Crowdsourcing Entrepreneurs

Crowd Entrepreneurs

Crowdsourcing was an early example of the power of the crowd. We have some noteable success stories here in Australia including Matt Barrie from Doing business online has become the norm and building trust no longer requires meeting in person at the early stages. People find love on the internet after all, as well as ‘suppliers’ – as varied as babysitters to design or just about anything else you can think of. We put our faith in crowdfunders to deliver on our dream – or theirs.

If you want to find out more about Crowdsourcing then this great post will inform you! Jo Sabin from DesignCrowd pulled together some brilliant examples and showed that Australians have been crowdsourcing since 1901. You can read her post here.

Crowdsourcing can also be used as a ‘business matching’ service. If you are an entrepreneur looking for like-minded people then you need to meet them first! We’ve all spent a lot of time at various events where ‘our kind’ hangout – but what if you had the option to short-track the process?

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IconPark – a world’s first in crowdfunding restaurants and bars

I am so happy that Australia has recently launched a ‘world’s first’ by combining crowdfunding with investing in the people behind restaurants and bars. Super happy!


So imagine this….

You’re a talented chef, bartender, barista, sommelier, or anyone involved in the food and beverage industry. You often dream about “When I open my own place…”. But the hard cold reality is you need to lease real estate, fit it out, pay staff and then give your life over to the chance that you’ll be a success and re-coup the funds – let alone the blood, sweat and tears.

 Bar Restaurante entrance

In what could be described as a “Hospitality Fight Club” IconPark uses the fundamental rules of reward-based crowdfunding to allow people to pledge their pre-orders or other rewards for six shortlisted food and beverage concepts.  The winner gets access to the fully-fitted out IconPark location in Stanley Street, a split of the net profits, loads of pre-orders for their three-month run and a lot of mentoring through the vetting process. And let’s face it – crowdfunding is just as much about marketing as about raising funds so the process builds the profile of each of the shortlisted teams!

To find out more about IconPark, watch the video below as it explains it in more depth.

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Wishing you a wonderful holiday season


Whatever part of the world you are in, I hope that you have a wonderful, peaceful holiday season.

Thank you to all of the blog subscribers – I will be bringing you another year of crowdfunding content after the holiday season. Here in Australia it is time for relaxing, eating some of the beautiful food that our land produces and spending time with family and loved ones. Although it’s rainy and cool in Sydney today, I’m sure we will also get to enjoy some of our wonderful beaches, swimming in the ocean or time in the bush.

I have no doubt that 2014 will be another groundbreaking year for crowdfunding and I look forward to sharing news and developments with you as they unfold.

Enjoy this special time of year and I look forward to more interaction with you through the blog, Facebook or Twitter!


Anna Maguire
25 December 2013

Your Christmas Crowdfunding Guide

ScallopAndStarfishXmasTreeKobunecraftAs we venture closer to Christmas we face the inevitable task of dolling out huge amounts of cash for Christmas presents. If you’re anything like me then at some stage of the process you may feel a bit uneasy about spending so much money when there are serious issues of inequality in the world.

That is why I feel so passionately about crowdfunding for social ventures and not-for-profits. Today we’re featuring StartSomeGood, powered by passion to change the world.

If you want to feel good about the Christmas presents you buy (or ask for) then consider the StartSomeGood Christmas Guide. It means your expenditure will have meaning – the guide features products from current and past campaigners and you will know “you’ve helped passionate changemakers create a better future for their communities.”


Featuring gifts as diverse as ethical clothing, a beautiful calendar that deserves to have each image framed for lifelong enjoyment, a cookery book, inspirational cards, jewellery – I want it all!

In other news, I’ve been watching with interest the partnership of StartSomeGood and social media hub IndigenousX. Their aim is not only to crowdfund, but also extend their support base for a variety of Indigenous launched initiatives. Their first campaign was for the film Vote Yes that raised just over their funding target of $20,000. “Vote Yes aims to contribute to the conversation about equality in Australia by telling the story of the 1967 referendum on Aboriginal rights.” Well done to both StartSomeGood and IndigenousX on this fantastic crowdfunding effort. I look forward to seeing more Indigenous projects on SSG.

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Your Crowdfunding Project Page

Today on Crowdfund it! we are featuring a guest post by Camille McClane.
You can find out more about Camille at the bottom of the post.


Setting up a crowdfunding project page isn’t terribly difficult. In fact, a lot of the third-party crowdfunding sites make it incredibly easy for you to do so.

