FunderCloud: Contrast, Compare, Fund!

Tip of the Week

Many a happy dance was performed when Kickstarter announced their advanced search function recently. But there are still gaps to be filled in how people discover projects, and for that there is FunderCloud, the mobile app that allows users to browse and compare crowdfunding projects between Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

A systems engineer beat out Kickstarter and Indiegogo in developing an app for both iPhone and iPad that allows you to filter projects across both sites, by popularity, and by time created and/or ended. It also lets you easily keep tabs on your favorite projects and receive alerts when projects are reaching the end of their funding cycles. (Kickstarter does have a mobile app for iPhones only.)

Developer Dave Knell says he wants FunderCloud to be a “single pane of glass” for crowdfunding — something that may annoy all those other platforms out there who are not represented — but his idea certainly moves things in the right direction.

To continue reading, please go to Crowdsourcing.org for my weekly Tip of the Week column.

 

http://www.crowds

Pitch Video Creation Made Eas(ier)

A while back I created a video called “Anatomy of a Pitch Video.” It was a kind of meta-vid designed as a free resource for “Perfecting the Pitch Video” one of six sections in my series of crowdfunding classes, which you honestly should check out if you haven’t already because, well, they’re good and the price is right!

Anyway, the video was meant to encourage people to make their own pitch videos, if the project allowed. By which I mean that you’re not trying to raise funds for a product that requires professional-grade videography to show the product in its best light, for example. If that’s the case by all means go with a pro.

“Anatomy” is all about demystifying the process, which I know scares a lot of people. In a blow-by-blow procedural I talk about all the elements you’ve got to get right: lighting, audio, editing, and the script. If you plan to use music I touch on issues of copyright and how to make sure you stay on the right side of the law. Most of all I stress that you’ll have a better video if you have Fun!!!

Here it is:

Over Christmas, I gave and received more excellent tips on DIY pitch video creation that I wanted to share.

First, the giving. As some of you may know I do a weekly Tip of the Week column for Crowdsourcing.org. As a special gift to readers, I gathered 10 of my trusted crowdfunding insiders and asked them for their tip to impart to readers. Here’s what they had to say.

Holla to colleague Sally Outlaw for providing a really great one. She recommended the iOgrapher, which started out as a successful Kickstarter campaign and is currently selling like hotcakes—for good reason. The iOgrapher is a support case for the iPad mini that uses handles to make the video experience steady and therefore easy on the eyes. It’s also got mounts for audio equipment and lights, and you can mount it on a tripod and add lenses. For sixty bucks.

The gift to me came on Christmas day—probably not a big news day for most legacy publications, even the New York Times. But I was reading the Personal Tech section and stumbling on an article that I feel works as a kind of a complement to my aforementioned “Anatomy” video, so I had to share. (Did I mention the video is a FREE resource available with my crowdfunding online classes you should all be checking out? Hmm? Just in case, I’ll remind you. The classes are called Working the Crowd: Know the Fundamentals.)

The author, Erik Olsen—holla to you, too—provides the newest, very affordable (or free) tools to “Unlock Your Inner Movie Director (And Editor).” If you want to use your smartphone or tablet to make your pitch video—and it’s so easy why wouldn’t you?—here are the highlights Olsen’s awesome research uncovered:

GorillaPod is a neat tripod that’s got just about everything going for it. (Prices start at $19.95)

Rode Smart-Lav is a clip-on mic compatible with iPhones and most Androids. ($60)

Viddy is a video app that allows you string together clips and add music. Caveat: Best for the simple pitch videos as you are limited to 30 seconds.

Capture is a youtube free offering. You can film as long as you want and then assemble, but the editing function is basic.

Directr – is a free app with a storyboarding feature.

iMovie 2.0  in “Anatomy” I talk about the wonders of iMovie. But iMovie 2.0 is simplified and if you are a iOS7 user the app is free for iPhones and iPads. (Sorry Android users.)

 

Mortgages of the Future is the Future of Crowdfunding

Watch this video and I’ll meet you back here afterwards.

