Fikabox makes “fika” more fun…

Fikabox makes “fika” more fun…

Amrit is the passionate entrepreneur behind Fikabox, which is a subscription service delivering snacks to customers in the comfort of their home or workplace. With over 100 different snacks, carefully mixed with some unique ingredients, the fun never ends. The mixes containing chocolate, nuts, dried fruit and seeds comes with creative names such as “Bollywood Masala”, “Lime cuddle” or one of the favourites “Strawberry milkshake”.

As consumers across the country moves towards the Internet from the traditional means of consuming, comfort and ease of use becomes increasingly important. Consumers are increasingly health aware and want to eat healthier-food but with outstanding taste, so the idea of Fikabox was to put that healthier and outstanding-tasting food in a box, and deliver it across the country to our subscribers.

We love surprises: And to preserve the love for surprise Fikabox created an interactive rating-system where customers can choose to rate the products through “Try me”, “Like me”, “Love me” and “Dump me”. –The more you love a product, the more often we will send it to you. Depending on customers’ ratings, Fikabox predicts what customers’ likes/dislike and chooses a selection of snacks based on their preferences. With over 100 different snacks, Fikabox promises to exceed customer expectations every time by only delivering what our customers want.

The company is only a year old, but the idea began when Amrit was living in the UK where he discovered a similar concept. He decided to challenge the traditional Swedish “fika”, which we all know is an essential part of the Swedish culture.

Together with Fundedbyme, Fikabox started a campaign to find ambassadors and investors who would like to become a part of our journey and help us grow. Within the first four days Fikabox had raised over 1,2 million SEK and with only 9 days left to go Fikabox has now raised over 1.7 million SEK and reached 91% of the required amount.

Since the launch of Fikabox, the company has established positive response from media and been awarded the “Best start-up entrepreneur 2015” and is also nominated for “Young start-up entrepreneur 2015”!

The motivation for Best start-up entrepreneur 2015 read:

“This year’s Start-up entrepreneur has always been a driven entrepreneur seeking new challenges. He is passionate about delivering the very best and the most delicious snacks for all occasions directly into your mailbox. With great enthusiasm, excellence and a professional attitude towards his business and customers, he has all the opportunities to succeed in his venture”  

The future looks bright for Fikabox. The flow of success with crowdfunding endorses that the idea and concept is a beginning of a success story.

Crowdfunding is about more than just raising money … it’s about participating and helping entrepreneurs grow.

Crowdfunding Berries by Astrid – how it began

Crowdfunding Berries by Astrid – how it began

Crowdfunding Berries by Astrid became an extraordinary campaign. Run by a doctor of medical research, offering an unique business concept of selling smoothies, having rocket-science vending machines and reaching its crowdfunding goal within first couple of days of going live.

Crowdfunding Berries by Astrid was the recent biggest milestone in developing the company. One day Astrid Friborg, the CEO & founder of Berries by Astrid wanted to present her unique vendor machine prototype and sample her smoothies based on a carefully developed recipe. Shortly we started to talk about funding her project. Couple days later Astrid launched her crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe, offering nearly 11% of the company. Few days later she raised all money needed, but the campaign is still open for investors.

It’s so much fun! 90% of those people who  I have never heard about. Some of them declared 50k or even 100k SEK to invest in my company. There are investors outside of Sweden as well. I’m very curious to know how they heard about us and to meet them” – says Astrid  Friborg, CEO & founder of Berries by Astrid

Everything started in 2007. Astrid was doing her Phd in colon cancer on the Lund University, but wanted to get more knowledge in economy and marketing. Attending a full semester programme was impossible, but she found an evening course.

“One of the speakers encouraged us to apply for funding in her VC company and presented a case of a juice bar which was very successful. I thought that prices of renting a shop in a shopping mall are high, you need additionally to hire a staff and there are some wastes in raw materials, as fruits. What about making it simpler? Like a machine that would produce the same quality smoothie but without all this unnecessary things that make it more costly? This idea appeared in my head like a flesh from the clear sky” – explains Astrid.  

However, Astrid didn’t want to develop the idea immediately, but finish her PhD degree first. She graduated in 2009 and got the offer from Stanford University from a professor, and was assisted by a prestigious grant from the Swedish Scientific Council for next 2 years of researches.

“To turn down the offer was a really hard decision. But I have never regretted it.”

The 1st August 2009 she started to work on her machine full time. At the beginning it was pretty tough.

She attended many courses for entrepreneurs to learn as much as possible, but she didn’t have any mentor. Finally in Malmo Astrid met an engineer specialized in building automates for food industry who helped her get on the right track. But the machine has evolved on every step.

