TED talks all around: Trigonis J. and Westcott V.

I’ve watched two interesting TED talks on crowdfunding that were brief, but nevertheless useful.

Crowdfunding today, tomorrow, together

trigonis1

John Trigonis is a movie maker and now also seen as somewhat of a crowdfunding expert. He says that engaging a crowd is an art. And I have to say from what I’ve heard and seen so far he is right.

“The pitch is the invitation, perks the incentives and promotion the interaction with your crowd.”
– John Trigonis

He tells that when you do a campaign video you should always tell the following to your crowd:

  • You should tell who you are
  • What your project is all about
  • Why your audience should fund you

You should speak to your audience like they are a friend. A very personal approach is needed to get your crowd enthused and willing to spend money on you and your project.

Crowdfunding 101

victoriawestcott

Victoria Westcott talks about crowdfunding in relation with her youth. She was a very entrepreneurial spirit and still is. Out of the experiences she had in her youth with selling all kinds of things, like lemonade in her street, she gives us 5 lessons. Five lessons to live by when you do a crowdfunding campaign.

  1. Make something awesome
  2. sell to your audience
  3. Don’t ask for charity
  4. Follow through
  5. They might just give you tips

In summary you should just make an awesome project that people want to be involved with. You need to grab them by the hair so to speak. You need to sell. Persuade them to buy the product from you. Let them see you want to improve something through the realisation of your project. Remember that it’s not charity that you do with your project. Stand behind it. Be persistent and be kind and be changeable in the way you present your product.

Conclusion

Two things that I see constantly with building a crowd and achieving your goal. Be persistent and be very personal in your approach. We tried this during our whole campaign and you can see the outcome of that: Success!

 

 

 

Communications Plan DELITELABS

1. GOALS

  •       Showing the positive effects of economic integration
  •       Creating a community
  •       Having a successful crowdfunding campaign
  •       Associate the brand with creativity, entrepreneurship, success values
  •       Disseminate no borders philosophy and equality values
  •       (HOW) Placing Delitelabs in the startup ecosystem 

2. TARGET AUDIENCE

  •       Smart educated refugees between 20 and 30
  •       Unemployed local people between 20 and 30
  •       Companies with a social department to fund initiatives
  •       People that are related with other initiatives involving tech, business and innovation

3. MESSAGE

  •       Is easier to startup a business after the program
  •       Our program helps to develop economic integration
  •       Delitelabs is a professional education
  •       Delitelabs is a big step to develop yourself: professional and personal
  •       We want to empower people who don’t get much chances
  •       We tell personal stories

4. STRATEGY

  •       Geographical Scope: Amsterdam, Nederland, Europe
  •       Tone: Smartass tone.
  •       Super smart responses in a super nice way.
  •       Open mentality to criticism. Questioning
  •       Suspense. People are exciting to know what’s next
  •       Resourceful. We get the things done
  •       Hands on and learning by doing

5. ACTIONS

Offline:

  • An event on the 29th of September where we will have a public lecture given by Founders 
  • The prototyping week at the University of Twente the 10th till the 14th of October
  • The final pitch event which will be on the 19th of October

Online:

  1.  CORPORATE PLATFORMS:
  •       Web
  •       Blog
  •       Facebook
  •       Twitter
  •       Linkedin
  •       Instagram
  •       Youtube / Vimeo
  1. PLATFORM CONTENT

It is important to standardise the visualisation of the different communication means. Although these may differ for each communication tool we use, in our case a set of social media platforms. Which are the following media outputs:

http://delitelabs.com/

Web with basic information about the project. We need to show more the power of the organisation by the faces of the team and the board behind it.

http://delitelabs.com/blog

The strategy of content marketing needs a good content generator. Blog categories:

  1. Successful stories
  2. Events review
  3. Diary
  4. Program (During the program 1 chronic everyday)

https://www.facebook.com/delitelabs

  •       Publish our own blog content
  •       Team strengths
  •       Good indicators
  •       Program explanations
  •       Another news and inspiring stories from other pages and blogs
  •       3 times/week: 1 picture and 2 blog posts (it could be one external content too)
  •       Alumni group. This is our community! We should share valuable content: job offers, events… We should have a extra person taking care of it and posting 3 times per week. (Adel?)

