Top Questions Investors Ask Part 2

Top Questions Investors Ask Part 2

“Be prepared, work hard, and hope for a little luck. Recognize that the harder you work and the better prepared you are, the more luck you might have.” –Ed Bradley

Searching out, pitching to, and bringing on investors can be a lengthy and involved process. You can make it smoother by being as prepared as possible. This article is the second in our series covering questions you can expect to hear from investors. We will include queries about your products or services, the competition, and customer acquisition. It is not a complete list, but we hope that it helps you prepare and have the smoothest process possible.

Your Products and Services
Your product or service is the core of what you are trying to get funding for, so now is your time to answer questions about what you created and are passionate about! Investors are looking to back something with a unique selling proposition (USP) that solves a particular customer problem.

  • Why should people care about your product or service?
  • What is different about your product or service?
  • Are you first to market?
  • Won’t a large corporation just build something like this?
  • If you are first to market, why hasn’t it been done before?
  • Were there earlier versions? If so, what did you learn from them?
  • Do you have patents secured or pending?
  • How do you plan on improving or adding on to your product or service in the future?

The Competition
You will always have competition, even if you are first to market. If you cannot identify your direct and indirect competitors, you are likely to have credibility problems with potential investors. A good rule of thumb is to be knowledgeable about your top 5 direct and indirect competitors.

  • Who is your company’s competition?
  • Are there barriers to market entry?
  • What competitive advantage do you have over your competition?
  • Does your competition have advantages over you?
  • Compared with other businesses in your market, how do you compete on price, features, and performance?

Marketing and Customer Acquisition
You may have the most amazing, unique, and desirable product or service, but if you have no way to market and acquire new customers, you are dead in the water. So investors are going to be very interested in how much research you have done on your target market and your strategies for making money through sales. If you haven’t released to the market yet, you will need to research similar companies and project based on the data.

  • How much does it cost to acquire new customers?
  • What is the lifetime value of a customer?
  • Have you done focus groups? What did you learn from them?
  • What are your social media and PR strategies?
  • What is your marketing plan?
  • Describe the typical sales cycle from initial customer contact through closing the sale?
  • What is the client’s cycle? Are there opportunities for up-sales or repeat business?

The more you know which questions you will need to answer, the more prepared you can be for a successful round of fundraising. In our first article “Top Questions Investors Ask Part 1” we covered questions about the big picture of your company, the founder(s) and team, as well as your market. In our next installment, we will look at your company’s traction, the risks and threats, and your exit strategy.

Top Questions Investors Ask Part 1

Top Questions Investors Ask Part 1

“To be prepared is half the victory” –Miguel de Cervantes

Whether you are putting together your pitch deck or prepping for an interview with an investor, the more prepared you are, the better. Especially if this is your first time through the process of investors and fundraising, it is easy to get overwhelmed and even a bit intimidated by the questions. So here are some top questions you need to be prepared to answer. Remember questions are good, it usually means you have piqued the investor’s interest. You can practice responding to these questions with your team until you feel comfortable.

Today, in part one of our series on investor’s questions, we’re going to cover general questions, founders, and available market. While this list is not exhaustive, we hope it gives you a place to start preparing.

General Questions
If you are using a fundraising platform like Crowdfunder, then these questions should be part of your pitch deck so when you get to talk to an interested investor, they may or may not revisit them. Investors want to know what your company does and why they should be interested. These are essentially your icebreaker or big-picture questions.

  • What does your company do and what makes it unique?
  • What big problem does your company solve for your customers?
  • How big is the market for your product or service?
  • How big can the company get?
  • What is your end game?

Company’s Founder & Key Team Members
For many investors, particularly in the seed or round one level, they are looking for the dynamic, dedicated leader with vision and a solid, experienced team. The types of investors you want to work with are the ones who are investing in a vision, a dream, a team, and not just in it for the money.

  • Who are the founders or founder and the key team members?
  • What motivates and drives the founder or founders?
  • What experience does the team have?
  • Do you plan to scale the team over the next 12 months?
  • Why is this the team to take this company to the next level?
  • Are there gaps in the key team that need to be filled?

Available Market
Investors are looking for enough growth potential to make it worth their investment. You will need to demonstrate that the market for your product or service is large and growing. Do your research! Be familiar with historical as well as upcoming trends in your market. Be prepared to be able to cite sources for your claims.