When I invited it there was no even word ‘Internet of things’ I just wanted to have some features like possibility for customers to pay with a mobile phone or for me to control the machine from distance.”

Right now all of them are in the prototype, however still some improvements are needed. Money raised in current crowdfunding campaign will be used to implement them and to adjust for mass production.

Mormor Magdas Ice Cream success story

Who can turn the opportunity to own shares in their own favourite Ice Cream factory. (some even bought them as gifts for their kids)

FundedByMe

 

The Swedish magazine “Entreprenör” published recently a column describing how crowdfunding looks from an entrepreneur perspective. The author – Angela Håfström – is the CEO of the company called Mormor Magdas. In March she closed successfully her crowdfunding campaign at FundedByMe, raising €180 000 for  ca. 18% of shares of the company.

Not every successful campaign needs to be closed and overfunded in first couple of days. Mormor Magdas was live at  the FundedByMe platform for 45 days. In fact what counts is how much money you raised at the end, not how fast you did it.

“It was a bit scary during the time of the campaign. Some days were good, others were terrible and we felt that the campaign could not be so successful as we expected. But the last week was like a huge wave! It turned out in the end that there were many who wanted to become investors. In the last five days we reached 101 percent of our funding goal, while the first 40 days brought us only 39 percent.”

Mormor Magdas also benefited from non-financial advantages of crowdfunding.

“You can imagine yourself the positive impact it can have for our brand. Together with our shareholders we are really stronger. For hand on heart – it is thanks to the crowd the 142 new partners that Grandma Magdas Därproducerade ice cream is available today in many more places then before. Thanks to this, we can now keep growing, continue to create jobs and revolutionise the market with real, honest, tasty ice creams. This is what is called a success story!”

Read the whole article “So I managed crowdfunding” at the “Entreprenör” website.

 

Eggs Inc – this is how history began

Eggs Inc – this is how history began

This the history of how Eggs Inc was laid: a journey to France and discovering a niche. Five years later you can visit the world’s first healthy fast food restaurant on Regeringsgatan 26, Stockholm. 

– I wanted to open a restaurant but I can’t cook. It took me about a year to figure this out and find Andreas Hedlund, the Chef of the Year in 2002, Fredrik Önrup, the revenue manager, and Kent Jonsson, the egg farmer – says Dan Lorentzon, founder of the Eggs Inc.

What was the most difficult part about setting up their business? Well, you may be surprised: finding a location for their restaurant. Landlords usually prefer big players with well recognisable brands.

A survey from Svenska Ägg, the Swedish trade association of companies operating in the egg industry, says that 97 percent of Swedes like eggs. This means there is huge demand. Because of the nutritional value of eggs and the fact that Eggs Inc. doesn’t have direct competitors, the perfect recipe is created for a dynamically growing business. That’s why they plan to develop a larger franchise chain in Scandinavia first and then the rest of Europe.

Watch the short video about Eggs Inc.:

Follow up on High Heaven; premier on their successful campaign

Follow up on High Heaven; premier on their successful campaign

“It is something exceptionally with entrepreneurs, we are very driven, ambitious and we do what we love!” says Nina Nordling, the person behind High Heaven. A platform for women with focus on adrenaline and to push the female role models forward.

Can you tell about the background story around High Heaven?
Without telling about the background first, what we want to do and are aiming for is to bring more adrenalin to women in the world.

The market in this area today is under-exploited, where women today has a huge interest and high engagement but nowhere to go. I have felt a frustration over this over a very long time now and every different platform that I have joined or had such huge focus on men.

Thats when I decided to do something about it so I did my own research on the market, saw a huge potential. High Heaven is a platform for women with an active lifestyle with focus on adrenaline. The platform is reaching all over the world, you can search on events and on places what and where you want to do.

Katja and Nina

 

When was the burning point when you felt like “This is really something we should do something about”?
When I realized things in the action sports market were evolving too slow. I arranged free motocross track days for girls and women who wanted to try dirt bike riding. No one believed there would be any interest, so I had a hard time getting sponsors. I’ve heard everything from “the pedals will be too far down”, “can they switch gears?”, to “shouldn’t you use small PW 50 bikes instead of big bikes?

Over the years, more than 400 girls joined us, and they all learned how to ride in one day. The idea of creating a digital meetup for women in action sports started forming.

Another time I went to a girls only skate night, when a mother and her daughter came in. They were there for the first time, so the mother asked her daughter what she wanted to try, and her daughter said: “Hmm… Skateboard!” I was so happy to see her stoke, but it quickly turned in to disappointment when the guy behind the counter replied: “I think you should do inlines instead, it’s much easier.”

