Over the past few weeks, Indiegogo UK has been on-the-go thanks to its Go Crowdfund Britain campaign. As previously reported, this new initiative was launched on June 23rd and is seeking to raise a million pounds to get Britain’s best ideas, coolest inventions, brightest young businesses and the most creative music, fashion and arts projects crowdfunded on Indiegogo before the end of 2014.
Kicking off in Manchester, the Go Crowdfund Britain tour will visit Birmingham, Swansea, Bristol, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh before finishing in London on July 15th. On the tour, Indiegogo will be joined by industry experts and partners who will provide advice, guidance and perks to those Britons who begin their campaigns this year.
Indiegogo’s UK Marketing and Community Manager Anastasia Emmanuel stated,
“Great Britain is a nation of innovation but Britons are being stifled by a lack of available finance. Through the power of Indiegogo, we want to see kitchen table businesses thrive, nurture new inventions, support amazing causes and stimulate Britons to fulfill their entrepreneurial ambitions and creative dreams.”
She continued, “Whether it is 1000 campaigns raising £1000, 100 campaigns raising £10,000, 10 campaigns raising £100,000, just 1 campaign raising £1,000,000 or all of these together, it is our belief that by joining forces, we can make it happen. That’s Indiegogo’s mission in the UK for 2014.”
“I have been in the startup scene in London for the past 5 years. Having run a video production company interviewing startups, I then left to join my own software startup last year and experienced the challenges, first-hand, of trying to raise capital for a product without traction. One of my good friends had run a great Indiegogo campaign and when they were looking for someone to work with the UK community, I jumped at the chance. Being able to help passionate people everyday, from entrepreneurs, to creatives and people trying to make the world a better place, is so rewarding and makes me want to get up in the morning! Indiegogo is an incredible company to work for and I genuinely believe in our mission of trying to democratize finance.”
Discussing how the concept for Go Crowdfund Britain came about, Ms. Emmanuel revealed,”Being a Yorkshire girl living in London, I am patently aware of the vast talent and potential outside London. Britain is a nation of innovation but it is being stifled by lack of available finance. Outside of London, funding is much harder to come by because a lot of the funding stays in London; VC’s and Angels work predominantly out of the Capital and many of the grants are also in London.”
“Indiegogo was founded to democratize finance and make it possible for anyone to raise money for their idea, anywhere in the world. Crowdfunding is therefore a great way to level the playing field in these cities, however when I realized the lack of crowdfunding activity in other parts of the country, it made me ask why.”
“We believe that lack of crowdfunding successes outside London, isn’t because of a lack of innovation or creative talent, but, a lack of awareness of crowdfunding as a viable alternative to traditional finance, be it bank loans, investment or grants. London is it’s own bubble and we have amazing success stories every week on Indiegogo, distributing millions of pounds. This is great and we continue to see huge growth in the capital, but we want to see brilliant kitchen table businesses, new inventions and creative projects realized all over the country.”
“So we decided to head outside London to visit 10 British cities to spread the word of crowdfunding, share our learnings, through masterclasses, on how to run a successful Indiegogo campaign, and get the whole of Britain funding in 2014! It is our mission to see thousands of brilliant British ideas funding on Indiegogo this year.”
Stating what projects will be accepted, Ms. Emmanuel said, “Indiegogo is an open platform and we welcome all types of campaigns, but with Britain being a strong engineering, design and creative country, we expect great product campaigns, new innovations in technology, film and music campaigns as well as social innovation and cause-related projects.”
Revealing some plans for the other countries, Ms. Emmanuel explained, “Absolutely, our Canadian team already went on tour last year, traveling Canada, meeting campaigners, holding masterclasses and spreading the word of Crowdfunding. We have people on the ground in Canada, Australia and Germany and are regularly adding to our team. No doubt we will be launching similar campaigns in other markets to educate cities outside the capital.”
Also discussing if this initiative will be an annual event, Ms. Emmanuel noted, “The tour and specifically the One Million Challenge is an initiative for 2014, but our mission to Crowdfund Britain will be a focus moving forward. We hope to hold more events and masterclasses in cities across the UK and re-visit cities to keep driving awareness of crowdfunding. We will continue to share best practices all across Britain, on how to successfully test your idea, get market validation, gain visibility and raise money on Indiegogo for your idea!”
In regard to Indiegogo moving into equity crowdfunding in the UK, Ms. Emmanuel added, “In the US we have been working closely with the White House to push forward the Jobs Act. The last phase which will allow for equity crowdfunding has not yet been passed yet and we continue to be focused on the growth of our rewards-based platform. We are excited about all opportunities to expand access to capital and will continue to push play our part in doing so.”