Social media, like Twitter, is a free tool that can be a gold mine of resources and opportunity for entrepreneurs. Whether an independent film, tech company or food product, all start ups need money. The access to millions and millions of people all over the world (for free) is made possible by online platforms and social media. Used to convey your message about your “big idea.” All start ups are looking for strength and support. For any budding entrepreneur with an idea or a dream – here a few resources and examples of how social media is used to raise money. Launching new ideas and making a positive impact on the world.
Kickstarter – The larges online resource for creative projects. Anything from an album, indie film, fashion design and/or video game – Kickstarter is the place to raise online funds. Users sign up and post their idea including a video/picture and your message. Other users can choose which projects they want to fund. Posts with videos have 50% higher chance of receiving funding than profiles without multimedia content. The goal amount of funds must be raised. All or nothing – if the goal amount is not met……the individual gets no money. Kickstarter encourages investment incentives – like a signed note, t-shirts, stickers and/or other merchandise related to the project or product. Kickstarter is based out of New York, NY. http://www.kickstarter.com/
Other sites similar to Kickstarter (i.e fund creative projects) are http://www.newjelly.com and http://www.rockethub.com/
Sparked – An online platform connecting people with volunteer opportunities all over the world. Also dedicated to enhancing the social business and customer/employee relationship. A great way to raise sweat equity (as Mark Cuban calls it…) and create experiences. A great social tool to bring people together, utilizing their skill sets to grow a company, brand, or cause in the local community. An online platform from San Francisco, CA. http://www.sparked.com/
Kiva – Helping to alleviate poverty all over the world. An online tool which lends money to people in need – users can donate as much money as they want. Then track their loan. Kiva helps lend startup capital to people in third world countries, allowing them to develop their own businesses and become self-sufficient. Whether it’s money for tuition or money for a farmer or local retailer – online money will help keep their businesses and dreams going strong. Loans can be group loans, individual loans and lenders can choose who, what and where. Also based out of San Francisco, CA! http://www.kiva.org
By the end of 2012, there will be over 530 different crowdfunding platforms. – a 60% increase from last year. Types of crowdfunding is broken into four different categories: Donation-Based, Reward-Based (like Kickstarter, fan incentives), Lending-Based and Equity-Based (kind of like the deals on Shark Tank.)
Most crowdfunding platforms are based in the United States, but there has been substantial growth in Europe. Approximate break down is as follows: 191 in the United States, 100+ in the UK and the remaining primarily in Western Europe.
By the end of 2012, it’s projected that crowdfunding has raised over $2,806 million across different platforms like Kickstarter and indiegogo. A 91% increase since 2011!
Have you ever donated money online for a start-up company, project and/or cause? What was the outcome? After reading this blog post – would you?