Smart Crowdfunding https://smartcrowdfunding.us The Digital Fundraising Company Fri, 14 Sep 2018 19:21:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 https://i1.wp.com/smartcrowdfunding.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/SCF_Profile_Pic.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Smart Crowdfunding https://smartcrowdfunding.us 32 32 146464971 The (not so) Wonderful World of ICOs – Part 1 https://smartcrowdfunding.us/ico-advisors-wonderful-world-of-icos-pt1/ Fri, 14 Sep 2018 19:09:08 +0000 http://smartcrowdfunding.us/?p=1891 Introduction ICO Advisors, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Cryptocurrencies, Ethereum, ICOs, STOs, Tokens…the world is buzzing around these things and rightfully so. This wonderful world of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has taken the world by storm and with it people are flooding into the space in an attempt to grab their own slice of the pie,…

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Introduction

ICO Advisors, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Cryptocurrencies, Ethereum, ICOs, STOs, Tokens…the world is buzzing around these things and rightfully so.

This wonderful world of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has taken the world by storm and with it people are flooding into the space in an attempt to grab their own slice of the pie, either as service providers, would be entrepreneurs, or those with the darkest of intentions to scam people from the get go. Many hearing the word ICO immediately think of scam but there are many other scam artists lurking in the shadows disguised as service providers.

Here’s a review of some of the dealings I’ve had with people of all shapes and sizes within this new cryptoconomy.

Not too long ago I was pitched a 12 page PPT whitepaper for an upcoming ICO, by what appeared to be 4 serious, middle-aged business people sitting across the world in Asia. They looked the part and their website was polished and at first I was really quite impressed. This was up to the point of receiving their 12 page whitepaper and within it their uncapped funding goal of $100M.

I’ve always found it best to tell it how I see it, so in my next communication with them this is what I said verbatim:

“ Hi ……

Forgive my frankness, but this is how I roll.

I have read through your 12 page PPT document and have to say the following:

There is as much chance of me winning the Powerball lottery as you have in raising $100MM through an ICO, ITO or TGE. (yes, calling it what you may doesn’t change the compliance minefield out there)

There are just so many things wrong with your offer and many will categorize your offer into the “Get Rich Quick” category. It’s fairly easy to see that you have had very little guidance throughout the ICO development process too, as have broken every best practice rule in the unwritten book.

Based on the above, I would not want to involve my investors in your project until such time that you take this really seriously and get the real help that you so obviously need.

Respectfully,

Shane”

As can be seen from the response below, it didn’t go down to well!

“Thank you for reviewing the information. We are not into “Get Rich Quick”. I invested 27000+ man hours and lot of my personal money in building this company so far. Your comments are really broad and it would not offer advise or value or any constructive criticism. Sorry, I contacted you and wasted your time and as well as mine.”

27,000 man hours?!? Now I wonder how many startups keep track of the man hours invested before they set sail and use it as a USP. Maybe I should start keeping track of my man hours and include thinking time on the balance sheet when showering and doing other nasty stuff in the bathroom.

Anyway, as you’ve already gathered the gentleman went on his merry way and disappeared into the ether. Did I do him any favors perhaps? I hope so.

ICO Advisors?

I really can’t keep count of the number of times I’ve been asked to join an ICO as an advisor. Similarly, I’ve lost count of the number of people who pitch me direct investment opportunities with promises of 50% discounts on their tokens. I find that the higher the discount on offer, the higher the needle points to the red zone on the Junk Meter. Finding an ICO that sits within the green zone on the Junk Meter is very rare indeed, although, in fairness, some of the concepts are really innovative, but the people planning to execute are all over the place. Don’t get me wrong as there are a few gems out there where all of the stars do align. Rare indeed.

I’ll wrap up this first installment with yet another bit of comic relief.

The Blind Leading The Blind

Just this past week, we were contacted by a guy who made claim on his Linkedin profile that he was an ICO consultant & Blockchain expert. He apparently called in in a bit of a panic as had already begun searching for clients and had one ready to spend $350k to go the ICO route but was concerned he may get into trouble.

Anyway, a call was scheduled and I spoke with him for the first time a few days ago. He seemed panicked and after a 30 minute call with him explaining the process involved in going the ICO route and the possible legal repercussions along the way, we ended the call promising to keep in touch with each other once he’d digested the contents of the call.

To my amusement, when I returned to view his LinkedIn profile a few hours later, all reference to ICO Consultant and Blockchain Expert was gone. I think he realized there’s a lot more to it than just giving yourself a label.

He’s not alone. There are many others out there. The blind leading the blind can never be a good thing.

Finally, don’t forget that we have the Cryptoconomy Summit scheduled for March 28th & 29th, 2018 at the Tampa Convention Center here in the Sunshine State of Florida. With a sterling line up of speakers and more being added each week, we plan to make this event one to remember.

Until next time…..

