Tag Archives: crowd funding

GIVE IT AWAY

Impact Engine – Part 5

VERBATIM by Loop Lonagan – Investor and man about town,

as told to John Jonelis

Impact Engine

Loop Lonagan back at Impact Engine Investors Day. The Chase auditorium’s packed with angel investors and venture capitalists AND philanthropists that’d rather invest in self-sustaining ventures than just dump their money down the old rat hole.

Shayan Nahrvar of Raise5

Shayan Nahrvar of Raise5 at Impact Engine

Y’know, it ain’t easy fer these companies to get this far. Most startups just grub fer money. These guys gotta make money BY DOIN’ GOOD. And these is da ones Impact Engine picked to do the job. Let’s sit back and talk about one o’ dem.

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Do what you love to support the causes you care about

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Raise5 founder, Shayan Nahvar, (pronounced SHI-an nah-VARR) is a real likable and well-spoken young man.

Shayan Nahvar of Raise5

Shayan Nahvar of Raise5

No sooner does he start his pitch than up pops a video. And whoa–it’s Richard Branson! Richard Branson is pitching Raise5!

I didn’t see no celebrity endorsements at FFF this morning, but these guys at Impact Engine pulled it off. Makes me feel like they can pull off most anything.

This’s a whole new crowdsourced fundraising channel fer charities. Raise5 turns yer ordinary purchases into donations. AND they do it cheap. NGOs spend 35 cents on every dollar they raise–just to raise that dollar. That don’t make no sense to me. Raise5 can bring that down to somewhere in the 8-15 cent range ‘n’ make a profit doin’ it! That’s self-sustaining.

I can hear summa you Scrooges in da back grumblin’ and groanin’ about what da hell’s da purpose o’ just givin’ it away. Hey, lotsa companies wanna give back. And lotsa regular folks too. And this ain’t just fer Microsoft ‘n’ them guys. Artists and all kindsa folks can get in on the action. And the secret of it is this:  It’s not just da charity that benefits.  It’s the giver, as you’ll see:

Say you wanna support The Nellie Thursday Home For Old Dollsa legitamate charity. Maybe you got a garage band that does a revival act of an old group like The Monkeys or somethin’–one o’ them that’s better to ferget.  Maybe you know a few more bands that ape awful old acts. Hey–all together it could be a great show!  So youse guys put together a concert and have a whale of a good time while you raise money fer Nellie.  Here’s how it works:

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Raise5 Website

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How to become a freelance fundraiser:

  • Ya slide on over to the Raise5 site
  • Ya plug in yer service or product. 
  • Ya set yer price and da charity that gets da proceeds

That’s it! Raise5 does the rest.  Whadaya waitin’ fer?

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.Raise5 Sample

Here’s a real example:  Look at dis screenshot detail. Adam is willin’ to blast yer weblink to his 20,000 Twitter followers fer five lousy bucks.  The money goes to da WSPA t’ help dem furry creatures.  John’s gonna foam at the mouth when he sees dis ’cause he’s tryin’ t’ promote his new novel ‘n’ dis is the way to do it.

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Here’s another offer:  Fer a measley five bucks, you can get a great Raise5 Offercaracature like dis one.  Money goes to Doctors Without Borders.  How can you lose?

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Dis is a win/win/win setup:

  • Charities get a new way to raise funds.
  • Individuals ‘n’ companies get a new way to create impact ‘n’ social change.
  • Customers get to buy something great, knowing their money’ll make a difference.

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Check out dis COOL VIDEO:

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Da Business

Hey, there’s 1.6 million not-fer-profits in the good ol’ US of A just waiting t’ be served and 4000 right here in Chi-town. Raise5 takes a transaction fee from every sale, so the more money they make the more impact they have. What more do I need to say?

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CONTINUE TO PART 6

Go back to Part 1

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Da Contacts

Raise5raise5.comRaise5 logo

3234 North Richmond Street,

Chicago, Illinois, 60618

Crain’s Chicago Business covered this event and ran a nice article: www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121206/BLOGS06/121209884

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Impact Enginewww.TheImpactEngine.com

Contact Linda Darragh – L-Darragh@Kellogg.Northwestern.edu

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Images courtesy of Raise 5 and Impact Engine

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Whadaya Think?

