle for collective trust and accountability.
All models depends on trusting a virtual stranger to do what they promise, hence why it has been called the ‘trust economy’.

Startups fitting such a criteria have been disruptive, especially of the traditional players, and in effect have given consumers more value. Here’s what consumers have gained from this trust economy:

  • More cost-effective solutions due to service-offerings being on-demand
  • A sense of belonging as consumers too can become providers of such services
  • Technology here has enabled direct engagement with the end service provider
  • Digital profiles and reviews have facilitated easy validations of service providers
  • More personalised experiences, with service providers turning disruptive players

Another major deliverable of the ‘Trust Economy’ that the technology-led ecosystem has enabled one to become more ‘creative’ in their businesses and solution-finding general. All one needs to do is increase their ‘reputation capital’.

Personally, I see the growth of the ‘Trust Economy’ essential to a community’s success – as it has the ability to transform mindsets and provides more room for innovative solutions to meet challenges.

Interested in the ‘Crowd, Sharing & Trust’ economies? Join me and several others at the following flagship startup conferences in Bangalore this month:
NASSCOM Product Conclave
YourStory’s TechSparks

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.

Cheering Crowdfunding Events this April

(Image: entrepreneur.com)

Along with a host of articles, expert advisors, planners, solutions providers emanating from 100’s of crowdfunding platforms around the world, there are various events (conferences, workshops, meet-ups) that are advancing the capabilities and growth of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing all over the world.

This April these are some events we will be keeping track of:

We will be following insights from these crowdfunding events and more. We are also keen to touch base with attendees and event organizers to hear of their learnings and experiences. Apart of these, this month we will organize a some smaller crowdfunding meet-ups at emerging crowdfunding destinations. Stay tuned to hear more.

Let us know if there are other similar events and we would be happy to connect with you and help you spread the word.

Future of Ideas, Innovation & Creativity from Crowdsourcing

This June Crowd Navigator were at the Crowdsourcing Week Singapore 2013, listening to some exciting thought leader share their latest ‘crowd’ insights and how crowdsourcing and funding can drive business success in the new collaborative economy.

What’s crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing is the new practice of harnessing collaboration for problem-solving, innovation and efficiency. It is based on loose and open networks of both amateurs and professionals powered by new technologies, social media and web 2.0, as defined by the recently-concluded Crowdsourcing Week.

Here’s a montage of some compelling slides from the event presentations

Best of Crowdsourcing Week 2013 Singapore from Vinay Dora

Credits: Wiki Brands by Sean Moffitt; Now & Next: Future of Engagement by Gaurav Mishra; The Future of Creativity and Innovation by Ross Dawson; Accelerating Innovation and Marketing through Crowdsourcing by Francois Petavy; Crowdsourcing A Fashion Empire by Roger Yuen; Crowd Advertising Success Stories and Challenges

Hearty Thanks to the crowds for moving our world forward!