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How Pixar Solves Problems From The Inside Out

By   /  April 12, 2015  /  Tech  /  No Comments

It’s easy to forget that Pixar is a technology company. Mostly because the invention that they do is in service of a narrative. When done successfully, your attention is held by that narrative, not but the technical achievements that made it possible. With Inside Out, its newest feature due later this year, Pixar had its own unique set of technical challenges to overcome. A bigger vision… Read More

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How Important Is Email Marketing for Crowdfunding?

By   /  April 6, 2015  /  Business  /  No Comments

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Editor’s Note: Thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign but don’t know where to begin? Check out the advice column below from Rose Spinelli, a crowdfunding campaign consultant who runs The Crowdfundamentals and was named as a top 100 crowdfunding thought leader. Rose is answering questions from the crowd about raising cash via rewards-based crowdfunding. You can submit your own questions to Rose via tweet, Facebook or Google Plus comment, or leaving it in the comments below. You can find her previous tips here.

The question, via LinkedIn:

Hello Rose, I ran a very comprehensive Crowd funding campaign on two different platforms Indiegogo and later gofundme. the capital is for a very advanced antiviral drug for HIV I want to register with the health department in Mexico. After a lot of wasted effort creating videos graphics and alike I never raised one dollar. Bottom line I discovered Crowd funding does not work if one does not have an extensive following with a email list. The Obstacle I face would be the same for many failed campaign how to build a large following, out of interest here is the website for the our new drug discovery. www.narhexhivaids, most of the material on this website was in my campaigns that failed. If you have a solution please let me know. Best wishes, John W. Majewski, CEO Founding Director

The answer:

So that readers can get look at the two campaigns John launched, I asked him to send me the links. Here’s the link to the Indiegogo campaign. And here’s the link to the GoFundMe, which is still currently running.

I do agree that email marketing is absolutely crucial to backer outreach and is a stumbling block for many. I will focus on that first, but will also address briefly a couple of other roadblocks to the campaign’s success.

EMAIL MARKETING IS WHERE THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD

While social media outreach should definitely play a part in garnering support from your existing networks, it’s not only difficult to target and track communications through these channels but there are data indicating that email is five times more likely to convert than a tweet or Facebook post. (Readers, I can’t recall where I read this bit of data, but if anyone knows please leave it in the comments section as I’d love to credit the source.)

Email marketing is where the rubber really hits the road because of its personalized nature. Presuming the email addresses were acquired with permission, a well-crafted, individualized email fulfills one of the primary tenets of crowdfunding: making personal connections with people who share your values and passion, and who are committed to your success.

It stands to reason that the larger your funding goal, the more extensive your email list should be. And while most crowdfunding platforms have an email component built in, they will only capture existing backers, not help you solicit new ones.

Don’t forget to:

Create interesting blog content. That is hands down one of the best ways to attract people and keep them coming back.
Make your communication interactive by inviting readers to ask questions and promote future communication.
Prompt readers to join your mailing list through a popup window on your blog.
If you really want to get fancy, there are many software tools and services out there to systematize and automate your email campaign, such as AWeber.com and Campaigner.com.

ALL CATEGORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL

For good reason, health-related campaigns are under particular scrutiny. That’s why guidance as to how to sidestep doubts in your project’s validity is important. It’s one thing to persuade someone to buy an innocuous product that doesn’t fulfill all of its promises, such as a coffeemaker or a game. But when our health is on the line, we want to be absolutely sure it’s not worthless, or worse, harmful. That’s why publications like PandoDaily are performing such an important service in the crowdfunding space with its investigative pieces on campaigns like the fitness tracking Kreyos smartwatch and Healbe GoBe, the wearable calorie counter.

PLATFORM SELECTION

Platform choice is important for science / health campaigns. If John decides to relaunch, he may want to consider researching some niche platforms. If he chooses well, he’ll likely to get more personalized attention and marketing advice than he did with Indiegogo or GoFundMe.

CLARITY AND GOAL MODESTY ARE THE BEST POLICY

A streamlined story told simply with a modest funding goal usually wins the day. One problem this project faces is that the science is complicated, which can cause backers to shy away.

Additionally, crowdfunding is by definition project-based. So if John can find a way to winnow down his project (and along with it his story) to one simplified aspect of the overall project, which would also likely reduce his funding request, he would have a better chance of meeting his mark. Unfortunately most project creators resist this advice, to their detriment.