 

I stumbled upon this campaign after reading an odd interaction on an Internet discussion group the other day, and I got curious. (Our yogi here asked an innocent question that was misunderstood. A small kerfuffle ensued. It happens.) But oh what a gold mine I ended up stumbling upon! Now go look at the ProHatch crowdfunding campaign. Meet you back afterwards.

Let’s look at the two pieces—the project and the video—and how they feed one another. Working backward, Mortgages of the Future, created by yogi Joseph Kurczodyna, has a serious goal. The mortgage industry is broken, many people have suffered terribly since the real estate crash and burn of 2008, and the kicker is that the problems have not been fixed or even adequately addressed. Who doesn’t see the need for a change? Besides Wall Street.

No doubt about it, however, when Kurczodyna went with this concept he took a risk. At first I too looked at it and wondered if there was a technology gaff. The gag went on for under 20 seconds—perhaps due to the fact that even though Kurczodyna executes a killer Crow pose, (in a suit no less) you can only hold it so long before your breathing betrays you—and he soon righted himself.  But the impression it left—including the supporting actors doing a stoic head stand and a leg raise and all topped with a little syncing of message to arm-raise choreography—was real and fresh and in line with an important part of who Kurczodyna is.

I’m currently working with very game clients to create a pitch video that is in complete juxtaposition with who they are in their business lives: conservative and perhaps even a bit buttoned down, an assessment with which I’m sure they too would agree. But they are daring to step outside that mold because, well,  this is crowdfunding not a corporate collateral piece of marketing! The concept we settled on does not at all require them to be anything but themselves, a real must in my opinion, and a place where I see the most stumbling occur: Don’t be zany just to be zany; do it with intention, and you will be memorable and hopefully successful.

Kurczodyna told me  he showed his video to some accredited investors, with whom he’s used to working. They didn’t “get” it. Maybe not so surprising, though to that I would say progress or die.

Through his current rewards-based crowdfunding, and an equity offering he will pursue down the line, Kurczodyna says,  “I’m trying to create a trend in how mortgage companies serve the public.” He adds, “I’m trying to take real estate out of the economy.”

A very progressive idea placed on a very progressive venue and viewed hopefully by some very progressive thinkers.

Now I have to go practice my head stand.

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Two Good Blog for Pre- and Post-Launch Insights

Tip of the Week

There are two steps that crowdfunders seem tempted to gloss over. The first is the labor-intensive but massively beneficial pre-launch stretch that, when unattended to, can leave the unprepared in the dust.

The other is the fulfillment process. Prepping for it entails an organized and accurate assessment of costs, time, and labor commitments, and an accurate estimate for delivery.

The more due diligence and research and you conduct in these areas, the more likely you are to dodge bullets and avoidable headaches that can pound your pocketbook in equal measure.

Here are two sites whose entire reason for being is pre- and post-campaign work. Though you probably have heard of them, you may not be aware that they have logged some very informative blog posts. Often data-driven and quite granular, keep them on your radar and it will pay off. Sure, other blogs cover the pre- and post-launch intervals. But if you have a broken foot who would your rather see, a podiatrist or a general practitioner?

To continue reading, please go to my weekly Tip of the Week column on Crowdsourcing.org

The Future of thepresent

I was taken by the idea of an annual clock that told time through seasonal shifts called thepresent the moment I laid eyes on it on Kickstarter in 2011. But I couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger on the $125 price tag. When the campaign ended to great success, I had a bad case of the opposite of buyers’ remorse. To weaken my sense of regret, I sent the link to my husband with a note that said, If you are ever stumped on a gift for me, get me this!  I forgot about it but bless his heart he did not, and on my birthday this year the box arrived in the mail.

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I wasn’t expecting such artistry. Even the packaging laid claim to it. I felt compelled to contact Scott Thrift the creator of thepresent. What follows is our Skype conversation after he wrote back and told me my email couldn’t have come at a better time because he was contemplating running a second crowdfunding campaign. I wanted to share our talk because his journey touches on all the most crucial elements of successful crowdfunding, much of which, when you are in the thick of it can feel a lot like confusion and a maddening sense that you might be hopelessly lost.