  • What percentage of the market do you currently hold (if any)?
  • What percentage of the market do you intend to take and what is your timeline for doing so?
  • What is the actual size of the addressable market?
  • Why does your company have the potential to increase market penetration?

In this article, “Top Questions Investors Ask” we’ve covered what kind of general company questions are common. We also touched on what you need to be prepared to answer about your team and the market. In our next article, “Top Questions Investors Ask Part 3″ we will cover questions about your products and services, your competition, and customer acquisition.

Who Does Equity Crowdfunding Work Best for?

Who Does Equity Crowdfunding Work Best for?

Do you have a great business idea you want to get off the ground? Is your company ready to jump to the next stage of growth? Do you want to launch a new product or service line? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, congratulations!

These are all stages when it’s common for business owners to realize they will need an influx of cash to make their dream possible. Equity crowdfunding is one of the fastest growing methods for raising capital but is it a good fit for your company or business idea? Answer the questions below and see for yourself.

Do you have a plan?
The importance of having a solid business model or plan cannot be overstated. There are different types of business plans and methods for developing them. Regardless of which direction you go, the plan should include the items below:

  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Service or product line
  • Marketing and sales
  • Target market(s)
  • Funding request
  • Financial projections

Are you prepared to not own 100% of your company?
Equity crowdfunding is not like “traditional” crowdfunding where investors are donating an amount of money for a prize or a discounted rate for the product. With equity crowdfunding, investors get to own a percentage of your company in exchange for the money they are putting into your business. As the business owner, you can determine the amount of equity you are willing to give away to investors. For example, you can choose to allow investors to own 15% of your company and you retain 85% ownership. Understand though that there is a direct correlation between the amount of money invested and the percentage of ownership. Usually, the more money you are asking for, the more of your company you will have to let go to shareholders.

Are you ready for the accountability?
As we mentioned before, you will have shareholders. These are the investors who have given you their money and now own a percentage of your company. This means you could have a group of people you need to communicate with on various topics including how the company is performing. If you want complete autonomy and the idea of being answerable to a group of shareholders is not appealing to you, then equity crowdfunding may not be a good fit for you.

Are you ready to participate?
Companies like Crowdfunder provide a platform for you to connect with investors, but this is not a “build it and they will come” scenario. To have a successful, public, equity crowdfunding campaign, you must be willing to be an active participant in the process of building and maintaining momentum. A plan for marketing your campaign and getting it in front of investors is a must. An effective campaign includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Create a dynamic company profile on the platform
  • Fill out the investment profile
  • Tell your story! Investors often want more than just numbers to invest in they want to invest in you. Connect with them by sharing your story
  • Leverage social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., to raise awareness of your public fundraising campaign
  • Actively follow up with interested investors

Equity crowdfunding is not a good fit for every company, but if you answered yes to the questions above then come check out or platform! We’re excited to get hear your story and work with you to get your dream funded.

What Does it Take to Become an Angel Investor?

How do you become an Angel Investor

The term “angel investor” has grown in popularity in recent years, even to the point of becoming trendy. But what does it mean to be an angel investor and is that what you really want to do?

Definition of an Angel Investor
An angel investor invests his or her own money in a business, usually in exchange for an ownership percentage (i.e., equity) of the company. Contrast this with venture capitalists who invest other people’s money. Interestingly enough, the term comes from the world of Broadway theater when an “angel” would donate money to specific productions. The term we use today was coined by William Wetzel, founder of the Center for Ventrue Research at the University of New Hampshire.

In recent years a combination of factors has to lead to a rise in the number of angel investors. First, many individuals are looking for alternative and more lucrative avenues for investment than the traditional stock market. Second, as banks continue to be tight on giving business loans, the need has increased for alternative business funding. Third, technology gives individuals the opportunity to connect across distances on a level that has never been seen before. Fourth, equity investment and angel groups allow people with smaller amounts of funds to invest to be a part of funding companies.

Do I have to be a Billionaire to be an Angel Investor?
It is a common misconception that you need to be a millionaire or billionaire to invest. If you are a family member or friend and you invest $60,000, for example, in a start-up, you are an angel investor. Typically, an angel investor is someone who has “extra” cash they can invest that if lost, it would not affect their day to day standard of life.

