Grant Thornton and crowdfunding platform FundedByMe enter partnership

Grant Thornton and crowdfunding platform FundedByMe enter partnership

Crowdfunding – when companies turn to a crowd of investors to fund projects or ideas – is growing rapidly. Now, auditing and consulting firm Grant Thornton in Sweden partners with the crowdfunding platform, FundedByMe, with more than 50,000 investors in over 160 countries. The success stories include – among many others – Berries by Astrid, Virtuos Vodka and Isbjörn of Sweden.

The purpose of the partnership for Grant Thornton and FundedByMe is to develop entrepreneurship and support companies in their startup phases. For Grant Thornton this primarily means offering valuation services to entrepreneurs, hence facilitating for entrepreneurs and investors to connect and close deals at the right level.

– We believe that FundedByMe’s digital service is completely in tune with the times and that crowdfunding will continue to grow fast, both in Sweden and internationally and especially among young entrepreneurs. We are happy that through this partnership, we are able to support Swedish entrepreneurs in need of funding and thereby contribute to growth, says Carl-Johan Regell, authorized accountant and partner at Grant Thornton Sweden.

We realized several years ago that we wanted to partner with big, established players in the market, in order to develop crowdfunding in the sharing economy. We feel that Grant Thornton, just like FundedByMe, operates in the spirit of companies with increasing growth, and with the right focus for the entrepreneurs and companies who turn to us. We are very happy to announce this partnership and we see Grant Thornton Sweden as a strong partner for the exciting journey that lies ahead, says Daniel Daboczy, founder and CEO of FundedByMe.

The partnership begins with advisors from Grant Thornton participating in different activities, which FundedByMe arranges for investors and entrepreneurs this fall. After that, the companies will draw advantage of their respective networks to help entrepreneurs grow.

Grant Thornton already supports well-known entrepreneurial sponsorships and networks, such as DiGasell, Founders Alliance, YEoS and SUP46.

For more information, contact:

Lisbeth Larsson, Head of Communications, Grant Thornton

T: 0708-21 71 56, 08-563 071 56

E: lisbeth.larsson@se.gt.com

Twitter: @GT:_LisLar

www.grantthornton.se/press

Twitter:@GrantThorntonSE

Lena Flykt Rosén, Head of Partnerships, FundedByMe

T: +46702-86 66 12

Email: lena@fundedbyme.com

www.fundedbyme.com

About Grant Thornton Sweden

Grant Thornton Sweden is one of the fastest growing audit and consulting firms in Sweden. With more than1100 employees and 23 offices, the company is an independently owned and managed member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. The member firms provide audit, tax and advisory advices.

Grant Thornton” refers to the brand under which the Grant Thornton member firms provide assurance, tax and advisory services to their clients and/or refers to one or more member firms, as the context requires. Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL) and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. GTIL and each member firm is a separate legal entity. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL does not provide services to clients. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions

About FundedByMe
FundedByMe is a leading international player in crowdfunding through equity, loan or reward. The company has successfully funded hundreds of companies from 25 countries. The members represent a rapidly growing network of more than 57,000 investors from over 160 countries. FundedByMe with headquarters in Sweden has a presence in countries around Europe and in Singapore.

After the crowdfunding: Jascha opens the first store

After the crowdfunding: Jascha opens the first store

 

We went to Jascha’s newly opened store in MOOD Stockholm to see what the hype is about. A year after their crowdfunding on FundedByMe we got a talk with Jonas, one of the founders:

How long have you been working with fashion?

I’m born with fashion. My mom is a designer. She’s been working with it since I was a kid. My older brother is Jascha. He started the brand 12 years ago, then me and my other brother started this company 5 years ago. We had a store at Odenplan before, where we had a mix of fashion and interior decoration, but wanted a pure Jascha store. We have built this store to show what Jascha stands for, we can present the whole collection and concept in a unique way. We are going to develop it more, and if it succeed’s, this store will look totally different in six months from now.

What is Jascha all about?

Our focus is fit and quality with distinct details, which is unique. There are many brands that work similar but more minimalistic. Not many in Sweden works with the distinct details like we do. The typical Jascha customer is a business woman, 30-35 years, that has good economy, although it’s not expensive. A dress is 1 200 – 1 600 kronors. Its not more expensive than our competitors.

What’s your plan?

To expand. This store is an experiment. The plan is to build a small chain of stores to start with, in Stockholm. The city is big enough to hold several stores. Then we will evaluate after a couple of months. The most important with the store is not the cash, but to see what potential it has. You have to be alert all the time, it’s an industry in constant change. You are on your toes all the time.

