The Role of Employees in your Crowdfunding Campaign

As we celebrate Labour Day, it seems apt to discuss a topic that often gets sidelined in the crowdfunding sphere: the role of employees in your crowdfunding campaign. Their untapped potential could very well be the secret ingredient for your venture’s success.

Activating Your Internal Crowd

When it comes to crowdfunding, the notion of “activating your crowd” is often bandied about. However, this crowd should unquestionably include your employees. They are not merely individuals who execute tasks; they are your brand’s first ambassadors.

Providing the Necessary Tools

If you’d like your employees to share your campaign effectively, you need to arm them with the right tools. Consider creating a social media toolkit that includes ready-to-use tweets, compelling visuals, and key talking points about the campaign. You might even run a short training session to guide them on how best to share these assets. 

Authentic Endorsements Build Trust

An endorsement from an employee carries a unique form of credibility. Employees can authentically answer questions about your company culture and the work ethic behind it. This adds an invaluable layer of trust to your campaign, often making the difference between meeting your fundraising goals and falling short.

Offering Investment Opportunities

The next step is giving your employees an avenue to invest in the campaign. It’s important to note that this should be an option, not an obligation. The last thing you want is to create an environment where people feel pressured or judged based on their financial choices.

Value Alignment Drives Investment

People often choose their workplaces based on how well the company’s mission aligns with their personal values. If your organization stands for something meaningful, you’ll find that employees are more likely to support it—not just through their labour but also through investment.

Benefits of Employee Investment

1. Enhanced Commitment: Employees who invest are likely to be more committed to the company’s objectives, essentially doubling their stake in your success.

2. Alignment of Goals: When employees are also investors, there is a shared sense of purpose and a unified vision for what the company aims to achieve.

3. Transparency: An employee who is financially invested will value transparency, which can lead to a more open company culture.

4. Boost in Innovation: Investment from employees can also stimulate creativity and innovation as they become more committed to the company’s long-term success.

As we take time this Labour Day to appreciate the hard work and dedication that fuel our enterprises, let’s also consider how to empower our employees as both contributors and beneficiaries of our crowdfunding initiatives.

Until our next communication, remember that your most potent crowd might be the one that’s already with you—right in your office.

Crowdfunding vs Private Equity

Both private placement and equity crowdfunding are methods of raising capital, but they differ in several key aspects: 

1. Investor Base: 

– Private Placement: Limited mostly to accredited investors, narrowing the pool. 

– Equity Crowdfunding: Open to the entire population, not just accredited investors, enabling community participation and broader support. 

2. Community Engagement: 

– Private Placement: Typically involves a smaller group of investors, which can limit community engagement. 

– Equity Crowdfunding: Activates the whole community, as anyone can become a stakeholder, enhancing brand loyalty. 

3. Marketing & Awareness: 

– Private Placement: Conducted privately, offering limited marketing or public relations benefits. 

– Equity Crowdfunding: Serves a dual purpose by marketing the business and gaining public attention, in addition to raising funds. 

4. Regulatory Framework: 

– Private Placement: Less stringent disclosure requirements, but also less opportunity for community involvement. 

– Equity Crowdfunding: Although there are more regulatory requirements, these often serve to increase transparency and trust among a larger community of investors. 

5. Fundraising Caps: 

– Private Placement: Often used for larger fundraising goals. 

– Equity Crowdfunding: While there may be caps, the ability to tap into a wider pool can still make significant funding possible. 

6. Stakeholder Diversity: 

– Private Placement: Tends to attract a more uniform investor base, often from the same socio-economic background. 

– Equity Crowdfunding: Offers a more diversified investor base, providing varied perspectives and networks that can benefit the business. 

7. Business Validation: 

– Private Placement: Provides validation from a few, often sophisticated, investors. 

– Equity Crowdfunding: Provides broader market validation, as a successful campaign demonstrates widespread support. 

Equity crowdfunding democratises investment, enables community participation, and offers substantial marketing and awareness benefits. It is newer than private equity and therefore some traditional investors may not be as familiar but its benefits make it a compelling option for many startups. 

