Lillagunga – A reinvented wooden swing

Lillagunga – A reinvented wooden swing

We loves sharing stories of entrepreneurs. Here is one about Lillagunga.


1. Introduce yourself – what is your background, what are you passionate about and what are your hopes and dreams?

My name is Anton Stenfors and I’m the founder and CEO of Finnish design company Uniq Works. Creative work and development has followed me through my career, and gradually has become a special area of interest and motivation for me. Usually I tend not to spend too much time on hopes and dreams, but my goal is to create a company with products considered unique, and highly appreciated around the world.

 2. How did the idea for your campaign come about? Describe what your campaign does.

 We’re about to launch a new model called Lillagunga Toddler, and we wanted to integrate our end-users in the process. Instead of offering a ready product we decided to approach our customers with realistic 3D visualisations – a vision which will become a reality with the support of funders!

3. Why did you decide on crowdfunding? What about FundedByMe appealed to you?

 Crowdfunding seemed like the best and probably only alternative for us. FundedByMe was a great alternative as our main focus area currently is in within Europe, and Scandinavia in particular.

4. Talk us through your campaign on FundedByMe – what are you planning on doing to maximize the exposure and ensure success? What can our readers look forward to seeing from your campaign?

We are actively using all relevant marketing tools and services particularly in social media to reach our audience. We believe our content and offering is appealing so we try to emphasize on that. We are targeting our efforts to potential of funders and influencers we know have the best profile and strive to get them to our campaign page.

5. Why should our readers get involved in your campaign?

Funders have the opportunity to become the first owners of a Lillagunga Toddler swing, a product we believe is quite extraordinary. We hope people will get exicted about being able to take part in a product development process, and that they see value and reason in supporting a promising start-up.

6. Which success story on FundedByMe has inspired you most? Why?

There are many, but personally I admire most those who have come up with something personal and original, and have managed to present it in a simple but attractive way.

Visit the Lillagunga campaign here.

33 million people in the room – Juliette Powell

33 million people in the room – Juliette Powell

33 Million People in the RoomEntrepreneurs and ideas come in all shapes and forms. Some will make it because they have a niche, others because it because the market is huge and others will make it because their passion is endless. But the only key to making it in any market – with any idea – is to spend time and tell everybody.

According to Juliette Powell, the equation is quite simple. If you tell 100 people and only two end up supporting you or buying your product, then telling 1,000 might bring in 20 supporters. And since we live in this amazing period in time with social media never far away, it´s never been easier to reach out.

In the amazing book “33 Million People in the Room” by Juliette Powell this is calculated quite smartly.

“…Let´s go to a restaurant and say that between you and your lunch partner, and all contacts in both of your phones, you have a network of 25 individuals. According to Reed´s Law, the amount of possible conenctions and subgroups within your group of 25 individuals is an astonishing 33 million people in the room.”

Reed’s Law says that every new person on a network doubles its value. Adding 10 people, by this reasoning, increases its value a thousandfold.

By knowing this, you obviously understand that you have to increase your network. But not only that, you have to make this work for you.

1. Let your network know about your project. Email friends, post on Facebook, put up flyers in your neighbourhood, ask your family to tell all their contacts.

2. Ask your network to work for you. Ask them to spread the word. Ask them to tell at least four people about your project and convince them it´s worth their support.

3. Join Facebook groups that might either be interested in your project or might be interested in you. Tell your story.

4. Don´t forget to ask for action. That means that it´s not enough that people say they like your idea, or click on the “like” button. Ask them to click and donate or invest.

To summarize: Do your legwork and make sure that many people know about your project.

Dagens Industri loves FundedByMe

FundedByMe's Daniel Daboczy and Arno Smit in Dagens Industry
A full page feature on FundedByMe in today’s issue of Dagens Industri, the biggest financial paper in Sweden.

When Dagens Industri, the biggest financial paper in Sweden, writes a full page and tells the FundedByMe story it is nothing less than a humbling and a very proud day for the FundedByMe team. Since FundedByMe launched in 2011 we have worked extremely hard to bring crowdfunding to Europe. We pivoted into equity crowdfunding, have coached thousands of entrepreneurs, have raised a lot of money for the people who need it most to grow their dreams, the economy and our investors’ portfolios and every day we continue to change the world.

We have grown from an idea to a company, have gone from two kids in an attic to 14 employees in five countries and we continue to grow fast. Today FundedByMe is operational in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Norway and we’re launching in Germany in September. In four months we’ve helped raise almost €3 million and we are adding more fascinating projects to our offering every week. The momentum is outstanding.

We know that the financial and investment market needs to be disrupted – it’s old, stiff and slow. We need to change this field because companies and creatives need better access to smart and fast money, but also because the millions of regular people out there should have a chance to be in the room – even if it is a digital one – when the next big thing just needs a push and a small cash injection. This grows momentum, jobs, opportunities and engagement. Remember, Facebook once needed $1500 to get started…a moment in time that I would have loved to be part of.