                                                                        Foto 2014-10-09 10 34 57 (1)

Last year you raised 500 000 SEK on FundedByMe, what happened after that?

Our pitch was to increase gross sales and export, which we did. We reached the goal for turnover that we had in the prospect. I got into crowdfunding when I was at a party and a friend of a friend said he planned to start a campaign for his website. I got interested since i had been thinking of how to raise money in an easy way. I googled FundedByMe and saw there was soon to be an introduction meeting, so I went. I knew I could present it well but was unsure of how many investors that was connected. I got surprised of how many serious investors there was in the network.

How much is ethics involved in the making?

It is important but difficult in this industry. We have barely no production in Asia, where it would be hard to control it. We work in Eastern Europe so we can go visit the factories easier. It’s  a murdering competition in this industry when it comes to production. If I would make this product Fairtrade etc, I would have to charge a whole lot more for the clothes. In difference from other products, people dont value ecological and ethical products when it comes to clothes. When people buy food they are willing to spend more for that kind of products but it havn’t reached our industry yet. I think the mindset will come more to clothes too. We work with ecologic materials like viscose that is way more friendly to nature than cotton is.

Jonas gives a tour of the store including it’s many custom built solutions, made by themselves:

There are still some things to be installed. It’s gone very fast. We are just seven people in the company including store clerks. The four people in the office do everything from designing, marketing to going to fairs. We are known for being very fast and it’s all about focus. We signed the contract for this store just six weeks ago, opened the doors yesterday and will throw a inauguration party here in two weeks.

Foto 2014-10-09 10 36 04

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.

 

Nerdy by Nerds – Entrepreneur Q&A with Peter Arneryd

Nerdy by Nerds – Entrepreneur Q&A with Peter Arneryd

Peter Arneryd from Nerdy by Nerds Jeans on FundedByMe

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

My name is Peter and I am from Malmö Limhamn in Sweden and I am part of the founding team of the Swedish jeans brand, Nerdy by Nerds Jeans. I have always been interested in quality clothes so when I was younger I used to study the history of every garment I was buying. My dream has always been to create something that other people would want to use or be a part of. I simply want to be a inspirational person and a role model and with NBN we are able to bring back solid craftsmanship to the world of fashion – in Sweden and beyond.

 

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

We loved clothes and we wanted to work in the fashion industry in some way. The easiest way was – and is – to open up a webshop, but we didn’t want it to be easy. We wanted to create something that we could call ours so we could be hundred percent proud of those product we would be selling. We loved the history of clothes and jeans, of course. There was this moment where my business partners and I realised that we wanted to create our own jeans produced in the old-fashioned way. When we started to produce our jeans we came up with the idea that all our customers should be a part of the production. So this lead us to the idea of how our store would look like – in our stores we want our customers to be able to see, hear, smell, and participate in the production process. Each pair of Nerdy by Nerds jeans is unique and traceable, so that you will always be able to tell when and where they were made.

Nerdy by Nerds factory shop

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

Before we have heard about FundedByMe had we discussed the idea of doing a crowdfunding round on Kickstarter, the largest reward-based platform in the US. But we met the team from FundedByMe at a regional event here in Sweden and, with our goal of attracting the Swedish market, the fastest-growing crowdfunding site in Europe seemed perfect. On top of everything, the passion and energy of the FundedByMe team was great, which made ​​the decision a lot easier.

 

What was the best part about running a campaign on FundedByMe? And what was a challenge?

Doing a crowdfunding round is very special. it’s like starting a new company where everything you do has to be focused on the crowdfunding campaign. Before we went live, we thought that crowdfunding would fix itself. That was not the case, every hour of the day one of us spent on our crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe. It took a lot of time – even more than you could ever imagine!

Even if crowdfunding is an online investment platform you still have to be out there in the real world to meet people. We almost lived in Stockholm for two months to meet potential investors. One of the difficult parts of crowdfunding is getting to the actual money. People find it easy to subscribe that they want to invest, but when it comes to paying and transferring the money, it is harder.

The best thing about crowdfunding is all the partners we got to know along the way. Many of our investors want to help us with PR, photo, film, music and much more, which is incredibly fun. Another great thing is the marketing and brand exposure you get with a really awesome campaign. We have been featured in pretty much every morning paper in all of Sweden. Importantly, you shouldn’t forget that all of our investors are also our biggest ambassadors. They are talking, wearing and spreading the news about Nerdy by Nerds Jeans out there. That is priceless.

