Why do we need to verify the crowdlenders’ identities?

 

FundedByMe has just launched its new product, loan-based crowdfunding, which is also known as crowdlending. This service enables savers and private investors from nearly all over the world to become lenders and benefit from the growth of Swedish small and medium businesses.

How to do it? It’s easy! Creating an account takes only a few minutes. However, after the registration is complete, FundedByMe has to verify the identity of each lender. This is done in order to provide both entrepreneurs and lenders with a transparent and secure environment. It also complies with international regulations.

Documents need to be veryfied by peer-to-peer lenders

In order to verify the lenders’ identity, FundedByMe asks the users to upload their IDs or passports on their accounts. FundedByMe later passes on the data to an external payment provider, MangoPay, which then verifies the lender’s identity. However, the personal data provided by the lenders to FundedByMe and MangoPay will only be used in order to verify the lender, as well as in the rare case of default. The lenders’ personal information will not be passed on to any other external actors.

After your identity has been verified, you can start lending straight away!

Entrepreneurs: Planning a super FundedByMe campaign video

When you decide to fund your business idea using the FundedByMe crowdfunding platform there are a number of tools that can help you best introduce your brand concept. If only you could send thousands of mini-me copies of yourself out into the real world to spend three minutes with each potential investor or supporter…imagine the impact! But, in reality, a really strong campaign video could do just that for you!

Elements of a strong crowdfunding campaign video:

1) Problem statement: You are solving a problem, right? Tell us what that problem is.

2) Introduce your product: Take 30 seconds to give us your elevator pitch as part of your introduction to your product!

3) Key descriptors: What is fantastic about your story? Tell us something we won’t forget!

4) Software / Hardware / Production stats: Show us something technical about your product / service / offering.

5) Usage demonstration: Do you have a sample product? A digitised sample? A drawing? Show us.

6) Features: Give a full description, mentioning everything else you have not yet covered during your campaign video.

7) FundedByMe campaign mention: Tell viewers where they can go to support your idea! Tell them how to find you on FundedByMe.

8) Perks: Is there anything you are offering as an addition to the original offering? Are you throwing in a free t-shirt to the first 100 supporters? A hug? Tell us!

9) Call to action: What do you want viewers to do once this video ends?

10) URL mention: Where can a viewer of your campaign video go to learn more about your team, your product or contact you?

 

Campaign video examples

These are some of our favourite crowdfunding campaigns on the FundedByMe platform at the moment – be sure to watch their videos! Tell us in the comments what you love about them – and also what you think should be done better. And then go ahead, create your own and share it with the world!

Beibamboo video on FundedByMe

Beibamboo (Finland)

 

SoundZoo on FundedByMe

SoundZoo (Denmark)

 

Nerdy by Nerds Jeans on FundedByMe

Nerdy by Nerds Jeans (Sweden)

How to write an elevator pitch

How to write an elevator pitch

elevator pitch

 

The thinking behind an elevator pitch is that you need to be able to tell a complete stranger about your business idea in the time from when you both step into an elevator until the first one gets off…Roughly 30 seconds? So what are the elements of a great elevator pitch? I was browsing some of my favourite sites and found the image above on The Beauty Entrepreneur. It’s a pretty smart way of creating an elevator pitch, don’t you think?

When writing a short description of your business idea it’s important to answer the following questions:

Who?

What?

Where?

When?

Why?

and How?

If you have any other elevator pitch ideas, let us know in the comments!

Your business idea pitch – tips to help you succeed

On a crowdfunding platform like FundedByMe your business idea pitch is one of many others. And what’s great about our platform is that we have thousands of potential investors regularly checking in to see what new projects we have that they could invest their money into. As an entrepreneur, your challenge is to get your business idea across to the right investor and provide a compelling case that they feel readily convinced to put their money behind your plan!

crowdfunding via Forbes.com

Easier said than done, we know! But here are some tips to get you thinking about how you can put together a really strong pitch for your business idea:

  • Be specific on what product you are building. You may have a very clear vision in your head, but that doesn’t mean we all ‘get it’!
  • Give examples of who your customers are/will be, how many of them there might be and why they will buy your solution
  • What is the specific problem that you are solving? Many entrepreneurs are not able to quickly answer this question. In order to secure funding, you need to have this answer at your fingertips!
  • State who your competitors are and why your solution is better than theirs. You may choose not to list them by names, but often a description will suffice, think ‘Big fast-food chains that serve mass-produced food’, for example.
  • Be specific on how big a business opportunity this is and what revenues will look like in three to five years. While many investors are interested in VFI (value from investment), the majority is looking for ROI (return on investment) – are you committed to making a profit? How will you do this?
  • Tell potential investors where you are in the formation process: do you have a prototype / demo / alpha / beta version, what are your current revenues, etc.
  • Be sure to introduce the team behind your business idea, highlighting the relevant strengths and backgrounds they bring to your project.

Finally, before you hit ‘submit’ on your project page, get others to give you their feedback. What are they missing from your business idea pitch? Are there any facts that are missing that could convince them to support your idea?

Do you have any other tips that we should add to this list of great business pitch presentation ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

Entrepreneur tips: An awesome crowdfunding pitch video

The secret sauce to a successful crowdfunding round on FundedByMe contains a number of ingredients but it’s no secret that:

A great crowdfunding pitch presentation = A great crowdfunding round

In order to help you succeed and create a super pitch presentation that will show your company’s best side and get investors lining up to support you we will highlight a number of tips to help you put together a great crowdfunding pitch over the coming weeks.  Your presentation is the first introduction for future investors into your business – so make it count!

