Why are creative crowds turning to crowdfunding?
In the past businesses have looked to banks and investors to fund their new projects. However, as both have buckled under the pressure of the recession more creative companies are turning to crowdfunding.
This option has emerged as a strong contender for gaining finance over recent years, quietly gaining popularity, and during the last few weeks alone several companies from Belfast have achieved notable success.
Brewbot, a smart technology appliance, has just raised 114% of the funding they needed, while See Sense, an intelligent bike light, surpassed their target by raising 281% of their required figure. Local musician Ben Glover has also secured funding for the recording of his new album.
Through the collective efforts and donations of individuals from around the world, crowdfunding has helped support activities including disaster relief funds, motion picture companies, scientific research and political campaigns.
Belfast based Little Thunder Co is the latest creative company to turn to crowdfunding site Kickstarter as an alternative means to raise funds for a project close to their hearts. This company is seeking help in making their children’s book series about an inquisitive cat that has come to life. The series of books follows the adventures of young Chalky, a stray cat discovered by one of the creators behind the story.
With the deadline of 21st December 2013 fast approaching, company directors Gaby Muldoon and Tim Potter feel that crowdfunding was the best option for their project.
Gaby Muldoon, director, Little Thunder Co said: “We have been given 30 days to raise £10,000 and we really are reaching out to all of our networks in order to ask for help. Crowdfunding has allowed us to see how popular our project is. We have put forward a compelling story and we have had really great feedback so far. Traditional financial means wouldn’t have been an option for a project of this nature and we felt that it would offer our readers the chance to engage with our series from the very beginning. You don’t get this level of audience participation with any other funding stream.”
For a creative company such as Little Thunder Co, crowdfunding is an invaluable option to have. Small businesses have had a well-documented struggle with access to finance from banks during the economic downturn and the attentions of investors are often focused on high return enterprises in the STEM sectors. Crowdfunding offers an opportunity to good ideas that don’t fit the conventional mould for finance.
Mr Muldoon continued: “We have had to think outside the box to come up with strategies that would encourage people to come forwards and donate. We are offering everyone who supports us a treat for every pound they give, from eBooks, to hard back copies of Chalky and prints from the book.”
Chalky and the New Sports Car is currently on Kickstarter and needs £10,000 by 7am on 21st December 2013. To support Little Thunder Co visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/littlethunder/chalky-and-the-new-sports-car-childrens-pictureboo?ref=city