Nerdy by Nerds founding team

Would you recommend other entrepreneurs to consider crowdfunding – and FundedByMe – for their financing needs? Why? Any tips or advice to those considering it?

I would absolutely recommend crowdfunding and FundedByMe to other entrepreneurs. The combination of investments and marketing makes for an amazing part of the the next phase in business. The best tip is to spend many hours on planning your marketing strategy before you roll out your campaign. And then, once you are actually on the platform, to take the time to be very active – be in touch with your investors, answer questions, be out there promoting your brand. It takes a lot of time and energy to get the best result, but it is absolutely worth it in the end.

 

Now that your crowdfunding campaign has closed, what’s next?

We recently opened our first shopfactory in Malmö, our hometown. The next step is to take NBN to Stockholm and opening up a shopfactory there as well. Our brand is going places – watch this space!

Nerdy by Nerds on FundedByMeView the Nerdy by Nerds campaign on FundedByMe here.

 

Meet Danish Entrepreneur Karsten Vandrup

Meet Danish Entrepreneur Karsten Vandrup

Danish Entrepreneur Karsten VandrupDanish Entrepreneur Karsten Vandrup is currently working hard to spread the word about the crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe for his third startup, Water Surveillance. We caught up with him to ask him about his thoughts on crowdfunding as an alternative source of finance for a seasoned entrepreneur as himself.

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

My name is Karsten Vandrup, CEO of Water Surveillance, and experienced entrepreneur. In fact, Water Surveillance is my 3rd start-up, with two successful companies still in operation.

I hold a degree in engineering EE from the Technical University of Denmark, supplemented by studies at UCLA, Insead and Hanken. My experience is basically from larger corporations in Denmark, Finland and the US, specifically Nokia and Litepoint.

In my spare time, I teach ‘Strategic Innovation Management’ at Riga Business School. Whenever I can, I go sailing, fishing and enjoy outdoor life and nature. When I get old enough, I’ll sail around the world, discovering the rest of the world too.

 

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

Our corporate basement in Denmark was flooded during the great autumn storms of 2011. Our corporate headquarters is located high above sea level and our landlord told us that this was the first flooding of the basements since the house was built over 30 years ago. Since we had already been working on sensor electronics and cloud services for a number of years, we decided to look into this huge market opportunity.

Water Surveillance is a classical mature business case, solving an increasing problem for many people using new state-of-the-art technology, and we have spent a serious amount of time analyzing the market and the opportunities, testing our solution in real cases with real customers. In my opinion, this makes Water Surveillance a very good and safe investment.

As we unveiled the business case to the market, we realized that a product like our WS Pro-One was in huge demand among Damage Control Companies, who need to be more efficient and to comply with new demands from their customers, and so far direct competition does not exist.

 

Why did you decide on crowdfunding? What about FundedByMe appealed to you?FundedByMe brings a unique combination of capital and network across our main markets – Scandinavia and Western Europe. By teaming up with the knowledgeable community of FundedByMe, we expect to “hit the ground running” with lots of ambassadors for our technology spread out over Europe. We like the idea of the ‘Crowd’ too, and how the world starts to take care of essential problems via the Internet, and bypass the traditional sources. Examples are micro-loans, crowd sourcing, crowdfunding, etc. In Water Surveillance, we work with traditional investors and structural funds, however inviting other investors too via FundedByMe.

 

What is the best part about running a campaign on FundedByMe? And what is a challenge?

Its great to already have so many supporters from all over Europe (and even USA and China), even though we haven’t formally started our campaign (we are still in pre-round). The challenge is – as always – to get the word out to all the right people. We believe to have a fantastic business model – but it may not sound as “sexy” as some of the consumer projects that are out there, though we believe it’s a great investment opportunity.

 

Would you recommend other entrepreneurs to consider crowdfunding – and FundedByMe – for their financing needs? Why? Any tips or advice to those considering it?

Yes, absolutely, it’s a great way to kickstart your business. Unlike the traditional beaten path of seeking capital through VCs, the crowdfunding process forces you to connect with a community of real people from day 1. It’s very important that you take an open approach to the community from the start. Make sure you get enough marketing traction and talk-factor and remember that crowdfunding is a lot of work. But it’s so rewarding at the same time!