About The Author

Shane is one of the top influencers and thought leaders in the crowdfunding and cryptoconomy space. A seasoned entrepreneur and CEO, Shane’s knowledge and expertise of crowdfunding has allowed him to deliver campaigns for entrepreneurs, startups, corporations and filmmakers across the globe. He has provided support and guidance to over 500 crowdfunders with campaign development, consulting, marketing and promotion services – with some of his clients successfully raising millions of dollars in capital. Shane is the CEO at Cryptologist, the firm is dedicated to revolutionizing modern business and digital infrastructure.

Shane served previously as the Executive Director of the Crowdfunding Professional Association, As a noted thought leader and innovator, he is a sought after speaker and contributor for various media outlets including the Creating Wealth Podcast, Bitcoin Space, Business Class News, Swaay Media, Dice Insights and CEOWorld Magazine.

The post The (not so) Wonderful World of ICOs – Part 1 appeared first on Smart Crowdfunding.

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Crowdfunding – The Good, The Bad & The (really) Ugly – Part 2 https://smartcrowdfunding.us/crowdfunding-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-part2/ Thu, 13 Sep 2018 22:51:46 +0000 http://smartcrowdfunding.us/?p=1888 Introduction In Part 1 I covered all of the good things that we have seen as crowdfunding continuously gathers momentum across the world. The future looks bright indeed! However, as with any new industry forging ahead and desperate for acceptance, the surrounding hype that comes with it often blurs reality, with any form of negativity simply ‘brushed under…

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Introduction

In Part 1 I covered all of the good things that we have seen as crowdfunding continuously gathers momentum across the world. The future looks bright indeed!

However, as with any new industry forging ahead and desperate for acceptance, the surrounding hype that comes with it often blurs reality, with any form of negativity simply ‘brushed under the carpet’ so to speak. Naturally, those fully vested in the industry (including yours truly) have a lot on the line, as everyone charges ahead in full promotion mode. The ‘painted picture’ is a rosy one and for a very good reason, but there is a dark and sometimes sinister side to the industry as well.

Part 2-The Bad

The Industry Evolves

Let’s rewind a little…

In an interview with Film Threat back in October 2010, Indiegogo co-founder, Slava Rubin said “… what we are now and what we are for the future is we’re all about allowing anybody to raise money for any idea”

Although this may have been true at the time, it’s certainly not applicable today. Reality is that not ‘anybody’ can raise money through crowdfunding unless they are a) extremely lucky, or b) have a substantial amount of money to begin with. Let me explain a little further.

My own entry into the crowdfunding space happened by default during June of 2012 when confronted with a desperate plea for funding from a lady by the name of Louise Joubert of the Sanwild Wildlife Sanctuary. Louise put out a post on the Sanwild Facebook page saying that sponsors had pulled up to 70% of the funding for Sanwild due to the recession, so she was unable to feed the 16 lions she rescued from the ‘canned hunting’ industry, and she was getting to the point of desperation and was seriously considering euthanizing them. Louise saw this as the kind way to put an end to any potential suffering. This sad story really pulled at my heartstrings and after a phone call or two to South Africa, I volunteered to see if I could help by using this new fundraising method called Crowdfunding. To cut a long story short, we did manage to raise over $20,000 through an Indiegogo campaign and in turn bring a happy ending to this story with the 16 lions being saved. It was an exhausting process, especially with little to no budget to market the campaign; but through teamwork, perseverance and leveraging off of our social contacts, we made it. The point here is that with almost no campaign budget (but instead 100’s of hours invested) we were able to do what we set out to achieve – Save Our Lions.

During 2012 we saw on average 30-50 campaigns launching on the Indiegogo platform each week and probably around 60-70 per week on Kickstarter. These low numbers made things much easier for anyone crowdfunding their ideas, as competition for ‘eyeballs’ was almost non-existent, the media was receptive to any crowdfunding news at all, and the public was in a state of confusion as to what they were really doing when contributing to these campaigns, with many thinking they were simply making an online purchase just as they would do on Amazon.

How things have changed.

Fast forward to 2016 and with up to 300-400 campaigns launching per week on the Indiegogo platform and up to 600 per week launching on Kickstarter, the competition is fierce. Add to this that there are now well over 1000 (and counting) crowdfunding platforms globally and you’ll begin to see the real picture.

The corporate world is now waking up to this new, low cost way of validating and funding projects and products. Big names such as Sony and GE’s entry into crowdfunding gives the small guy very little chance of competing with them.

In a recent article published by The Verge earlier this year titled “Indiegogo wants huge companies to crowdfund their next big products” and a sub heading which reads “Indiegogo wants big brands to start crowdfunding” we see how they have changed for the worse. Their “Enterprise Crowdfunding” clearly showing that they are not in any way ‘democratizing access to funding’ but instead are an entity solely in the business of making a profit at all costs (more on this particular story in Part 3 –The Ugly).

