What we learned at our #itbcrowdfund Twitter chat

With the explosion of sites modeled after Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and talk of U.S. style, equity-based crowdfunding coming to Canada, the time seems ripe for another discussion about crowdfunding and the direction it is taking.

Join us here at ITBusiness.ca for a Twitter chat on crowdfunding, slated for 2:00 PM EST on Thursday, June 27 at the hashtag #itbcrowdfund.

Update – Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of Indiegogo, and Cindy Gordon, national chair of Invest Crowdfund Canada, will be joining us for the discussion to share their thoughts – so feel free to tweet at them too!

If you’re looking for a sample of the kinds of things we’ll be discussing, check out the questions posted below. We’re excited to talk crowdfunding with you and get the discussion going. See you on Twitter!

Update number 2 – Just had our Twitter chat and we really enjoyed hearing from everyone who participated! Thanks to everyone for their insights, especially Danae Ringelmann of Indiegogo and Cindy Gordon of Invest Crowdfund Canada, who were kind enough to agree to come aboard as experts!

In case you missed our chat though, here’s a quick rundown of the things we discussed:

Questions we’ll be covering

1. Have you ever donated to a crowdfunding campaign or started one? What was your experience with that?

We had a few responses to this one from previous campaigners. Leor Grebler, who created the voice-activated, hands-free Ubi computer and then funded it through Kickstarter in 2012, originally aimed for $36,000 and ended up reaching about $230,000. Grebler called his money-raising experience “exhilarating.”
Cindy Gordon of Invest Crowdfund Canada said she also helped run a campaign for raising money for homelessness in Fredericton, N.B., coming up with $5,000 to give homeless people mittens as a quick campaign for the winter.

2. We’ve heard a few cautionary tales about potential scams. Who should be held responsible?



Ringelmann also weighed in about some of the safety practices at Indiegogo, put in place to try to avoid fraudulent campaigns. She said as successful campaigns start with raising about 20 to 30 per cent of their funds from people they know, it’s natural to see them use social media to expand their funding circles to friends of friends and then strangers. Indiegogo also uses “trust and safety” algorithms, plus community flagging tools, to gauge whether a campaign looks suspicious.

3. What are some of the things you look for when choosing a campaign to support?




4. Any guidelines for people looking to start a crowdfunding campaign?
We had a wide variety of answers here, but many people said a great promo video introducing the product and pitching it in an appealing way was key. Also many said they believe it’s important to spend more time preparing for the campaign in advance, even more than the duration of the actual campaign itself.

5. What are the best ways to market a crowdfunding campaign, once it’s out there and launched?






6. Some say Canada shouldn’t follow after the U.S. with another JOBS Act or equity crowdfunding. Thoughts?
Some people on the Twitter chat were very gung-ho about bringing equity-based crowdfunding to Canada, while others were less sure.


By contrast, Grebler of Ubi said selling equity is usually in exchange for money and guidance. With so many backers involved in crowdfunding, it is difficult to accept guidance from all of them.

Ringelmann added Indiegogo is waiting on hearing about final regulations from the government. Once those become more clear, Indiegogo will be checking back with its customers to see if they’d want the option of equity crowdfunding, she said.

7. With so many different crowdfunding sites popping up, what will the crowdfunding industry look like in a few years?




8. What role do you feel crowdfunding will play in the future?




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Candice So
Candice Sohttp://www.itbusiness.ca
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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