Equity Crowdfunding Entrepreneur Q&A – Claes Stenmark of Virtuous Vodka

Virtuous Vodka co-founder Claes Stenmark is unique. That much is clear as soon as I get the response to my email asking him to participate in our popular Q&A feature on the FundedByMe blog. “Sure,” it reads, “But let’s do it over lunch instead”. And that pretty much summarised Claes right there – no frills honesty, a whole lot of passion and this unique drive to connect with the people around him, coupled with a burning ambition to make the world a better place. “There’s so much fake in the world, I want to help move us towards a planet that is more real,” he says while scratching his trademark beard. And, sitting across the table from him, I can’t help but believe that he is going to do that. Claes Stenmark is going to change the world into a better place. And successfully launching the ecological, natural-flavoured Virtuous Vodka into liquor stores around Sweden is only the first step in this process!

Claes Stenmark of Virtuous Vodka at the manufacturing distillery

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

World domination. Through real flavour! At Virtuous Spirits (the holding company for Virtuous Vodka) we strive for a fake-free world. We want to touch real people. Provide real – and great – products. Be honest. And help everyone take responsibility towards the effect that we are having on our planet. I was born and raised in Sweden and have just always loved flavours. My mom tells the story of fetching me from daycare when I was four or five and asking me how my day was and what I had for lunch. When she then asked me how lunch was I replied, “Good fish meal, but they forgot to put wine in the sauce!” I mean, this was in the early ’80s…no one cooked with wine back in the ’80s! But in our family cooking and flavours was part of the make-up. My grandma and I spent hours together in the garden, picking herbs and then washing, chopping these…those are some of my best memories.

Virtuous Vodka - six flavoursHow did the idea for Virtuous Vodka come about? Describe it to us.

While at university I started working as a chef – it was the perfect job for me as it allowed the opportunity to explore my love of food and also helped pay the bills. After finishing university I ended up working in advertising and filming for a number of years, longing for the day where I could start my own business and, somehow, rekindle my love for flavours and cooking. Opening a restaurant was the natural choice, but the long hours, along with the sheer number of great restaurants already out there, didn’t really appeal to me. I wanted to make a difference and bring about change…

My brother-in-law is a super entrepreneur from Cuba who fled to the Soviet Union in the ’90s and was living in the Brazil at the time. We were always talking about different business ideas and I one day emailed him an idea to create an ecological vodka, flavoured with only natural ingredients. His responses always came back swiftly, but on this one he was quiet for a few days. When I finally pushed him about not replying to my email the response came back with a resounding ‘YES’! Fast-forward a couple of months and he had quit his job and relocated to Sweden and we were focusing all our attention on creating and launching Virtuous Vodka.

Virtuous Vodka Jimmy's Passion cocktail

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

We see crowdfunding as marketing…Yes, the money was key, but the bigger motivator was getting this captive audience who tasted our product during the process when we invited them to tasting events, who became shareholders in our business and who would, today, move heaven and earth to help us succeed. That’s the power of crowdfunding! FundedByMe was a natural choice for us as it’s the largest player in Scandinavia and the platform was just launching equity crowdfunding, so we got lots of attention for being the first consumer brand in Sweden to raise funds this way. The fact that the team got really involved (I think most of them invested in us!) and that they really opened up their network to help improve our competencies was awesome.

Today Virtuous Spirits employs three of us full-time. Additionally we have about a dozen people putting in long hours and an additional 117 ambassadors spreading awareness and helping us out by connecting the Virtuous brand to their networks… It’s awesome.

The Virtuous Vodka delivery bike in Stockholm

What was the best part about running a campaign on FundedByMe? And what was a challenge?

The equity crowdfunding phenomenon in and of itself is probably the highlight. The FundedByMe team was super approachable and easy to talk to, helping us along the way and becoming our biggest fans! The challenge is the amount of work it takes to really make an equity crowdfunding campaign succeed…uploading a strong presentation is only a small part! Once your campaign goes into Pre-Round the actual work starts. We contacted a lot of press to help educate the world about our product. When you launch a new concept, in our case naturally flavoured vodka, education is key. We also hosted four exclusive tasting events to potential investors and I’m proud to say that 25% of the people who tasted Virtuous Vodka became investors in our brand.

Virtuous Vodka shots lined up

Would you recommend other entrepreneurs to consider crowdfunding – and FundedByMe – for their financing needs? Why? Any tips or advice to those considering it?

Do it! Have a good pitch. Show how you plan to make money. Explain your product or service in a simple way. Have a great elevator pitch. Then work it. Be accessible. Be proactive and don’t be shy to talk about your campaign. It’s all about how you explain your brand and you have to get to the point very fast!

Virtuous Vodka founder Claes Stenmark showing what happens when everything is done the 'eco' way with real berries for flavouring!

Now that your crowdfunding campaign has closed, what’s next?

