With crowdfunding continuing to gain more popularity by the day, co-founder and chief development officer of Indiegogo, Danae Ringelmann reveals to Foundr Magazine what inspired her to create the platform and how it has helped the funding method become what it is today.
During her interview with the media outlet, Danae revealed how her personal experience with small businesses helped her create the global crowdfunding platform.
“The whole point wasn’t necessarily to create a job but to create a change. So I started Indiegogo because I had personally been affected by a massive problem that I, in my early twenties, started to realize that wasn’t just impacting myself, my family, the people that I cared about, but actually everyone across the world. And that problem was inefficient access to capital. What I saw were ideas going unborn everyday, not for lack of heart and hustle but simply for lack of access to the right gatekeeper, the person that holds the purse strings, to make the idea happen.
“I was surrounded by this as a child, my parents are small business owners in San Francisco and it was more than a business that they ran but they couldn’t get through growth off the ground because they couldn’t get a loan. No bank would ever lend to them without making them guarantee everything. And then as I grew up, I went into finance really understanding money and see why it was so hard. I worked at JP Morgan, but while working there I actually got pulled into working with some filmmakers and theater producers on the side, helping them raise money for their independent projects and in the process of doing that I actually started to fail for the same reasons that my parents failed. I just didn’t know the right people that could cut the check and make the pain go away and make the idea happen.”
Noting what it takes to develop a good idea, Ringelmann explained:
“What Indiegogo is doing, in creating this platform where all ideas are welcome and all ideas thrive based on their own merit versus an individual or two think about the idea, whether the idea deserves to exist or not, is this element of authenticity when people are creating a campaign on Indiegogo, they have to bring their whole self to Indiegogo. Not just what the idea but who they are, why is it important, the whole shebang. What makes an idea and a campaign successful on Indiegogo is one it truly connects to the audience and the key to success is be yourself.”
In regards to who she learns from when it comes to business growth, Danae added:
“I learn from my team. I learn from our employees, our customers. I mean every day, people are innovating. Our customers are using our platform in new ways. On Indiegogo, there was a couple that used [the platform] as a way to raise money for IBS. They couldn’t afford to have a baby naturally and they couldn’t afford to have [medication], so they turned to Indiegogo and raised 90% of the funds from strangers and that blew me away.”
Take a listen to Ringelmann’s full interview here.