Crowdfunding for a Startup: How it Builds a Business’ Credibility

Guest Post | Aug 14, 2019

Funding meeting - Crowdfunding for a Startup: How it Builds a Business’ CredibilityYou see a need. You know that your new business can fill that need.

The problem is that it takes an incredible amount of capital to start a business. Besides purchasing equipment, raw materials, and computer systems, you also have the expenses that no one ever thinks about when opening a shop. Did you figure in the cost of hiring an accountant, a lawyer, and paying for workers compensation insurance?

Instead of heading to the bank with your business plan in hand, you may consider whether working with a crowdfunding site might be another feasible way to raise cash for your business expenses.

Here’s how crowdfunding sites work.

Cash in Exchange for Equity

Have you seen Shark Tank? On this TV show, investors decide whether or not they would like to provide capital for startups in exchange for a piece of the company. Sometimes the hosts compete against each other for the opportunity to invest. Sometimes they pool resources and form investment partnerships for a portion of ownership in the company. Occasionally budding entrepreneurs are sent away empty-handed.

See:  Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $250,000,000 in Commitments The Model is Working but its Potential is Much Greater

Equity crowdfunding works in the same way. Using a crowdfunding website such as FrontFundr, your investors provide you with funding to move your business forward for a portion of the future profits.

Donations

Perhaps your business may provide a needed service or product for a blighted area. Maybe you are interested in starting a nonprofit group to serve the greater good. If this describes your scenario, you could seek donations from crowdfunding sites. The gifts can be used to get your idea up and running, and of course, there is nothing to repay.  Interested?  Check out FundRazr, Canada's leading donation-based platform, that has helped raise north of $130 million dollars for individuals and organizations.

Donations - Crowdfunding for a Startup: How it Builds a Business’ Credibility

Borrowing from Individuals

Instead of borrowing money from a traditional bank, you could borrow money from individuals leveraging the compliance and match making services of a platform like Lending Loop. You will still pay a set annual percentage rate like you would when taking out a conventional loan.

Rewards

Some investors are inspired to fund new businesses by an offer of a product, service, or gift they will receive in exchange for the cash donation. For example, if you are opening a car wash, perhaps investors will give you a set amount of money for you to purchase equipment with the idea that they will receive free car washes for six months after the business is up and running.

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If you had told someone twenty years ago that they would be able to collect cash from strangers over the internet to open a business or pursue a creative endeavor, they would have thought you were crazy. You could have found investors for your business, but only among your friends or family. Otherwise, entrepreneurs were forced to work with traditional banks who may not have been open to offering cash for products they couldn’t understand.

Rewards - Crowdfunding for a Startup: How it Builds a Business’ Credibility

But when you receive money for your idea through crowdfunding, that means that you not only won the backing of a single loan officer at a lending institution. It means that dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people think that your idea is good enough to support.

Crowdfunding sites have different specialties. Kickstarter connects creative people with resources they can use to bring their ideas to life. Kickstarter has helped artists, musicians, filmmakers, and designers. You no longer have to be a millionaire to be considered a patron of the arts.

Inventors often use Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website that has allowed entrepreneurs to raise over 1 billion dollars. Investors can receive equity in the company or receive a share in the revenue.

All you techies out there will appreciate Crowdsupply, a crowdfunding website for hardware designers and innovators. The hardware must be original, useful, and respectful.

Perhaps you already have a following, and you know you could increase your cash flow by offering exclusive content or behind-the-scenes experiences for your fan base. You may want to check out Patreon.

See:  What You Should Know About Crowdfunding Your Start-up

Designing a campaign - Crowdfunding for a Startup: How it Builds a Business’ Credibility

There are several websites you can visit to help raise money for a nonprofit entity. Go Fund Me was started by Indiegogo. You could also visit StartSomeGood, which allows you to submit your project for free as long as you agree to pay a service fee of 5% of your project is fully funded.

If you are seeking funds to open a business, take a look at WeFunder. This website has more than 150,000 who are interested in keeping the American Dream alive. The site is quick to tell investors that they may undoubtedly lose their money on the investments since so many small businesses fail.

Do you have a dream, but you need to raise some capital to see it to fruition? Consider seeking the help of family, friends, and strangers through a crowdfunding website.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Crowdfunding for a Startup: How it Builds a Business’ Credibility The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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