Well, we just got accepted to sell through Sweden’s Systembolaget, the nation’s only liquor outlet. We are working on exporting our product outside of Sweden and are establishing relationships with wholesalers in key markets. Right now our next batch of ecological vodka is macerating (that’s a fancy word for ‘infusing’) at our production facility in Nynäshamn, 60km outside of Stockholm.

The real work is just beginning.

Classic crowdfunding entrepreneur Q&A – Viktor Hertz

We love Viktor Hertz’ colourful poster designs – and he’s a passionate classic crowdfunder too! After launching two successful classic crowdfunding projects on the FundedByMe platform, Viktor is a bit of a professional when it comes to crowdfunding – particular for creatives and artists. We caught up with Viktor to ask him how classic crowdfunding has impacted his projects.

Pictogram rock posters by Viktor Hertz

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

My name is Viktor Hertz and I’m 30 years old, just moved to Stockholm from Uppsala where I was born. I started doing graphic design a couple of years ago and was lucky enough to be able to make a living out of it after a while. I’ve been doing freelance work and personal projects since 2011 so it’s a great privilege to be able to do what you love for a living. I’m very passionate about graphic design and art (of course), but also film and music – basically everything that makes life a bit more colourful and fun!

I have lots of ideas and dream about realizing as many of them as possible – not only graphics and art, but also film and music. I hope that I can continue working as a freelancer and tackle more personal projects at the same time. It’s really a great combination, doing both commissioned work with deadlines and specific tasks, and make personal stuff with no restrictions whatsoever.

Viktor Hertz is a classic crowdfunding entrepreneur on FundedByMe

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

My ‘Pictogram Rock Posters Project’ was a personal poster project, which started with me creating the Rolling Stones poster as a request from a friend of mine. Then I made seven more of them, picking eight of the most prominent and well-known rock artists and bands of our time. I made little pictogram symbols for as many songs I could come up with, and there is a total of about 233 different pictograms altogether.

I also created the ‘Personal Artworks Project’, which was immense fun and, again, a personal mission.

 

Viktor Hertz' Rolling Stones Poster for Classic Crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe

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

I think it’s a perfect way to fund your project (in my case, printing off-set prints of my posters) with no risks involved, not for me nor the backers. It’s a great way to promote your work and get to know how the public receives your idea and if there’s any interest in purchasing it. FundedByMe was a natural choice as the perfect classic crowdfunding platform for me, since it’s Swedish and already has a great platform and crowdfunding – both classic and equity – are starting to be well-known concepts amongst people.

 

What was the best part about running a campaign on FundedByMe? And what was a challenge?

The best part was probably to read all the comments and feedback and getting more backers than I expected, of course! It was truly exciting to follow the project once I published it, and receiving emails every time someone backed my project.

If I had to label anything as a challenge, it would probably be organizing all the backers and their addresses and different pledges in a good way. This was of course a pleasant problem, since it was overwhelming to know that so many people wanted to buy my posters!

Viktor Hertz' Personal Artwork Project on Classic Crowdfunding platform FundedByMe

Would you recommend other entrepreneurs to consider crowdfunding – and FundedByMe – for their financing needs? Why? Any tips or advice to those considering it?

I would totally recommend this way of financing your project, whatever the idea or product might be. Again, it’s a great (and safe) way to test your idea on the public, and avoiding any financial setbacks. Not only do you get financial support, you also get direct feedback, which really helps – both for the current project and future ones.

Keep your idea and presentation as simple as possible…It really should be crystal clear what you are offering from reading one or two sentences in the preview tagline. Try to put the different pledge levels at reasonable rates, and make it worth it for someone to actually open their wallet and support your project. Always think of it from the possible customer’s point of view- “would I buy this, or invest in this project?”

Also, be as responsive as possible – reply to people’s questions and emails, even if it takes time. I think the personal connection between the entrepreneur and the backer / investor is crucial and really takes it to another level – I got emails from my backers, saying this was a great part of backing the project and being part of the process. This is something I’ll really try to emphasize in my next project, letting people go “behind the scenes” and take part of the development in the process.

Viktor Hertz' Bruce Springsteen poster on FundedByMe's Classic Crowdfunding platform

Now that your crowdfunding campaign has closed, what’s next?

Currently, I’m working on a new art project, which I’m actually planning to crowdfund! I’m really excited about this project, and I can’t wait to publish it, I’m really looking forward to see people’s reactions. So, keep an eye on FundedByMe this summer…hope to see you there!

You can view Viktor’s full Pictogram Rock Posters project on FundedByMe here: http://fundedbyme.com/projects/1135/pictogram-rock-posters/