Back in the day, if you had a business idea and needed to fund it, your bank manager became your best friend. And if his answer was no, you were pretty much screwed.
The dramatic rise of the internet has changed everything. Not only is it easier and more affordable than ever to set up and sell stuff online, but there are new and exciting ways for entrepreneurs and inventors to fund their business ideas by harnessing the power of everybody.
Crowd-funding is a fairly recent innovation. The leading platform, Kickstarter, is just five years old, but during that time, they've pretty much transformed the whole notion of 'funding a startup.'
The basic idea behind Kickstarter is that entrepreneurs set up a page with all the relevant information about their business. Visitors to the website can then 'back' them - not necessarily to the tune of hundreds or thousands of dollars as would have happened in the past, but by chipping in a minimum of just $1. So, instead of the old model where a few invested a lot, Kickstarter has changed the game so that a lot invest a little. If the business meets it's pre-stated investment goal by the deadline, the money's taken and the business is funded. If this number isn't reached, then backers won't be billed at all.
The model removes all the risk, and it also gives businesses a great idea whether their idea is really worth its salt.
The interesting thing from our perspective as a video creator is that video is at the hub of this exciting trend. Every Kickstarter project is generally accompanied by a Kickstarter 'film' which is essentially a short sales pitch aimed at potential investors. And, although video isn't required to set up a Kickstarter project, it's highly recommended. Indeed, projects with a video have a 50% success rate, while those without clock just 30%.
This all comes back to video's awesome power to make complicated concepts simple, and communicate large amounts of information in just a few minutes.
If you're looking for funding in your business right now, then you simply have to consider crowd-funding as an option.
Alternatively if you're just interested in following the journey of an aspiring business, why not check out the ColdCan Kickstarter project? The ColdCan was co-created by Justin McCullough, one of the great friends of our business. As a proud Texan, Justin enjoys long, hot summers (not a problem we have in Southport...) which makes it difficult to enjoy a cold beverage for any amount of time before it goes warm.
There are products on the market which keep your drink cold, but come on...a flimsy foam sleeve around the outside isn't going to cut the mustard (or should that be 'cool the cola?') The ColdCan is different. Ironically enough for a business born in Houston, it uses the same insulating material as NASA uses in its spacesuits to ensure that, unlike pretty much any product ever created, it actually keeps your drink cold.
If you've never invested in a Kickstarter project before, why not head over and see what all the fuss is about? We're confidently predicting that the ColdCan has a bright future - and so does crowd-funding as a whole!