You’re invited t’ leave yer opinion. No, you don’t hafta leave yer name or email or nothin’. Just be polite. And keep it clean.  Click the COMMENTS command at da bottom.

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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5 Comments

Filed under 1871, angel, angel capital, angel investor, big money, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, CORE Insight Story, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, FFF, Impact Engine, Impact Investing, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Internet, Internet Marketing, investor, Kellogg, loop lonagan, Marketing, new companies, philanthropist, philanthropy, pitch, vc, venture capital

7 TIPS FROM A WINNER

Funding Feeding Frenzy – Part 5

VERBATIM by Loop Lonagan – Investor and man about town,

as told to John Jonelis

FFF LogoLoop Lonagan here. I’m gonna go full circle at dis Funding Feeding Frenzy.

No, I ain’t drunk—well maybe I am by now—but what I mean is, I’m goin’ back to the start o’ this event. After all that stuff I already talked about, I’m finally gettin’ ‘round to the first speaker at the FFF—Palette App—the company that won last time.

Like I said, I seen the pitch before. I also seen them at BNC Venture Capital and later at their corporate offices. Research. A guy’s gotta check stuff out fer himself.  Anyhow, here I am at the FFF in the Chopin Theater to hear what he has to say.  And as it turns out, I’m very glad I to be here.

Chopin Theater Lobby

Lobby – courtesy Chopin Theater

The speaker is Jerry Freeman, founder of Palette App, and the guy’s real smart. He’s doin’ his pitch fer us as a demo—to break the ice before all the poor slobs face the judges.

So I’m sittin’ here next to Jay Kinzie, a colleague o’ mine from Mastermind Advisory Board in this cushy seat in the Chopin Theater. Rong Mayhem ain’t gonna wheel up behind me and start yellin’ like he did at that car barn they held this thing at last time. And the noisy crowd is banished to the trough downstairs.

Feeding Trough

Feeding Trough

That means I’m free. Free to concentrate on findin’ the companies I wanna follow up on. But first comes Jerry Freeman. He starts by giving his own pitch. I know it by heart so I’ll paraphrase:

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Da Pitch

Palette App logoPalette App helps architects and designers do their job better, faster, cheaper. (Jerry doesn’t actually say better, faster, cheaper, but that’s what it amounts to.)

They take away them old-fashioned sample binders that designers and architects been blowin’ their money on for 150 years. They hand ‘em this beautiful digital palette. It’s easier to put together, better organized and more efficient to use. You can make changes fer free! That’s a big deal in this industry.

Palette App

Palette App

It saves a designer about 30 business days a year. That’s alotta man hours. And that kinda time’s worth a few bucks. The digital palette’s better for the client too. That’s why I been excited ‘bout this company right from the first.

Palette

Palette

The software usta be just on iPad ‘cause that’s what designers and them kinda people use. But now it’s on Android too. There’s a version for architectural design schools, which turns out to be a big deal. You can read all about it at https://chicagoventuremagazine.com/2012/07/16/150-years-of-waste-meets-technology/

The company is up-and-running and generating revenue. They already got 35,000 products loaded in their system. They got multiple profit centers. They make money whenever a designer orders a sample. And they make money through subscriptions.

Far as capital goes, they already raised $700K and the first round is gonna close pretty quick. 70% of that came from the last FFF. You can read about that at https://chicagoventuremagazine.com/2012/11/23/shark-tank-meets-the-apprentice/

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Da Interview

So after his sample pitch which I kinda butchered—but hey—how ya gonna spoil something as good as that? Anyhow, Jerry sits down with David Culver and does an interview about what it’s like to run a startup. This is good stuff and I learn something.

Jerry Freeman and David Culver

Jerry Freeman interviewed by David Culver

Raising Money

This seems to be the biggest question on ever’body’s minds. Jerry says, keep pitching at every event you can ‘cause it’s the best way to get connections to lotsa investors. Raising money is a full time job. As CEO, raising capital turns out to be his #1 job.

Then there’s cold calling. You start by pitching on the phone to some junior-level gatekeeper. Then to the next one up, then the next. Then maybe you gets a face-to-face with a decision-maker, fly way out somewheres and run up the old expense account.