What’s not so straightforward is getting people to initially take notice of your crowdfunding page. The amount of attention you drive to your crowdfunding page will have a huge impact on whether anyone will donate to your project or not.

With that being said, how you market your campaign and how you plan to get it in front of potential donors’ eyes is extremely important, especially when it comes to content.

Not only is it a matter of people seeing the project’s page, but it’s a matter of them becoming interested and engaged in it as well. It’s a tough sell to ask people to invest their own money into your personal project, but when done correctly, it can yield some incredible results.

So when you setup your crowdfunding page, consider the following qualities, as they’re sure to help you get more attention and engagement from other people:

1. Novelty and a unique message

In an age where unsolicited information is at an all-time high, a crowdfunding campaign isn’t going to get anywhere without a unique premise and mission statement.

You’ve got to keep in mind that people are constantly being bombarded by internet campaigns and a variety of solicitations, crowdfunding or otherwise. In order to avoid falling into the category of internet white noise, your crowdfunding campaign needs to have a novel idea at the root of it, as well as a unique message that will set you apart from all the rest.

In your message, you’ll want to be able to provide your audience with the story behind your campaign and answer these questions:

  • Why should they invest in your project?
  • Why is this project important to you?
  • Why choose you to deliver on the project?

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Subscription Crowdfunding Growth

Global crowdfunding platform Pozible  announced the beta launch of their subscription crowdfunding model.



I’m pretty excited about the subscription model as it appears to address the challenge of ongoing support that projects may need. Wary of continually going back to their networks to ask for more money, crowdfunders may find this option a way for their supporters to offer daily/weekly/monthly/annual financial backing. What is also pleasing to see is that Subscription crowdfunding can be offered alongside the standard one-off crowdfunding rewards. For the right crowdfunding project I could definitely be encouraged to support monthly for a year, and feel happier in the wallet versus a larger one-off charge. The subscription will continue until the supporter opts out – so this can last for as long or short a period as they choose.

What sort of projects could use subscription crowdfunding? 


According to Pozible, there are lots of crowdfunding projects that could use the benefit of subscriptions. From their website:

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Chuffed Crowdfunding Christmas

There’s a new platform in Australia aimed at not-for-profits and social enterprises and it’s got a hard-to-beat angle:  Fee Free Crowdfunding. With Chuffed immediately taking an average of 5 per cent off the costs to crowdfunders this is sure to gain a lot of attention from those in the target market.


The quick facts
Chuffed is aimed at social enterprises, not-for-profits and community organisations. They run both all or nothing as well as keep all campaigns. They do not charge any fees to use the platform, but there will be transaction costs of 1.4 per cent plus 30c per transaction. There is an optional donation as well, allowing crowdfunders to choose what amount they are willing to contribute towards the administration side of Chuffed


If you are passionate about being a social entrepreneur, then you may feel like getting into the Christmas feeling early. Chuffed are encouraging social enterprises and not-for-profits with a nice Christmas promotion.

The Chuffed Christmas promotion is open to Australian social enterprises and not-for-profit organisation to run crowdfunding campaigns with the potential to win cash prizes.  

The promotion is running now until Christmas Eve and a total of $5,000 is being given away:

  • The first 8 campaigns to raise $5,000 win $250;
  • The first campaign to raise $10,000 wins $1,000;
  • The first campaign to raise $20,000 wins $2,000.

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Kickstarter AU and NZ Crowdfunding Launch!

Big excitement in the world of crowdfunding in our region – today is the big day that the first projects from Australia and New Zealand launch on Kickstarter!


Of course, there have been Aussie and Kiwi Kickstarter projects before. Some people had partners in the US (or more recently the UK or Canada). Some people got around the requirements in less straightforward ways! But today is the day that we can see projects launched on the site without all that hassle! A reminder about the key facts on using Kickstarter:

Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform – you need to reach your target funding within the specified deadline. If you reach your goal they charge a 5 per cent success fee. Transaction fees are: 3% + $0.20 per pledge. If the pledge is under $10 they have a discounted micropledge fee of 5% + $0.05 per pledge.

You can find more online, but here is a short selection of Australian & New Zealand Kickstarter projects that have gone live today!

Trainz Simulator – a New Era: Create, Drive, Operate, Share
by N3V Games

Category: Video Games
Goal: A$165,000

The world’s favourite rail simulator is undergoing an extreme makeover – all new graphics engine, new features, new levels of realism.

As Tony Hilliam, MD of N3V Games said on the video,

“Kickstarter is the perfect marriage. It’s creative industries putting together projects and passionate fans finding the project they love and then pledging their support to that project.”