This really is symptomatic of the issues of the industry: You can’t be what you can’t see! – So when people ask me why High Heaven is needed, I try to help them see the bigger perspective of womens health, of the development of upcoming generations .

Girl skiing

Cool! Is it angled towards girls or only girls that can do these activities?
It is aimed towards girls that are already in to, or just curious about, the active lifestyle of action and adrenaline sports. Anyone can browse all content on the website, regardless of gender, but if you want to join the forum and the conversations, you have to create a profile- and we only allow females in the community. There are plenty of other sites dedicated to men, so no one is left out. The site is completely free to use, and always will be.

 

Have you got more insights during your journey? Did you change something in your plan or communication?When I pitched to investors from Silicon Valley, they completely got the business idea. They saw a very clear niche – and when I explained that over 30 million women aged 15-40, like “action sports” on Facebook, they understood the need for female led and focused businesses in this field.

We thought about bringing hard money on board- But we want to solve social problems with traditional business strategies, and the revenue that we earn must never be gained at the expense of our values, so crowdfunding really made sense to us.

 

Who are you behind High Heaven? You are the one who started it, right?
Yes, I also have a co-founder, Katja Möller who is also CMO with a background in marketing and PR. We have grate help from some of our investors too: We have an awesome Interaction Designer Advisor; Joel Månsson, Economical Advisor; Virve Skullman and Business Advisor Niklas Hall.

We also have ambassadors for each sport, spreading the word and the stoke of cool events and content within their field.

High Heaven team

 

Can you tell us about your journey when you started the company?
When I first got the idea, I took my sketches to my local nyföretagarcentrum, who pushed me to proceed in building a business. Almi helped me out with a innovation grant, so I thought; “Wow, maybe I should really do this?”

I quit my job, started the company and figured the financial part would have to be solved somehow. I was really naive when looking for investments at first. I did not asked for nearly enough money, and the company really wasn’t ready for an investment.

Anyway, the company actually got an investment offer, so we did a due diligence process for many months, but in the end I decided to back out. It just wasn’t a good match, it wasn’t smart money. That might have been the hardest and best decision I’ve made for the company so far.

During that time I had met Catherine from FundedByMe to talk about crowdfunding a couple of times, and about a year later, we launched our crowdfunding equity campaign. When you decide to go in and do a crowdfunding campaign, you have to not only plan and execute the whole thing well, but also take on responsibility towards the investors for the rest of the company’s development . But I have not regretted it once!

crowdfunding pals

It’s really nice of you to share some of your obstacles that you have had, can you also share a tip or two to other entrepreneurs?
I have so many tips! Many people think that a startup is just a few (usually male) friends starting something great from a closet or a garage or whatever, without any funding whatsoever, launch it, make it and then just sell it and become millionaires after the first round. That is far from the truth! In most cases, everything takes twice the time, even tripled the time you had in mind: and most startups fail. But the crowdfunded startups might be better equipped, since the power of the crowd is a mighty thing!

If I had the chance to do everything again, I would not spend so much time chasing money. Easy to say, hard to do when you have bills to pay. Low cost is key. And even if your beta product is not as perfect as you’ve imagine it, get to market anyway! If you aim for your goal and work at it, you will achieve it sooner or later.

 

How do find your energy again?
There is a magic pattern! Every time my energy is low, and I feel like it’s impossible to continue, I get an email, call or comment from someone who says; “High Heaven is such good initiative, I want to help, what can I do?” or “I have been longing for a platform like High Heaven for ages- Where can I sign up?”

If I didn’t have the power of the crowd, girls that are giving me so much support, I would have probably given up a long time ago. But this platform is too important not to launch; for women’s health, girls self-confidence and body image, women’s empowerment, democracy in sports, and so much more. So we will make it happen.

 

How is this a bigger issue than that the platform does not exist?
When one of the world’s most famous skaters Nyjah Huston can get away with stating that: “Some girls can skate, but I personally believe that skateboarding is not for girls at all. Not one bit” – There are some real attitude issues that needs to be addressed.

When a female board sports brand like Roxy, can replace their female founder with a man and launch a campaign video only showing images of a half-naked womans body- We nned to start asking ourselves what message we are sending to the next generation of girls.

At High Heaven we state the the world needs more female role models. Not more bikini models.

 

What do you want to achieve with your platform?
That the community grows so strong that we can’t even keep up!

 

Virtuous Vodka: Swedish organic liquor, ready for a second round!

Virtuous Vodka: Swedish organic liquor, ready for a second round!

We met up with Claes Stenmark to  interview him about Virtuous Vodka. The organic liquor brand had a campaign, 1 year ago, at FundedByMe and got a good head start with developing and taking the product to production. Now it is on the market, ready for a second round campaign and we want to know more about the brand and the values behind it.