I guess the most disturbing words I read in that article are these:

“Large companies can also pay for special placement on Indiegogo’s site, making them more discoverable than other campaigns.”

So, Indiegogo now earns revenue from advertising placements only available to corporates? Shocking to say the least!

This whole scenario stinks and reminds me of a certain politician, who now as president elect, has already made several ‘about turns’, continuously going against the words he used to gain popularity.

I hope you all now realize why the small guy has little to no chance of success, especially now that the heavyweights enter with the resources to squeeze them out. In fact, a well know marketing agency recommends a campaign budget today of a whopping $40,000. I don’t know too many ‘little guys’ with that kind of cash to spend on an upcoming crowdfunding attempt, do you? Wasn’t the whole point of crowdfunding to raise money and not spend it?

Although crowdfunding was originally pitched as democratizing access to funding for the small guys, this is no longer true. Without a good chunk of capital to start with, their campaigns are doomed before they begin.

Equity Crowdfunding – The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)

Background

On April 5th 2012 president Obama signed the Jump Start Our Business Act (commonly referred to as “The JOBS Act”) giving the SEC 274 days to write up the necessary rules and regulations. The main purpose in the implementation of the JOBS Act was to stimulate the creation of jobs through small business access to capital.

The JOBS Act substantially changed a number of laws and regulations making it easier for companies to both go public, and to raise capital privately, helping them to stay private longer. Changes include exemptions for crowdfunding, a more useful version of Regulation A, generally solicited Regulation D Rule 506 offerings, and an easier path to registration of an initial public offering (IPO) for emerging growth companies.

The titles of the bill that make equity crowdfunding work are:

·        TITLE II – Access to capital for job creators (REG D)

·        TITLE III – Crowdfunding (REG CF)

·        TITLE IV – Small company capital formation (REG A+ or mini IPO)

What’s with all this jargon you may ask? Good question, and the answer is one which I hope many academics will learn to answer in their writings. Effective communication is always better crafted to suit a broader audience. Within crowdfunding, I feel it is important for all – lawyers, accountants, broker dealers etc. – to understand that in our attempt to educate the market, we need to simplify the language used so as to be better understood by the majority of people.

Back in the 70’s the KISS acronym and methodology – “Keep It Simple Stupid” was very popular for good reason. Considering information overload, the simplicity of this methodology should be more applicable today than it ever has been.

For clarification:

REG D allows the issuer to raise funds from accredited investors only meaning in essence from a select few rich people.

REG CF allows issuers to raise funds from both accredited investors and non-accredited investors (the general public) but is subject to limitations.

REG A+ allows the raising of funds ($20M Tier 1 and up to $50M Tier2) from both accredited and non-accredited investors

Titles I, V, and VI of the JOBS Act became effective immediately upon enactment. Understanding these within the context of this article is not really important so I won’t bother explaining.

The SEC approved the lifting of the general solicitation ban on July 10, 2013, paving the way for the adoption of REG D which went into effect in September 2013. Following this was REG A+ which went live during June 2014 – 2 years after the signing of the Jobs Act – and finally the long anticipated (and most beneficial to small business) REG CF on May 16th 2016 – more than 4 years since the signing of the Jobs Act!

Yes, you read that right – 4 years later. A whole 4 years of lost opportunity. Why 4 years you may ask? Well, through a series of meetings, review periods, mountains of paperwork, a change of chair, commenting periods, rewriting this and rewriting that and a whole heap of other hurdles to jump over in between, a whopping 685 pages of regulations was created. Certainly no KISS methodology involved there!

During this period, how many small businesses have folded because they had no access to much needed capital? How many could have been saved from collapse? How many precious jobs were lost during this lengthy and tedious process? The answers should be fairly obvious to fathom.

Based on current information from successfully funded campaigns, we see that so far around $175M has been raised under REG A+ crowdfunding and about $15M over the past 6 months through REG CF. Imagine what these numbers would look like had the SEC been more efficient in the role they played during the entire rule-making process.

On the other hand, the United Kingdom took a fairly relaxed approach to rule-making which has led to the creation of the most dynamic alternative finance market in the world. In real terms they are 5 years ahead in the game and are seen as the leaders in this space. The United States is seen as a failure.

Were the SEC attempting to break records as the slowest crowdfunding rule-makers in the world? Maybe not, but it appears they are well positioned to claim this shameful accolade!

The Pretenders – Self –Promoters and the Charlatans

Before I begin, let me just say that there are many among us who have ‘earned their stripes’ in this industry. I hold these people in the highest regard for their dedication and commitment to the cause. Far too many to mention of course, but you know who you are, so thank you for doing what you do! Through the many long days of hard work, dedication, countless hours of research, and in some cases, hands on experience with crowdfunding projects of all shapes and sizes, they stay true to their objectives of making the crowdfunding industry one to admire. These people gain respect naturally through their words and actions alone. They generally keep a fairly low profile too, with little need to go on the self-promotion bandwagon, as people naturally migrate to them anyway.