With gaming doing so well on Kickstarter, a twelve-year history with fans and a big new upgrade this one may have train-traction! (queue groan for the deliberate play on words)

You can view their Kickstarter project page here. Continue reading

Hello Indiegogo and Kickstarter: the explosion of Crowdfunding

What a busy week in the world of crowdfunding in Sydney!

SAMAGSeminars for Arts Professionals: Giving and developing emerging donors

On Monday 28th October I spoke at the SAMAG event about emerging donors and where crowdfunding fits in this context. With an amazing line-up and experience on the panel I was pleased to be able to offer my perspective of where crowdfunding fits. You can read an article here about the event.

Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs

On Wednesday 30th October I was pleased to talk crowdfunding at the University of Woollongong event for Entrepreneur Club.. Also speaking was Alan Crabbe from Pozible who shared background about their innovative platform and some of their recent expansions. They now have an office in the US, offer white label crowdfunding and (this I find really exciting) their forthcoming subscription crowdfunding. With Kickstarter and Indiegogo focussing on the Australian market you may think our first mover here may be a little concerned. Not so says Pozible. Not only have they made some amazing partnerships in their time but they believe they have the nouse to keep their market advantage. You can read more in this article.

KateToonThe clever Kate Toon also shared her experience of successfully crowdfunding twice. Kate not only is a ‘can’t beat’ copywriter and search engine optimisation specialist, but a poet and writer and has crowdfunded a poetry book and a wonderful pirate book for kids. Ahoy! Kate recommended not leaping into crowdfunding without doing your budget first. For her poetry book she vastly underestimated the costs involved so it’s testimony to her hard work that she managed to achieve so much over her budget.

Indiegogo logoIndiegogo’s Australian push

Unfortunately I couldn’t make the Indiegogo event last Tuesday but it certainly got some good press. With funding now available in A$ (meaning currency exchange fees no longer applied) we can expect to see growth in this market. Co-founder Danae Ringelmann reportedly said that there has been a 275 per cent increase in Australian crowdfunding campaigns. Looking forward to seeing more Australian’s see success on this platform like the Hustle team who executed a professional and successful campaign.

KickstarterSchoolBuildingKickstarter School

With the imminent launch of Kickstarter for Australian and New Zealand creators, the crowdfunding giant has been running ‘schools’ to educate people about their platform. A couple of takeaways from the session I attended:

  • The first Australian projects will go live on the Kickstarter platform on 13th November.
  • Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform with 5% success fees. Transaction fees are: 3% + $0.20 per pledge. If the pledge is under $10 they have a discounted micropledge fee of 5% + $0.05 per pledge.
  • For some reason they didn’t explain, the verification side is quite slow at the moment so start that process early.
  • “Kickstarter is a story-telling platform.” We hear time and time again, crowdfunding is about stories. How you tell your crowdfunding story is crucial.
  • Australians have pledged $25,621,856 over 27,014 projects.
  • The ‘tipping point’ for projects seems to be 30% – if they reach that point they are 85% likely to reach target.
  • Their current success rate is 44% generally, with different categories performing much better – or worse. I love how Kickstarter are very open with their stats. It’s also worth noting that Pozible report their average success rate is 56%.
  • Their most popular reward category is $25 with the $100 tier raising the most money. They recommend 5-7 reward tiers.
  • Kickstarter shared a beautiful project that really gave me a happy feel – a project to write a letter to everyone in the world, one village at a time. Crazy? Yes, of course. Kooky? For sure. But in an age of digital communication I love the idea.
  • Their advice? Start building your project now because launch is only ten days away for the first Australian projects.


Crowdfundit-Australia's-guide-to-crowdfundingFor more information on crowdfunding platforms, inspiring case studies and loads of how-to, buy your copy of Crowdfund it! today!

Anna Maguire, November 2013

Crowdfunding for kids with Village Raised

If you’re a busy working parent then perhaps you’re a bit like me: More comfortable behind a computer than behind the cake stall at the school fete?

If that is the case, then Village Raised may be the perfect way to fundraise for your school or kindergarten. I spoke to founder Luci Temple to find out more about crowdfunding for kids.


Village Raised is a global online fundraising platform and community website to help digitally connected parents to raise money for their kids’ schools, day care centres and sporting teams, by harnessing the power of social media and online communities.”

The quick facts:

Village Raised operates on an All or Nothing basis with projects required to meet their target to receive any funding. They charge a 5% success fee plus PayPal transaction costs of approximately 3%. Village Raised is globally accessible – you can create and support projects from anywhere that crowdfunding is legal. Continue reading