In attempts to protect investors from being taken advantage of, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set up certain restrictions for non-accredited investors and requirements to become an accredited investor. The following are the two most generally used SEC standards of an accredited investor:

  • Outside of your primary residence, you must have a net worth more than $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse; or
  • You must have an annual income that is more than $200,000 or $300,000 if filing jointly with your spouse. You must be able to show that you have maintained the annual income for two years and that there is a reasonable expectation that you will make that money in the current year.

What are the Risks of Being an Angel Investor?

As with any investment, there are risks involved. If the company you invest in does not make it and must close its doors, you will probably lose the money you invested. This is the case for anyone anytime they invest funds. Therefore, it is wise to not invest if you can’t afford to lose 100% of that investment.

Another potential risk has to do with what happens to your shares after you purchase them. If you do not secure preemptive rights (also known as anti-dilution provisions, or subscription rights), the initial buy-in can get diluted so much that your investment may lose its value. When a company needs to do their next level of fundraising, they will generally “dilute” the shares by selling more. This common and completely legal practice means everyone has a smaller slice of the pie and the shares they do own are worth less than they originally were. For example, let’s say you invested in a company and received 1 of the 100 shares. Dilution would happen if the company sold another 100 shares of the company, now your share is worth 0.5%. If you have preemptive rights, before the 100 shares go up for public sale, you have to option to buy enough to maintain your 10% ownership. You are not obligated to buy them, but you do have the option.

While being an angel investor comes with risks, you have more options available to you than ever before. It is easier to connect with entrepreneurs or products you are interested in. Additionally, equity investing groups or angel investment groups make it easier to connect and spread some of the risks.

What are Venture Capitalists and Investors Looking for?

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Whether you are a start-up looking for seed money or a seasoned business wanting to get to the next level, an infusion of money into the company is often the best way to get there. Turning to the investor and venture capital (VC) world is more and more common. If you are wondering what investors and VCs might be looking for, you are not alone. This article is the first in our series on what investors what to see, and we’re going to be focusing on the people side of the equation today.

Investors are varied, and so are the things they look for. While there are some foundational items, know that each investor or VC will likely bring their own twist to the table or put more value on a different area than another. That being said, you can use the list below to take a good look at your company and get it ship shape for investors.

 

It starts with PEOPLE.

The foundation of any company is its people and many investors who look to the CEO or the founder(s) of a company as the primary piece they are investing in. This type of investor usually cares more about the person leading the company than even the product or service. Still, others place a lot of emphasis on the personal at the top but consider it just one of several metrics they look at. Regardless of which side an investor leans toward, they all are consistent about what they look for in people.

Investors want to see a mindset of persistence and passion about the product, the business, and the industry. Growing a business is hard, and as many of us know, it will put us in the place of facing unexpected challenges. Typically investors and VC have already walked this road. They know what it is going to take to make a successful business happen. They look for those qualities in the company leader and their key team members.

While the founder or CEO is always on the hot seat when seeking out investors, having a solid team in place is also pivotal. Common questions VC’s look to answer are:

• Does your team work together well?

• Do they have the same passion for the product or service that you as the founder or CEO have?

• How much experience exists in your the team?

During the period of building relationships with and pitching to investors, remember that they will be watching how quickly you respond to emails, phone calls, text messages, etc. If you take days to get back to them now when you are “courting” them, it can send the message that you either aren’t interested or that you’re not reliable.

Even though not all investors base their entire funding decision on the founder or CEO, just know that it is a vital part of every VC’s decision. So let your passion for the product, the industry, the customers, and your employees come through in your interactions with investors. You got into this business for a reason and so did your team. Be real. Be transparent.

In our next installment in September we will take a look at what VCs and investors are looking for in your product or service.

Meet David Lasorda: Crowdfunder Venture Consultant

David Lasorda1

David Lasorda has a background in the financial services industry, with over two years of experience in FX and derivatives trading at Guggenheim Partners. He transitioned into entrepreneurship as founder of Lasorda Family Wines, a role that has prepared him well to join the Crowdfunder team as a Venture Consultant.
David currently works as a Venture Consultant for Crowdfunder. This role consists of scouting interesting and attractive startups that are seeking funding, and then sourcing select deals onto the Crowdfunder platform where they are marketed to prospective investors. Once a company is identified as a good fit for the platform, David works directly with the company founders to build out the fundraise campaign and compose newsletter features to boost investor interest and drive traffic to the deal. In addition to sourcing new companies for the platform, David also assists on the Investor Relations side of the business, corresponding with new platform investors to learn about their investing background and help them get acclimated to the crowdfunding platform.