Let’s briefly return back to 2012, when crowdfunding was really still in its infancy and there were very few players involved. To put things into perspective, at the time of launching my own crowdfunding marketing agency Smart Crowdfunding under the crowdfunders.us domain, there were only four other active crowdfunding marketing agencies globally. The industry was tiny and it was very easy to know who was who.

This leads me to a telephone conversation I had one day during early 2013 with one of the other agency founders who had taken issue with the fact that I was now actively competing with him. After listening to his concerns, I politely brushed them aside and ended the call saying “If you are concerned about competition now, then wait to see what’s coming over the next few years”. He grumped and the call ended. Move on to 2016 and we see a whole load of entrants into this space.

Back to the point:

There are those who clearly try to take shortcuts in an attempt to get to the top, with integrity thrown right out the window in their pursuit of money and stardom. Many of these types have little care for the health of the industry as a whole, but instead their own greed drives them forward. They are quite easy to spot though. Lies are abundant and a little due diligence goes a long way in discovering the truth about them. The wonderful world of the Whois lookup is a great tool to confirm some claims of “we’ve been doing this for the past 5 years” as domain registration dates tell the truth. Some have woken up to hiding these details and hide behind a proxy registration service. In fact, a little while ago I had discovered exactly this with a crowdfunding marketing agency who made such claims (and still do) of having been around for the past 6 years. I did a Whois search many months ago to only find that their domain was registered in 2013 – and not 6 years ago as claimed. Further investigation confirmed this. Today their domain registration information is now hidden via a proxy.

One of the most common things I see today is those with very little industry experience becoming self-proclaimed “Experts”. Let’s elaborate on this for a moment.

During 2014 I attended a crowdfunding industry conference, and as I sat in the audience while the proceeding began, the moderator allowed the panel give a brief introduction of themselves. There were 4 on this particular panel, 3 of whom I knew of. To my amazement, one particular character was introduced as a crowdfunding marketing expert. I listened intently to this persons ‘pitch’ and also the advice they gave to the audience when confronted with questions such as “What’s the single most important tool to use when crowdfunding? Their answer? PPC (Pay per click). Wrong! In disbelief, there were a few shaking heads in the audience, mine included. Had this person’s earlier claim of “I’ve worked on 80 Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns” during their introductory pitch been true, they would clearly know this was incorrect information. Following up from this and after checking out the real facts, it turns out that today, this person has run a single Indiegogo campaign of which struggled to get to $10,000 funded. I suspect a fair share of self-funding activity there too. This example is one of many we see as the industry powers forward. There are numerous others. Being able to spot these so called “experts” is fairly easy to do when you know what to look for.

You see, I have followed Indiegogo campaigns in particular like a hawk. My early career in crowdfunding was built around this platform so it’s rare that even a single campaign that’s raised more than $5,000 gets past me (or my staff) without notice.

The biggest telltale sign from those who attempt to take shortcuts to stardom is the lack of consistency in their pitch. Many appear to have short memories and assume everyone else has too.! The character I reference above has since spoken at numerous industry events and their pitch varies from “I have 8 staff and have worked on over 100 Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns” to “I have 25 staff and have worked on 80 Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns” In reality, they’ve worked on handful at most, with only a single one on the Indiegogo platform which can be validated under more thorough investigation.

I have major concerns! Besides the many cases of ‘the blind leading the blind”, the entire industry is at stake here. Weeding out and addressing the real issues presented here can only bode well for a healthy and prosperous industry for all.

As a colleague recently said “….the integrity of the entire industry is on the line, and if the charlatans are allowed to run roughshod it’ll soon turn into a house of cards.” No truer words have been spoken.

Scampaigns – Yes and No

Now this section will be fairly short.

Let me start by saying that intentional scams are really very rare. During my time in the industry I have seen no more than 3 or 4 which were clearly scams from the very beginning ( I’ll elaborate more on this in Part 3 – The Ugly).

What I have seen, however, even from some of my earlier clients may surprise you. They begin the crowdfunding process with good intentions but unrealistic expectations (a common trait among those crowdfunding today).This is their real downfall.

Many are young, inexperienced men and women whose entire focus is on how great their product is. They are emotionally invested and in some cases spend lengthy periods developing their concept or prototype. When the time comes to go crowdfunding, in many cases they lay everything on the line. Some win. Some lose.

Even after running a successful campaign, for many the process of handling large amounts of cash and developing their idea into a real manufactured product, leads to failure due to lack of experience. A weak team adds to their woes and they burn through cash at an alarming rate. In time, they sit in disbelief that they no longer have enough cash to actually finish the product. At other times their concept was flawed from the very beginning but they only discover this when attempting to go to the prototype stage. Facing the inevitable truth is hard for them, and with angry abuse from their supporters awaiting, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Many come to the conclusion that their only route of escape is a disappearing act.