Virtuous Vodka
At Kaffeverket

What is Virtuous Vodka and why have you started it?
I do it because the already existing market is basically crap and that there is a business potential to do a better vodka.

What is crap?
A vodka that is flavored with aromas, that is fooling people.

Tell us abut your background, have you worked with liquor before?
The last 10 years I have been working with film, mostly commercials. While I was studying, I worked as a chef, I grew up with food as a big culture in my life. On my mother’s side we have one of the biggest wholesaler in Sweden, so the interest around from food came from birth. It has always been a big part of my life.
I am going to tell a story, when I 5 years old, both my parents were working very hard and they had somewhat bad conscious. They were the first to leave me first at daycare and the last once to pick me up. Since they knew how much I liked food they usually asked; “How was the food today?” a typical answer could be “It was okay but they had forgot the wine in the sauce”

You set the bar by early age I hear! When did you come together with the conclusion of the crappy market and that you had the change it with Virtuous?
I have a Jesus complex, I want to make things better. During these 10 years of working with the restaurant area, the improvement has been really good there. Higher standards, demands of better ingredients of food, so why should I concur with that? I want to concur with people that makes products bad and I have seasoned my own liquor in 15 years and one day I asked myself: “Wait a minute, isn’t this something people might be ready for?”

Virtuous Vodka Liquor
6 different tastes

How is it to work with liquor here in Sweden?
Its a disaster and very bad conditions. Its mostly the big companies that has the benefits and one of the big issue is to get it out on the market here in Sweden. Its much more easier to get it out in Czech Republic, for example. It is a bit difficult but we have succeed!

In how many Systembolag (the swedish alcohol monopoly) do you exists in today?
Last time I checked I think it was in 36 stores. What I really wish for is a Systembolag that want to invest in quality products. Since Systembolaget doesnt really sell, they only store it on their shelves, until someone wants to buy it, it is not really an evolving enviroment for products like liquor.

I can imagine that must be frustrating, how is the distribution abroad?
We do exist abroad, in germany, italy and holland for example, and we are currently talking to different importers the get the product out there. The goal is nothing else but world domination.

Who are you behind the brand? Who are working with it?
It is me and my brother in law that started it. There are also 5-7 more people that puts in their hours to it when they can. We have our own production in Nynäshamn so any extra hands there or serve Virtuous during an event.

How have you come up with all the flavours to the vodka?
Most of them I have done for a while, on my own. New flavours is just ideas and testing a lot.

When did you decide to choose crowdfunding, can you tell about that journey?
Basically, we chose it because it’s very difficult to get out on the Swedish market with an alcohol product, there are so many obstacles, 1: Systembolaget 2: You are not allowed to do marketing for liquor.
We saw crowdfunding as a good way of reaching out to people and the initial idea was to have a party  as the final. We met up with Daniel, Arno and Cathrine. They told us then; “Wait, we are launching equity crowdfunding very soon, and we want your campaign on board” Which sounded really cool, because then we would reach both finance and ambassadeurs for the product. Hopefully, that will also make the partners very rich. We have to wait and see. its a part of the world domination.

What more has it given you to do crowdfunding?
I believe in the distribution of ownership. It also provides a larger network of contacts and access to many areas of expertise.

The history of entrepreneurship, what is your background in that?
I dont know what a employed is. I have never had that in my life and I will probably never be that either. As I mentioned earlier, I have done movies and projects and have a desire to do things to improve the world. For me, that doesn’t or can’t include employment.
I have the energy and the wanting to spread a better taste experience. If I also think in the business perspective, it is much more scaleable with a consumer product than a service business. I think it’s more fun to work towards a consumer market than the business market. Be able to load your business with other core values ​​are also more inspiring.

Can you tell us about organic liquor? What defines your vodka as organic?
This means that we use certified organic crops, no use of pesticides that the nature can not handle. Playing with biodiversity is something that is very dangerous. If you use pesticides to remove small insects that destroys it for the birds that are higher up the food chain. I want to contribute and prove that for a few bucks extra, you get a much better product that also tastes better.

Virtuous Vodka Liquor

Is it hard to produce organic liquor?
It is easier to get conventional food, but I dont see it as a big problem.

What is the biggest challenge now to get people to try your product?
People must know about us if they dont then you wont try our products. We have to tell people also why you want to purchase those extra money for a good product.
We are working with marketing such as facebook, advertising, events and get restaurants to use our product.

Unfortunately, we can not advertise. Beer and wine can it is easier. We want to sell first and foremost on our taste, it’s fake-free and genuine. So far we have produced about 23,000 bottles.