https://twitter.com/delitelabs

  • Gifs that show the problems that we are solving
  • We share the content of blog. Daily interactions with related profiles and persons in the themes innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and social initiatives.
  • 200 tweets explaining the program and the feelings that your have during the program #adayindelitelabs
  • 200 tweets #delitelabsisforyou explaning why you should apply.
  • At least one post a day

 

An interview with Greg Jacobs by Chris Dunn

Greg Jacobs explains in this talk with Chris. How he has used crowdfunding to fund his products. The crowdfunding campaign that he has ran got backed for a little over $500.000. He reversed engineered it in the same way our students learn in design thinking. In other words he used the crowdfunding as an experiment if people were interested in his product. With the new trend of digital crowdfunding he could now do this without spending enormous amounts of money on manufacturing costs. He analysed the manufacturing costs of the product and used crowdfunding as a marketing tool to see if it was viable to create the product. And you could really say he was with a funding of $500.000.

Greg Jacobs and Chris Dunn

Keep me posted!

He says that still 9 out of 10 crowdfunding campaigns fail. According to him the reason for this is that many people just put the crowdfunding campaign online and do nothing else with it and wait till the money rolls in. Use your networks to spread the word to as many people as possible. Be proactive and provide updates and attractive content so you pull people and they stay interested.

Another interesting thing what was said during the movie is that crowdfunding solves a problem. People that normally couldn’t fund themselves can because of crowdfunding. Normally they could have gone to a bank or an angel investor or even family. The problem is that angel investors and banks aren’t lending you always the money that you need and family most of the time just doesn’t have the capital for it. So to fund your projects or products through crowdfunding really enables people that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to fund themselves.

The three biggest obstacles in crowdfunding

1. Product Selection and Niche

He says there are basically two groups of people who want to use a crowdfunding campaign to offset their product. Some people try to view a crowdfunding campaign as a purely entrepreneurial endeavour. This means in his words that they create a product that I can sell the most from and you can get the most money from. Other people, which he calls inventors, which could say phrases like “I have this idea for years and I want to get it out there”. He says the “entrepreneurial groep” usually doesn’t have a big problem with doing this because they adjust to the market to sell their product. The “inventors” on the other hand can experience sometimes problems because they want to market to mold to their vision. A smaller chance of success, but if they succeed they usually do it grandly.

2. Getting the prelaunch traffic

If you just throw your crowdfunding campaign online than 9 out of 10 crowdfunding campaigns fail so you have to have a coherent plan before launching. You need to get as much traffic to your page, but this crowd needs to get build up even before launching the campaign.

3. Product delivery

Product offset in other words. Backers need to know what the product is all about. They need to hear the story behind it and feel interested about it.

The contra intuitive way to go about crowdfunding

Let me start of by quoting Greg Jacobs: “The biggest difference between the failures and the successes in crowdfunding is that the successful crowdfunding campaigns have always a good prelaunch.” To prepare for a great prelaunch is to know where the first 50% of your backers are going to come from. The other 50% Greg calls crowdfunding groupies that you don’t know, but are very enthused about crowdfunding and support many projects. Once you are sure about the 50%, you have a very high chance to score big on your crowdfunding.

The way to go about crowdfunding is to not go for the money but go for the reached goal. If your goal is reached this has many benefits.

The two biggest reasons to go for reaching your goal in stead of the precise amount of money that you need is that firstly is that people are more likely to fund your project if your goal has been reached very quickly. Second is that the reach of a goal triggers certain algoritmes of the crowdfunding platform that will generate organic traffic for you.

Conclusion

A couple of very good tips that were mentioned I would like to try and implement in our own crowdfunding campaign. Get more prelaunch traffic. We are already doing this but we could use more ways to try and implement this in our communications. The remark Greg made about setting your target amount lower so that you know you’re going to reach your goal is very helpful. This is the other point we can try and implement, although it will be hard to get a good estimation of the amount of people that will back us. And keep updating is his advice. Keep posting and keep selling your story. We’re on our way!

