We all know crowdfunding is one among the major disruptions of this century. It has over the years transformed into a tool that entrepreneurs and artists use to validate their ideas, engage people with similar interests, and attract funding for their projects. Crowdfunding has gone huge in the west, the most successful being a Kickstarter led project, the Pebble watch that has raised $20,336,930 from 78,463 people in total.
Two Corners, Cambridge-based social enterprise and The Crowdfunding Centre, Sheffield, UK along with TiE, Hyderabad brought the successful Deep Impact conference for the first time to India at the Indian School of Business (ISB). The Startup Hyderabad team was present there to provide complete support.
What is Crowdfunding?
Dictionary defines crowdfunding as 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 investor gets returns for the small investment done. These returns could take various forms depending on the type of model.
- Equity Based: The investors get a stake in the company, so if the company becomes big, you get your percentage of the win.
- Donation Based: The investment goes as a contribution towards a charitable cause.
- Debt Based: The investors are paid back over a period of time.
- Reward Based: The investor gets a tangible item or service in return. For example, getting a limited edition of the product.
Professor Jaydeep Prabhu, University of Cambridge and co-author of Jugaad Innovation says, “We increasingly live in a frugal economy where even small teams can now develop and commercialize ideas that only large firms could do in the past. Crowdfunding is a crucial component of this frugal economy. Now start-ups with relatively few resources can access small amounts from large number of ordinary people to bring their ideas to life and to markets.”
Crowdfunding Deep Impact Conference Highlights:
The conference started on a bright morning at 8:00 am with a session on Crowdonomics: Exploring the Landscape of the New Entrepreneurial Economy by Barry E James, the founder of the deep impact conference, founder at TheCrowdfundingCentre.com and VentureFundingHubs.com. He spoke about the vision of the deep impact conference and about crowdfunding in general. He emphasised on the world of opportunities being created by crowdfunding and how it is giving oxygen to ordinary people all over the world.
Dr. Dan Marrom, a thought leader in the crowdfunding field and co-author – “The Crowdfunding Revolution”, took over the stage to demystify crowdfunding with a balanced sense of humor and the right amount of information that had the audience attentive throughout. He shared his thoughts on the future trends in this field. He very well explained how crowdfunding will be used to augment or replace the conventional VC and get high returns in the future. Access his presentation here.
Priyanka Agarwal, Chief Energy Officer of Wishberry, explained the impact this company is creating in India supported by data reflecting on her opinions. Wishberry has helped more than 200 projects raise 4.5 crores from 9600 funders. Priyanka Agarwal stressed that reward based model has been the most successful one of all the types. She says that wishberry also provides its clients a proprietary online campaign evaluation and a dedicated coaching team. Access her presentation here.
We broke for lunch which provided a good opportunity to exchange cards and build partnerships. Post lunch, a panel discussion was held. We heard Harshad Lahoti, Founding Partner Ah! Ventures, speak on crowdfunding from an investors perspective. Access his presentation here.
The founder of BitGiving, Ishita Anand, explained how the company is using crowdfunding for social initiatives and leveraging the world to create an impact. She disclosed that 70% of their investors are new donors, who are around 30 years of age. She says, that BitGiving will create focused campaigns to target the 38 million pool of internet transactors. She discussed few interesting campaigns led by the company like the one for Magic bus. Access her presentation here.
We then remotely heard Dan Darel, founder of Wequity – a crowdlending platform for real estate, speak on growth in property crowdfunding. He believes the next big revolution in crowdfunding will happen in the real estate areas especially in US and UK. Listen to him here. The later part of the conference was enlightened by Ateet Bajaj, founder of start51, who discussed “Impact of crowdfunding on startups led by students”. The day ended with an interesting note by Tim Wright on “Legal Aspects of crowdfunding in the UK”.
Learnings from the conference:
- Tips, do’s and dont’s.
- Building a great proposition
- How to set the right target for crowdfunding?
- Various platforms in India and the differences among them.
- How to craft your offerings?
- What type of crowdfunding is right for you?
Who was this conference for?
- Anyone looking for fundraising opportunities.
- Crowdfunding platform founders.
- Venture Capitalist and angellist.
- Students wanting to learn about crowdfunding either for their future startup or for their profession.
- Journalist and bloggers researching on crowdfunding.
- Anyone planning to support a crowdfunding project.
The crowdfunding conference in general provided a unique opportunity for people to know about the state of crowdfunding in India, they got a 360 degree perspective from various stakeholders like startup founders, angel investors, venture capitalists and crowdfunding platform founders. It left me astonished that India already has more that 15 crowdfunding platforms of its own. Only time will tell us who will be the Kickstarter and the Pebble watch of India.