 Everything converged for him when he remembered what he did best. In doing so I think his process can be an inspiration to other entrepreneurs who have a dream they want to bring into the world. Rather than telling you, I felt there would be greater value in getting it straight from him. Afterwards, read my Tip of the Week for more about details Scott Thrift’s journey into The Future of thepresent.

It seems I caught you at a crucial time in the life of thepresent

I’ve been going through lots of changes with the clock. In fact, I recently stepped away from the  video production company I’ve been involved with since 2005 to do the clock full time.

I decided this is my destiny, to explore what are these clocks? It’s one thing to have a project on Kickstarter and to have people respond to it. It’s a whole other thing to make it real. On one level I had no expectations. On another level there was this whole other thing, which is that the clock is altering how people think about time. I hoped it would do that. So I’ve been asking myself what’s next? How do I bring it back to life?

When you wrote back you told me you wanted to run another Kickstarter but weren’t certain how it would go over. You asked me if I knew of anyone who ran a second successful crowdfunding campaign. I did some research and learned that 99% Invisible, another campaign that went back to the crowd after a hugely successful first effort, had recently launched a second campaign. (The first campaign was the highest funded in the Journalism category.) What struck a chord for you about that project?

It amazes me how everything eventually all fits together. I’ve been agonizing for the past few months thinking, Good grief! How do I do this? How do I keep this company alive and grow it? Then you sent me 99% Invisible and I thought, Make an independent video series, you dummy!

The key thing was this idea of “Season One.” I immediately thought to myself that what it says is This is a commitment. There will be a “Season Two.”  And it’s only going to get better. It helped me wrap my head around what I wanted to do in a way I didn’t expect.

I feel so lucky that I’ve struck such a chord with people to the point that they said, I want that, I want to live with that clock. Now I have a responsibility to tell their stories, too. That’s what I want to do with the video series once a month for every full moon.

I really appreciated the fact that you took your time and the hard road to find your point of view before launching a second campaign. That contemplation time is what many people tend to gloss over.

I really have to give credit to the clock for that. It gives me a sense of scale. There’s probably always going to be a part of me that feels a sense of urgency that I have to figure this out now! But then I just glance at the clock. It did take time but it’s all come around. I now know what I have to do in a way I didn’t know a few weeks ago. I only knew I wanted to put it in front of people who are already thinking about the world in the different way, are already interested in raising consciousness and becoming more aware. The clock actually does that to you.

In your first campaign you sold over 800 sold clocks. You sold some post-campaign, and you have about 700 left because you ended up making 2,000 pieces.  Can you talk about how the numbers worked out?

So on Kickstarter I only budgeted $24,000 for 100 clocks. The clocks cost $125 a piece to make. If you do the math that doesn’t really work out. So it wound up costing a great deal more.

But remember the clocks I thought I was going to make—maybe they would work, maybe they weren’t going to work; it was just a hack. I didn’t realize I was making something that didn’t exist before. But once I raised the money I thought Oh maybe I should make the world’s first annual clock as a real product.

I also wanted to make it like an heirloom so I made it out of steel and glass—everything was high quality. It cost three times the amount of money. I had to raise additional funds because I couldn’t get anyone to lift a pencil unless we made 2,000 units.

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Are you making new prototypes of the clock?

Yes, I am developing simplified versions of the clock and experimenting on how to keep the price down. There are a couple of ways it could go. I don’t know, maybe it’s in Target in a few years; maybe I take it to China.  But I have a lot of research before I take the next step with the clocks.

You plan to use the unsold clocks as perks, correct?
I think it only makes sense. They would be essentially the remaining units of the First Edition at limited and bracketing price scales.

My goal is to have as many people as possible live with these clocks. The most valuable exchange would be if those people who already have the clock and would love to give them as gifts but can’t afford it—I’m going to offer it to them at a limited, lower pricing tier.

I believe there’s this whole market of people who want to know how to live a good life. There’s a functional work of art happening here. It’s something that happens to you over the span of a year.