Yet here’s an example of a campaign, launched on Pozible, that followed that conventional wisdom and is enjoying lots of press and has already surpassed its funding goal with almost two months to go. This is further evidence that aiming lower and being clear attracts a bigger crowd willing to give.

Tags: crowd-funding, crowdfunding, crowdfunding-advice, rose-recommends, rose-spinelli

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Improv Is The Best Conditioning For Startup Life

By   /  March 1, 2015  /  Tech  /  No Comments

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Four years ago, I participated in my first improv comedy class. In 2013, Mahmoud Arram and I co-founded Bluecore, a marketing technology company whereevery single employee is required to complete an improv 101 class within the first four months on the job. In terms of importance, this ranks right up there with required reading and sales training. But why? Read More

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Silicon Valley to meet with CrowdFuning Expert next week MARCH 5th

By   /  March 1, 2015  /  Business  /  No Comments

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http://ow.ly/JMQYM Keynote speakers include:

Dr. Richard Swart of UC Berkeley and Crowdfund Capital Advisors
Ron Suber President of Prosper Funding LLC and Prosper Marketplace, Inc
Doug Ellenoff – Senior partner at Ellenoff Grossman & Schole
Tim Draper Founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Many other well known names in the crowdfunding industry are scheduled to speak.

The event is being organized by Silicon Valley Crowdfund Ventures and CrowdfundBeat

Tags: crowdfunding-crowdfund-svcrowdfund

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Crowd Coffee: December 15

By   /  December 15, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments

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Gaza Tech Incubator Finds Success In International Crowdfunding | NPRAfter one month of an Indigogo campaign, the tech hub Gaza Sky Geeks passed its minimum goal of raising $70,000 to keep the shared workspace in a Gaza City high-rise open. The group extended the campaign for a month to try to raise $250,000 — enough money to keep staff through next year and run an international hackathon. Gaza Sky Geeks Director Iliana Montauk began to plan the fundraising campaign during the war this summer, as the major grant that began the program ran out. After three conflicts in Gaza over the past five years, she was unsure whether people would invest in Gaza again.

Federal opposition outlines equity-based crowdfunding position | Startup SmartThe paper titled “Making CSEF a reality in Australia” noted that any legislation needed to balance the need to support “Australia’s most innovative companies” while also recognising the need to protect investors. It also reiterated calls for the government to act as quickly as possible. The paper is the result of what the Labor party says was broad consultation with the startup industry, and follows the federal government’s release of its own discussion paper last week.

Why slow and steady approach to crowdfunding may pay off | Startup SmartThe Financial System Inquiry has taken a “slow and steady” approach to financial crowdfunding, despite perceptions that Australia is lagging behind in this area. While acknowledging the wide range of global crowdfunding models, the report focuses on securities-based crowdfunding such as crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) or debt, and peer-to-peer lending (P2P), recommending: “Graduate fundraising regulation to facilitate crowdfunding for both debt and equity and, over time, other forms of financing.”

As feds drag feet on investment ‘crowdfunding’ rules, states — including Oregon — fill void | Oregon LiveTheir venture turned out to be a timely one. A year ago, Michigan passed a bill that would let businesses crowdfund startup or expansion costs through small investments from a large number of investors, and Tecumseh Brewing Co. was ready to be a test case. The rest of the brewery’s capital — $175,000 — ended up coming from 21 Michigan investors, most of whom Schmidt and DeWitt had never met.

Platforms and crowdsourcing: The office of the 21st century | GigaOmCrowdsourcing of resources: Whether it’s a room on Airbnb or knowledge on Wikipedia, the value on a platform is created by mobilizing resources that aren’t necessarily owned or controlled by the organization itself. A major advantage of the platform is that it doesn’t have to invest in all of these resources. Its reason for existence is simply to create synergies between them.

Breaking Tradition! Using Crowdsourcing As Part Of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy | Business 2 CommunitySocial media is a great marketing platform to empower and engage with your brand community. Relating to them on a human level and empowering them creates a situation where a brand can attain information which can lead to robust and successful marketing in the future. Crowdsourcing is the new market research and allows a level of co-operation between brand and consumer that derives significant value. Crowdsouring is defined as a ‘process of needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from large sums of people and especially online communities.’

Crowdsourcing team develops better method for detecting epileptic seizures | Mother Nature NetworkAn international competition is showcasing the power of crowdsourcing by helping to launch a new method to detect, predict and prevent epileptic seizures. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that affects roughly 1 percent of the population. It is characterized by seizures or episodes of disturbed brain activity that have been likened to electrical storms in the brain. The difficulty for sufferers is knowing when these seizures are going to hit and taking appropriate measures to prevent them.

