Home' LAPTOP Magazine : August 2011 Contents Show Me the Money
Want some backing for your great idea or to invest in one? Check out these services.
LoCation: New York, NY
Kickstarter provides a low-risk way for app makers,
artists, designers, and others to start projects
(including restaurants) and obtain funding quickly.
Potential ideas run the gamut from documentary
films and video games to smartphone accessories.
Funding goals and the time frame for meeting
them are set by the project owner. Intellectual
property rights are also solely kept by those
creating the project.
Kickstarter members make pledges to projects
they like by providing credit card info via an Amazon
account. What’s in it for those who pledge funds?
Freebies such as T-shirts and mugs are offered
up—and project creators often give away first-run
units if a product gets made.
When a project fails to reach its stated goals
by the allotted time, the pledgers are not charged.
Conversely, if the target funding is achieved, all
parties involved are billed. Kickstarter does keep
5 percent of the funds raised. The projects listed
on Kickstarter are typically within the $5,000 to
$10,000 rage, though successful projects such
as the Glif have pulled in as much as $137,000.
LoCation: San Francisco, CA
IndieGoGo’s crowdfunding projects, known as
campaigns, can be created by anyone. According
to the company, campaigns fall into three major
areas: creative, entrepreneurial, and cause-based.
As one might expect, creative campaigns encompass
anything from documentary filmmaking and theater
production to novel writing. Cause-based ideas
center on a charitable purpose. Entrepreneurial
projects have the goal of fundraising to launch a
business or product. Those businesses are split
into categories: food, mobile, small business,
sports, and technology.
Creating a campaign is free, and campaign owners
keep control over all of their intellectual property.
All funding goals and time deadlines are set by
owners as well. IndiGoGo will take a 4-percent cut
of successful fundraisers, but if a given campaign
is unsuccessful the service will acquire 9 percent
of any funds donated within the funding period.
IndieGoGo withholds 9 percent of funds raised
from a campaign’s creation and will return 5
percent if funding is successful, so there’s no
financial risk to the owner.
People who wish to support a campaign can
contribute funding via PayPal, credit card, or written
checks. Campaign owners have immediate access to
money raised from the beginning, minus IndieGoGo
fees. IndieGoGo also encourages campaign owners
to offer incentives for funders, such as freebies, a
chance to get products ahead of launch, and even
input during the design process.
LoCation: Los Angeles, CA
Created to provide the tools entrepreneurs need
to get their startup off the ground, ProFounder
guides individuals and fledgling companies
through the entire fundraising process. First,
the site prompts users to investigate investment
rules specific to their location. Next, the service
provides help in crafting a winning pitch, drafting
the terms of investments for up to 35 investors,
and building a fundraising page. ProFounder will
then help users promote their page to the public,
and later manage payments to investors. Besides
the usual incentives for investors, such as early
access to products and marketing merchandise,
funders will receive a share of the profit if a
company does well.
ProFounder screens potential entrepreneurs for
fraud and to weed out those that don’t seem ready
yet. Collecting pledges online will cost you $100,
and you have 30 days to reach your funding goal.
If you fall short, you get nothing. If you reach your
goal, ProFounder will charge you $1,000 more to
facilitate customer service, record keeping, and
maintenance of your online account.
LoCation: Palm Beach County, FL
Launched by Sally Miller Outlaw and Andrew
Rachmell of Palm Beach County, Florida,
Peerbackers follows much the same model of
IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and ProFounder. Users
can start projects and post a funding page with
related pitch on the Peerbacker website. The free
service uses a review process to select potential
clients; entrepreneurs submit their ideas to the site
to become a member, clearly outlining the goal
for the funds (to build a website, to buy a piece
of equipment, etc.). Startups are encouraged to
submit photos and videos of their fundraising plea.
Projects currently are separated into categories
such as art, film, food, music, mobile apps/
gaming, and technology.
You must reach 80 percent of your stated goal
in 15 to 90 days to receive pledged funds, which
can be submitted via PayPal, MasterCard, or Visa.
Anyone can fund a project, and there is no limit to
the funds that can be raised, though Peerbackers
recommends a goal of $25,000 or less. Project
owners receive payments immediately via PayPal.
Peerbackers will take a 5-percent fee of all funds
raised toward your project. A paid membership
option is available to startups for $60 per year, and
it gives you discounts on products and services
to help get you started and makes your page a
Laptop | august 2011
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