Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Kickstarter Crowdfunding for Filipinos

Craft Kombucha of Mount Pleasant, Washington, DC successfully reached over 100% of its Kickstarter fundraising goal. Thanks to about 300 backers, the company achieved it in less than a month.

Successfully raising money solves a major problem of most start-up businesses. While Craft Kombucha used Kickstarter’s reward system method to raise capital, its project actually attracted both equity and debt financing as well. In fact, the equity investment and the credit line, which are now made available to the firm, are higher than the funds raised through Kickstarter. So congratulations are indeed in order.

But this is just the start – hence, called “start-up”. Now Craft Kombucha has to fulfill the expectations of the backers, the investors, and the creditors. It has to utilize the available resources efficiently and effectively to maximize revenues by capturing and expanding the market. It has to guarantee quality and sufficient quantity of production to satisfy the projected demand. It has to monitor and control its costs to achieve higher profitability.

I appealed to readers, friends, and family especially Filipinos to support the Kickstarter fundraising campaign of Craft Kombucha. The appeal was really to generate a new network of backers on record. The amount of donation did not matter. Giving $1, $5, or $10 was as good as donating $1000. In fact, the reward for any donation was as attractive.
Analyzing the data involving the backers of Craft Kombucha, a substantial portion of the amounts raised was through Kickstarter. Most came from friends, family, and kombucha and dog lovers. Of course, the non-Kickstarter backers are first-time backers.

Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding platform which means the sources of funds could be anywhere around the globe. The objective of attracting a large number of backers is not really impossible. Assuming that 1 million Filipinos become backers on record. Each donating $1 for an innovative project or an invention by a Filipino would generate $1 million in a very short period of time; $5 generating $5 million; and so on.

Since the 1 million Filipinos are now backers on record, and if the project creator/inventor is also one, other non-Filipino backers would also be inclined to back the project especially if the project or invention is quite attractive and useful. What is important is its exposure to Kickstarter backers worldwide.

During my appeal, I intentionally tagged certain Filipino American leaders and entrepreneurs asking them to become backers on record by just donating any amount. This way, as a previous backer (amount is confidential), it would not be hard to appeal to the Kickstarter database for support of your project or invention.

Thousands of amazing projects have been launched and successfully funded under the Kickstarter platform. Many are in areas where Filipinos actually excel like: Art, Comics, Crafts, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Technology, Photography, and Food like Craft Kombucha and Bad Saint Restaurant in DC which just obtained full funding through Kickstarter.

The Philippines is now the call center capital of the world. This is because properly trained and recruited Filipinos are very proficient in English and can quickly adapt different English accents (American, British, Australian).

If India could make English movies, why couldn’t Filipinos make English movies and TV shows. A film and video English spoken project with a Filipino director and Filipino actors could be one project that Filipinos worldwide could back.

Filipino Artists and Fashion Designers, Comics and Crafts projects could be funded via Kickstarter.  Reports show that Kickstarter received more than $1.5 billion in pledges from 7.8 million backers to fund creative projects. Filipinos should take advantage of these opportunities.

If Kickstarter is not your kind of crowdfunding, there are of course other methods. In fact, experts predict a $15 billion crowdfunding this year (2015). With the passage of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act and the addition of equity crowdfunding to the scene, it is projected to become a $300 billion marketplace over the coming years.

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