So trust me, this is only the beginning for FundedByMe and crowdfunding in Europe. We will do our best and work harder and harder so that everyone can become a business angel – whether it is with an investment of €50 or €100,000. And we will do our best to make sure that every big idea gets the chance to grow fast, with the help of our enthusiastic crowd.

Thank you to everyone who has brought us this far. The amazing team working at FundedByMe and all our dedicated fans and supporters who do whatever is needed to get us to the next level. And especially a huge thank you to all who trust us and use our platform to raise money or to invest or back campaigns.

This is only the beginning.

/Daniel

CEO and co-founder, FundedByMe

Introducing: The world’s first crowdfunded boots!

This morning I received an unexpected visitor in the form of FundedByMe entrepreneur Börje Persson. He had a special delivery for me – my very own crowdfunded boots by Mod & Rocker! What’s more is that Börje showed up with my delivery more than a month earlier than expected!

Mod & Rocker crowdfunded boots

This is further proof that crowdfunding works!

Certain people tend to say that crowdfunded projects don’t deliver in time – or at all – and they love pointing out that this is one of the problems with crowdfunding.

I am so happy to say that Mod & Rocker proves all the crowdfunding naysayers wrong! So proud and walking tall in my new shoes.

View the full project on FundedByMe here.

Vad är crowdfunding och varför kommer det att förändra världen?

Vad är crowdfunding? I takt med att världen blir uppkopplad och information blir allt mer tillgänglig ökar även vår förståelse kring hur vi ska sortera, hitta och analysera information. Det behöver inte ens sägas att för varje år som går så blir världen mera transparent, mera tillgänglig och mera sammankopplad. Och smartare!

Crowdfunding

Men vissa saker ändras inte. Idéer som behöver investeringar kommer alltid att finnas, bolag som behöver expandera eller utvecklas behöver kapital och nätverk. Och även om trenderna fluktuerar upp och ner för varje år kommer det alltid att finnas affärsänglar och VC’s som kommer att investera. Visserligen i få bolag men ändå. De är där. Men de går in sällan och ofta efter ”proof of concept”.

Men här kommer det fina med paradigmskiftet som crowdfunding innebär.

Genom att använda en crowdfunding sida som exempelvis svenska FundedByMe.com kan entreprenören pitcha sitt bolag eller idé till en bredare massa. På en betydligt större marknad, betydligt effektivare och snabbare. Genom att sänka trösklarna för investeringar kan mångas mindre summor snabbt bli en stor och betydelsefull investering. Och vissa pitchar blir väldigt virala. Där ser man inte enbart människor som går in med pengar utan de blir även kunder, PR-människor, ambassadörer och testare. En bättre tryckkokare än en crowdfunding kampanj får man leta efter. Och om det inte blir viralt, kan entreprenören ta ett steg tillbaka. Analysera, förbättra och förtydliga.

Crowdfunding förklarat väldigt enkelt är att man vänder sig till en bred massa för att samla ihop det kapital man behöver. Det finns flera typer av crowdfunding. FundedByMe arbetar med två typer: Equity crowdfunding där du ger bort andelar i ditt bolag mot tidigt stöd samt klassisk crowdfunding (reward based crowdfunding) där du samlar in pengar för att utveckla en produkt mot löfte att så småningom få produkten.

Genom att många går in med mindre summor kan man snabbt generera stora summor och utöver det få mervärdet av att ha med sig en hel del människor som pratar om ditt företag, som validerar din produkt och hjälper dig framåt. Och även om vi ibland får frågan om det inte är omständigt att hantera många små delägare så är jag övertygad om att fördelarna uppväger administrationen.

Och det riktigt fina med crowdfunding är att du helt plötsligt har miljontals internetanvändare som kan bli delägare eller delaktiga i ditt projekt. Detta är människor som redan nu spenderar pengar, ”investerar” i fonder och på andra gammaldags sätt blir slutkonsumenter istället för deltagare. De företag som tidigt förstår värdet av att förvalta denna massa, engagera dem, göra dem till deltagare snarare än konsumenter kommer att på riktigt slå igenom.

Och sedan när företaget vuxit lite mera, när crowden tagit entreprenören framåt, när det är dags att växla upp ordentligt, när man trycktestat bolaget, entreprenören och teamet då är det dags att approchera affärsänglar och VC’s.

Inom en snar framtid kommer en själklar fråga att vara när man söker kapital hos affärsänglar, banker eller VC’s att vara om man ”FundedByMe:at” eller ”crowdfundat”. Det tror jag på, vad tro du? Maila mig på daniel@fundedbyme.com

/Daniel Daboczy

 

Crowdfunding Campaign Tips: Sharing your FundedByMe campaign

FundedByMe team offering crowdfunding project tips

So, your project has been approved on FundedByMe. The film is ready, you boiled down your pitch, you came up with creative rewards and asked for help in the crowdsourcing field. Congrats!