How many bottles do you need to drink to become an expert of liquor?
Not that many, since the market is so bad right now, I would say that you have went through most of them if you have tried a few.

 

Indie Bars got new energy through crowdfunding

Indie Bars got new energy through crowdfunding

We met up with the founders of Indie Bars for a talk about energy, cranberries and the importance of hanging out at the right pool. 

We are curious about how the idea of Indie Bars was born. What’s the history behind?

Olle: I have a background in triathlon and have tested a lot of energy bars through the years. There are many alternatives out there but I experienced problems with the ones I used. I didn’t get enough energy from it, even though I tried them all – from gels to bars. In the spring of 2013 I got the idea to produce something on my own, since I like to baking and being around the kitchen. I started using it on my own and found it worked really well for me, so I started giving it to my friends at the pool after training to see their response. That’s how I met Mikaela.

Mika: I found out about Olles idea and thought “My god, is he gonna run this by himself?” Got really interested in the concept since I’m a nutritionist. I asked straight out if he wanted a co-founder. And he did!

Olle: Absolutely! We started developing the bars together. It was important that they were going to be organic and totally free from gluten and lactose, as well as vegan. They were supposed to taste good and be made for people that workout. Those were the main principles that we based our product development on.

 

What’s the biggest problem with the products out there today? Why are they not good enough?

Olle: Many of these energy bars contain synthetic products. They are not built on organic ingredients like dried fruit or nuts and contain many additives. I am careful of what I eat normally, but when you work out you are expected to consume all these synthetic products, and it feels strange.

Mika: When you do conditioned sports it is important that you get a lot of energy, it’s not like running 30 minutes and you can eat like you normally would. You have to eat energy in some way. One of our main goals was to make a really tasty product, which we think most of the bars today are not.

Indie bars_FundedByMe try_indie bars

Often it can be hard to know what’s in the energy products you’re eating. How transparent are you with the ingredients?

Mika: We are very transparent and write all the ingredients. We only use natural ingredients, so there’s nothing we can write with other names. All natural products, such as fruit sugar, together with the packaging, will make them durable for a whole year.

Olle: Many other brands want to highlight something special, that you get extra energy because it contains a special ingredient, like caffeine or amino acids. We see it as when you do training you need energy, not a magical ingredient that make you super strong. If you eat good raw materials you get good energy to be able to perform good effective training. That’s why we call our products Wipeout and Breakaway to connect to sports. We dont want to call it “Blueberry Bliss”, something that focuses only in the ingredient. We want to focus on the activity and the practise.

 

I like the name, Indie Bars, how did you come up with that?

Mika: In the beginning, when Olle started, he called it Aloha Bars. An inspiration from triathlon, Hawaii and Ironman. We got problem with the trademark rights so in the end we chose Indie Bars, to communicate the feeling of independent, small scale and locally produced.

10620968_895345320493632_1051558619_n

How do you work together? Good sides and bad sides?

Mika: We are both very energetic and develop a lot of ideas so we have to stop ourselves sometimes.

Olle: We have made most of the work together, from baking and experimenting with new tastes, to labeling hundred of bars, being at exhibitions and competitions, you name it. We complete each other very well.

 

How has your experience been with entrepreneurship?

Mika: When I asked Olle if he needed a co-founder I already had my mind set to work hard, and I have done it since. I had no previous experience with entrepreneurship but I’m very targeted, so when we decided to go it was all in.

Olle: The journey to develop a product and started to sell it is very long, and showed to be longer and more complicated than I had imagined when starting out. It’s one thing to bake 20 bars at the time in your moms kitchen, but to do it in bigger scale as a whole another, regarding keeping the taste, consistency and deliveries. You learn a lot.

 

What milestones have you had?

Mika: I’d say when we met our supplier in England, that made me feel this is for real.

Olle: We can’t say too much about that though, it’s a bit like the batman cave, we can’t reveal everything. I have to say the campaign with you, FundedByMe, was a lot of fun. We got a receipt that people believe in the product and actually do contribute. It’s one thing when people say it’s a fun product but now people actually funded the idea. That’s a lot of fun!

 

How did you come up with ingredients for a product like this?

Olle: You hang out a lot in Coop, Östgötagatan and Skanstulls Hälsokost. We have experimented with ingredients to find our own unique taste with the ingredients we like the most. It was a whole lot of experimenting and counting back and forth, you know “add some more cranberries there”. Some got really good, some didn’t work at all.

Mika: Product development takes time. Our goal is to have the best bars on the market so we spent a lot of time to get the right taste with all the components we wanted. Further tastes are planned.

IMG_0514

What’s the next step?