What do the backers, journalist and millions of other disgruntled people call these people? Scammers. Many of their backers didn’t know at the time they were backing a concept in the first place and shout to the high heavens in disgust when they don’t get what they thought they “ordered’ a year prior.

A very recent case of the scam label being attached to something that was not a crowdfunding scam from the very beginning is Healbe GoBe – “the first and only wearable device that automatically measures the calories you consume and burn, through your skin” which raised over $1M on the Indiegogo platform. Despite being slammed by all and sundry – including backers, doctors, engineers, scientists, and journalists – they eventually brought their product to market, albeit with many ‘teething problems’ still to be ironed out.

Conclusion

My biggest challenge when writing part 2 of my article, was in trying to condense as much as possible, but to still get the message(s) across. I hope I have achieved this even though we still ended up with over 3,000 words. I promise a much shorter part 3. Thank you for reading and I hope this has been helpful.

Look out for Part 3 – The (really) Ugly, where I delve deeper into the real scams of the crowdfunding world, as well as extortion and blackmail attempts and the platforms that seemingly turn a blind eye to it all.

About The Author

Shane is one of the top influencers and thought leaders in the crowdfunding and cryptoconomy space. A seasoned entrepreneur and CEO, Shane’s knowledge and expertise of crowdfunding has allowed him to deliver campaigns for entrepreneurs, startups, corporations and filmmakers across the globe. He has provided support and guidance to over 500 crowdfunders with campaign development, consulting, marketing and promotion services – with some of his clients successfully raising millions of dollars in capital. Shane is the CEO at Cryptologist, the firm is dedicated to revolutionizing modern business and digital infrastructure.

Shane served previously as the Executive Director of the Crowdfunding Professional Association, As a noted thought leader and innovator, he is a sought after speaker and contributor for various media outlets including the Creating Wealth Podcast, Bitcoin Space, Business Class News, Swaay Media, Dice Insights and CEOWorld Magazine.

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Crowdfunding Success – An Interview wth Dr Louis Crowe https://smartcrowdfunding.us/crowdfunding-success-interview-dr-louis-crowe/ Wed, 12 Sep 2018 21:49:49 +0000 http://smartcrowdfunding.us/?p=1830 Crowdfunding Success – We asked Dr Louis Crowe a few questions. about his crowdfunding success…… Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities. BionicGym has been invented, developed and researched in…

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Crowdfunding Expert

Crowdfunding Success – We asked Dr Louis Crowe a few questions. about his crowdfunding success……

Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

BionicGym has been invented, developed and researched in Ireland over the past 16 years. We have a nice way of interacting with the peripheral nervous system… giving us greater control over the muscles than was previously possible. As exercise is the key health and we chose to first use this control to deliver cardiovascular training exercise. For those who can’t exercise, those who don’t do enough and as an alternative training for the already fit.

Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

I’m a medical doctor. I’ve worked in ER, geriatrics and in Africa but I’ve always had a great passion for innovation and design. My inventions have had over a billion in sales and been on millions of people –that’s gratifying. I’m particularly proud of a treatment for stress urinary incontinence (leaking) that was done with Dr Ruth Maher, BMR Ltd and University College Dublin. It is undergoing a ten-center study in the US at the moment for FDA approval. Data suggests it is very effective. After a jaunt through a medical think-tank in Berlin I settled back to ensure people could enjoy the benefits of intense exercise – while on their couch! (with BionicGym).

What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

I enjoy hacking the body. As exercise is the number one indicator of fitness I considered how nature does it. Nature makes you shiver to burn calories without doing anything. Jumping into the cold water to observe and experiment on shivering was no fun! But instructive on how to make the body burn calories by mimicking shivering… we then improved upon it. You can use it at low intensities working or higher intensities gaming or watching TV.

What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Don’t do it alone.

Most businesses fail – irrespective of how good the founder is – so take your likely failure with equanimity.

And, again, don’t do it alone – it’s more fun with others.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Be the ‘lucky general’

Networking

Resilience

How many hours do you work a day on average?

During the Indiegogo campaign – I only eat and work. The rest of the time 8-9 hours.

To what do you most attribute your success?

Perseverance. I wouldn’t wish my journey on anyone. I had imagined that building ‘the better mousetrap’ people would come but they didn’t, at least not for many years.

How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Email lists of crowdfunding backers have been great. And now we’re just beginning to understand Facebook – and that’s now proving to be a seam we can mine.

Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Savings; I’ve pumped everything into this.

What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Redefine success to something you have control over. Do your best and be happy. If you’re dependent on outside validation it may never come.

Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Superior technology will help tens of millions lead happier, healthier lives.

Excluding your own, what company or business do you admire the most?

Medecin San Frontier (Doctors Without Borders)

Crowdfunding

Why did you use Crowdfunding to raise funds?

Investors weren’t interested. There is no investor appetite in Ireland for consumer devices.

Did you go through a pre-launch period? If so, how long was it and what did you do?

