Posts tagged with "crowdfunding"

Sara Sandman, 360 MAGAZINE, illustration, community service, philanthropy, humanitarian

Crowdfunding × COVID-19

How crowdfunding empowers individuals during these unprecedented times. 

#PledgeToProtect

Written by: Eddie Lee, President, Pledgecamp

In an ideal scenario, institutions and hospitals would have been fully prepared to protect the medical workers fighting COVID-19. A severe national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has made it clear that this is not the case.

Some examples:

Online crowdfunding rose to prominence after the 2008 financial crisis because institutions failed to serve the needs of everyday people. In the midst of today’s crisis, crowdfunding once again can empower ordinary people to step up where institutions fall short:

  • Crowdfunding harnesses the collective power of individuals to address community needs
  • Crowdfunding can direct funds and PPE to hospitals whose sourcing teams are overwhelmed, underfunded, or simply overlooked by government
  • Crowdfunding organizers can deliver PPE directly to hospital storerooms without bureaucracy or politics getting in the way
  • Individuals who want to do more than just social-distance and wash their hands can make an impact with only an internet connection

How We’re Crowdfunding to Fight COVID-19

Pledgecamp is a newly-launched crowdfunding platform taking on incumbents like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Because of the pandemic, we have paused all commercial projects to focus on a single, non-profit campaign to supply PPE to hospitals.

By donating to this campaign, any individual can make an impact in the fight against COVID-19. Unlike other relief efforts, Pledgecamp publishes exactly how much PPE will be delivered and their costs, right on the campaign page.

Another differentiating factor, Pledgecamp lets some donors sponsor a specific hospital of their choice. For a minimum contribution of 100 KN95 respirator masks, donors can support any hospital they may have a personal connection to, including local hospitals that could be overlooked by other relief efforts.

Crowdfunding is not the end-all solution to COVID-19. But in an imperfect world, crowdfunding lets everyone be individual heroes. Let us all do our part and get through this together.

Interested in Donating?

100% of funds will go to PPE for hospitals. Visit the campaign, here.

Connect with us: hello@pledgecamp.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/pledgecamp

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pledgecamp

Instagram: http://instagram.com/pledgecamp

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, bar, spirits

How to Get Financing to Start a New Bar

So you’ve decided to become a bar owner, congratulations! Now, you find yourself in the same dilemma many creative, business-minded entrepreneurs know all too well: You need additional funds to make your dream come true. What to do?

Lucky for you, there are several options you can look into. Let’s examine each one to see which one is the right move for you.

Take out a personal loan

This is a popular option among budding entrepreneurs because it has a higher success rate and offers a greater degree of flexibility. This is your best bet if you are starting a bar from scratch or if you don’t have an established business history yet.

Unlike a business loan, a personal loan will not require you to put down collateral or provide proof of cash flow. After all, it’s difficult to show income if you don’t have it yet. Business loans also have major restrictions on how the loan is used, but a personal loan gives you more freedom.

Your personal financial history and credit score will determine your eligibility and the rates and terms of your loan. A credit score of 600 puts you in an excellent position to qualify. Documents you need to submit include but are not limited to personal identification, bank statements, W-2 or pay stubs, and tax return.

Keep in mind that personal loans are generally smaller compared to a business loan so you may need to look into more options to acquire the rest of the funding you need. We discuss more below.

Look for investors

This is an excellent solution to share the financial burden with someone else. Investors provide startup money and can bring their business management expertise to the table. For this to work, you’ll have to get comfortable with splitting profits and giving up a share of your business.

If you wish to retain control of your bar, silent investors are great because they get out of your hair after providing the funding. They might be involved in big-picture dealings and will offer help if needed, but other than that, they stay in the background and leave the daily management to you.

The catch? They might pressure you to turn a profit sooner rather than later though. They may get restless and force a sale.

Active investors will generally be more involved in the day-to-day operations of your bar in an effort to enhance the return of their investment. They can also be helpful to first-time entrepreneurs looking to make industry connections and learn the tricks of the trade.

While active investors bring their business to the enterprise, you will definitely have to give up a degree of control. Some investors might agree to simply advance capital in exchange for collateral and payback with interest or a percentage of your profits.

Turn to your friends, family, and peers

Use your connections! Do you know someone who has the resources to spare? You can start reaching out to your peers in the industry or even to friends and family. This fast-tracks your funding process by skipping the legal entanglements typically involved in a traditional loan.