Now what?

Well, now the fun starts. We have compiled this easy to follow guide to help ensure your campaign ‘goes viral’ and gets you as many ‘eyeballs’ as possible to give you the biggest chance of success. Start with step 1 to step 2 and so on, and watch the connections start happening!

1. Open a Facebook account for your project. ‘Like’ other pages or groups that contain people that might be interested in backing you, spreading the word or help you. Post there and tell them about your project with a link back to the project on FundedByMe. Don’t be shy to ask them to spread the word if they like it or back you.

 

2. Use twitter to tap into interesting conversations. This way you reach people already interested in your topic. Use hashtags # to mark your tweets so they are picked up in list that people follow. For example. “Today I launched  a new #crowdfunding project on #indie film. #newfilm #fundedbyme #financing”

 

3. Use these two methods daily.

 

4. Tell your immediate family and friends to visit your crowdfunding site. Ask them to back you now, and also to work for you as fundraising networks. Let your mom and dad and siblings tell their friends. Ask your friends to tell their friends. And ask them to back you either with money or by actively spreading your project.

 

5. Go to step 1 and repeat all the steps.

 

6. Choose 100 people that you should e-mail. 25% of these should be bloggers or press, 25% should be people that you would want onboard as investors, 25% should be people benefitting by your project or your time and 25% should be friends and coworkers that are not yet aware of your effort. 100 might sound like a lot but it goes really fast and the bonus is that you get to connect with really interesting people.

 

7. Call at least 10 local newspapers and tell them about your project. Call 15 friends and tell them about your project.

 

8. Listen to the reactions, adapt your pitch and repeat from step 1.

 

9. Don’t be shy but don’t be too pushy. Most importantly, don’t be passive.

 

To summarize: You are probably doing something really interesting, and I bet that somebody (and more then one) are really interested. The key is to make sure you reach out. Rather ask 1 time too many than 1 time too little.

 

View other crowdfunding presentation tips here.

 

Do you have other tried and trusted methods to ensure that your crowdfunding campaign goes viral fast? Why not leave us your tips in the comment field?

Building a Stockholm startup eco-system

Sweden ranks number one in the world’s first ever Web Index. Designed and produced by the World Wide Web Foundation, the Web Index is the world’s first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations. This connectivity, together with a global mindset, have made Sweden the birthplace of an impressive list of Stockholm startup names like SpotifyWrappSkypeiZettleRebtelPricerunner – and of course FundedByMe.

Although many great companies originate from Stockholm it is still lacking a sustainable ecosystem for startups. Many Stockholm startups have left the country for different reasons. Skype quickly moved to Luxembourg and Soundcloud found a new haven in Berlin almost directly after they were founded.

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Even though tying employment to options leads to exorbitant taxes this is not the sole reason for successful Stockholm startups to leave. As this factor is key into securing talent to work with, many more factors are driving these decisions. Stockholm has a serious housing problem (especially when you work for a lean startup), cost of living is relatively high and therefore Stockholm does not attract a lot of startups from abroad.

Why would we pursue the same startup culture as one might experience in New York? Because it is important. It took us a while to figure out what living and working in different startup hubs would do to us, but after a few meetups and lunches with fellow entrepreneurs it all became clear. Low-key get togethers made us look at our work from a entirely new perspective. We were amazed by how easy it was to meet people, and more so how easy people want to talk about their experiences. People work hard to become part of the tech community, it is not easy .. but something good is worth working for.

We can bring this startup culture to the Nordics! At FundedByMe we try hard to bring people together and love to see how this influences businesses and decision making processes. Our monthly meetups are a great example of this. We can give you a lot of advice, but in regards to this we’d just like to say: “Meet People”

Join our Meetup group here and join us in bringing people together!

Virtuous Vodka raises 1M SEK in less than 8 weeks

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A phone call made by Claes Stenmark, co-founder and CEO at Virtuous Spirits AB, last summer to FundedByMe’s office in Stockholm was the beginning of an adventure which would eventually lead the company to a fully financed round of equity crowdfunding, while simultaneously becoming the first ever company in the tech-savvy nation to accomplish this.

Claes Stenberg Virtuous VodkaWhen the phone call came in, Sweden’s largest crowdfunding platform FundedByMe, had just announced their plans for a pivot towards equity crowdfunding and was starting a period of extensive testing in stealth. Virtuous Vodka was the first company on the platform when it went into pre-round on 1 September 2012. A company in pre-round has access to a set of powerful tools in order to validate ideas, market value and connect with potential investors. In the same pre-round potential investors are able to report their interest in investing in the company, the entrepreneur, however always keeps control over who can ultimately invest in the company. 