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

Lessons from Social West: A Glimpse into the Complex World of Cybersecurity and Marketing 

In June, we attended the Social West Conference, and what we learned about the intricate relationship between cybersecurity and marketing left a lasting impression. The event delved deep into the history of marketing, data revolution, and privacy concerns. This potent mix has paved the way for our current era, where marketers have an insatiable hunger for data and the technology to collect it. From unified marketing measurement to personalized marketing experiences, data forms the lifeblood of current marketing strategies.

Currently, there are over 11,038 organizations in the marketing technology landscape, all voraciously collecting data. On the one hand, this massive influx of data empowers us to deliver highly tailored marketing experiences. Conversely, it presents a labyrinthine challenge in understanding how the data is collected, managed, and protected. 

The magnitude of data collection is staggering—humanity creates over 2.5 quintillion bytes daily, with Google leading the charge. But, this evolution is not without its dark side: privacy concerns. Many tech companies have faced criticism for data mishandling and lack of transparency. Without clear-cut policies and regulations, consumers are left in the dark about how their data is used, posing a serious data privacy conundrum. 

With vast datasets comes great responsibility—and risks. The possibility of significant data breaches, theft, and illicit sale on the dark web has skyrocketed. Cybercriminals, who capitalize on valuable information like brand identities and trade secrets, increasingly target industries ranging from insurance to IoT.  

The motivations of cybercriminals are primarily financial. They seek out personally identifiable information, credit card details, and other sensitive data, often hacking large numbers of accounts and selling in volume. Businesses, especially those in marketing, must be vigilant and proactive in countering such threats. 

So, what can marketers do to ensure cybersecurity? Firstly, always use a different password for multiple accounts. Hackers have sophisticated tools to crack predictable patterns and sequences. Email marketing, though a staple of digital communication, is a standard method scammers use to trick users into clicking malicious links, often through brand impersonation. 

To counter such threats, it’s crucial to scan for spoofed websites and unpatched software regularly. Also, requesting third-party vendors to provide security policies in line with GDPR can ensure compliance with data protection laws, which is why we use MailChimp. 

Finally, remember that customers gravitate toward brands that prioritize privacy and transparency. In this era of data awareness, consumers are conscious of their privacy rights and will shift loyalty if a brand fails to meet their expectations. Brands that prioritize privacy by design and uphold clear, comprehensible privacy policies are likely to earn the trust and loyalty of their customers. 

The interplay between marketing and cybersecurity is complex and continually evolving. The need for marketers to safeguard data while still delivering personalized experiences is more significant than ever. It’s time to navigate this intricate landscape with caution, transparency, and respect for consumer privacy. 

Top Tips: 

  1. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. 
  1. Regularly scan for spoofed websites and unpatched software. 
  1. Request security policies from third-party vendors. 
  1. Prioritize privacy and transparency in your brand. 
  1. Have a clear, easily understandable privacy policy. 
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

QuantGate Systems Inc. Partners with Bennett Milner Williams Consulting to Enhance Distribution of its AI-Powered Pilot Trading App

TORONTO, June 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — QuantGate Systems Inc. (OTCQB QGSI), a publicly traded company at the forefront of AI and ML trading technology, today announced a strategic partnership with Bennett Milner Williams Consulting Ltd (BMW Consulting). This alliance will leverage BMW Consulting’s expertise in driving business growth and B2C subscriptions to expedite the sales and distribution of QuantGate’s flagship product, Pilot Trading App. This collaboration recognizes the potential of AI and ML tools in the flourishing trading landscape and aims to make the Pilot Trading App accessible to a broader spectrum of active traders. The Pilot Trading App utilizes real-time sentiment analysis to provide traders a cutting-edge and intuitive trading experience.

“Pilot’s innovative AI and ML technologies align perfectly with the market’s ripe potential for digital tools,” said Victoria Bennett, Principal at BMW Consulting. “Our experience driving sales and sustainable growth, especially through leading-edge marketing strategies targeting online investors, makes this partnership with QuantGate Systems exciting. We believe Pilot will revolutionize trading for novice and experienced traders.”

Pilot’s robust suite of features includes innovative Click-to-Trade functionality, demo and simulation modes for paper trading, real-time trade signals, and seamless integration with existing brokerage accounts. Its unique ability to extract real-time market sentiment and trader perception sets it apart from conventional trading tools.