Can you talk about your marketing plan for thepresent in your first campaign?

I have to be honest I’m not a great marketer—that’s just not what I do. My backers were the Kickstarter demographic, so it was self-selecting. I also went into it thinking everyone can use one of these. That’s the first lesson of marketing: if you’re marketing to everyone you’re marketing to no one.

Do you know feel you know your market now?

I’m still learning. I think it’s going to be a journey, and to have this definitive thing—the full moon—that happens each month and to say every full moon I’m going to update everyone and make it interactive. I hope to find out who my market is and the best way to talk about it through that process.

And I’ve had some surprises. Some of the most amazing responses have come from people who have children. Someone from Washington state wrote and said he found me by accident just strolling around online—which is scary to someone like me! I thought that’s something I really have to fix.

But this guy wrote this really heartfelt note. He said that when he found the clock his 18-month-old son insisted on doing everything himself. He had to tie own shoes, he had to feed the cat—this kid just had to do it alone. The parents were very frustrated by this because everything took so long, and they were busy and had things that needed to get done! It was killing them.

So they got the clock and they put it in the living room. The guy said it’s changed everything about how he views time. Now he cherishes the time it takes his son to do these things. He said now when I feel rushed I look at the clock. It was exactly the shift he needed. So that’s a whole other market I hadn’t thought of.

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What’s your plan for the second Kickstarter campaign, The Future of thepresent video series?

For me the questions are who needs this clock and what does it do to people? I feel like there’s something so special about video and I think it would be so interesting to make the series a part of the discovery process. This clock never existed before and I feel a responsibility to tell its story. Whatever winds up happening–let’s fast forward 12 months from now—maybe it was only meant to be those 2000 clocks and that’s it, it’s the end of the story; nobody wants these things anymore. I’d have t swallow that fact, but at least I’d feel like I could move on.

You’re asking for $24,000 this time, too?

Yes, because that’s to the dime how much it will cost to make 12 episodes. But that’s if I stay in the U.S. If I raise more I’ll be able to go to Europe to interview some owners there. The more money I make obviously the better the show will be.

The money I’m asking for on 11-12-’13 is explicitly about making an independent video series. I’m coming at this video series as an artist. I’ve been given a gift. As a storyteller I’ve spent so much time editing and figuring out how to tell the stories in the films I’ve made. Since 2005 until the summer of this year I’ve made about 300 short films. This clock is the time that essentially I was making every video for. And I wanted to make every video that I made timeless. I wanted to put it online and feel that I’d still wanted to watch it in 20 years. I wanted to make them that good. So the clock really came out of the editing room.

What about distribution?
The videos will all be immediately available to backers on Kickstarter but I would love to start building a community on youtube, too.

Can you describe the full moon updates you made on your first Kickstarter campaign

I don’t think I made it explicit in my updates that I was timing them to the full moon but they all were released on or very near the full moon. But the cool thing for me was that I was able to look up at the moon and as it got fuller I would know that it was time to start wrapping everything up and tell people where I was. So that was the series. I made 16 episodes while I was making the clock. I think a lot of people miss it, and I miss it, and that’s what I want to bring back. So I hope that people want to see it. I hope they want to know what the future of thepresent is going to be.

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Do You Know About These Twitter Functions?

Tip of the Week

One reason I like Twitter is because it’s so simple to use. But it turns I’ve only been taking advantage of its basic functionality. If you have been, too, you could be limiting who sees your campaign updates.

Leading Characters
If you want all of your followers to see your tweet in their timeline, you must to start your tweet with a “leading character” — anything such as a simple period (.) will do — and not an @.

By starting your tweet with an @ mention only you, the person you mention, and anyone who follows both of you will see your tweet in their timelines. It will also be visible to anyone who happens to view your profile. In other words, you will see the post in your timeline, but your followers won’t see it in theirs.

I learned that Twitter came up with the leading character for people who want to boost the exposure of an account that has few followers. On the other hand, those in the know intentionally start with @ to keep an exchange private.

To read more go to my Tip of the Week column at Crowdsourcing.org.