1 year… procrastinated too much and did everything myself / with friends… from shooting the videos to doing the graphics etc.

How many people on your Team?

Three

Can you recommend any specific services that you have used for your crowdfunding campaign marketing?

Yes, Smart Crowdfunding were fabulous! They give advice without any sugar-coating but it is well worth taking everything they say onboard. Their predictions have proven to be accurate and their suggestions always on-the-ball.

The Crowdfunding Formula have great videos and were very helpful.

What would you say is the number 1 thing you’ve learned from your crowdfunding experience?

It is hard work… be under no illusions.

Can you share any advice for others considering going the crowdfunding route?

Don’t do it alone.

Digital marketing is hugely important. Have everything tested prior to your campaign. You need to be able to spend on advertising / services etc $10k + or even a great product might flounder unrecognized. On Indiegogo it is NOT the best product that wins necessarily. This is a professional marketing space – if you can’t compete at that level your efforts may be wasted … despite your undoubted brilliance!

Access the Indiegogo campaign page HERE

Access the media kit HERE

Shane LIddell, our seasoned crowdfunding expert, states “Crowdfunding success comes from a market favorably accepting your product messaging during your outreach program. It takes sweat, more sweat and sometime tears to get there.”

“Louis and the team did a fantastic job and executed perfectly. They are a great example of how to do it right”

Crowdfunding Success

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Smart Crowdfunding Reviews Give High Praise to the Company’s Expertise https://smartcrowdfunding.us/smart-crowdfunding-reviews/ Tue, 07 Aug 2018 23:19:10 +0000 http://smartcrowdfunding.us/?p=723 Introduction Smart crowdfunding reviews show that raising funding through Crowdfunding is not an easy venture. Many people launch a campaign because they see it as a simple way to raise funding, only to become overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort that is actually involved. Crowdfunding becomes a full-time job if you want to…

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Introduction

Smart crowdfunding reviews show that raising funding through Crowdfunding is not an easy venture. Many people launch a campaign because they see it as a simple way to raise funding, only to become overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort that is actually involved. Crowdfunding becomes a full-time job if you want to be successful, and campaign owners who are new to crowdfunding are often unprepared for what needs to be done when they have a live campaign. This causes them to become disheartened by the lack of crowd engagement, which prompts them to seek out marketing help.

As anyone who has ever run a crowdfunding campaign knows, there are many agencies out there that promise campaigners everything they want to hear, making it difficult to make the right decision. The team at Smart Crowdfunding knows how difficult running a campaign can be because nearly everyone on staff has run their own campaign at one time. This experience is shown in the interactions with their clients, which is why they receive such glowing reviews from customers.

Our Clients Speak

One of Smart Crowdfunding’s former client’s had tried most of the other services out there. Muammer Derebasi from the Coolest Clock campaign states, “We’ve tried almost all the services around and considered whoever or whichever company reached us in our three campaigns. Only 1 succeeded with over than 1390% and that one was the one which we worked with Smart Crowdfunding.” He then goes on to say, “Not only their CEO is the expert and always interested in making you more successful but also the whole team are very kind and helpful people. Real people to help you, really, in all.” This is a thought that is echoed several times in their reviews.

Michael Medvid, who raised over a $1.5 million dollars with his campaign states, “A special thank you to Shane from Smart Crowdfunding, he is a marketing and crowdfunding guru.” With another review giving high praise as well, “I have to say the assistance given by Smart Crowdfunding has made all the difference in how we have approached the funding of the campaign… having a great product does not guarantee you will get funded. Having support and assistance from Smart Crowdfunding gives your campaign the edge that other campaigns lack.”

The team at Smart Crowdfunding take their job very seriously, and are extremely focused on customer service. Team member Michelle states, “We can never guarantee success for any campaign, but we do guarantee that we will do everything in our power to get the client where they need to be. We are always available to assist the client, and answer questions. If something isn’t working, we change course. By the end of the process, they will have learned a lot.”

While clients have high praise for the customer service provided by the staff at Smart Crowdfunding, most of the reviews highlight the company’s head consultant and CEO Shane Liddell’s knowledge and expertise in the crowdfunding world. That is no surprise since crowdfunding is a real driving passion for Liddell. He emerged onto the crowdfunding scene when it was still a relatively new world for everybody, and has vast experience at all levels. He states, “as we progress from a cottage type industry through to maturity, the crowdfunding industry, and in particular the alternate finance industry (Fintech) are set to gain huge traction over the coming years. The crowdfunding landscape is changing and change is good!”

Liddell has put together an all-star team of dedicated professionals who see a client’s success as their own. They never give up, and only celebrate when the client succeeds. All of the testimonials and reviews on their site are 100% legitimate, which is why they always include links and contact info so the potential new client can contact the campaign owners themselves. The team is expanding, with 4 additional hires planned during the next 12 months.