Today we look at your introduction video – here are some of our favourites on FundedByMe right now:

HolyManta Internal ND Lense Adapters

Nerdy by Nerds

 

What makes a good presentation video for crowdfunding on FundedByMe?

1) Introduce yourself and your team Investors are supporting your brand, that’s true, but they’re mostly buying into you as the team behind the idea. By being straightforward and honest you can create trust – which is vital for a successful crowdfunding round. If there are more members to your team than just you, introduce them. Tell the viewer what makes you and your team the ideal candidates for this ‘job’.

2) Tell a story How did you come up with this idea? What are your passions? Is this a solution to a problem you always had?

3) Talk about the money How are you going to use the money that gets raised in this round? (And no…the investor doesn’t want to buy you the latest handbag / shoes / apartment!). Show that you have a strategy.

4) Why crowdfunding? What is it that you hope to get from the crowd?

5) What’s in it for me? As an investor I want to know what I’m getting in return for giving you my money. Is it equity? How much equity are you offering? Is it the chance to be part of the latest cool innovation? Tell your audience what they’re getting in return for their support.

6) KISS – Keep It Simple (Stupid) Don’t get too technical in your introduction video. If an investor wants to know more details they can always contact you directly to ask for it. You want to appeal to a wide audience and in order to do so, you should keep it simple.

7) Look good You are the star of the show and you should look it! Wash your hair. Brush your teeth…and smile! Because then you truly are irresistible.

8) Show us your stuff If you have a prototype or a sample product, show it off. Introduce computer animated rendering if you don’t. Use your video to clearly share with viewers what your product / brand / idea is all about.

9) Respect copyrights Don’t use music that you are not licensed to use. The same goes for photography. Check with the creators that it’s okay for you to include their work in your video.

10) Go professional if you can At FundedByMe we support you doing everything on a tight budget – we’ve been there too! Creating a beautiful video doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. But it needs to look good. Ask a friend or a design student to help you create an awesome video if you can’t do it yourself. And if you can afford a professional one, go for it. In the end, your video could make or break your campaign.

 

Do you have any additional tips for creating an amazing crowdfunding video? Are you an entrepreneur with strong opinions about what a great introduction video should contain? Why not leave us a comment below?

View other presentation tips here.

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?

3 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success – by Anthony Kaufman

3 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success

1. Identify your target audience—preferably, audiences.Fox had two built-in niche audiences to target; fans and followers of her primary subjectTibetan Buddhist Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, of which there are many worldwide, and the estimated 7,000 people that Fox cultivated during the grassroots release of her last film, 2006’s “Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman.”

2. Give your backers plenty to see.The fact that “My Reincarnation” was essentially complete and already showing at select international film festivals also helped. While Fox was initially uncomfortable asking for money for a project that appeared complete, she still needed some $100,000 to cover the costs of music rights, post-production sound, subtitling and additional editing for broadcast. But she used the existing film to her advantage, touting the Kickstarter campaign at public screenings and teasing the movie with multiple video clips on the web.“So our campaign didn’t just have a Web 2.0 aspect, it had screenings and it had video,” says Fox, who worked with a team of filmmakers Stefanie Diaz, Katherine Nolfi and Lisa Duva, to make the effort work. (Nolfi and Duva took a percentage of the proceeds. Kickstarter takes 5% of every project’s donations.)

3. Get creative with incentives. (Hint: Hats and T-shirts probably won’t do the trick.)Like most Kickstarter participants, Fox also offered special incentives to donors—and not just posters or DVDs, but limited-edition prints of paintings by a famous Buddhist teacher, original art and artifacts from Fox’s personal collection (“I raided my home,” she admits) and a gold ring and Tibetan statue donated by the father and son shown in the film, which went for $5,000 and $7,000, respectively.“Those two donations tipped everything,” says Fox. “We probably raised $50,000 in four days.” In the future, Fox suggests, to bolster the value of incentives, “I’d ask people who believe in the project to donate precious objects. You have to know who is your target market and what do they want.”

Thanks to Anthony Kaufmann link

Should I work for free?

Should I work for free? Work means something you do in order to make money, right? Yes, thats right. Working is something you do for money. But in reality it’s not always that simple. For many young (to anyone who feel excluded: age is no longer anything but a number) people around the world working for free, whether it is as an intern at a company or in a project of their own, has become a natural part in starting up your career. So the obvious answer to the question is of course: Yes, you should work for free, you kinda have to these days. The important question to be raised is instead when should you work for free? And that question has no obvious answer.

But to guide you in the process of finding out I recommend this funny site: ShouldIworkforfree.com

should i work for free

To do is better than just planning for crowdfunding!

Every project-management course will tell you that a well-laid plan is critical when building a project. And that is of course true. But many dreams, projects or concepts are stopped in their movement because project managers tend to think that they need answers for every question. That they need to lay out the entire path and timeline. This is the stuff that kills dreams.

I have a tip for you when it comes to planning for crowdfunding – nothing strange, nothing unorthodox or radical. It´s simple. Get out there. Make the phone calls, take the meetings and listen. Nothing will teach you better about your project then real people. If they don´t get it, then you have to work on your pitch. If they don´t buy it, make them a better deal. But never, never think that sitting in a room or office, creating project plans will solve stuff.

And the last thing. If you know from the very beginning that your plan or project will change, will have to evolve and/or take a new course, then you will be prepared for the one thing that every project goes through, the one thing all projects or dream have in common;  what you start with and work towards is far from the final result.