Written by Rose Spinelli

Need a Scary Platform for Your Next Halloween Project?

I’ve been aware of HauntNav, the only crowdfunding platform specifically designed for spooky projects, but today just seemed like the right one to feature them. What the heck is HauntNav? It’s a platform to raise funds for projects that explore scary stuff. Think paranormal investigations (EVP equipment isn’t cheap, you know), gory films, games, books, comics or graphics—and that’s just for starters.

And they are dead serious about it.

Other than the fact that they are dealing in blood and gore, HauntNav, is pretty much like any other platform. They’ve got a Funding 101 page that takes creators through the fundamentals such as how to define your goal, choose perks, and building and promoting your project. They even have a how-to-make-a-pitch-video tutorial.

Currently live, Scary Peeper Prank Prop could use your help to finalize the creation of something that will scare the bejesus out of your loved ones. Check out how it works here. Contribute now and have your very own Scary Peeper for next Halloween!


It’s Halloween so here’s some TMI for you.  I don’t read People magazine but I’ve always been hooked on the idea of “lifting the veil” to explore other realms that might exist out there. Are ghosts real? Do people really commune with the dead? I indulge my fascination by watching TV shows on the topic. There are tons of them, so don’t be so smug until you watch one yourself; you might just pulled into the vortex of darkness, too.

For example, I love to watch  The Haunting Of in which celebrities who’ve had encounters with “the other side” come clean for the camera—right in the comfort of  my own home. Did you know Joan Rivers lives with a spirit who visits her almost nightly? Yep.

If camp and big hair is your thing you’ve got to check out Long Island Medium. From the response she gets from people when she channels their loved ones, Theresa Caputo is the real deal.

Are you scared yet?

Boo! And Happy Halloween!

Multiply Your Reach with CrossPromote.It

Tip of the Week

Like many early adopters, Serhiy Khvashchuk became fascinated with crowdfunding after successfully running his own Kickstarter campaign in 2012. He learned a great deal and then began consulting others to help them reach their goals.

The closest he came to finding a magic bullet for success is to cross promote with other projects in order to extend each campaign’s reach — a win-win proposition when done well. So, Khvashchuk put his newfound knowledge to practice and partnered up with Pavel Kachanov to launch CrossPromote.It.

This is not an entirely new concept. On its blog, Indiegogo encouraged campaigners to find partners. It makes a lot of sense, and I loved the idea so much I blogged about it myself.

What CrossPromote.It does, however, takes cross promotion to the next level. Six months in the making, what they have created is a deep data-mining tool that is superior to anything out there.

To continue reading go to this week’s installment of my Tip of the Week column on Crowdsourcing.org.

Google’s New Hub for the Media

Tip of the Week

Google has a new hub for journalists and reporters. Journalists have used Google News for years, creating custom searches for topics they follow. But this new website is a dedicated place where the media can learn, and have access to, a suite of digital tools that improve their news-gathering power and audience engagement across platforms.

What does this mean for crowdfunders? Well, if you didn’t know it already, Google+ can be one of the most powerful social platform for you and your project, business, and brand. If you’re not using it, start now so that the writers searching for information relative to your brand can find your latest posts, photos, and videos. This makes their work breezier, and the chances of your content appearing in their search increase dramatically.

From the looks of the site, Google has done a great job of guiding journalists through all the resources on offer. Reading up on their best practices will help you help the members of the press find you.

To continue reading, please go to this installment of my Tip of the Week column on crowdsourcing.org.

Can Crowd-Powered Search™ Change the Way We Crowdfund?

This is a guest post by Lorie A. Parch, a writer, editor, and content strategist in Los Angeles.

It’s an often used pun but nonetheless a true one: crowdfunding is really getting crowded. What that means is there are many, many project creators whose good ideas aren’t being seen or heard (maybe yours is one of them), simply because they can’t be found. It also means that, increasingly, new platforms beyond the big ones have a harder time being found. What that creates for potential supporters of and investors in these businesses is a struggle to find the right campaign to fit their investment criteria.

