Go with the crowd to help make deepest dreams reality ; A crowdfunding website is giving entrepreneurs a shot at realising their ambitions. James... [Hull Daily Mail (England)]
(Hull Daily Mail (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Go with the crowd to help make deepest dreams reality ; A crowdfunding website is giving entrepreneurs a shot at realising their ambitions. James Burton finds out moreBehind the headlines
WHEN the Humber Street Sesh music festival ran into money trouble, plenty of high-profile sponsors stepped in to help.
The Deep, The Spencer Group, BP and others all made a real difference - but away from the limelight, so did hundreds of ordinary Hull families.
Crowdfunding, an internet phenomenon that allows people to club together to support a cause, helped save the Sesh for Hull.
Now, the Mail is highlighting a way our readers can launch their own online funding campaigns. Sesh promoter Mark Page said: We had lots of emails, phone calls and messages on our Facebook page. Even people offering Pounds 10 and Pounds 20 - every little helped for the festival.
This year, the Sesh raised more than Pounds 1,800 thanks to 127 backers on crowdfunder.co.uk and last year the total was more than Pounds 7,250.
The festival reached and exceeded its target in a matter of days and offered a range of rewards to backers, including blown-up individual photos on a wall of fame.
But crowdfunding is about more than just music. Across the country, there are dozens of success stories.
The 141-year-old Kettering Town football club is being saved from closure thanks to fans from as far afield as Iceland and Vietnam.
More than Pounds 20,000 of the Pounds 70,000 needed to keep it open has been donated online.
On the Isle of Wight, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched to protect the art deco Sandown Rivoli Cinema from destruction.
In Canada, independent film about US spy-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden has raised $87,000 on the internet.
And hundreds of American drinkers are logging on to give start- up breweries the cash they need to get off the ground.
Ordinary people across the globe are getting a chance to develop ideas that would have been impossible just three or four years ago.
So, by using the link on the Mail's website, www.hulldailymail.co.uk/localprojects, people can bring that entrepreneurial spirit to Hull with the help of Crowdfunder UK.
This is a great opportunity for people to tap into a rich source of funding, said Mail assistant editor Jamie Macaskill.
Crowdfunding gives people the chance to test and validate an idea on the crowd first.
As well as helping them secure vital cash in tough times, the website also allows start-ups to get an insight into their market.
If people like it, there's a good chance they'll put money into it and you know you're on to something. If they don't, you can rethink your idea, said Mr Macaskill.
We've already seen how well it worked here in Hull with the Humber Sesh.
I hope we can help spark some imagination and see some other great ideas come together. To crowdfund a project, business owners launch a campaign for a target amount of money, explain what they will do if they get it and offer rewards in return for pledges.
Families can donate anything from Pounds 1 to Pounds 5,000.
To date, www.crowdfunder.co.uk has launched more than 2,000 projects and raised Pounds 1m for everything from schools to comic books. Readers can launch a crowdfunding campaign at www.hulldailymail.co.uk/local projects and their project will be seen by our online audience.
Projects have between four and eight weeks to hit their financial target through an organised online campaign. Adding a project is free but Crowdfunder UK takes a 5 per cent cut of the final target if it is met.
It works on an all-or-nothing basis, so no funds are released unless targets are met.
Today, those seeking cash include Nordic skiers, a company supplying defibrillators to coastal towns and a Cornish language nursery. In East Yorkshire, Cottingham group Dance Dynamic is chasing Pounds 600 to set up burlesque classes and Hull non-profit art publishing group Something Entirely Different wants Pounds 300 to keep printing magazines and comics.
Where once these ideas could easily have been crowded out and overlooked, here they have a natural home.
Even so, success is not guaranteed. Project owners need a clear marketing strategy before their campaign begins.
They should organise a team to promote their idea to East Yorkshire people and industry.
Having a reward element for backers also helps to show it is about more than giving money for no return.
But the reward can be worth the effort - and the 25,000 visitors to this year's Humber Street Sesh would certainly agree.
Tips for making perfect pitch BUDDING entrepreneurs using the website should: ? Create a strong team that will help you with your project pitch.
. ? Gather a community that will help promote your project. ? Offer at least five good rewards. ? Create a marketing and social media plan.
. ? Believe in your idea.
Working with owners, Crowdfunder UK can: ? Offer advice on your project pitch, project video, rewards and marketing plan.
. ? Promote projects through social media channels and an email newsletter. ? Help write press releases. ? Provide tools and tips to run a successful campaign.
To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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