Entrepreneur Exchange

For the PDF presentation click here: Entrepreneur Exchange

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Have brilliant idea, need financial support? – Get it here !

Do you need to raise funds to get your idea off the ground?

You’ve got a brilliant business idea, but your bank lacks your vision. (Or perhaps you lack the collateral.)

Maybe you reached out to friends and family, but you know they lost their shirts when your brother-in-law’s salmon-flavored energy drink flopped. Is this the death of your nascent business?

Not. So. Fast.

Social media is changing more than the way we market and communicate… It’s changing the way we raise capital.

Crowdfunding websites are popping up that connect entrepreneurs with investors, producers with patrons, and causes with contributors.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding builds upon the idea of crowdsourcing: “the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call.” (Wikipedia)

Crowdfunding pulls together a community—tightly knit or disparate—to fund a project, business or cause, usually via the Internet.

How does it work?

Although the rules differ from site to site, generally people (or businesses or charities) pitch an idea, set a fundraising goal and set a deadline for raising funds.

Potential patrons can review the pitches and decide if there are any they’d like to support. On most crowdfunding sites, people are not investing in the project or business; rather, they are funding it. They are rewarded if the project comes to fruition, but don’t end up owning any part of the business or project.

This is in part due to U.S. regulations currently under review by the SEC, so this may change in the near future. However, different sites have different rules, especially those based outside the U.S., so make sure you review the terms and conditions carefully!

To launch your own project, I’ll focus on Kickstarter—one of the most popular crowdfunding sites—as an example.

You start with a pitch: you describe your project, specify what rewards patrons will receive if the fundraising is successful and create a funding goal and a timeline.

If you don’t reach your funding goal by the deadline, no money changes hands. As Kickstarter says, this “protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.”

Pledges are made with a credit card; if you’re backing a project, your card won’t be charged until the project is successfully funded.

How do you get your projects noticed… and funded? A quick look at the active projects on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo will show that you’ve a lot of creative competition out there.

https://www.kickstarter.com/

https://www.indiegogo.com/

 

Different ways how to get fund for your dream in reality

Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers.

Famous Example: Wikipedia. Instead of Wikipedia creating an encyclopedia on their own, hiring writers and editors, they gave a crowd the ability to create the information on their own. The result? The most comprehensive encyclopedia this world has ever seen.

Crowdsourcing & Quality: The principle of crowdsourcing is that more heads are better than one. By canvassing a large crowd of people for ideas, skills, or participation, the quality of content and idea generation will be superior.

Different Types of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsource Design

If you’re looking for a logo design, you can tell a crowd of designers what you want, how much you will pay, and your deadline. All interested designers will create a finished design specifically for you. You’ll receive 50-300+ different finished logo designs, and you can keep whichever design you like the best. By doing design this way, crowdsourcing actually increases the quality & decreases the price, compared to online freelancing.

Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers.

Famous Example: Wikipedia. Instead of Wikipedia creating an encyclopedia on their own, hiring writers and editors, they gave a crowd the ability to create the information on their own. The result? The most comprehensive encyclopedia this world has ever seen.

Crowdsourcing & Quality: The principle of crowdsourcing is that more heads are better than one. By canvassing a large crowd of people for ideas, skills, or participation, the quality of content and idea generation will be superior.

Different Types of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsource Design

If you’re looking for a logo design, you can tell a crowd of designers what you want, how much you will pay, and your deadline. All interested designers will create a finished design specifically for you. You’ll receive 50-300+ different finished logo designs, and you can keep whichever design you like the best. By doing design this way, crowdsourcing actually increases the quality & decreases the price, compared to online freelancing.

Crowdsourcing can also be used to get designs for furniture, fashion, advertisements, video, & product design. Just about anything that can be designed can be crowdsourced.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding involves asking a crowd of people to donate money to your project. For example, if you want to raise $10,000 to pay for studio time to record a new CD, crowdfunding can help you raise that money.. You find a crowdfunding platform, set the goal amount, deadline, and any rewards offered to donors. You must raise 100% of your goal before the deadline, or all the donations are returned to the donors. Deadlines are typically less than 60 days.

Crowdfunding is mostly used by artists, charities, & start-ups to raise money for projects such as filming a documentary, manufacturing an iPod watch, cancer research, or seed money. Read more about crowdfunding or browse crowdfunding sites.