Mika: Product development is there all the time, which is crucial in a market like this. Our main goal now is sales. It’s a challenge to get enough money on sales that you can actually invest more in the company. First thing we are looking into is the packaging of the product, to get a real package instead of a sticker.

Olle: It’s like Mika says, now we got capital from FundedByMe and athletes are getting in touch with us spontaneously to corporate. The same with sports clubs and stores. A lot of people want to corporate which is super exciting. In the meantime we have to get the product out to the market.

 

How did you find FundedByMe?

Mika: Both me and Olle are very social and hang out with the target group. That helps to market and spread the word.

Olle: I had read about projects that were made possible through crowdfunding. I heard about Flippin’ Burgers and how it was a part of their story that they were funded by friends, family and early supporters. I started looking and found FundedByMe and realised it works with our product, to have the reward based option. It’s not only for funding but also good for marketing and to tell the story about the bars and ourselves. Mika hasn’t revealed it yet but she is a really successful triathlete. She won the swedish championship this summer and is joining the national team now. Thats a huge part of the story.

 

Do you have any tips to other people that want to crowdfund?

Olle: Have a clear product that people can grasp and fits the type of campaign. Work with several types of communication channels, hang out with the people you are reaching out to and always bring your product with you.

 

Have you had any rough periods and how do you find the energy to come back?

Mika: There’s always new problems occurring. For every problem we solve there’s new coming up. I think thats what it’s like for every startup in all industries. You have to build all relations from scratch, you have to work with everything. We dont have any consultants. We do everything on our own. It’s a challenge but very satisfactory when you manage to solve the problems.

Olle: You learn that you cant be clear enough when you communicate with different operators. In the beginning of the summer we had a situation where we had prepared everything, from stickers to ingredients and is ready to push the button, when a supplier made a last minute call and said their product is not organic. It’s a test of your patience but with creativity you find your way around it. You have to like challenges. Finally, thank you FundedByMe for helping us make this happen.

indie bars_logo

Equity Campaign: Lovetagged – A matchmaking service through Facebook

Equity Campaign: Lovetagged – A matchmaking service through Facebook

We have interviewed Christian Majgaard at the Copenhagen Crowdfunding Meetup and asked him about his crowdfunding campaign Lovetagged on FundedByMe. 

Lovetagged_FundedByMe_campaign

Tell us a little about Lovetagged, what is it?
I call Lovetagged a killer app, because no one has done this before. We have made a tool for matchmaking your friends’ friends on Facebook.

Why do you see a potential in this field?
The dating market is a 4 billion$ industry and growing, we believe we can disrupt the market by introducing real people in the matching process by targeting Facebook users and their friends friends.

Based on stasticis the average facebook users each have 300 friends in average, and these friends will have another 300 friends – that makes 90000 friends that could be matched. These matches will be sorted by gender, relationship status, age and so on. However statically we will end up with at least 1000 matches, this is a huge potential.
I know there is a lot of matchmakers out there. People do it naturally, because they believe it is rewarding, and we want to give them the tools to do it. This is what Lovetagged aims to do.

How did the idea come to life?
The idea about Lovetagged started about 10 month ago at my brothers wedding in Poland. At the wedding I met my brothers bestman, a nice polish man called Lucasz. The funny story about Luckasz is that he is not in anyway my brother’s best friend; but he is the guy who introduced him to his wife. Luckasz had arranged a blind date for my brother and his wife and was very proud of his achievement in matching a date that ended in a marriage. This inspired me to make a tool that allows users to more formally match their friends for dates.

What is your business model?
The app is live on Facebook and it is free for everyone. We are currently testing different business models. First of all we need to get people into Lovetagged. Some people will do it because they derive satisfaction from matching friends for dates. Others might need another encouragement. Thus we built the app around gamification. By matching your friends you earn points, these points can be translated into deals and offers sponsored by our partners. We believe there is a potential with this way of advertising for partners and we offer a broad range of sponsor options.

Another model would be let users pay for their friend’s matches. A match would come at a small fee e.g. EUR1 to activate the chat function. We are also looking at offering premium models, where paying members can have access to add-on tools like: search, notifications upon status change, messages etc.

FundedByMe_Lovetagged

How is Lovetagged different from other dating sites?
Lovetagged is in a blue ocean, meaning we are one of the first to do what we are doing. Traditional dating sites offer tech driven and untrustworthy matches based on algorithms. We only conduct matching made by people and high trust. Meanwhile other platforms have been infamous for being time consuming, expensive and inaccurate.

We can compete with the big platforms instantly as we don’t need the same critical masses. Using Facebook friends for matching, all our users are in theory one critical mass. We have talked to many single people who are tired of traditional platforms and welcome this service.