QuantGate’s Chairman, Wayne Welter, expresses, “Our collaboration with BMW Consulting will undoubtedly expand the reach of our groundbreaking Pilot Trading App. The app’s AI-driven real-time sentiment analysis gives traders an unrivalled edge in the market. At QuantGate, we’re all about unlocking alpha in pursuing financial freedom, and this partnership brings us one step closer to that mission.”

Pilot Trading is offered at a monthly subscription of US $19.95, including a free 14-day trial. Its Demo and Simulation modes are available free of charge for those who wish to experience the platform’s unique offerings. Learn more about Pilot Trading and to download the app on the official website.

QuantGate Systems Inc. has a proud history of over ten years, during which it has developed a performance-based intelligence platform that processes massive amounts of behavioural data in real time. Pilot Trading, a wholly-owned subsidiary of QuantGate, continuously strives to leverage its real-time intelligence platform and APIs to generate invaluable insights for market participants, traders, trading platforms, and institutions.

About Bennett Milner Williams Consulting Ltd
BMW Consulting is a dynamic firm with a strategic understanding for driving business growth and leveraging leading-edge marketing strategies to drive sustainable growth. They are committed to guiding businesses in their growth journey by providing comprehensive business solutions and innovative marketing strategies.

About QuantGate Systems Inc.
QuantGate Systems Inc. (OTCQB: QGSI) is a publicly-traded fintech company that harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and proprietary big-data processing algorithms to deliver advanced SaaS solutions and seamless API integration. With its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pilot Trading, QuantGate provides investors worldwide with opportunities to make better-informed investment decisions.

For additional information, visit QuantGate Systems and Pilot Trading or follow them on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer and Reader Advisory:
All statements included in this press release that address activities, events, or developments that the Company expects, believes, or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections, and other forward-looking statements will prove inaccurate, certain of which are beyond the Company’s control. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake to revise or update these forward-looking statements after the date hereof or revise them to reflect the occurrence of future unanticipated events.

QuantGate Systems Inc. does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements and cautions investors to consider all other risks and uncertainties, including those disclosed in QuantGate filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Crowdfunding Hub Launches a Community to Help Businesses Raise Capital

Crowdfunding has emerged as a popular alternative to traditional funding for businesses, offering them quick access to capital without the need to engage with risk-averse financial institutions. According to Statista, funds raised through crowdfunding increased by 33.7% in 2022, reaching $17.2 billion in North America. While this is still a relatively small source of capital for businesses compared to bank loans and venture capital funds, crowdfunding has become an attractive option, especially as the world emerges from the pandemic.

The Crowdfunding Hub, a crowdfunding consulting business, has launched a community to support businesses investigating and running crowdfunding campaigns. The goal of this community is to make it easier for companies and organizations to raise capital through crowdfunding.

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association’s data reveals that in 2021, venture capitalists invested 6.7 billion dollars CAD across 614 deals in Canada. However, there are approximately 2.2 trillion dollars CAD held in currency and deposits. If 10% of that is available to be invested, it would give $220 billion in investable assets available in Canada. The Crowdfunding Hub believes that if they can access the money currently stuffed into people’s mattresses or in their bank accounts, there is a huge opportunity to grow businesses.

Crowdfunding democratises access to capital to start, build, and grow a business. In Canada, companies can raise up to $1.5 million in a 12-month period through equity crowdfunding. Crowdfunding can be used to raise $10,000 to publish a book or pay for a new product’s first production run. However, the challenge is how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Platforms often have an outline and may provide limited support, but even before that, people need to understand if crowdfunding is a good fit and, if so, which type of crowdfunding. Then there needs to be a detailed plan to prepare the campaign.

The Crowdfunding Hub is launching its community today to bring together like-minded leaders, believers, and changemakers planning or running crowdfunding campaigns. The community aims to provide a place where members can learn and share best practices, get feedback on their campaigns before launch, and receive support if it isn’t going to plan.

