ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JUN. 28, 2014
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How to Successfully Use Crowdfunding to Launch Your Startup

launch startup

Since the last crash, it has become increasingly difficult for new entrepreneurs to secure funding for their startup. Hence, it became the mission of the newbies to snuff out new ways to garner the cash they needed to get their baby off the ground. Recently, crowdfunding has taken the helm as one of the most lucrative ways to fund startups, and it’s easy to see why. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have already helped willing investors dish out over $2.5 billion to hungry fledgling business owners across the world.

What is "CrowdFunding?"

The basics of crowdfunding revolve around promoting and pitching ideas through a public platform in order to get the word out to possible investors. These sites allow investors and startups to connect and casually schmooze and when a match is made, the investors can give donations of almost any size to their favourite idea/cause/baby business.  

With over 600 crowdfunding sites across the globe, you can be sure to find one that suits your needs. Just about anything can be funded through these platforms including music projects, restaurants, environmental causes, even a Robocop Statue - yes, yes they did.

Getting Started with Crowdfunding 

Investors want facts. In order to be successful in any pitch whether in person or through an internet platform, you must have your proverbial ducks in a row. In other words, know where you are, where you want to go, and how much $$ you need to get there. 

Be creatively disarming. Besides facts, investors want passion. They want you to show them your drive, dreams, and aspirations for your project. But a delicate balance must be maintained here; intertwining cold hard facts with undeniable passion is an art form - perfect it.

Pick your stage. Just like every project is unique, so are the stages which present them. Some crowdfunding sites are great for business, some for environmental causes, some for the world’s largest jock strap - yep, that one too. Investigate different platforms to find out which one suits your cause. After narrowing down your search, find out how each works. For instance, are investors repaid? How are they repaid? Does my cause have to meet my set goal for me to collect my funds? Are some of my funds reserved for platform-use payment? Etc. 

Call for backup. Your friends believe in you, so does your mom. Get them involved in your crowdfunding, let them help you spread the word through word of mouth and social media sharing. If they can pledge a dollar or two, have them do so through the site platform to display good faith to potential investors.

Use multimedia if possible. There is something to be said about a face-to-face investor meeting. This is often the one downside of crowdfunding sites. However, if the site allows, get a video pitch on your platform ASAP. Statistically, video pitches and ads are twice as likely to grab the attention of potential clients/investors. This is because it makes you pitch more personal, believable, and tangible for the watcher.

Remain vigilant. Like with any pitch, follow-ups are essential. Keep a close eye on your platform and keep adding material and updates to keep potential investors interested. Do not relentlessly share your platform link on social media, but be creative with fewer, more potent posts. 

If you’re trying to launch your startup, planning is everything. Be sure to include yourself in your pitch. Starting a business is commendable at the very least because you are stepping out into the unknown, head high. No matter what pitfalls are ahead, never give up; always be looking around the corner for the next best way to keep your ideas - and cash - flowing. Now get out there and get that money. 

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