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Crowdfunding – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly-Part 1 https://smartcrowdfunding.us/shaneliddell-crowdfunding-thegood-thebad/ Tue, 07 Aug 2018 21:25:29 +0000 http://smartcrowdfunding.us/?p=716 Shane Liddell is a highly experienced crowdfunder and fundraiser. He shares with us his good bad experiences in a candid, sometimes funny, but always ‘real’ way. Here’s Part 1. Enjoy… Introduction Crowdfunding is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of…

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Shane Liddell is a highly experienced crowdfunder and fundraiser. He shares with us his good bad experiences in a candid, sometimes funny, but always ‘real’ way.

Here’s Part 1. Enjoy…

Introduction

Crowdfunding is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”

The term crowdfunding was used for the first time in the year 2006 when Michael Sullivan launched Fundavlog. This, however, was a failed attempt to fund events and projects related to a video blog.

With the signing of the JOBS Act on April 5th 2012, the word of the day became “crowdfunding” and publicity from this historic event generated interest from all corners of the world and helped push crowdfunding into mainstream news.

The first instance of online crowdfunding took place during 1997, when fans funded the entire U.S. tour for the British rock group Marillion, raising just over US$60,000 in donations through a fan-based Internet campaign.

If the crowd and the web are considered to be two essential elements of crowdfunding, its very first examples came into being in the 1990s with the emergence of platforms for charity fundraising and projects funded by Internet-based campaigns. The UK-based charity fundraising platform JustGiving was founded in the year 2000.

The modern crowdfunding model is generally based on three types of actors: the project creator who proposes the idea or project to be funded, individuals or groups who support the idea, and a platform that brings the parties together and facilitates the transactions.

Part 1-The Good

The crowdfunding industry is doubling or more every year, and is spread across several types of funding models including rewards, donation, equity, and debt/lending.

Just five years ago there was a relatively small market of early adopters within online crowdfunding, helping raise $880 million during 2010. Things changed fast with $6.1 billion raised in 2013, $16.2 billion in 2014, and a whopping $34.4 billion in funds raised during 2015. In comparison, the Venture Capital industry invests an average of $30 billion each year. By 2016 the crowdfunding industry is on track to account for more funding than venture capital, according to a 2015 report by Massolution.

The highest reported funding by a crowdfunded project to date is Star Citizen, an online space trading and combat video game being developed by Chris Roberts and Cloud Imperium Games, which – as of 21 November 2016 – claims to have raised over $133,000,000 USD using a combination of crowdfunding platforms including its own.

One of the most influential factors behind the rapid growth of crowdfunding over the past 10 years was due to the global recession of the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. This highly turbulent time saw many small and established businesses struggling to survive. Crowdfunding saved some of these businesses from crumbling into nonexistence by facilitating the raising of much needed capital. Traditional sources of funding – bank loans, overdrafts, credit cards – were all but drying up as the financial industry strained under the immense pressure the recession brought, with several household brand names suddenly put out of business too!

There are many success stories around, some of which I have personally been involved in helping reach way beyond their initial funding goals. FOBO TIRE, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) managed to raise a total of $186,105 USD through their Indiegogo campaign back in 2014 but then went on to even greater things. Their products entry into retail happened through UK retailer Maplin and since then they have picked up a few awards along the way too.

Just last week, Phazon CEO, Chris Houle was chosen to appear on the CBC show Dragons Den, securing a great deal from the Dragons. His Indiegogo campaign, having raised over $2M earlier this year.

Many have heard of the highly successful Occulus Rift Kickstarter campaign launched during Q3 of 2012, raising a total of $2,437,429 and with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook announcing the purchase of the company for a huge $2B USD on March 25th, 2014

There are many other similar successes out there including the renowned Pebble Watch who managed to raise a total of over $30M through 2 crowdfunding campaigns on the Kickstarter platform.

Conclusion

Startups rarely survive without funding and crowdfunding has enabled entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to the crowd for validation, and through engagement with potential customers, gain valuable feedback too.

Crowdfunding is here to stay!

Look out for Part 2 – The Bad, where I delve into the aspects of crowdfunding that are rarely spoken of, including the use of the dreaded word “scampaigns”.

Check out our services>>Here

About the Author.

Shane is one of the top influencers and thought leaders in the crowdfunding and cryptoconomy space. A seasoned entrepreneur and CEO, Shane’s knowledge and expertise of crowdfunding has allowed him to deliver campaigns for entrepreneurs, startups, corporations and filmmakers across the globe. He has provided support and guidance to over 500 crowdfunders with campaign development, consulting, marketing and promotion services – with some of his clients successfully raising millions of dollars in capital. Shane is the CEO at Cryptologist, the firm is dedicated to revolutionizing modern business and digital infrastructure.

Shane served previously as the Executive Director of the Crowdfunding Professional Association, As a noted thought leader and innovator, he is a sought after speaker and contributor for various media outlets including the Creating Wealth Podcast, Bitcoin Space, Business Class News, Swaay Media, Dice Insights and CEOWorld Magazine.