The launch of The Crowdfunding Hub, a revolutionary platform that aims to connect entrepreneurs and investors worldwide, will take place on Thursday, April 13th, at 1:30 pm PT | 4:30 pm ET | 9:30 pm BST. The launch event will include sharing their vision for The Crowdfunding Hub and how they intend to support businesses, exploring the platform’s awesome functions together, and opportunities to connect with other community members. The event will also include exciting surprises and special offers for attendees. Join The Crowdfunding Hub’s community and be part of shaping the future of fundraising.

If you want to join today’s event, click here and to join the community, you can click here.

Why there is less Venture Capital this year

Two workers discussing

Are you wondering what alternative options you have in 2023 to finance your business? This article will tell you all about the venture capital and angel investors available in the market and how they can help you obtain the funding you need.

Why there is less Venture Capital this year

The 2021 Covid-19 induced recession has impacted venture capital investments in 2022 and 2023. With corporations tightening their purses, their need for such innovative start-ups has reduced, giving rise to the decreased availability of venture capital. This economic downturn has prompted many companies to look towards alternatives such as private equity and angel investors who can provide them with opportunities for reinvestment or exit strategies.

Accelerated due to the pandemic, it is believed that venture capitalists are now being more selective about investing in true innovation rather than stability and long-term scale. Start-ups now wish to find alternative ways of financing, especially if they plan to make it through the seed round or future series A rounds of funding.

The issue becomes one of risk: How can investors be sure that a start-up will succeed despite current market pressures? This leads many investors into a wait-and-see approach for the seed round that relies heavily on articulating a great deal of vision and tangible proof points later to obtain funding.

With the uncertainty of 2023 looming in front of us, we must pay attention as startups search for alternative means of finance while also waiting out this period before they can thrive again with Venture Capitalists more willing to invest. With many stocks suffering from market turbulence, saying which stocks will soar or fail is difficult, so Angel Investors have stepped up and provided late-stage financing during these turbulent times. As well as helping struggling start-ups acquire venture capitalists’ late-stage investments. The emergence of new technology firms increases competition, making it easy for investors seeking an exit strategy in 2020 and beyond due to their short-term projects having achieved success faster than expected, making supplying needed funds less necessary.

These changes demonstrate why there is less available Venture Capital this year than compared to pre covid 19 years, with more smart money focused on alternative finance investments in 2023.

Angel Investors are still there, just investing less.

Venture capitalangel investors and alternative financing are terms often used interchangeably when discussing early-stage funding. While distinct differences distinguish all three, the same general principles apply to any business seeking investment. Angel investing is a type of private equity investment where investors “fund” early businesses with their capital in hopes of reaping significant returns on dividends years later.

As venture capital firms have increasingly become the dominant source of early-stage funding in recent years, angel investors have increasingly become less active. In 2023, many angel investors will likely continue investing less than in prior years as venture capital firms increase their dominance. That being said, those select few angel investors who still actively invest will remain important players within the greater private equity sector and should not be discounted entirely.

What this means is that while angel investing will still exist as an option in 2023, entrepreneurs looking for alternative sources of finance have more opportunities to explore than ever before, including:

  • Debt-financed crowdfunding campaigns
  • Peer-to-peer lending platforms (P2P)
  • Mezzanine finance
  • Impact investing products from socially conscious fundraising firms and impact investors

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses that are important to consider before making an investment decision for your business. Understanding these various forms of financing can prove beneficial when deciding which approach is suitable for your needs by 2023 and beyond, so make sure you do your research ahead of time.

Alternative Investing may be the solution.

The new year has brought changes in how investments are made, from venture capital and angel investors to the emergence of alternative financing sources. In 2023, more and more companies have adopted crowdfunding and other alternative finance methods to support their projects.

Alternate investment sources offer advantages that traditional ones do not, such as increased access to retail investors who can contribute capital but need to be considered qualified investors under existing laws. Online portals create greater transparency between companies and investors and offer faster access to the funds needed to realize the full potential of a project or business idea. Moreover, start-up owners have greater control over the investments they receive through these platforms compared with having a limited say over venture capital options.

Crowdfunding, in particular, has become a widely used source of alternate financing due to its low-cost option and wide reach to the 97% of the population who have been unable to invest before and who may be potential investors. As such, small businesses can receive the necessary funding from anyone who believes in their product or service idea and is willing to promote it for success actively.