Continue reading…

Meet Katie Talati: Crowdfunder’s Investor Relations Manager

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Katie Talati is the Head of Investor Relations at Crowdfunder, Inc. where she focuses on developing relationships with investors in all aspects of the Crowdfunder business. This includes investors on our platform, limited partners in our venture fund and our investors for Crowdfunder Inc.. During her time at Crowdfunder, she has reviewed hundreds of startup pitches and developed a deep understanding of the crowdfunding industry and its surrounding regulations. She is also the senior analyst for our VC Index Fund and is an associated person with CFI Securities (broker-dealer) as a registered representative.

 

Katie Talati began working at Crowdfunder nearly three years ago at the company’s early stage. She likes the fast-paced nature of the startup space, where she gets to work on different tasks every day. Katie believes:

“Beyond traditional benefits, startups offer the chance to learn far more than working at a large corporation. You’re not given the same thing to work on every day. They also allow employees to have a great work-life balance.”

When Katie started at Crowdfunder, she found herself working on various projects in a few different areas. Management recognized her exceptional leadership skills and within a few months, she was promoted to project manager. When the team introduced Crowdfunder’s portfolio platform, Katie assumed her current role as Investor Relations Manager.

According to Katie, working in Investor Relations at Crowdfunder is different than working the same position at banks and private equity firms. At more traditional financial services firms, Investor Relations is limited to managing relations with a list of investors. At Crowdfunder, Investor Relations focuses on the product side. A big part of her role involves speaking with investors on the platform about their user experience. This involves patience and communication.
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Katie did not originally have a finance background, but she learned quickly.

“I studied Communications and Global Studies at UCLA. Although I didn’t start out in Finance, I was able to use my strengths as a communicator to manage company Investor Relations. I’ve taught myself fundraising and finance terminology, and at the end of the day, my investors are my clients. I go above and beyond for them. I believe you should be personable and dedicated in whatever position you hold. I try my best to connect with investors and find out what each client likes to invest in. Learning why an investor is excited about a specific company helps me create individual relationships. People remember you if you help them.”

Being a female leader at a financial company is rare. Katie remarked that although she is highly qualified, she has experienced others doubting her capabilities due to her gender and age.

“I have had people ask me questions trying to gauge my age. I have also had people turn to my male coworkers instead of me in meetings. That can be frustrating, but I choose to continue to work hard and hope that people will see past those things. On the other hand, I have had many positive experiences with investors who don’t share those biases.”

As a financial tech company with a female-majority team, Crowdfunder breaks the mold in terms of gender equality in the workplace. When our current president Steven McClurg joined the team, he instituted equal and transparent pay. According to Katie:

“Steven refreshed how things are done. He values communication and gave me a lot more responsibility. As a woman early on in my career, that has been invaluable for me. I now manage our VC Index Fund, which includes performing diligence on prospective investments, running financial models and reporting. The work is high level, but it’s been rewarding. I now have important skills that will help me at any future position.”

Due to her success in her current role, Katie was given the opportunity to become a licensed representative of the broker-dealer. This license makes her an invaluable asset to our company’s growth. When asked about the future of her career, Katie said:

“At Crowdfunder, I’m able to see the results of the work I put in with entrepreneurs and investors. Our original mission statements centered upon making a positive economic impact on the U.S.. I believe Crowdfunder has made that impact and will continue to make that impact in the years to come. When our company started, we were only a few years over the market crash, and the job economy was unstable. Several years have passed and conditions have improved, but there’s still more that can be done. I really enjoy the hands-on aspect of working at Crowdfunder and feel like we are working to make a difference.”

We are lucky to have such a strong leader on our team. As Crowdfunder grows, we can’t wait to see what new challenges Katie will take on.

 
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Crowdfunder, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim responsibility for any statement by any of its employees. The views expressed herein are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the company. This post may not be reprinted or disseminated without our written permission.

Crowdfunder Interviews Modbook

 

 

 

Modbook is a company currently accepting reservations on the Crowdfunder platform.