So what if one tool could help all three audiences and level the playing field for smaller campaign creators and platforms? That’s a dream that Peter Einstein, the founder of CrowdFunding4All™ (CF4ALL™), has been working on making a reality.  It all started in October 2012, when the former advertising creative director/copywriter presented what was then a simple mock-up of a crowdfunding-specific search engine at the 1st Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention & Bootcamp in Las Vegas. It was an immediate hit; Einstein knew he had something. But he wasn’t satisfied with creating a search engine. He wanted to make the crowdfunding universe fairer for everyone involved, but especially for project creators and smaller and niche platforms.

Screen Shot CF4ALL

Einstein and his team are about to launch a powerful, all-purpose crowdfunding tool he hopes will do just that. CF4ALL Crowd-Powered Project Search™ allows users to search across all platforms using criteria such as location, type of campaign, funding status, platform, and categories like music, health, and film. Simply put, it will allow potential funders and other users to easily and quickly compare and contrast projects to see whom they want to support. If they want to fund something, they can click through to the platform’s site to see more about the campaign and give money.

Several thousand campaigns are already in the CF4ALL search network’s database, including every current campaign on RocketHub, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter as well as a number of other platforms. CF4ALL’s CrowdCredits™ bring “crowd-power” to the search process in the form of a virtual currency – Einstein calls it “The Social Currency of CrowdFunding”™ – that can be donated to a project to show support. Doing almost anything on the CF4ALL site accrues a user more CrowdCredits. If a user of CF4ALL.com registers or browses, for instance, they automatically rack up credits.

What this means is that donors can show love to projects by giving the project some or all of her CrowdCredits. The more CrowdCredits a project receives, the higher it ranks in CF4ALL’s search results. A popular project could end up on the site’s homepage, in its “Trending Projects” section, which features the hottest campaigns, across platforms, in real time. So project creators can get a big lift in visibility to other prospective donors if their social network uses CrowdCredits to show their support. Einstein says that CrowdCredits can also be a way for funders of equity projects to show their support for a project beyond the allowed financial caps.

We sat down with Einstein recently to ask him a few more questions about CF4ALL and where he sees crowdfunding headed, on the eve of the start of The 2nd Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention and Bootcamp, in Las Vegas, where CF4ALL’s technology will be used to power the voting for the Funders’ Choice nominees in the annual Crowdfundie Awards, to be held at the conference.
The Crowdfundamentals: What need does CF4All fill that you felt was lacking?  

Peter Einstein: From the perspective of the funder there’s a lot of confusion out there, and more as we get into the equity space. They’re interested in supporting projects, and they may be looking for some to invest in. There’s no simple way to vet those projects. Let’s say you’re looking for a biotech project run by women in your Zip code. With the CF4ALL’s Crowd-Powered Project Search you’ll be able to find them quickly and compare them—and also know which ones the crowd like the most. This speeds it up from the investment standpoint.

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From the supporter standpoint, our technology allows you to find the project no matter what site it’s on. CrowdCredits give people a whole other way to support friends and family. They may say, ‘Wow, this is great; I’ve been accruing all these CrowdCredits, so I’m going to give them half of my 1,500 Crowd Credits because I think it’s a great project.’ Especially if you give them on day 1 of a campaign, that may have even more of an impact on the project’s ability to be fully funded by coming in early and showing your support. Within those first seven to 10 days, if you get from 20 percent to 25 percent of your funding, then your chances of being fully funded are much greater.

TCF: How do project creators stand to gain?

PE: From the standpoint of the project creator, being on CF4ALL.com makes your project more visible. If you’ve got 40 people in your network—you can say, Just go to CF4ALL sign up, earn CrowdCredits, and give them to my project..’ It’s even easier if your friends are heavy users of crowdfunding sites anyway.

If you’re on a small, specialty platform and you think, I’ll go with these guys because I have a better chance of visibility, but then you’re reaching a small fraction of your potential audience. It’s another way for you to become visible by people searching on our site for, say, music-related projects, but may not know your platform even exists. So, again, it’s very helpful to the small project run by somebody who doesn’t have a big following, who’s not a celebrity.

