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Crowdfunding Site Pozible Promotes Chinese Innovators

By Damon Poeter, April 24, 2014 06:23pm EST
Western-based crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo now have company in the race to bring great ideas to market.

Pozible Gyenno One Wristband/Credit: Pozible

Kickstarter and Indiegogo have company. Pozible is a competing crowdfunding platform, but with a twist—the site targets projects and startups originating with Chinese innovators.

Western-based crowdfunding sites have been a fantastic means for bringing strong ideas to market at a pace unimaginable just a few years ago, with examples ranging from the Pebble smartwatch to the Veronica Mars feature film. But Pozible co-founder and director Rick Chen thinks projects emerging from China represent a vast, untapped market for investors looking for ideas worth backing.

“Most of the world equates China with mass-produced, cheap products, missing out on the amazing innovations and maker movements that are being generated from there,” Chen, who is based in Australia, said after setting up a new Pozible office in Shanghai.

The crowdfunding site this week reported that one of its very first crowdfunding campaigns for a China-based project, the Gyenno One fitness wristband, smashed its funding target within minutes of going live.

Within 25 minutes of launching their Pozible campaign, the Gyenno One creators were “halfway to selling out of their current stock” and by 2 p.m. local time on Thursday had raised 46 times their funding target, the crowdfunding site said.

“Just after midday on Wednesday, the campaign for the stylish and affordable new wristband Gyenno One was launched. Within a minute it had reached its campaign target of 10,000 Chinese yuan and for several minutes, every time the page was refreshed, the number of pledges doubled,” Chen said.

The Gyenno One is just one of several China-originating projects now in the pipeline for Pozible funding campaigns, he said.

“Over the next few months we look forward to hosting another seven to 10 campaigns, including an app that turns your smartphone into a wireless remote control, a smartwatch that helps health care providers monitor the vital signs of elderly or unwell patients, and various events and fashion projects,” Chen said.

By connecting project backers from around the world with Chinese innovators, Pozible is “effectively bridging the gap between the western world and the Chinese market,” he said.

Pozible is hoping to tap into its largest market for ideas yet with the expansion into China, but the site already has a presence in other, smaller Asian markets like Malaysia and Singapore.

Source : http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2457106,00.asp

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Now, crowdfunding for college fests ?

Renu Singh,  TNN Feb 2, 2014, 01.49PM IST

Students at BIT Mesra, Ranchi have turned to crowdfunding to generate money for their fest. Is it a model other educational institutes can emulate?

We have heard of filmmakers, start-up companies, even political parties reaching out to the public to raise funds for their projects. But for an educational institute to source crowdfunding for their management fest – that’s a first. And that’s exactly what BIT Mesra has done – invited crowdfunding apart from sponsorships for Bitotsav, their techno-cul-management fest this year.

“The idea was jointly endorsed by all members of the core committee,” shares Nitin Gupta, member of the Bitotsav core committee, before going on to explain where the idea germinated from. “We knew crowdfunding has benefited start-ups and filmmakers, so that’s where the inspiration came from. Since Bitotsav is something that everybody on campus looks forward to all through the year, and in an endeavour to take the level of the fest a notch higher, we thought of inviting funds from the public, apart from getting sponsors for the event. We have a target of collecting one lakh rupees, and till now, have received 71,000 (out of which the major contribution is by our alumni). For the contribution given to the fest, we have kept certain rewards, from couple passes to Farhan Akhtar’s show to souvenirs and mementos. To ensure the funds are not misused, the accounts of Bitotsav are closely monitored and audited by institute authority,” he says.

Bitotsav aside, could this be the beginning of a new trend?

PUBLIC SE PAISA NIKALNA MUSHKIL HAI

While the idea is unique in its application to college fests, not everyone is convinced that it can be successfully executed. Anuraag Dhingra, part of the organising committee of Manfest, at IIM Lucknow, says, “I think crowdfunding can help build the brand of the institute, but not so much to get funds, unless there is a social cause associated with the event. Nevertheless, it will entirely depend on how the public is being approached. Perhaps in the future, we could use this way to generate some money.”

Akhil Agarwal,a B Tech final year student at IIT Delhi says, “Crowdfunding for college fests is a very interesting idea and there is nothing wrong in it. Par public se paisa nikalana thoda mushkil hota hai people will spend 100 on pani puri, but will resist in donating even ten rupees, such is the mindset of people. I don’t find it a viable option for college fests – the effort required to woo the public to give funds, only half of that is required to convince sponsors and alumni.”