They make the macOS tablet that Apple won’t — a full-featured, all-in-one pen tablet convertible for power and performance dependent Mac users. Led and advised by former Apple managers, Modbook has successfully established a strong brand with a proven record of manufacturing and shipping Mac-based solutions, and has built an active business platform powered by a reliable, flexible and scalable e-commerce system serving customers in 70 countries to date.

The Crowdfunder team sat down with Andreas Haas the CEO to discuss Modbook’s business strategy and growth.

 

Crowdfunder:

Steve Wozniak is a titan of personal computing and an impressive part of your diverse advisory team. How did you get him and the others to join your venture?

Andreas Haas:

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most capable and talented people from all over the world during (and after) my tenure at Apple, and a lot of them are still part of the team supporting my vision to create macOS-based tablet computers.<

Steve, however, I met through the unlikeliest of friends, an accomplished Mixed Martial Artist who started talking to Steve about my project during a video shoot they were doing for a commercial. Steve was instantly intrigued. My friend put us in touch, and I got to work with one of my technology idols.

When I coach freshmen startup entrepreneurs, I always encourage them to leverage all their friends and family first. They will give you the most honest feedback on your ideas and if you are really onto something, they will be your greatest ambassadors.

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Crowdfunder:

Your unconventional approach to reimagining Apple Macs impressed Steve Wozniak, a well-known technology enthusiast. Which aspects of the Modbook story compels investors to join and what are the top reasons for them to pass?

Andreas Haas:

The decision to either invest or pass really turns on two sides of the same coin – understanding our unique niche, where we are the only company on the planet that makes macOS-based pen tablet computers, and that it is safe from Apple.

The Mac segment of the growing pen hardware solutions market, primarily targeting the creative industries, exceeded $1.8bn in 2016 with about 1.5m users. They typically spend $4k or more to cobble together Apple high-end notebooks with other 3rd-party pen hardware like Wacom pen-enabled displays or windows tablets. However these workarounds are cumbersome, inefficient, and ultimately lacking when compared to the smooth and powerful all-in-one solutions we’re providing.

Apple’s current extremely successful business model is built on an effective and deeply ingrained platform strategy of distinctively splitting their mobile offerings into macOS-based notebooks vs. iOS-based iPhone/iPad tablets. It is this strategy that creates the need for our products in the first place.

Ultimately, our niche is safe because Apple would have to throw out their winning business strategy to address the needs of our $1.8bn revenue / 1.5m user market. Just in the last year, Apple generated an estimated $275bn in revenues from over 210m happy customers, whereas our niche barely represents ⅔ of 1% of their business.

As such, it is highly unlikely that Apple will pursue this, or as Apple CEO Tim Cook says: “Apple feels strongly that customers are not looking for a converged Mac and iPad”.

Crowdfunder:

There are myriads of PC vendors, but only two companies offering Macs, you and Apple. Given how fiercely protective Apple is of its intellectual property, how is this done?

Andreas Haas:

Like Shelby for Ford and AMG for Mercedes in the car industry, Modbook fills a high-end niche by transforming genuine Apple laptops into MacOS-based tablet computers. The MacBook Pro base systems come from Apple, we make the conversion kits and perform the transformations, and the customers receive their shrink wrapped Modbook tablet solutions, custom built to their individual specifications.

Due to this unique approach, when I launched the 1st. Generation Modbook back in 2008, Apple initially embraced us by signing us as an Apple Proprietary Solution Provider and later transitioned us into becoming an Apple Premier Developer. We are also proud to count Apple among our longest customers purchasing our Modbook solutions.

Being a respectful Mac citizen and keeping our solutions 100% Mac Developer guidelines compliant not only earned us our accepted place in the Apple ecosystem, it also ensures that our Modbook tablet computers support all macOS applications out of the box – if the app runs on the MacBook Pro it will run on the Modbook.

Crowdfunder:

Most hardware companies manufacture their products in Asia, but you are building your products right here in the US. How do you make that work?

Andreas Haas:

Actually, building in the US is a critical part of our business model and it took years to perfect our own special brand of Just-In-Time manufacturing.

It relies equally on the unique hardware abstraction layer design we developed for our Modbook product line, as well as on our location in Southern California where we are able to tap into the same wealth of advanced aerospace engineering and production capabilities that other inspiring ventures like SpaceX are building their successes on. Here we have created a networked supply chain that is both highly capable, scalable, and most importantly quickly adjustable.