If you go the family and friends route, the pitch probably isn’t going to be all that complicated. But keep in mind that money and family sometimes don’t mix. If your bar fails to take off, things might get ugly. Especially with equity involved, put everything in writing and bring in a business lawyer as a safety net.

Reach out to the world through crowdfunding

If you’ve exhausted all your connections to no avail, the internet might be your savior. Yes, you can raise money for your new bar from strangers online through websites like GoFundMe, Patreon, and Kickstarter. How great is that?

Needless to say, you will have to convince these people why they should fund your bar. Tell your story and make sure to let your passion shine through.

Transparency will get you far down this route. Be specific on how you intend to spend the money they give you and provide updates. You would be surprised at how many people would be willing to donate their own money to help you with your venture.

Depending on your campaign, you can give these backers perks or rewards in return. However, if you choose to do it via equity crowdfunding, which will easily attract investors, you are selling off a degree of ownership control over your company.

Know that you will also need to actively market your campaign, so it can be seen and gain traction fast. This will take a lot of patience and hard work.

Use your 401(k)

If you are looking to ditch the 9-to-5 life in favor of being your own boss as a bar owner, this might be something to consider if you have saved up enough from your previous jobs.

You’re staking your retirement savings here, so make sure you are 100% certain of your bar idea. Most people can get overconfident for their own good. Consult a tax attorney, if needed, and look at all angles before you take the leap.

Consider the other options presented in this article first before cracking your 401(k) nest egg.

Get funding for expensive equipment

Equipment is an essential investment for any bar operation that comes that a premium price. A lender or bank can help you purchase the required furnishings to get your business up and running through equipment financing.

Here, you receive the entire amount based on a price quote you provide to the lender. You can’t use the funding for anything other than the equipment you intend to buy.

The collateral here is the equipment itself, which is great because you won’t have to worry about paying off more in the unfortunate event that your bar goes under.

When securing your bar equipment, it is important to anticipate your needs and choose the right configuration for your establishment. For a bar, you’ll need equipment such as keg coolers, undercounter refrigerators, and commercial ice makers.

While it can be tempting to go for second-hand items, buying brand new equipment can benefit your business in the long run. Used equipment can lead to unpleasant surprises that might cost you way more than the savings you initially had. Replacement parts for last-generation models will likely be very hard to find, thus halting your operation longer than it should.

Plus, it can be difficult to find out how well it has been maintained and the service life it has left. With any luck, you might be able to track down the original invoice and check the warranty it comes with.

With brand new equipment, you enjoy more savings and peace of mind that your business runs as it should. Benefits include:

• For the higher price tag, you get equipment that is less likely to break down to avoid disruptions that can cost you precious business, especially during peak hours.

• New units are generally more energy-efficient and environment-friendly than older models

• They go for much higher resale value, especially for well-known brands

• You can count on a more responsive service department for servicing and readily available replacement parts

We are committed to protecting your investment. We have an excellent selection of brand new and highly durable products from Manitowoc ice makers to Beverage Air refrigerators that come with excellent warranties and unrivaled customer support. We make sure your purchases work their best beyond the initial quality control.

Explore the benefits of a business credit card

This is the perfect option for buying ingredients and supplies. You’ll only need your credit score as qualification, and it doesn’t have to be all that impressive either. If you are at 600, you have a good chance of getting approved. Plus, the application process is easy.

You know how you get some perks and rewards every time you swipe your personal credit card? You can enjoy the same for your bar here. You can get excellent cash back and credit for business expenses.

Consider credit card receipt financing

There are some lenders that partially base their loan on receiving part of the credit card receipts from your customers. The process basically involves selling your future credit card sales in exchange for a cash advance. A portion of each credit card sale is taken out as payment. This can be an interesting approach but can also interfere with your finances.

Financing your new bar the right way

As a rule of thumb, you should have at least six months of expenses available in the bank when you start. Most businesses fail because of a lack of financing. So either do it right from the beginning or hold off until you can.

Azuri Technologies X Energise Africa Launch UK Crowd Campaign

Azuri Technologies, a leader in pay-as-you-go solar in Africa and crowdfunding platform Energise Africa today announced the latest phase of debt financing from UK impact investors to deliver affordable, clean energy and help solve the energy crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Azuri and Energise Africa collaboration plans to raise £2.5 million for pay-as-you-go-solar and help more than 100,000 off-grid people in Sub-Saharan Africa access clean, affordable energy.

The investment will support low-income families in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania.

More than 600 million people across Africa live without access to electricity – limiting their life chances of achieving economic prosperity and improved quality of life. Universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services is one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and can only be met with access to sufficient investment.