Microtasks

Microtasking involves breaking work up into tiny tasks and sending the work to a crowd of people. If you have 1,000 photos on your website that need captions, you can ask 1,000 individual people to each add a caption to one photo. Break up the work and decide the payment for each completed task (typically .01¢ – .10¢ per task). With microtasking, you can expect to see results within minutes. Microtasking can involve tasks such as scanning images, proofreading, database correction and transcribing audio files.

Work is done faster, cheaper, and usually with less errors (when validation systems are in place). Additionally, microtasks can often be performed by people in less fortunate countries, including those with SMS capabilities but without computers. Read more about microtasks or browse microtasks sites.

Open Innovation

If you are unsure of where to begin with an idea for a business opportunity, whether it’s product design or perhaps a marketing firm, crowdsourcing can help through open innovation. Open innovation allows people from all aspects of business such as investors, designers, inventors, and marketers to collaborate into a functional profit making reality. This can be done either through a dedicated web platform to gain outside perspective, or used with only internal employees.

Open innovation brings together people from different parts of the world and different sectors of business to work together on a project. This is effectively a collection of different fields and levels of expertise that would not otherwise be available to any budding entrepreneur. It also elevates previously considered uninvolved parties, such as investors, to roll up their sleeves and impart their knowledge, essentially becoming more than just a cash cow.

Pros & Cons :Crowdsourcing’s biggest benefit is the ability to receive better quality results, since several people offer their best ideas, skills, & support. Crowdsourcing allows you to select the best result from a sea of ‘best entries,’ as opposed to receiving the best entry from a single provider. Results can be delivered much quicker than traditional methods, since crowdsourcing is a form of freelancing. You can get a finished video within a month, a finished design or idea within a week, and microtasks appear within minutes.

Clear instructions are essential in crowdsourcing. You could potentially be searching through thousands of possible ideas, which can be painstaking, or even complicated, if the instructions are not clearly understood. Some forms of crowdsourcing do involve spec work, which some people are against. Quality can be difficult to judge if proper expectations are not clearly stated. for furniture, fashion, advertisements, video, & product design. Just about anything that can be designed can be crowdsourced.

Crowdfunding

Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers.

Famous Example: Wikipedia. Instead of Wikipedia creating an encyclopedia on their own, hiring writers and editors, they gave a crowd the ability to create the information on their own. The result? The most comprehensive encyclopedia this world has ever seen.

Crowdsourcing & Quality: The principle of crowdsourcing is that more heads are better than one. By canvassing a large crowd of people for ideas, skills, or participation, the quality of content and idea generation will be superior.

Different Types of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsource Design

If you’re looking for a logo design, you can tell a crowd of designers what you want, how much you will pay, and your deadline. All interested designers will create a finished design specifically for you. You’ll receive 50-300+ different finished logo designs, and you can keep whichever design you like the best. By doing design this way, crowdsourcing actually increases the quality & decreases the price, compared to online freelancing.

Crowdsourcing can also be used to get designs for furniture, fashion, advertisements, video, & product design. Just about anything that can be designed can be crowdsourced.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding involves asking a crowd of people to donate money to your project. For example, if you want to raise $10,000 to pay for studio time to record a new CD, crowdfunding can help you raise that money.. You find a crowdfunding platform, set the goal amount, deadline, and any rewards offered to donors. You must raise 100% of your goal before the deadline, or all the donations are returned to the donors. Deadlines are typically less than 60 days.

Crowdfunding is mostly used by artists, charities, & start-ups to raise money for projects such as filming a documentary, manufacturing an iPod watch, cancer research, or seed money. Read more about crowdfunding or browse crowdfunding sites.

Microtasks : Microtasking involves breaking work up into tiny tasks and sending the work to a crowd of people. If you have 1,000 photos on your website that need captions, you can ask 1,000 individual people to each add a caption to one photo. Break up the work and decide the payment for each completed task (typically .01¢ – .10¢ per task). With microtasking, you can expect to see results within minutes. Microtasking can involve tasks such as scanning images, proofreading, database correction and transcribing audio files.

Work is done faster, cheaper, and usually with less errors (when validation systems are in place). Additionally, microtasks can often be performed by people in less fortunate countries, including those with SMS capabilities but without computers. Read more about microtasks or browse microtasks sites.

Open Innovation

If you are unsure of where to begin with an idea for a business opportunity, whether it’s product design or perhaps a marketing firm, crowdsourcing can help through open innovation. Open innovation allows people from all aspects of business such as investors, designers, inventors, and marketers to collaborate into a functional profit making reality. This can be done either through a dedicated web platform to gain outside perspective, or used with only internal employees.