THE ADMINISTRATION WON’T ALLOW US

Approaching the alumni is a popular concept adopted by institutes to raise funds for their annual fests. Prateek Kishore, student of final year B Tech from IIT Kharagpur says, “We have been approaching our alumni for donations to fund the annual cultural fest of IIT Kharagpur, and we always get an encouraging response from them, they are happy to send in their contributions.” He adds, “Crowdfunding by any educational institute is a novel concept and I am hearing of it for the first time. Though it seems exciting, I doubt the IIT-Khg administration will ever allow us to do it.”

In some institutes students themselves pitch in funds for their fest. Like at Saarang, the annual cultural fest at IIT Madras. “In IIT Bombay too, students are made to contribute for the fest. Back in IIT Madras, we collect some funds from students by ticketing the star night,” says Aditya Bharadwaj, part of the organizing committee of Saarang, adding, “Crowdfunding will be the last option for us because Saarang is a student-oriented fest. And if ever one wishes to go for it, an upper limit of the amount to be collected from the public should be declared in advance.”

Udit Singh, media coordinator for Alcheringa, the annual cultural fest at IIT Guwahati, says that while they would never get the goahead from the institute to source funds from the public, he also emphasises the need for transparency if someone does opt for crowdfunding a fest. “The big question in my mind is the transparency – will the institute be able to maintain that in the usage of the funds?” he asks.

Source : Times of India

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Crowd-funded film venture in Telugu

‘Idi Modalu’ hopes to raise Rs 50 lakh from film buffs

Hyderabad, Jan. 1:  

Crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing are relatively new concepts in the Indian film industry. Instead of taking funding from just friends and relatives, young film-makers have begun taking help from others, who are driven by the passion to make films.

Sai Chakravarthi is attempting the first ever crowd-funded film project. Chakravarthi, who worked as an assistant director for a Kannada crowd-funded film Lucia, has readied a project in Telugu.

“I have worked for the Kannada movie and learnt a few lessons in making a crowd-funded movie. In Telugu, we have decided to take resources (shooting spots and other infrastructure) from the public,” Chakravarthi, who has just begun to spread the word on the project, told Business Line.

Idi Modalu (This is the beginning) is about different stages of human life – childhood, teenage, youth, middle-age and old age. Five young directors will direct each of the stages. Each stage will have 30 minutes of story, making it a full-length feature film.

The other four directors are Mahesh Kathi, Rupak Ronaldson, Hari Shankar and Uday Gurrala. The directors will select the cast and technicians for the film from talented aspirants.

“We will finalise the cast and technicians for the project after screening the profiles. We will pitch for shooting spots based on the requirements for the script. People can send pictures of the locales they can offer for the project,” he said.

This, however, is not the first attempt in making a crowd-funded film. A young director Dakshin Srinivas had attempted to make one last year. “But I dropped the idea after I got an offer to make a mainstream movie. I’m busy with that project,” Srinivas said.

Financial aspects
The tentative project cost is put at Rs 50 lakh. The film-makers are targeting to raise this by offering ‘pledges’ to the investors. Pledges are in the form of DVDs, Blue Ray and others. “Their names will be shown on the screen, acknowledging their role in making the movie. We are planning to offer packages that include Rs 3,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 5 lakh,” Chakravarthi said.

He claimed that the Lucia makers could raise the required funds just in 27 days. “I’m expecting a similar response here too. I have worked on the project for six months and it will take six months more to complete it,” he said.

kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

Source : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/crowdfunded-film-venture-in-telugu/article5530384.ece

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Crowd-Funded Concerts Catch On in China

Li Quan and Li Daimo perform at a crowd-funded concert in Beijing.Xiami

On a recent weeknight in Beijing, about 800 people gathered at a club in downtown Beijing to watch a performance by pop singer Li Quan and Li Daimo, a singer made popular by the “Voice of China” TV show. At home, several hundred more participants were tuning into the concert live from their computers or smartphones.

The concert was organized by Xiami, a Hangzhou-based online music portal owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, in its first such initiative using crowd-sourced funding via Alibaba’s Taobao online shopping platform.