 

TCF: What’s in it for the platforms?

PE: From the standpoint of the platform, it not only levels the playing level, it allows small guys to survive against the big platforms. The focus should be on finding good projects and giving them support, and once they’re on our site they’re visible to the whole world … Platforms that are part of our network will have the CrowdCredits button on their site. This means visitors earn CrowdCredits for their activity on the platform’s site, just as they do on CF4ALL.com.  That gives the platforms a real point of difference. We only have a handful of Early Adopter platforms now, but we’re ready to add another 50 platforms and work together. There’s strength in numbers. Individuals can only have so much visibility but if they all work together, if we have 50 platforms working together, all of a sudden we have a lot of people.

 

TCF: How will you encourage participation?

PE:  Part of this is just working with the platforms and giving them a new tool that they can use with their project creators. So as a project creator you let your inner circle know, so that the day you launch your project it gets these CrowdCredits and hopefully shows up on the CF4ALL homepage as a Trending Project. It’s the same concept that Reddit uses, though I’m not saying that we’re going to have 80 million people. Reddit is for news articles; for us it’s projects.  We’ll be working with blogs, too, so people can donate CrowdCredits specializing in certain areas, like music. It’s really all about being more of this collaborative support system. It’s what crowdfunding is supposed to be about: people with a good idea gathering support, the social currency of crowdfunding. We see this as being an incredibly valuable tool.

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TCF: How so?

PE: There’s no other crowd-powered project search engine for crowdfunding. This is not a simple thing that we’ve managed to do. We’ve been able to map this data; it’s all coming to you in a very coordinated, consistent fashion regardless of which platform it’s from. This will prove invaluable when we get into the investment space. If you’re looking for a particular kind of a biotech project, as an example, you want to make sure it’s the best biotech project in that space. You’ll want to do your homework; this is a vetting tool. With CF4ALL’s Crowd-Powered Project Search it’s very easy to find these projects and compare and contrast. If you were searching for them on Google it would be hard to find any valuable project information. You’d be drilling down, but not be sent to the right platform. We think it’s making it easier for everyone, from the standpoint of the funders, project creators, and platforms. That’s why we’re calling it a Crowd-Powered Project Search and Support network; it goes way beyond a search engine.

TCF: Can you talk about the concept behind CrowdCredits?

PE: We think it’s the glue that will help crowdfunding to maintain its tremendous growth. The CF industry is doubling in size every year. It’s an amazing growth rate, but is it going to be sustainable, or are you going to find that more projects are getting lost in the crowd, fighting for attention? Even with all those tips and techniques [about how to have a successful campaign], even the best platform, the most popular one—Kickstarter—their failure rate is higher than their success rate. Once you start stripping away the top tier, those raising $1 million or more, it’s not such a happy story. What one thing can you do to make everybody’s chances of being successful greater? The answer needed to start with an agnostic crowdfunding project search. But it couldn’t end there.

TCF: What are next steps for CF4All?

PE:   We’re in the process of developing relationships with some of the iconic leaders in the entrepreneurial space, so that we can become the entry point for them to reach future crowdfunders and help them achieve real, sustainable success after they’ve funded the first phase of their dreams. The important thing to keep in mind is that crowdfunding is just a tool. It’s great to have the money, but if these people don’t think of themselves as entrepreneurs or serious business people and the money gets misused and frittered away—then we’re really concerned that the whole industry can suffer tremendously.

Accredited investors—these people can afford to take big hits. If they lose $10,000, they can live with that. But small investors, if they lose $500 here and there, they’ll be on social media complaining about it, that the project was a good idea, but the founders didn’t know what they were doing, etc. Our real concern here is that without the right mentorship project creators can’t succeed, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on in the future, to help people think like the entrepreneurs and creative people that they are. That’s the direction we’ll be taking.  We’re looking at this from a much broader perspective. There are a lot of people out there who have a lot of great information to convey, speaking to the same people over and over again. But crowdfunding is something brand-new and we see ourselves as the nexus where it all comes together, where the crowdfunding community meets the entrepreneurial community.