Not more than 8 weeks ago the company opened their round, allowing the crowd to invest in the ambitious vodka brand. And the crowd did. FundedByMe has found in Virtuous Vodka the perfect partner to pave the way for many other ventures interested in using equity crowdfunding for financing their businesses. Claes and his team have worked out a bullet-proof campaign with a personal touch, and succeeded in closing their round by being dedicated and able to engage a large number of (potential) investors. By hosting monthly tasting sessions, inviting their investors to spread the word and taking the time to speak with every investor they quickly gathered a crowd of engaged investors, which the company is proud of.

Last Friday, on 11 January, the goal of 1 million SEK was reached and Claes closed the round on FundedByMe’s platform. In a first response Claes Stenmark states, “We are extremely happy and proud to be the first ever company in the Nordics that closes a fully funded equity crowdfunding-round!” He continues, “The capital raised (SEK1 million) will come in handy, but the key is that we have more than one hundred key members who will be good ambassadors, contributing with their skills and their networks. These brand ambassadors, along with the enhanced cash, will help make a greater impact with our first product launch. This spring, the naturally flavored series of Virtuous Vodka will take the Swedish market by storm. We are confident that the market, just like us, crave the authentic taste!”

Running a successful campaign isn’t simple, there is a lot to it. Virtuous Vodka however has set a good example and will serve as inspiration for many other fellow entrepreneurs throughout the Nordics. FundedByMe is excited about the traction on the platform which shows a conversion rate of 62% and an average investment of SEK 9710:- per investor. A large number of investors have invested in more than just one startup, which provides promising conditions for future startups which will be featured on the company’s platform.

FundedByMe is visiting Berlin…

The new year is only 15 days old and we have already so much to share with you. Last week was very exciting and lead us to the closing of two of the open rounds on our platform. First Virtuous Vodka who raised 1 Million SEK, and later during the weekend we closed the FundedByMe round at 4.1 Million SEK as well.

A lot of the coming excitement will be coming from abroad. On the 30th of January we are launching FundedByMe in Finland and a week earlier we will be visiting the vivid tech scene in Berlin. The German capital is buzzing with hot startups and has for decades been known for its creative character.

The creative regeneration is however not restricted to art and music, more and more technology companies settle in Berlin and are together building a healthy eco-system making the city quickly one of Europe’s leading technology startup hubs.

With more than 500 new startups founded in the past year alone Berlin is the number two startup hub after Silicon valley globally. This makes Berlin, and Germany in General, very interesting for our platform. On the 24th of January we will therefore get on a plane to what might be one of FundedByMe’s next checkpoints…Watch this space!

Investor Interview: Sebastian, a new FundedByMe investor

Meet Sebastian, one of the newest FundedByMe crowdfunding investors. Tell us about yourself!
I am an 31 year old jack of all trades, academically my background is in economy and management with studies on bachelor, master and MBA level at Umeå University, Sweden, Universidade Nova, Portugal and Harvard initiated INCAE in Costa Rica. Work-wise I have done just about everything from commercial long line fishing, correctional officers work, financial investment and a range of consultancy positions regarding economics and management. The entrepreneurial perspective has always been a big part of my life with several of my own ventures and companies throughout the years. Currently I am the CEO and funder of NaturalGoods.se, the company that launched the revolutionary product SoyMaster, a beautifully clever little machine that allows you to make soy-, wheat-, almond-milk and many other types drinks at home in just a matter of minutes.

 

How did you get familiar with equity crowdfunding, and why does it appeal to you?
As I have a strong interest in microfinance the logic behind crowd funding was something that very early seemed logic and scaleable to me and I have familiarized myself with the concept through various organisations take on it such as Kiva, Kickstarter and others. My eyes have been on FundedByMe since the very beginning since I love the concept and I really saw potential in the team behind the company. Being able to meet Daniel Daboczy for a chat in connection to a lecture in 2011 only spurred my interest further. Crowd funding appeals to me in many ways both through the recognition and confirmation that comes out of many people showing that they believe in you and your idea directly with their hard earned money which is so much stronger than just kind words, but also as as crowd funding often functions as a platform for the entrepreneur to reach both potential clients and future partners, advisors or suppliers in the process.

 

Have you ever done a crowd equity investment? And if so, in which company?
No, my first investment is in FundedByMe as the round closes shortly.

 

Why did you invest in FundedByMe?
Because I love the idea, have strong belief in the team behind and see a prosperous outcome in the long run with the investment, in traditional financial terms but also, and maybe more importantly, through being able to be a part of the creation of something great. Being involved in the buildup, if only by investing a small sum, of a great company is a reward in itself, a story to tell and to be proud of and in this case the company will enable others ideas to bloom as well, which is a huge bonus!