The Street Store: A Lesson for the Sharing Economy? | Triple PunditThe Street Store seems to work because it reaches its goal simply and straight-forwardly, and because its ultimate product is the self-esteem and self-worth that’s gained by both parties. It takes a page from the early days of the sharing economy when sharing your neighbor’s drill or lending out a bicycle was the sum of the act, and where community action was the intended product, not the commercial outcome. It’s a lesson that may have great value as we move into the new year, and it’s encouraging to know it’s an attitude that still thrives where it counts most.

Putting Britain at the heart of the sharing economy | The TelegraphBeing closely monitored by a furry pooch is not a sensation I’m used to. But it’s all part of a new experience my kids hounded me into when we first came across BorrowmyDoggy.com. The site, launched two years ago in London, hooks up canine-lovers with dog-owners for short periods of time in a neat quid pro quo that perfectly exemplifies the sharing economy in action. You have what I want, so we’ll connect online via a low-cost website and make a transaction.

Google wants to advance the Internet of things, offers grants for ‘open innovation’ research proposals | Venture BeatKicking off the new “Open Web of Things” program, Google is inviting research proposals from academics interested in embarking on a “cross­disciplinary expedition intended to address the complex challenges and opportunities before us as we explore the next generation of systems, services and Internet­connected devices.” More specifically, Google wants proposals that address things like user interface and application development, privacy and security, and systems and protocols.

Tags: crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, open-innovation, sharing-economy

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ALS Worldwide Launches Crowdfunding Campaign To Help Research Consortium Bring Promising ALS Drug To Clinical Trial

By   /  November 30, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments

“The Ice Bucket Challenge showed us that people want to contribute directly to research,” said Stephen Byer, ALS Worldwide’s Co-Executive Director. “They want to see their dollars actually making a difference in treatments available to patients. There’s only one FDA-approved option right now, and it only extends life by a couple of months. The crowdfunding campaign is a way for people to contribute directly to bring this specific treatment—vetted by experts and supported by a consortium of research teams—into a clinical trial. This is a concrete way to make a difference.”

SOURCE:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/als-worldwide-launches-crowdfunding-campaign-to-help-research-consortium-bring-promising-als-drug-to-clinical-trial-282941341.html

Tags: als, crowd-funding, crowdfunding, crowdsourced, crowdsourcing

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Crowd Coffee: November 25

By   /  November 25, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments

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What’s the difference between crowdfunding and panhandling? | MarketWatchSome crowdfunding campaigns are also suspect. Take the curious incident of Steve Tan who wanted to make a waterproof, voice-activated smartwatch. He asked for $100,000 on Indiegogo, and received $1.5 million, yet many of those who got a watch said it didn’t even keep the correct time. The inventor allegedly posted photos of himself on Facebook with a new red Ferrari and shopping bags from designer stores. (The fundraiser said those photos were taken prior to the campaign and he didn’t own the Ferrari. “I never used a single cent of the money I crowdfunded from Indiegogo for my personal use or gain,” he wrote in a post to disgruntled donors.)

MicroGraam inks partnership with crowd funding platform for social good Kiva.org | The Economic TimesPeer-to-peer microlending platform MicroGraam has inked a strategic partnership with crowd funding platform for social good Kiva.org enabling people globally to fund low-income microfinance borrowers in MicroGraam’s network of NGO partners in India.Alongside, the partnership expands Kiva’s ability to crowd fund microloans in India.

William Shatner explores new worlds of self-publishing and Kickstarter | The GuardianShatner has turned to Kickstarter to raise the $50,000 (£32,000) he needs to release Catch Me Up, and just a few days in, the actor has already brought in donations of more than $15,000. The book will be a combination of stories Shatner has collected from people “who had been laid off, lost careers, had been downsized and replaced by younger people with more tech skills; but who actually fought back and won”, alongside “the vital tools and training needed to accomplish great things at any age”, he explains on his Kickstarter.

The 3 key ingredients to a successful crowdfunding campaign | The American GeniusPR companies orchestrate launches like Houston blasts rockets. Get the timing right and get the right people talking about your product. Organic traffic from your crowdsourcing platform won’t account for much more than 10 percent of a successful campaign’s booty, so you’re going to have to look elsewhere. PR firms such as Inner Circle Labs (which launched Jibo), JumpStarter PR, or BAM Communications (which focuses on innovation) should be considered.

