We’re all familiar with the undeniable truth about being an entrepreneur: once you’ve developed an idea to put out there, the second hardest thing is finding financial support.
The world of entrepreneurship is diverse and exciting. There are a lot of different parties involved and they all hold specific positions. We have entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, coaches and mentors, peers and competition. This creates a dynamic environment and the beauty of it lies in how complementary various roles can be with one another. Those who seek funding can find their investors, experienced entrepreneurs can become mentors to those who need some guidance, peers can exchange ideas, innovators can better the processes within the entrepreneurial community.
The moment you hear the word “startup”, you probably think of the IT sector or apps. We are indeed witnessing an absolute craze about apps today. According to data provided by Statista, there are over 2.8 million available Android apps and around 2.2 million ones for iOS users. However, there is a misconception that you need to be from the tech industry in order to have a desirable product and service.
Maybe you’re a creative individual with an inspiring idea or a specific project that’s not strictly business-oriented? Or you’re looking to start a company that’s set to solve a certain social problem? Whatever the case may be, Angel.me is the solution you’ve been looking for.
Crowdfunding is an amazing concept that underlines the power of big groups. It implies raising small amounts of money from various sources (i.e. many individual contributors), usually via internet. Angel.me plays a role of a mediator in this context.
Launched in Brussels in 2014, this crowd-driven platform provides financial support for creative teams and individuals, and entrepreneurs. The crowd here is being referred to as the “angels” and there is a lot of accent put on the feeling of community and meaningful collaboration.
Not only do you get a chance to get financial support, but you also gain access to a professional network. Having that in mind, there are at least six reasons why you should consider launching a crowdfunding campaign with Angel.me:
Angel.me is determined to build meaningful relationships which is why they have amazing strategic partners they collaborate with. The idea is to enable communication between startups and corporations, for the mutual benefit. If you have a potential idea on how your organization, business, or institution can contribute to this ecosystem, you can contact Angel.me and propose partnership.
The posted campaigns on Angel.me are based on the “all or nothing” principle. This means that a project is considered funded when it reaches the set figure within the indicated timeline. A project might even raise more money than enough. However, it is considered to be a failed project if it doesn’t fulfill the mentioned requirements. In that case, the angels receive their money back.
Have an idea you’re passionate about? Want to raise the funds to make it happen? Then it’s time to roll up the sleeves and launch a campaign!
The application process is really simple and Angel.me guides you through every step. To really nail the campaign, it’s advisable to start planning about 3 months ahead. You can choose between launching two types of crowdfunding campaigns: rewards based crowdfunding and equity based crowdfunding.
The first one implies you create rewards that you can pre-sell to the crowd. The second one allows you to raise the needed funds by offering a certain share percentage to angels. As you probably assumed, the first one is more suitable for individuals who have specific creations they want to put on the market, while the second option is great for companies in early stages.
In both cases, there is no registration fee. You pay only a commission fee (6.5%) once your project reaches its objective. There are also payment processing fees, depending on your bank and payment provider.
Here are the phases you need to consider:
Once you post your project, it goes under a review and if everything’s well – you can expect the campaign to start within a few days.
It’s good to point out you cannot edit the set budget once you’ve launched a campaign. However, you can share updates on your project, which is advisable. It keeps your community posted and sends out a signal you’re actively working on your idea. Feel free to tell everyone about the progress and the milestones you’ve achieved.
Now that you’re familiar with how everything works, it’s time to discuss the essence of a successful crowdfunding campaign. There are two main things angels need to know: information about your team (that’s where you state your competence and passion) and information about your project. Here’s what you essentially need to include:
In addition to all of this, it’s advisable to really invest your time and energy into making a quality video, as it will significantly raise your chances for success. Think about the message you’re trying to send and the best possible visual package for it.
Video demands less cognitive strain for humans, it is easily consumable, and it can trigger emotions more effectively than text or static images. Just take one glance of the statistics regarding the role video plays in marketing: 3 out of 5 consumers will spend at least 2 min watching a video about a particular product they plan on purchasing. Same goes for your crowdfunding campaign. Keep it short and engaging so to gain the trust of your audience and in the end – earn their financial support.
Not sure if your idea is fit for Angel.me? We bet it is, but do take a look at these three interesting projects that got funded through Angel.me in order to get your creative juices flowing. These projects are diverse and you’ll certainly learn a thing or two from their success.
CUBZZ is a perfect example of a meaningful project within the field of social entrepreneurship. Its goal is to create an opportunity for a better life for less fortunate children. The founder, Wouter Cauwenbergh, explained how he plans on doing that in a short video pitch. He plans on launching chocolate milk (and then other products too), and the total sales profit would go directly to various global organizations working to make a world a better place for children who have got nothing.
Cauwenbergh certainly counted on a great number of people who would support him and so he asked for a smaller amount of individual investment (just €2 for which the investors would get a sample of the chocolate milk) and he has now managed to exceed his set objective.
Moving on to a breathtaking individual art project by Fernando Veiras called “Azulejos Padrão – Lisboa”, or “Lisbon’s Patterned Tiles”. The campaign has a clear goal – to raise the funds to publish a photobook of the patterned tiles in Lisbon. But what makes it so powerful? The story of the artist that’s attached to it. Plus, this tiles are very specific for Lisbon. A photography book that sums up this unique cultural identity through an unusual prism – now that’s something that could have motivated so many people to invest.
And the last example – TapFruit, a project that combines its care for the environment and fun. As people usually aren’t very cautious about their consumer habits, TapFruit has identified a problem and offered their own solution for one specific part of the problem. Humans create so much waste by not recycling and reusing plastic bottles as they live their lives on the go. For example, you go to work, buy a bottle of water on your way, and then throw it in the bin without giving it much thought. TapFruit wants to stimulate consumers to drink tap water and be more aware of their ecological footprint. It is a non-sweet, completely natural substance you add to tap water in order to give it a more refreshing taste.
What can you learn here? The TapFruit team has focused on a real problem, created a short but engaging video, offered a healthy alternative, plus – they triggered a feeling of personal responsibility in each investor.
BONUS TIP! Before starting your crowdfunding campaign, think about launching your website. There is even a field in the Angel.me application form where you can direct the visitors to your webpage where they can read more about your idea. This is a great way to show others what your product or service is about, while making a connection with them. With domain .ME, you can have a personalized domain name and stand out from the crowd.
Are you finally ready to apply? Sign up with Angel.me and launch your campaign!
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