Open innovation brings together people from different parts of the world and different sectors of business to work together on a project. This is effectively a collection of different fields and levels of expertise that would not otherwise be available to any budding entrepreneur. It also elevates previously considered uninvolved parties, such as investors, to roll up their sleeves and impart their knowledge, essentially becoming more than just a cash cow.

Pros & Cons

Crowdsourcing’s biggest benefit is the ability to receive better quality results, since several people offer their best ideas, skills, & support. Crowdsourcing allows you to select the best result from a sea of ‘best entries,’ as opposed to receiving the best entry from a single provider. Results can be delivered much quicker than traditional methods, since crowdsourcing is a form of freelancing. You can get a finished video within a month, a finished design or idea within a week, and microtasks appear within minutes.

Clear instructions are essential in crowdsourcing. You could potentially be searching through thousands of possible ideas, which can be painstaking, or even complicated, if the instructions are not clearly understood. Some forms of crowdsourcing do involve spec work, which some people are against. Quality can be difficult to judge if proper expectations are not clearly stated.nvolves asking a crowd of people to donate money to your project. For example, if you want to raise $10,000 to pay for studio time to record a new CD, crowdfunding can help you raise that money.. You find a crowdfunding platform, set the goal amount, deadline, and any rewards offered to donors. You must raise 100% of your goal before the deadline, or all the donations are returned to the donors. Deadlines are typically less than 60 days.

Crowdfunding is mostly used by artists, charities, & start-ups to raise money for projects such as filming a documentary, manufacturing an Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers.

Famous Example: Wikipedia. Instead of Wikipedia creating an encyclopedia on their own, hiring writers and editors, they gave a crowd the ability to create the information on their own. The result? The most comprehensive encyclopedia this world has ever seen.

Crowdsourcing & Quality: The principle of crowdsourcing is that more heads are better than one. By canvassing a large crowd of people for ideas, skills, or participation, the quality of content and idea generation will be superior.

 

Tips from Kickstarter – how to run successful online crowdfunding campaign

With this growth comes greater competition, so in most cases, each crowdfunding campaign need to be even more compelling than the last to snag the attention — and the dollars — of the growing crowd.

So how do you do it? If you are considering crowdfunding, you have likely already read tips and tricks from those that have “been there, done that.” You know you need to create a video, share your campaign on social media, and test the market with friends and family early on – months before you launch, even – to get a steady flow of contributions going from the start.

Consider these five little known suggestions to help you supercharge a successful campaign:

  1. Presentation is everything

How you present your idea on your campaign page is likely more important than the idea itself. You have just seconds to grab the attention of your potential supporters, so make sure your campaign page and video has a clear and concise message that pleads your case with the who, what, when, where and why – especially the why.

For the video, if you are not a strong presenter or are uncomfortable on camera, get someone else to tell the story. Every word throughout the entire video must have deliberate intention and meaning. Open with a question related to why your product is needed. Include testimonials from those who have seen your idea and loved it.

A decent camera phone with enough light will record at high enough quality to look professional, if you include the right messages behind it.

  1. Pay to promote

Some crowdfunding platforms, such as Indiegogo, allow campaigns to begin using contributions before the campaign is over, so be willing to return a portion of your contributions to your campaign to increase its overall reach.

Use contributions strategically, such as to create sponsored posts on Facebook. A PR advisor can advise on overall positioning and promotion, including how to write and post a press release on the campaign launch. Consider partnering with a search engine optimization expert to help contributors more easily find your campaign.

Contributions invested wisely will increase the total number of contributions and more than cover what you have spent.

How to make your crowdfunding campaign successfull

  1. Press releases don’t equal direct leads

A press release launching your campaign, and any articles that appear as a result, can go a long way to build awareness and credibility. They will remain online, and easily found, indefinitely if sent over a wire service, such as Business Wire or PR Newswire, but don’t consider them  lead generation tool.

Even if your team consists of one person – you – coupling traditional public relations with advertising and sales tactics will help you get additional leads and turn them into contributions.

  1. Keep communicating, even to naysayers

There is nothing worse than contributing to a campaign and then never hearing a peep again until the product ships — if it ever does. Keep your contributors in the know on shipping dates, interesting milestones and relevant news. That builds credibility for you and the campaign.