What will you use the money for?
We have already launched our app on Facebook, and have users. We are at the moment looking at developing an app for mobile, tablets, adding a premium functions and more partnerships.

The most important priority is marketing and that is where we will be spending our money. Marketing is also the reason why we selected crowdfunding and FundedByMe as a way to raise funds. We want to include investors as ambassadors for the brand and welcome their inputs. Ideas from investors and dating experts is gold. Hopefully we close our crowdfunding round soon, and launch with immense strength and reach.

What have you received from the crowd?
We have received a lot of constructive advice from the crowd. People are sending good ideas and feedback. A Swedish psychologist has contacted us, he has been very interested in Lovetagged since he has finished a research about happiness, proving that people derive happiness from matchmaking. Other people have helped us with marketing advice and so on. It means so much to us to have these people in our network. And we are already looking forward working together in the future.

 

Martin Borgs crowdfunded documentary premiers in Stockholm

Martin Borgs crowdfunded documentary premiers in Stockholm

Martin Borgs is a documentary filmmaker and together with his colleague Ida Drougge they made the movie “Någon annan betalar” which was crowdfunded and  has it’s premiere on Tuesday august 19th. We had the chance to interview Martin, who will tell us about the journey from the campaign to finishing a film.

How did you go together and made this kind of movie?
Ida and I have been hunting ways of tax money for some years, being a documentary filmmaker, I wanted to turn this into a movie. If you’re making a movie about waste of somebody elses money, then it’s kind of hard to go to the government to ask for tax money. So for me it was self-evident that we wanted to crowdfund.

How was your experience with crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is amazing. It’s like a Kinder egg, you never know what surprise you’ll get. Because you not only get the energy from people, some of them also become your ambassadors. And of course the fact that people voluntarily finance this. Being on the road, you know that you have this support. These three things are amazing.

martin borgs, ida drougge, on the road
On the road.

What was the trigger that made you do this movie? How did the process look like?
I made a movie couple of years ago, the first movie about waste of tax payers money. What made me want to to another was the fact that this was still going on. I started out by doing research and I had a lot of help from my 43 000 Facebook fans  that contribute with a lot of the initial crowdsourced information. That was phase one, phase two we published a book in december 2013 that became a bestseller. For the filmmaking process we traveled around the country investigating 15-20 different stories. All the way from Östersund in the north of Sweden down to Malmö in the south. We were on the road for about 3 weeks.

martin borgs, ida drougge, on the road

What is the most exciting thing being a documentary filmmaker?
I love stories and reality is the best story. Obviously I love fiction as well, but we have a swedish expression that says “verkligheten överträffar dikten” which means – reality jumps over fiction. Going to some of these places, it’s like – no one can not come up with this. To give you one example, I went to the Hells Angels, they have a base outside Karlstad. The government wanted to get rid of them, so they bought the house for 3 million Swedish krona, but they forgot to do it in a legally right way. So now, Hells Angels got the 3 million Swedish krona, and are still residents. It’s just crazy. I guess, this is the reason for being a documentary filmmaker – to bring the audience to a place like that and tell the story.

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Where do you find your inspiration? Any specific documentary filmmaker?
There is this Swedish filmmaker, Jan Troell. He made a movie called “Land of Dreams”. (Sagolandet). it’s quite an old movie. He is my main influence, but there are of course many. I’m always trying to make a movie using humor as a weapon. There are a lot of american filmmakers that does that, I love that tradition. The daily show with Jon Stewart for example. They are showing reality using humor, and that is a good way getting to the audience.

What was your biggest learning throughout the project?
What struck me the most was the amazing support from the audience, all through the project. I was thrown to the ground by the fact that so many people wanted to give money to me, to make this film. All the support that came through Facebook as a channel. I think that was thing that amazed me the most. It gives me goosebumps that on Tuesday august 19th, I will meet these people at the premiere and be able to shake their hands and say this movie is made thanks to you, and now we’re going to see it together.

Was there any time during the project that you had doubt?
Yes. When you crowdfund a movie you have so much responsibility towards those who financed it. I can give you one example. I really wanted to go to Brussels, because there is a lot of waste of tax money going on there. But it didn’t work out, because, people in Brussels didn’t want to talk to us, so I had to make the call that – we’re not going. We would waste other peoples money going there. It was really a tough call to make. And of course now, while editing the movie I also have angst – will this movie be good enough? How will the backers think about it? I’m just looking forward to premiere.

Do you have any advice to people that want to crowdfund a movie or to make documentary movie?
One of my advice would be that, one must not forget the first word in crowdfunding. Crowd. You really need to have a crowd and know how to connect with that crowd. That was one my key success factors.