Crowdfunding has emerged as a powerful way of financing the off-grid solar industry and is leading the way in increasing investor interest in the market.

Through Energise Africa, individuals in the UK can invest from as little as £50 in bonds, issued by solar businesses, to provide clean and affordable energy access, while targeting annual returns of 6%. Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Azuri is a leader in pay-as-you-go solar technology and since 2012 has been supplying affordable solar home systems and products to the millions across Africa living off-grid without access to mains electricity.

In 2018, Azuri and Energise Africa raised £1.7 million from hundreds of UK investors to deliver clean, affordable energy products to more than 16,000 families in sub-Saharan Africa.

Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri said: “Azuri is delighted to extend our partnership with Energise Africa and their community of UK-based retail investors to finance off-grid solar projects. With this innovative financing, thousands more households will be able to access modern solar energy for the first time.”

Lisa Ashford, Managing Director Energise Africa said: “Through Energise Africa, we are committed to providing UK based people with easily accessible opportunities to invest directly in sustainable businesses that can tackle climate change, create long-term social and environmental impact, and also deliver a potential financial return. We’re looking forward to the prospect of working with Azuri Technologies again to help accelerate the achievement of UN SDG 7.

Energise Africa has been developed by Ethex and Lendahand – two of Europe’s leading impact investing companies and is also supported by UK aid, Virgin Unite, Good Energies Foundation and P4G.

Over the past 20 months the Energise Africa community of investors has generated over £7.57 million for 12 solar businesses to provide 312,000 people in 10 African countries with access to clean energy, which has prevented almost 70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere annually and also repaid almost £1.8 million back to investors.

Investing in Energise Africa projects via the www.energiseafrica.co.uk site involves risk, including the loss of all of your invested capital, illiquidity (the inability to sell assets quickly or without substantial loss in value), and it should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio.

The investment opportunities on www.energiseafrica.co.uk are not an offer to the public in any jurisdiction and are available only to registered members of the platform who have certified that they are eligible to invest. Any person who is not resident in the United Kingdom who wishes to view these investment opportunities must first satisfy themselves that they are eligible to do so under the securities laws and regulations applicable to them. This site does not constitute an offer of, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe for, any securities to any person in any jurisdiction to whom or in which such offer or solicitation would be unlawful.

In respect of its regulated activities, Lendahand Ethex Ltd is an appointed representative of Share In Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 603332).

MAINGEAR x deadmau5

MAINGEAR PC, an award-winning PC system builder of custom gaming desktops and notebooks, announced that Joel Zimmerman, known professionally as deadmau5, has joined MAINGEAR as an advisor and investor, and that they have partnered with NetCapital to launch an equity offering open to the public. 

 

Grammy nominated producer, musician, composer, and life-long gamer, deadmau5, joins MAINGEAR as an advisor and takes a stake of the soaring PC gaming market by investing. “I first found MAINGEAR when looking for a high end PC for my studio, and started as a customer first. I became a huge fan” said deadmau5. “Since then MAINGEAR has powered all of my projects including, my recently released “where’s the drop?”. As a gamer at heart I’m a big believer that the future of PC gaming and eSports has amazing potential for growth. It was obvious to pick MAINGEAR as my first investment in the space and with MAINGEAR’s crowd raise you can invest as well. »

 

As an advisor, deadmau5 hopes to direct the future of PC gaming with MAINGEAR by advising on future products and projects. “It doesn’t get more authentic than working with deadmau5” said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder. “He’s an amazing artist, hardcore gamer, MAINGEAR customer, and is one of the most technically driven people I have ever met. »

 

With over 15 years of experience crafting the industry’s most award-winning gaming PCs and growing a passionate community, MAINGEAR has established itself as a leader in the industry and is now opening up an opportunity for its community to invest. “I had the opportunity to engage with a few different VCs and the experience wasn’t always the best. While VC investment can be a great thing, it only makes sense if you find the right fit.” said Wallace Santos. “I didn’t want to bring on an investor that would suck the soul out of our business. After this experience we decided to ditch the traditional VC route altogether and instead offer equity to our community. »

 

“I’ve been in the gaming and tech space for as long as I can remember, and I can safely say there has never been a more exciting time in the history of our industry!” said Rahul Sood, CEO of Unikrn. “I’m excited for the future of MAINGEAR and the passionate community that they have built. As one of the most established high end PC builders on earth, we wanted to do a non-traditional raise and offer people from this community the opportunity to invest at the ground floor.”

 

For more information on MAINGEAR’s equity crowdfunding campaign, click HERE.