If they have questions, respond promptly. If they praise you publicly, respond with gratitude. If they complain publicly, respond with a clarification or apology, as appropriate. Just respond.

  1. Return for a second round of funding

With traditional funding, businesses often seek a seed round from private investors or banks, then progress, regroup and return for a second ‘round’ of funding. You can do the same with crowdfunding, which is one of several reasons to start with a modest request.

While you might need $500,000 or even $1 million to turn your idea into a real shipping product, asking for that amount is usually a mistake. Set the goal at the minimum you need to take the project forward. A goal of $10,000 or $25,000 is much easier to reach. If you succeed far beyond that goal, it is a much more exciting story for the media.

It’s especially important when using a platform like Kickstarter, which only releases contributions if you reach your goal. When you need more capital to expand the capabilities or international reach of your product, you can return to ask for a second round of funding from the crowd.

Crowdfunding is not necessarily going to be the miraculous savior to your suffering business or a get rich quick scheme. It is, however, an extraordinary model that, if done properly, just may help you fund your industry’s next big idea.

How to write a business plan?

Executive summary:

We use it to introduce our business, identify your client and it should be SHORT but STRONG that explains your business.

  • Who is the management team: say something about previous experiences, industry credibility, history working together
  • Include a specific plan to fill any gap in your management team
  • Immediate objectives and resources

Company description:

Provides a high level explanation of your business and to make money also include a mission statement and the location of your business.

  • Story of your business: HOW it came from and WHERE is today
  • HOW you are plane to grow what you already have
  • Objectives

Market research:

use this section to provide detailed info that show that you’ve done your homework and that you understand your market.

Products and services:

To show what are you selling and what’s are the benefits compared to your competitors and be sure to know the current development stage of your business.

The main question that you have to ask to yourself is ‘ How can my product attract the target market?’ Summarize the strengths of your product

  • Benefit and pricing of your product
  • Be really clear about HOW you will make MONEY

Marketing and sales:

Explain how you identify your potential costumer be sure to include your marketing approach

Pay attention or new tools

  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Photo

 

Financial projections:

This is important for investors cause it explains how your business will be as financial obligations and maintain a positive cash flow balance.

It consists in:

  • A sales forecast for 12 months
  • Projection for 3 years

And it includes:

  • Profit and loss
  • Cost of sales
  • Interest
  • Taxes
  • Market forecast: how many potential customers are there for the business?

 

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What do you know about Richard Branson?

If you think that being an entrepreneur is a one-step straightforward process then you are definitely wrong! One of the most important qualities of an entrepreneur is perseverance, and this is for good reasons. Real entrepreneurs are not afraid of failure, because they consider every unsuccessful trial as a valuable experience that only brings them closer to their goals.

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A very prominent example for a real entrepreneur is the British billionaire Richard Branson. Now the sixth richest man in the United Kingdom, Branson did not have a very streamline childhood as an entrepreneur. In fact, he had dyslexia when he was young and he was a poor performer at school. Still, Branson was continuously looking for opportunities to create new ventures and startups throughout his life since he founded his first magazine named “Student” and until now.

Branson’s parents were always supportive and encouraging of his entrepreneurial behavior. He opened his first record shop in Oxford Street in London in 1971; in 1984 he launched virgin Atlantic airlines. In 1987 he took Virgin records (which have expanded enormously since its foundation) to the United States. He also co-founded BSB (British satellite Broadcasting) which he later sold his shares in1988.

During the 1990s he continued to expand his “Virgin” businesses to include: Virgin books, Virgin Radio, Virgin Vodka and Cola, Virgin Financial services, V2 Music, Virgin Brides, Virgin Trains, virgin Cosmetics and Virgin Mobile. He later founded Virgin Airlines, Virgin Cars, Virgin Health and Virgin Health.benson

Some of his businesses failed and others succeeded. Maybe he was lucky to have had supportive parents during his early years that helped develop his entrepreneurial abilities and gave him self-confidence; however, many other people (especially professionals) often criticized his ideas and let him down.

Entrepreneurs usually notice opportunities in the market that other people often overlook or do not notice. That is why they can be criticized. The key factor is to believe in yourself and in your abilities and never give up or stop until you reach your goal.

Richard Branson is considered a serial entrepreneur and he will probably continue to amaze us with new business and creative enterprises as long as he is alive! We sure love Richard Branson but we also want other entrepreneurs like you!