Can You Leverage A Social Enterprise In The Era of Crowdfunding?

whartonThat is the question I asked myself a few month ago, while listening to Brian Meece, Founder and CEO of RocketHub, the third largest such platform in the US, who was speaking at a Startup Weekend event I co-organized in Orlando, Florida. Crowd funding or crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, or hyper funding) describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. As Brian was speaking, my mind was spinning in many directions. Can this help my startup? How? Can the funds raised make a real difference or is the potential exposure enough?

I had heard and read about the outliers, the companies who had set out to raise a certain sum only to exceed that sum by a huge factor, millions in some instances. The majority of those seeking to raise funds, even if they raise their target amount, raised only a modest sum. However in 2012, these small sums reached an excess of $2.7 BILLION and have funded more than 1 million campaigns worldwide. A study by Massolution forecasts an 81 percent increase in global crowdfunding in 2013 to $5.1 billion, the hockey stick growth rate everyone seeks. With that knowledge in hand, I approached Brian and discussed my current venture (yes once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur) called World Housing Solution (WHS).

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