When you have the crowd, all you have to do is ask, and then ask again, and again, in different creative ways. If you don’t have a crowd, start with that. One thing that I want to add is, I did this crowdfunding campaign in Spring last year. I was deciding which platform to use and of course I was looking at Kickstarter, being a big international platform, and also some others Swedish and European platforms. But I am so happy that I went with FundedByMe.

This movie would not have been made without FundedByMe. The platform is brilliant itself, but half as brilliant as people behind it. I’m so grateful for all the passion that the team at FundedByMe has provided. The combination of passion and intelligence has resulted in wonderful platform, technically speaking but also as a crowdfunder you feel their support. I’m so grateful. I do remember when I spoke to Cat, and I told her that our target was 250.000kr. She laughed and said, you know it’s better to have a realistic goal, a goal that is easier to accomplish. I was convinced we could reach that, and we ended up raising 550.000kr. That’s a great memory.

Were you nervous around the time when campaign was up and running?
The campaign was up for 6 weeks. Longest 6 weeks in my life. It was like running a marathon, I had to do something every day to keep the energy up. But it was all worth it.

One last question. Why did you burn you beard in the trailer?
Haha. Because my wife asked me to. No but it’s crazy isn’t it, to burn your own beard. And dangerous. But I could tell you about other stuff that are also crazy, like European union financing a hunt for the so called “Lake Monster”, (storsjöodjuret) or another local community to have Hells Angels as residents, there are so many crazy things, burning a beard is the least.

Crowdfunding yoga – The world’s first live online studio: Yoogaia

Crowdfunding yoga – The world’s first live online studio: Yoogaia

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

I am Mikko Petäjä, CEO and Founder of Yoogaia. My background is in branding, marketing and innovation. As a designer I’ve accustomed to always think in terms of the value proposition and user benefit – why something matters. As far as Yoogaia goes (and I hope it does, indeed, go far), the whole premise is about creating something of true value in an area that is relevant for a massive amount of people.

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

Yoogaia is a yoga service for everyone. Ever since the beginning, we’ve kept in mind that my mother should be able to use it with ease. This mindset has a number of implications on technology decisions, UX, UI, pricing, communication etc. but also on how we want our users to be involved in the venture overall. We are collaborating with our users on many fronts, so it is only natural that we include everyone in the future growth of Yoogaia, too. Users and non-users have a chance to help us contribute in the crowdfunding yoga equity-based campaign, according to their needs. Not everyone will contribute, by any means, but we like to offer this option to anyone that likes what we are doing. And I have to say that seeing our users and teachers invest in us makes me extremely proud and inspired.

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

The concept of crowdfunding has been suggested to us by many people along the way. So far, we have been developing Yoogaia for the Finnish audience only, but now that we are going international, it makes sense to reach for the international audience, too. Crowdfunding is a beautiful instrument to do just that. There’s a plethora of choice in crowdfunding platforms, and it can actually be quite difficult to choose the right one. I talked to several entrepreneurs with first-hand experience on crowdfunding. FundedByMe was an easy choice for me in the end as from the first moment I received extremely personal care and advice, and I undestood that Yoogaia would stand a good chance in creating a succesful campaign with FundedByMe. Also, I felt that it would be nice to run a dual campaign, combining an equity-based campaign and a reward-based campaign, and FundedByMe offered the possibility to do it all on one platform.

 

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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 increasing our effort internationally on the PR and marketing front. We have one or two well-known individuals lined-up to contribute that are willing to become a spokesperson for the campaign, too. We are attending several events where we have a chance to meet people face-to-face. Less than halfway through the campaign, it appears to me there are plenty of individuals that have already made the decision to contribute but so far have not actually done it. Naturally, we’re doing all we can to spread the message and get more and more people involved.

Why should our readers get involved in your campaign?

In just over half a year, we have validated the assumption that everyday wellbeing is a real challenge for almost everyone. There is a myriad of solutions (technological and non-technological) that attempt to solve the problem, but very few that offer such beautiful simplicity that Yoogaia offers. It’s not a gadget, an app or a game. It’s not artificial and it’s not gimmicky. It’s a straight forward and simple service that is easy to use. Not for the tech geeks, mind you, but for everyone. And what makes me especially happy is that everyone sees the benefit immediately without us having to spell it out. Our net promoter score is astounding which confirms that people are really happy with what we are doing already, although it’s still early stages. As much as it is a cliché, we are making the world a better place, click by click.

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

There are many, but as a founder of a service that came about due to my personal desire for such a service, I have especially admired the FundedByMe campaign, that was inspiring and beatifully executed. There’s no argumenting that you have created something valuable if you can show its efficiency by being the guinea pig yourself. I believe that if you create something that really works for you, it works for others, too. That inspires me.