Alternative financing has revolutionized how investments are made by giving greater power to entrepreneurs looking for alternate solutions for funding their business ideas in an unconventional way, as well as opening up opportunities for everyday people that were previously only available to sophisticated venture capital firms. Alternative investing will likely remain an attractive option for entrepreneurs in 2023 as well, offering increased access to funds this year than ever before. If this article has piqued your interest, join our sister platform The Crowdfunding Hub to find out more.

Is Crowdfunding Right for Your Business?

Crowdfunding is a popular way to raise money for businesses, but it’s not right for everyone. Before you decide to launch a crowdfunding campaign, ask yourself these important questions.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the use of small amounts of capital from a large number of investors to finance a new business venture. Crowdfunding is a way to raise money for your business without going through the traditional channels of banks or venture capitalists.

There are three main types of crowdfunding: equity-based, donations and reward-based. Equity-based crowdfunding allows investors to own a piece of your company in exchange for their investment. Reward-based crowdfunding allows you to offer products or services as rewards to investors in exchange for their investment. Donations enables people to back a cause that they believe in.

Crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money for your business, but it’s not right for everyone. Before you decide to launch a crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to understand the risks and rewards associated with this type of financing.

What are the different types of crowdfunding?

Broadly speaking, there are three types of crowdfunding: reward-based, donation-based, and equity-based. Here’s a quick rundown of each type to help you figure out which one is right for your business:

Reward-based crowdfunding involves offering rewards to people who give money to your campaign. For example, you might offer donors a free product or exclusive access to your company’s beta launch. Donation-based crowdfunding is just what it sounds like: people donate money to your campaign with no expectation of anything in return. This type of crowdfunding is often used by charities and non-profit organizations.

Equity-based crowdfunding is a bit more complicated. In this type of crowdfunding, people who invest in your campaign receive equity in your company. This means that they are essentially buying a share of your business and will receive a portion of the profits (if any) when the business is sold or goes public. Equity-based crowdfunding opens up access to investing in businesses, that historically only the most wealthy could invest in.

So which type of crowdfunding is right for you? It depends on your business goals and the amount of money you’re trying to raise. If you’re looking for quick capital with no strings attached, donation-based crowdfunding might be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for long-term investors who will help you grow your business, equity-based crowdfunding could be a better option.

Benefits of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a way of raising money from a large number of people, typically via the internet. It’s often used by startups and small businesses as a way to raise funds without going down the traditional route of borrowing from a bank or pitching to Venture Capitalists.

There are several benefits to crowdfunding, including:

You can test-drive your business idea. If people are willing to back your project, it’s a good indication that your business idea has potential.

You can build a community of ambassadors for your brand. The people who back your project are essentially people who believe in you and what you’re doing. This can be invaluable when it comes to marketing and promoting your business further down the line.

You can get feedback on your business idea. As well as financial backing, many crowdfunding platforms also offer the opportunity to get feedback from backers on your business idea. This can be useful in terms of refining and improving your offering before you launch it properly.

Crowdfunding can be a great way to get your business off the ground, but it’s not right for everyone. You need to have a clear plan in place and be realistic about how much money you’re likely to raise. You also need to be prepared to put in the hard work to promote your campaign and make sure it stands out from the crowd.

Want to learn more? We’re hosting a webinar on Tuesday October 4th 9am PT 5pm BST. You can register here.

Alternatively you can follow this free course to see if crowdfunding is right for you and to help you understand the process.

The Five Different Types of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is raising funds from small amounts from multiple backers. It’s been around for centuries, even the plinth for the statue of Liberty was crowdfunded. With the adoption of computers and new legislation it has become mainstream. But did you know there are at least five different types of crowdfunding?

Donations Crowdfunding

When a group of people get behind a cause or for a purpose, think GoFundMe or Fundrazr. Charities and not for profits are finding donations crowdfunding an effective way to engage and raise funds from a wider base of donors.

Rewards Crowdfunding

Backers get a tangible or intangible reward, think Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Great if you want to get the funds to pay to manufacture a product from a prototype, for market research and for backers to get early access at a great price.