All that takes months. Then maybe you get a commitment. Whoa—the money ain’t in the bank yet, fella. Gotta go thru due diligence. Paperwork. It takes six months to get the check, if it comes at all. People drop out. Meanwhile, how you gonna pay yer staff? So you gotta watch yer cash flow real close.

So he says to keep entertaining small investors till the big checks come through—just to pay the bills. The little guys come through quicker.

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Crowd Funding

Glenn Gottfried

Glenn Gottfried

Let’s talk about the new self-directed IRA. Lotsa baby boomers got millions stashed in their IRAs. All those add up fast. There’s five trillion in investment dollars hidden away in these accounts. That’s right—I said five TRILLION dollars—almost a third as big as the national debt! It dwarfs private capital. Blows it away! And deals like that close in thirty days—not six months like with VCs and Angels.

This is a form o’ crowd funding. Usta be only charities raised money that way. Now there’s brand-new laws that open it up to investors. So far it’s only for accredited types—people with a million bucks plus. That’s gonna change but the government is draggin’ its toes—nothin’ new about that.

So fer now, friends ‘n’ family ‘n’ Kick Starter is still the best way for small cash, then

Loren Minkus with Jay Kinzie

Loren Minkus with Jay Kinzie

millionairs with self-directed IRAs. Pretty soon we might see the dam burst on crowdfunding and money’ll flow all over the place.

Jerry gives 7 more tips on how to run a startup:

7 Tips

  1. “The shorter your pitch, the better,” says Jerry. If you think yer gonna get through it in eight minutes, cut it back ‘cause it’ll always take longer. “Practice 21 times,” he says, “so you’re not nervous.”
  2. “Simplify. If you’ve got twenty ideas, narrow it down to three,” he says. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple, he cut down their product line to about five. Now they’re huge.
  3. “Challenge is important.” He asks himself why he ain’t tripling his users every month. You gotta find creative ways to reach that target.
  4. “The dot bomb era is over.” Start raising revenue ASAP. That helps attract investors way better than flashing yer goofy projections on PowerPoint. “When you can say, We already started generating revenue, it puts you in a different pile from the rest.”
  5. “Crank up sales fast because sales sell. Get to risk mitigation ASAP.” That’s important ‘cause investors is more risk-averse than dey ever was before. And the banks ain’t lending. Actual sales sounds a lot less risky.
  6. “Keep your people motivated.” Use every success to get your people rejuvenated. Tell ‘em stories from the road. Celebrate small successes.
  7. An entrepreneur is somebody who goes from failure to failure to failure without getting discouraged.” It’s good to come from a sales background so yer already used to rejection. “If you’re a wallflower, get over it,” he says. Then David Culver follows that with, “The fortune is in the follow-up.”
Chopin Theater

Stage – courtesy Chopin Theater

Gotta Go

I gotta catch a cab to another meeting, so after plenty o’ good food ‘n’ drink, I say g’bye to the FFF kinda early. Two guys tag along to share the ride. One’s an investment banker, the other a VC.

And wouldn’t you know it—I trip on another pothole, right there on the sidewalk. Now my suit’s slashed in both knees. Neither o’ these guys helps me up like the bums did.

And when I drop ‘em off, neither offers to share the cab fare.

Happy New Year to all o’ youse out there.  Cheers from da merry land of Shark Tank Meets the Apprentice.  

NOTE TO JOHN – I seen your articles on a buncha sites.  One o’ dem usta be a real good tech jounal run by the Huffington Post.  It went through a buncha changes.  Now it’s runnin’ third-rate soft porn right along with da articles.  Don’t know what’s with that but thought you’d wanna know.

NOTE TO LOOP – Thanks for the heads-up.  I’ll check it out and maybe put a stop to it.

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Continue to WHAT’S GOOD?

Go back to Part 1

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Da Contacts

Palette App – www.paletteapp.com

Funding Feeding Frenzy – www.facebook.com/FundingFeedingFrenzy

The Chopin Theater – www.chopintheatre.com/event.php?id=2275&pageId=soon

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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5 Comments

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