The combination of advanced design, plugged into local US-based production, allows us to efficiently and expediently include new features and updates Apple regularly phases into its MacBook products. This enables us to take full advantage of the technology lead Apple is bringing to our products like the revolutionary Touch Bar we’ll be incorporating into the upcoming Modbook Pro X.

Turning potential obstacles into advantages not only improves your chances for success, but it also creates barriers for potential competitors.

Crowdfunder:

You still consider yourself a startup company with its major breakout product launch, the Modbook Pro X, coming up this year. However, at the end of 2012 you launched the Modbook Pro which is still available from your website. Can you tell us that story?

Andreas Haas:

Building a successful hardware business requires a lot more than completing the product development.

Many startups struggle to get their ideas manifested in the first production batch, only to then fail at one of the challenges arising from building a solid infrastructure to run the actual business around their product.

We used the Modbook Pro, put together from development milestones of the Pro X project, to build, thoroughly test and optimize as many of the business processes we expect to need.

For example, we created our own online store capable of advanced custom product configuration, rolled it out to multiple countries, and ran it with country-specific pricing and currencies, and honed our ability to sell, ship, deliver and service products to customers in 70 countries.

Furthermore, producing prototypes or pre-production units will not show how the planned manufacturing technologies and processes will actually perform during live production.

For example, we initially adopted a sheet metal forming process with secondary machining for parts to achieve certain cost reductions. This process worked great for the prototypes and pre-production, but when we ramped up to production numbers the yield dropped so dramatically that we abandoned the process for the Pro X entirely.

Only real life transactions and product movements across the globe will allow you to work out the kinks in your business infrastructure, and we used the Modbook Pro to do that on a better controllable scale.

Crowdfunder:

There are many computer & tablet vendors and even more peripheral makers, vying for customer attention and combined spending billions of dollars in marketing. How can you as a startup company with limited resources rise above that fray and reach your target audience?

Andreas Haas:

In my experience, for a hardware business, the most effective strategy per marketing dollar spent is to establish a solid initial market footprint with a properly conducted product launch.

The key to the success here is the amount of media coverage you can generate. A launch presents a golden opportunity for your story to get picked up by the news media and rise above the fray at a fraction of the marketing budget needed otherwise.

In addition to having all your marketing material prepared on the front-end and your sales team ready to follow through on any leads on the back-end, you need to have created as many press evaluation units of your product as you can afford, pre-pitched and pre-matched to news outlets your target audience is likely to pay attention.

The story about your product being new, constitutes a perishable asset with a hard expiration date. Once the first news reports have been published, it will require increasingly more effort to get coverage. In fact, an underwhelming product launch is a lost opportunity nearly impossible to make up for afterwards.

Crowdfunder:

There are many computer & tablet vendors and even more peripheral makers, vying for customer attention and combined spending billions of dollars in marketing. How can you as a startup company with limited resources rise above that fray and reach your target audience?

Andreas Haas:

This latest fundraiser was to be our first conducted under Rule 506(c) of Regulation D, allowing us to broadly solicit and generally advertise our private offering to accredited investors.

The main reason for switching to general solicitation, namely its ability to reach a (much) larger number of potential investors, is also the key to our decision to host our campaign with Crowdfunder.com. Compared to all other platforms we researched, Crowdfunder.com offered the best means to overcome the challenges posed by widening the audience of our fundraising efforts.

In Crowdfunder.com we found a platform that (in no particular order):

• … has one of, if not the largest, built-in community of accredited investors while providing the tools and mechanisms to actively reach out to them.

 

Our Crowdfunder.com marketing package presented our venture in short order to a huge number of potential investors through newsletters and social media posts, and provided us with tools to actively identify and reach out to individual investors.

 

• … offers tools to measure and track the results of your fundraising efforts. Those backend tools allow you to focus your efforts on the initiatives showing the highest results.

 

Not only can this help improve your conversion rate, but it also helps you make better use of your most precious commodity – time.

 

• … provides one of, if not the most, advanced environment to both prepare and present the campaign to interested investors.