Peer to Peer Lending

A group of backers invest in a company or group of companies looking to get their money back plus a return. It allows people to invest in early stage companies and reduce the risk by diversifying over multiple companies. For companies, this is access to capital, without giving up equity (ownership). Great if you know you will be making revenue soon.


If you watch Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank then you’ve probably heard of royalties. Backers invest in a company and receive a set percentage for each sale of the item until the amount is repaid plus an agreed amount.

Equity Crowdfunding

Backers invest in a company and get equity in return, think Crowdcube or Republic. Companies not only gain access to capital but a group of advocates who believe in the company too, and can often be more patient than other traditional investors.

Which one is right for your organisation? Join the introduction to crowdfunding to decide whether crowdfunding is right for you.

Raising Capital during a Pandemic

We’ve seen considerable changes in the world this week, from markets crashing, oil prices falling, schools closing and borders locking up tight. We’re moving into a different way of life and trends show this isn’t for a week or two. So how can your business stay healthy and grow during these tumultuous times?

Your company needs to prepare for this new reality. This is your opportunity to stand back and think about the future more than ever before. Firstly, look at spending. Have you considered how you can reduce your burn rate? Analyze your revenues. What impact will this ever-changing world have on them? How can you reposition your company to access new revenue streams if some taps are turned off? Government stimulus funding may help you to access the new revenue streams or pivot from the plan.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The 2008-2009 recession founded Uber, AirBnB and Slack—disruptive businesses that made crazy market conditions work in their favour. Many other companies grew through acquisition and benefited from cheaper assets.

How can you raise the capital to grow and grab the opportunities during COVID-19?

Most outside money, such as that acquired through Angel Investors or VCs, requires the kissing of many frogs. You have to meet a large number of people (typically face to face) to build understanding, trust and to secure funding. An obvious no-no in the age of social distancing. 

Last week our company was scheduled to host three big investor events. The first one on Tuesday was attended by fifty people in Vancouver, the second on Wednesday with twenty in Calgary. Then the third back in Vancouver had to be cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. At the rate this virus is going, traditional fundraising needs to be turned on its head for businesses to get funding and thrive.

Crowdfunding may be the perfect solution to raise capital from a large number of investors across the whole country without meeting them face-to-face. The whole fundraising process takes place online—from reviewing the offering documents, signing the contracts and paying the fees. It can all take place at a virtual level. This provides social distance for the investor and well as the company’s employees and lawyers.

Crowdfunding works best when you can tell a story that people believe in. This is certainly the case for retail investors who want to support what they agree with and love. For larger investors, they are often looking for deal flow. A crowdfunding platform can provide both. Providing a video alongside a campaign is a great way to showcase a passionate team and to understand their why statement. The “why” is vital because it motivates companies through bad times as well as the good.

It is important to tell your story and make it relevant to the current reality, but you need to be authentic too. Next week we are launching an equity crowdfunding campaign for a pain-free needle. The device is pre-dosed and has an enclosed sharp; therefore, it doesn’t require sharps disposal. In the not-too-distant future, there will be a need to vaccinate a large global population quickly. Pain, mis-dosing or sharps disposal in developing countries will be taken out of the equation and the product will be sold at a similar price to a syringe and vial of the drug. PKA SoftTouch, who developed the device, has a story that is natural and resonates in the current landscape.

Breaking through the noise

It is noisy out there. Social media feeds are full of COVID-19 advice and emails acknowledging that every company you have ever dealt with has a COVID-19 policy. This too will pass. Advertising spend is already decreasing. With potential drops in revenue, this does make sense, but the companies that responded best after 2008 were the companies that remained in the market and continued to tell their stories. If you are crowdfunding, it will be easier to get your story out, as you will be competing with fewer companies and lower overall marketing spend. 

We are social creatures and working from home, we may look to other ways to stay connected. Business channels such as Slack, LinkedIn and Zoom and social channels such as Instagram and Facebook will be our source of connection. These are the main outreach channels for crowdfunding. The increase in working from home means potential investors could have more time without the daily commute and spend more of it online.

A webinar will replace the in-person events we had to cancel. Potential investors will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain trust and understanding so that they can move forward to invest. A face-to-face launch event scheduled the following week will be live-streamed. This will allow a small group from the company to be present and the larger group of interested investors to meet the team virtually and hear the key information.