Xiami first proposed the concert on Taobao in late November, saying it would go forward if organizers could raise at least 100,000 yuan ($16,520) from online ticket sales in about a month. Tickets ranged from 1 yuan to watch the concert live online to 280 yuan to see it in person and 2,999 yuan to request a song in the show.

The company said the project reached its fund-raising goal in less than 15 days, with more than half of participants choosing to watch the show online.

Crowd funding is a practice by which a project or venture is funded by small amounts of money from a large number of people. The idea for using it in the music industry isn’t new: In the U.S. ArtistShare, which launched in 2003, so far has fan-funded recordings that have earned six Grammy awards and 21 nominations. Meanwhile, Kickstarter, the world’s leading crowd-funding platform that launched in 2009, has so far received pledges from 5.4 million people worth $933 million to fund 54,000 creative projects in areas like music, film and technology.

In China, crowd funding for music and other creative projects is gradually catching on. The country’s first crowd-funding website, DemoHour, was launched in 2011 and was followed by a dozen other similar sites, most of which fund creative projects. But the entrance of e-commerce giant Alibaba, with its massive audience, is expected to give a boost to such projects in the arts industry.

“We are happy to see such a giant company start to get involved in crowd funding, as it may help to attract more capital to this market,” said Zhao Hongwei, CEO of musikid.com, a year-old crowd-funding website for music projects. The company has so far pledged about 1 million yuan, with 110 projects online.

Xiami’s founder said he was inspired to start the venture because problems plaguing China’s music industry, including notorious piracy, have made it difficult for local musicians to make a living.

“When I talked to local musicians, I found they couldn’t even earn enough money to cover their transport fee for tours, let alone compensation for their shows,” said Xiami CEO Wang Hao. “I felt like we needed to do something to help musicians feel less lonely.”

Mr. Wang, a 36-year-old Hangzhou native who himself played in a band during college, said he hopes Xiami can boost singers just starting out as well as help established musicians do something cool and innovative.

Encouraged by the success of their initial project, Mr. Wang said Xiami plans to regularly crowd-fund shows via Taobao, including small-scale shows with fewer than 100 attendees.

But while most are positive about the prospects for crowd-funding in China, policy uncertainty concerns some pioneers in the field.

“One can hardly draw a line between illegal fund-raising and crowd-funding now due to the absence of related regulation,” Mr. Wang said. “I feel like it is a sword hanging above my head with the potential of dropping at any minute.”

Illegal fund raising in China is a vaguely defined term that includes everything from running pyramid and Ponzi schemes to operating an underground bank that falls afoul of local officials. The offense can be punishable with the death penalty if the amounts involved are large enough. Small-scale loan sharking and other informal lending activity are tacitly permitted in China, as long as they are relatively small and low-key.

Social mentality is another headache. “The atmosphere in China that encourages innovation and integrity is not as strong as that in the U.S., “said Mr. Zhao of musikid.com, adding that investment capital may be less enthusiastic about pouring money into the China crowd-funding market than in other fields like group-buying websites.

“The general consumption mentality of Chinese people is more about how to save money instead of giving money to support others,” Mr. Wang said. “It will take time for people to get used to this new method and for the market to grow.”

– Lilian Lin. Follow her on Twitter @LilianLinyigu

Source : http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/01/06/crowd-funded-concerts-catch-on-in-china/

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¿ Por qué el crowdfunding no ha arraigado en Asia ?

El popular método de financiación en EEUU que está comenzando a popularizarse en Europa todavía no ha logrado penetrar Asia. Es solo cuestión de tiempo.

La industria del crowdfunding ha dejado claro el pasado año que está en auge. Las plataformas de crowdfunding popular como Kickstarte o Indiegogo facilitan a los emprendedores a financiar sus proyectos solicitando donaciones del público en general. Con más de 600 plataformas para este fin en todo el mundo, este tipo de financiación pasó de contar con 412 millones de euros en 2009 a unos 2.100 millones el año pasado, según un reciente estudio publicado por Massolution, una firma de análisis especializada en negocios de crowdsourcing.

Esta relativamente nueva estrategia de financiación, en la que los emprendedores reciben donaciones– normalmente a cambio de pequeñas gratificaciones o regalos, se espera que alcance casi los 4.000 millones de euros en 2013 según el mismo estudio.