Crowdfunding page deleted after man is busted with bogus photos | KESQKESQ found out the picture Kevin Fish had on the site of anx-ray of a person with bone cancer was identical to one published in a medical journal in 2007. When asked about this Fish, claims that the photo was taken by his cell phone at the doctors office on 12/20/14 and he was told by the doctor that it was an image of his MRI. “I’m telling you what happened, as God as my witness,” says Fish, “I was in the office. He put this up on there, after I sat in an MRI box for 30 minutes taking me taking pictures of my body,” says Fish.

One reporter is crowdsourcing the price of health care | Washington PostHer database relies on reports for individuals and hasn’t been without its problems. The most common complaints, Aliferis writes, is that it’s still hard to comparison shop — it’s not going to be easy as buying a retail item online. Also, the price of a health-care service doesn’t say anything about the quality of that service. In health care, there’s really no correlation between the two.

NYU Game Center Director Discusses Unique ‘Together We Game’ Video Game Crowdsourcing Project | Design & Trend“The Internet allows for this kind of open, collaborative, community-based design — people making maps and mods, player-generated content, open betas where the player-community feedback is a big part of the design process,” Lantz explained. “Some of the ideas have been so detailed and imaginative; I’m really impressed by how passionate and committed the fans have been,” he added.

Call for fair deal in ‘sharing economy’ | Herald ScotlandIndividuals should be able to earn £10,000 a year tax-free in the “sharing economy” by renting out their spare rooms, cars or other assets, a business leaders’ group has said. A growing number of householders are making money by renting out all or part of their homes temporarily to strangers through websites like Airbnb, and other schemes allow people to hire assets ranging from vehicles to tools, musical instruments, parking spaces and even dogs to take for a walk.

New Research Gets Into The Underbelly Of The Sharing Economy | PR NewswireAmericans have been reluctant to participate in the sharing economy. To date, the barriers to sharing have often outweighed the motivations that drive people to engage in sharing activities. When Americans share, they have splintered motives, often as personal as they are for the collective good. While most people think helping the less fortunate (53%) is a good reason to share, they are almost as motivated by convenience and practicality (28%) and saving or making money (28%) as they are from connectivity(22%) and a desire to own less (15%).

Tags: crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, sharing-economy

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The humanity of George R.R. Martin

By   /  November 16, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments

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SANTA FE — A fully grown Arctic wolf saunters around guests near the concession stand of author George R.R. Martin’s movie theater. As the wolf revels in the attention from strangers at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, Martin himself makes small talk in a corner, his peculiarly jolly laugh easily distinguished above the noise of the room

It’s a scene you’d imagine would take place in an artsy, futuristic Winterfell, set long after the events of Game of Thrones‘ upcoming fifth season. But it’s real life, happening in 2014

Martin and his team are hosting a small group of town members and charity organizers at the theater to present the local recipients of his recent Prizeo charity crowdfunding drive with their $172,485.53 checks. The beneficiaries of that campaign — in which Martin famously auctioned off three in-book deaths for donators who pledged $20,000 — are The Food Depot of New Mexico and the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. This, it is explained to me, is why Flurry, the aforementioned large Arctic wolf, is in the house. Read more…

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We chatted with George R.R. Martin, and all he talked about was death

By   /  November 16, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments

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Grrm-ap

Feed-twFeed-fb

SANTA FE — A fully grown Arctic wolf saunters around guests near the concession stand of author George R.R. Martin’s movie theater. As the wolf revels in the attention from strangers at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, Martin himself makes small talk in a corner, his peculiarly jolly laugh easily distinguished above the noise of the room

It’s a scene you’d imagine would take place in an artsy, futuristic Winterfell, set long after the events of Game of Thrones‘ upcoming fifth season. But it’s real life, happening in 2014

Martin and his team are hosting a small group of town members and charity organizers at the theater to present the local recipients of his recent Prizeo charity crowdfunding drive with their $172,485.53 checks. The beneficiaries of that campaign — in which Martin famously auctioned off three in-book deaths for donators who pledged $20,000 — are The Food Depot of New Mexico and the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. This, it is explained to me, is why Flurry, the aforementioned large Arctic wolf, is in the house. Read more…

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U.K. Spy Agency Chief Goes Public With Anti-Encryption Appeal To U.S. Tech Companies

By   /  November 4, 2014  /  Tech  /  No Comments

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In what must be one of the most high profile consequences of last year’s Snowden revelations, which detailed the extent of government dragnet digital surveillance programs, the new chief of U.K. spy agency GCHQ has made a public appeal to U.S. technology companies to co-operate in handing over user data to support its counter terror efforts. Read More

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