 

The platform’s powerful backend tools make it easy to compose a great campaign page, guiding you through the process step-by-step and making sure that all important aspects about your venture are covered. Once your campaign is live, your venture is presented to visiting prospects in a well laid out and clearly structured way, designed to quickly capture a potential investor’s interest and then provide in-depth information at his fingertips.

 

• … contains a well developed set of tools and mechanism to collect and follow through on all generated leads.

 

If your marketing is doing well, you will see a lot of contacts registering their interest with you to learn more. The built-in mechanisms and tools help move those contacts further down the sales funnel while gauging their individual interest levels. This allows you to identify and focus your efforts on those closest to a decision to invest

 

One of the key challenges we experienced in dealing with leads generated through this latest campaign compared to the investor contacts we developed in the past, is to keep our response times for follow through on inquiries down – there are (happily) just so many more inquiries to deal with. The last thing you want to happen is to let a potential investor lose interest, because it took too much time to get back to him with that document.

 

Crowdfunder.com’s tools can only get you started down the road to closing investors. Therefore, before you launch your campaign, you really should have:

 

• mapped out exactly how you intend to guide a potential investor to closing,

 

• figured out how you are going to track the progress for each individual lead,

 

• identified who is going to help you on your team and how exactly you are going to collaborate,

 

• determined what information and/or documents you intend to or are willing to share

 

• everything actually prepared, in place, tested and ready to go.

 

Once your campaign starts, time you have to spend on any of the above, will be time lost following through on potential leads, which could cause you to lose out on potential investments and likely curtailing the success of your campaign.

 

The views expressed herein are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the company. This post may not be reprinted or disseminated without our written permission.

Get To Know Jenny Kim, Crowdfunder Developer

 

jennykimJenny Kim is one of our developers at Crowdfunder.

We interviewed her about being a woman in Tech and her experience working on our team.

Jenny has a background in neuroscience research and education research in the STEM fields at UC Riverside. During her time at UC Riverside, she made a purposeful effort to seek out female mentors who were doing research. She soon became interested in developing and building her own software applications. Jenny’s background as a pre-med student drove her to make a positive impact on people and society, this time through the democratization of code.

Jenny believes that

“Public policy and the democratization of Tech should work in tandem with each other. You can use Tech to provide people access to healthcare, knowledge and resources who otherwise wouldn’t have access.”

That’s what she does in her spare time. 

As for her work at Crowdfunder, this is Jenny’s first job in Tech.

“I did a computer programing bootcamp with General Assembly and was developing and working on my own apps. I was applying to jobs and attending networking events to meet with founders and other developers. I met Steven Mcclurg (President of Crowdfunder) at a startup fair. I talked about my background, what I was doing and what I was developing outside of my job search. He seemed interested and introduced me to Crowdfunder’s CTO, Mark Schwartz. I met with him the next week and became involved in the company soon after.”

jennypic
Being a female developer can be challenging. Stack Overflow's research shows that only 5.8% of developers are female, an upsetting statistic. At Crowdfunder, our developers are over 65% female and our entire team is over 50% female. Crowdfunder believes in equal opportunities and encourages its employees to learn and grow in their positions. Jenny said,

 “I think it’s really reflective of the management that we have more female employees than male employees. In Finance and in Tech that’s unheard of. They take on female junior developers who don’t have extensive experience but grow into their roles.”

A study by Comparably shows that women in Tech in Los Angeles (our home base) make 34% less than men. At Crowdfunder, we believe in pay transparency and our management has partnered The Pink Ceiling with to provide support for women's led or focused entrepreneurial businesses. Jenny said

“Crowdfunder is really committed to empowering their employees.”

 “In my career, I’ve always been driven to do meaningful work that I am passionate about."

Crowdfunder fits that criteria for Jenny. The Tech and Finance industries have a lot of work to do when it comes to gender equality. At Crowdfunder, we try to lead by example. We work to hire women for equal pay, and support women led companies. We’re proud to have Jenny on our team. Her creativity, skills and intelligence have helped our company succeed.

 

Y Combinator Company Acre Designs Disrupts the Home Design Industry

ACRE DESIGNS

As many products in our life advance, there seems to be a growing sense that our biggest investment, our homes, should be improving as well. Instead, today’s houses look and function exactly like our grandparents’ did, and the process of building is one of the most daunting undertakings. It’s filled with variables and often requires a significant investment of both time and money simply to execute the most preliminary actions.
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