Get in touch with Shane by dropping in your details below….

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How To FAIL at Equity Crowdfunding https://smartcrowdfunding.us/how-to-fail-at-equity-crowdfunding/ Thu, 05 Jul 2018 22:33:39 +0000 http://smartcrowdfunding.us/?p=470 Since the passing of Title III and Title IV of the JOBS Act, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are looking to equity crowdfunding as a viable and effective way of raising capital to turn their ideas into successful businesses. As with any form of soliciting money, there are right ways to go about it, and…

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Since the passing of Title III and Title IV of the JOBS Act, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are looking to equity crowdfunding as a viable and effective way of raising capital to turn their ideas into successful businesses. As with any form of soliciting money, there are right ways to go about it, and there are wrong ways. Even the greatest of ideas have the distinct possibility of failure despite the exciting and lucrative potential in the mind of the founder(s). Listed below are five common mistakes we have seen that can prevent a company from successfully reaching their funding goal:

  1. You rely on the platform to give you investors.

Wrong! Wishful thinking is imprudent and futile. Previous investors that are associated with a selected platform will not automatically invest in any campaign they see listed on the platform. Many platforms claims to have over 100,000 registered “investors” but none of these previously engaged users will invest in a campaign without proper promotion or belief in the idea, product, or business model.

  1. You believe that people are primarily motivated by financial returns.

Wrong! People want to feel that they are a part of something much larger, substantial and positive to society. The general public wants to invest in companies they believe in, because they feel their investment is a tangible effort to make their world a better place. Today, people want the chance to become a part of and to own a part of a company that could potentially change the world.

  1. You think that equity crowdfunding is a part time job.

Wrong! There is a clear and obvious pattern when studying startup founders and their rates of success. The founders who are solely focused on elevating their startups to the next stage are infinitely more successful. Founders that are distracted by other obligations — whether that is other businesses, jobs, or priorities — do not succeed. It takes a focused founder and team to execute a successful crowdfunding campaign.

  1. You try to bundle more than one company into a single raise.

Wrong! Investors like a focused business with a clear vision. A company that is trying to promote both a publishing company and a product company will seem conflicted to potential investors. It takes a driven and resolute company and team to succeed in changing the world, and you do not want to muddle your campaign by promoting several different companies under one raise.

  1. You assume there is an established market of startup investors.

Wrong! This is what I like to call the Shark Tank Factor. Every week, there are millions of people eagerly waiting to watch the show because they are interested in startup and investment opportunities. Some entrepreneurs believe that potential investors — like Shark Tank fans — are simply waiting for an investment opportunity to materialize, but just showing them any opportunity does not guarantee their investment.

Companies able to avoid these five disastrous mistakes are off to a great start. In addition to knowing what not do, here are five of the best practices that may help ensure a prosperous campaign:

  1. You identify and profile, then estimate the target size of your community.

Find out who is interested in your product or idea, and reach out to like-minded demographics. As your community will provide most of your funding, it’s a good idea to estimate the community size you will need to get fully funded.

2. You build and engage with your community.

Building a relationship with your community as early as possible is key to success. Keeping them engaged right up to launch day is extremely challenging but can also be very fruitful too.

  1. You create a compelling message that transcends the product, and focuses on the purpose.

Having a communication plan ready to roll is key here. Nobody needs to know how a Microwave “engine” works to be able to use one. Messaging must be simple and effective.

  1. You plan a systematic and methodical approach.

There is nothing more stressful than the moment of launch. The anticipation and excitement has mounted as the big day has finally arrived. . As you would with any business plan, a solid plan of the what, the where and the when is vital at this stage.

  1. You launch with momentum.

When your campaign goes live, you need traction within the very first hours. Remember, nobody likes to be first so make sure your closest investors are ready to go the moment you launch. Be mindful of regulations and some which limit promotion activities. Today, you need to make a splash and as big a splash as possible!

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Crowdfunding 101 https://smartcrowdfunding.us/crowdfunding-101/ https://smartcrowdfunding.us/crowdfunding-101/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 23:23:27 +0000 http://smartcrowdfunding.us/?p=221 Crowdfunding has been around for quite some time now but only began to gain real traction during 2012 with the rewards based platforms, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, blazing the trail. Here the General Assembly & The Crowdfunding Professional Association team up to provide an overview of the basics of Crowdfunding. In this first series, Sherwood Neiss…

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Crowdfunding has been around for quite some time now but only began to gain real traction during 2012 with the rewards based platforms, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, blazing the trail.

Here the General Assembly & The Crowdfunding Professional Association team up to provide an overview of the basics of Crowdfunding. In this first series, Sherwood Neiss & Ryan Feit discuss Crowdfunding 101 which covers the history of crowdfunding and the introduction of JOBS ACT Equity Crowdfunding.

 

 

 

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