Advice for First Time Crowdfunding Seekers

August 6th, 2014 by

Amanda Boyle, CEO of crowdfunding website Bloom VC, talks to UK2 about what it takes for a crowdfunding project to succeed…

In 2006, the word crowdfunding was coined. It was created to describe the emerging phenomena in which projects were funded by large numbers of people following an Internet campaign.

Just four years later, Amanda Boyle set up Bloom VC. She was inspired by the work of the Grameen Bank, which won Prof Mohammed Yunus a nobel prize for developing a microfinance and community development organisation in Bangladesh in the Seventies and Eighties.

A further four years on, and her company have connected 300 projects with more than 6,000 backers and raised funds of more than £300,000. Amanda herself is considered to be one of the leading experts in the crowdfunding industry. UK2 caught up with her to talk crowdfunding success and the future…

Amanda Boyle

First of all, tell us about the Bloom VC philosophy…

Bloom was set up with the aim of providing small sums of money to people for things like setting up a business or organising an event in the community. After the financial crash in 2010, schemes that offered this sort if funding vanished, almost overnight. We developed a site that allowed people to reach out through friends, family and social connections to find the small sums of money they needed.

Talk to us about some of your favourite projects that have come through Bloom VC…

Every project has a story behind it. One that stands out is a company called Cake-cetera. The founder Pauline needed funding for prototype packaging so she could deliver her cakes nationally. Today, she has a fabulous online shop and it gets better – she now delivers cupcake bouquets all over the country.

What are you best bits of advice for anyone starting out with a crowdfunding project?

First of all, you have to be prepared to work at it. Don’t be afraid to ask people for money. A lot of people hear the stories where people got millions of pounds of funding and they expect the money to fly in, but those projects represent less than one percent of cases and usually, they have big sums of money already behind them, helping with the marketing. You need to start off with an amount people can relate to and build up from there.

What happens if people don’t get their funding?

Money is only part of the crowdfunding experience. Even if you don’t reach your target, you could have attracted skills and experts and made connections, which can turn out to be much more important than cash.

To get yourself set-up on crowdfunding, visit the Bloom VC website. To find out more about Amanda Boyle and her mentoring and empowerment projects, keep your eyes on this blog…

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