Working with the Regulations

Trieste Reading, FrontFundr’s Campaign Coach, raised a good point last week. In Canada, if you crowdfund using the equity crowdfunding exemptions, you can run your campaign for up to 90 days. If your story doesn’t resonate or there are concerns regarding the market conditions, it is tough to pull your campaign out of market. An Offering Memorandum is more expensive to set up, but has a longer time frame, and may allow you to react to this ever-changing market.

While the public markets are seeing bear-like losses, the private markets remain strong. Private companies are the economic growth engines. They must be supported to offset the recession we are either in or soon to enter. Governments and regulators could provide support for private companies in three ways; 

  • accelerating the proposed changes to increase the amount that can be raised via crowdfunding,
  • increasing the amount a retail investor can invest 
  • and extending the duration for a crowdfunding campaign.

Typical equity crowdfunding investors are in it for the long haul—often 6-10 years. Keep them informed and they will be understanding of the current climate. In the real world, it isn’t always straight-line growth and any given year is likely to have a number of ups and downs.

Now is the time to look closely at your business, to pivot if needed, to preserve cash and to ensure your balance sheet as healthy as possible and ready for raising capital.

Is crowdfunding right for me? Five questions to answer.

By Victoria Bennett, Strategic Marketer, Crowdfunding Ambassador

In the five years since I ran my first successful crowdfunding campaign, I’ve learned a lot about which products and organizations are right for this model. Currently, I take a few meetings a week from companies and individuals who are considering their first crowdfunding campaign. What they usually want to know is, will crowdfunding work for us? These are the questions I ask them:

1. Do you have a product or service that meets a need?

We’ve all seen that person on Dragon’s Den who has spent their life savings and mortgaged their house developing something that they are passionate about. The only problem is, no one else wants it. Don’t be that person. Remember: something you love that doesn’t make money is called a hobby.

If your product or service meets a measurable need, you can define a meaningful addressable market that you can reach, and you can clearly differentiate yourself from the competition, you have the potential for a backable business.

2. Can you deliver?

I’m not talking about UberEATS here, more do you have a believable business plan that details how you will execute? Backers need to see you have the right partners and a fully-costed plan to deliver. Additionally, when you apply for equity or debt crowdfunding, your business plan will be reviewed by the platform’s due diligence team, and you may also need to provide audited accounts.

3. Do you have a team?

So, you have a plan. Great! But do you have a team that can deliver the plan? Throughout a crowdfunding campaign, you are looking to build trust with potential backers. Those backers want to be able to trust that you know what you are doing and that you can deliver. You’ll need to show that your team has the skills and experience to follow through on your promise.

4. Do you have a story?

Venture capitalists and bankers focus primarily on the numbers – they want to know if you’re financial feasible and likely to make multiples return. Your crowdfunding backers want more. They need a story they can believe in – something worth sharing (which is how you build the crowd). If you haven’t developed a story yet, start thinking about the following: How did you discover the need for your product or service? How did you invent the product? What impact has your product or service had or will it have in the future (once you’ve raised funds).

5. Do you have a crowd?

I often say there is a clue in the name, crowdfunding. You need to have a crowd of people willing to back you, willing to share, willing to support your campaign. This typically comes from your personal network of friends, family and business connections (and those of your team). You should plan to achieve between 10 and 33 per cent of your goal from your personal contacts and advocates on the first day of your crowdfunding campaign. This provides social proof to those who don’t know you personally.

Another thing to remember is that you’re not just asking your network for money. You need your network to help you get the word out about your campaign, talking about it over coffee, at the water cooler, over a beer on a Friday night, and also online.

Your job is to articulate your story, find passionate advocates who believe in your story, and provide them with the right tools to share it. Once you’ve established social proof, you can continue to build your crowd through social media, bloggers, influencers, the press, events, and paid advertising. That’s how you build your crowd.

If you have answered yes to these five questions, then I’m going to sneak one final question in. Are you willing to invest significant time, effort, and money into your campaign? Crowdfunding is not a quick and easy fix to your funding gap. However, if you’re committed to doing it right and want to raise funds while building a group of advocates who are committed to you and your product, crowdfunding may just be for you.