Pero no todo el mundo ha adoptado el crowdfunding por igual. Las plantaformas asiáticas, que ofrecen servicio a más de la mitad de la población mundial, solo recolectó 25 millones de euros (el 1% del total recolectado) según el estudio. Con tantos emprendedores recurriendo a las masas para financiar sus proyectos, resulta notable que que la mayor concentración de población mundial parezca tan falta de interés al respecto.

Existen varias razones por las que el crowdfunding aún no ha triunfado en Asia tal como lo ha hecho en Norteamérica (1.200 millones de euros en 2012) o Europa (730 millones de euros) indica el fundador de la plataforma con base en Singapur Crowdonomic, Leo Shimada.

La primera es obvia, Asia no cuenta con las plataformas seguras y de alto nivel que han ayudado a propulsar la industria en otros lugares, asegura Shimada. El CEO de SeedAsia, Tom Russell, coincide al afirmar que “no sé si existe una plataforma como Kickstarter en cualquier otro lugar del mundo”.

Demasiados proveedores de crowdfunding asiáticos están adoptando un “enfoque común”, según indica Simada, que se limita a lanzar una web sin los servicios o fiabilidad que los donantes tienen en otras partes del mundo. “Echan un vistazo a Indiegogo o Kickstarter, replican el sitio web y esperan que el dinero llegue solo”, explica.

La cultura regional es otro punto a tener en cuenta. Por ejemplo, la percepción social del fracaso es distinta que en occidente, asegura Shimada, y poner una idea de emprendimiento en internet supone exponerse a ser criticado y obtener mala publicidad. “En cualquier lugar del mundo, nadie quiere ser un perdedor”, indica Shimada, “pero especialmente en un sitio como Asia, con todo eso de proteger la reputación y un pronunciado miedo a fallar”.

Rusell remarca la importancia tiene el guanxi en China, el proceso de mantener relaciones e influencias, como un freno hacia el crowdfunding. “(En China) a la gente le gusta invertir en su comunidad local”, indica. “Normalmente son muy voluntariosos a la hora de respaldar proyectos de conocidos, o si saben de lo que la persona quiere poner en marcha; pero la idea de invertir por Internet parece demasiado desconocido para ellos” explica, indicando que esa es la razón por la que SeedAsia trabaja para poner en contacto a inversores y emprendedores en la vida real.

De nuevo en los Estados Unidos, las plataformas líderes como Kickstarter o Indiegogo han sido muy expansivas traspasando fronteras no solo hacia Asia, si no también hascia Reino Unidom Alemania, Francia o Canadá.

La directora de Operaciones Internacionales de Indiegogo, Liz Wald, dice que la plataforma que dirige se está planteando seriamente expandirse a Asia pero que desea más seguridad de que se trata del momento adecuado. Asegura que Asia evoluciona muy rápido, por lo que allí tiene una importancia adicional batir a los competidores regionales para conseguir clientes desde el principio.

En otras palabras, la expansión a Asia de las plataformas de crowdfunding está en marcha, pero eso no significa que vaya a precipitarse. “Es necesario un compromiso, no puedes meterte en Asia a medias” asegura Wald. “Todos quieren ir allí y ser los primeros, pero si no puedes ofrecer un compromiso, creo que será un error caro y doloroso” asevera.

Dado el enorme potencial del mercado asiático, es de esperar que las mayores plataformas de crowdfunding tienen los ojos puestos en Asia. Precipitarse puede convertirse en un craso error, pero dejar que la competencia se adelante podría ser el agravio más doloroso. 

Fuente : Intereconomia

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Crowdfund Health: Transforming Women’s Lives

Girls' Globe

Nyaya Health is honored to announce the launch of our first ever global campaign: Crowdfund Health.

I wish this could be on the front page of the internet,” – Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit

Parbati

Where Nyaya Health works in Nepal, women face a 200-fold higher risk of death during birth versus U.S. women. This can be changed by providing women with safe-births, each costing only $349. And now, with the launch of crowdfundhealth.org people from all over the world are directly funding life-changing care for as little as $10.

In partnership with the crowdfunding organization Kangu.org, Nyaya Health connects expecting mothers directly to people who invest in their antenatal & delivery care. Nyaya Health finds women who are in need of a safe birth, and with their permission tells their story online. People anywhere in the world can fund their care, and Nyaya Health does whatever it takes to…

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