– Bas

Startup Event by ABN AMRO

 

This Friday was an exhilarating day. I had the chance to go to a startup event organised by the ABN AMRO bank. I didn’t know what this would entail, but after looking at the schedule It were a pentad of pitches from rising startups in the social enterprise scene with an introduction from professor Harry Hummels and Rutger Schuur.

Before I even arrived in the hall where the pitches would take place I met a man who also would go to this event. Ime Duyfjes, a friendly man who was himself inspired by entrepreneurship. He worked for years as a business consultant, but for the last one and a half year has been a teacher at the Hogeschool Windesheim in Almere. He’s a coach and inspirator for his students. We talked a bit about the pros and cons of entrepreneurship. Especially the mentality that is required for something as hard, dynamic and oftentimes frustrating of having your own business.

The introduction by …

First it started out by a small speech of Rutger Schuur. He is part of Stichting Jong Ondernemen. This NGO has partnered with ABN AMRO and some other ventures. When you look at it prudential we are at the edge of change when it comes down to the way we do business. The phrase: “money is the mean, impact the goal” is what this organisation has in mind. He said that Social entrepreneurs are the big companies of the future. The following speaker verifies these phrasings.

The talk Professor Hummels gave was interesting with a sparkle of an utopian world view. He talked on how you could see that the startups and companies in the social enterprise industry really are flourishing. And with good reason he adds.
According to him most social enterprises have problems with creating a business plan, but they have what most commercialised companies lack, a mission. Social enterprises are there to make a positive social impact. But this can only be sustainable if you have a good business plan to create revenue. This is also what came across with the startup talks that followed.

The five pitches

Granny’s Finest

logo-grannys-finest

The first pitch was given by Niek van Hengel. He talked about his startup called Grannies Finest. He began with a story of his own grandfather and we discovered through that story that over 1.2 million people in the Netherlands are lonely and from this group 200 thousand are extremely lonely. With his startup he wants to do something about this societal problem.

So he went to research and found out that a lot of old people, especially female elderly, are into knitting. Many have done this their whole life and it pleases them to continue this habit.

He combined two worlds with each other. He let the grannies knit a whole variety of knitwear that could be used by designers to make designer clothing. These cloths are now being used for retails stores like Bijenkorf, which, as you probably know, a pretty high class brand. This is a great example of a social enterprise that fulfills two necessary needs. A social impact, the people involved are evidently less lonely. And the second part is that the business has a very viable business model.

Thuisafgehaald.nl

thuisafgehaald

Thuisafgehaald.nl is another social enterprise. The talk was given by Jasmijn Vreeburg, which is the communication specialist at this venture. She began by explaining what the platform is all about. The idea was to reconnect people in neighbourhoods through exchanging food. A large problem within urban regions is that neighbours lose more and more connection. To provide a solution for this problem, people can invite other people to buy a meal from someone that lives in the neighbourhood. And so far with success: there are already 100.000 users on this platform.

Within this venture there has been made a division that has the same target group as the first pitch, bijzonder afgehaald.nl. This site is especially for the elderly. The idea was that neighbours could come and cook for these people. Research on this has shown that this is beneficial for both parties. The elderly don’t have to do the cooking and have therefor more rest and interaction with people, aversion of loneliness. And the people contribute their time to make food, and in the case of thuisafgehaald do a lot more choirs, get a good feeling from doing this. This has shown time and time again.

Voor je buurt

voorjebuurt_logo

Voor je buurt is a crowdfunding platform set up to help people with projects in their neighbourhood. This venture launched it business in 2012. The pitch was given by Aster van Tilburg. The venture is a cowdfunding platform for small projects for the neighbourhood. A couple of examples that she gave were the “bruisplaats” in Gouda and “de deelkelder” in Utrecht.

Wij de Wijk

Wijdewijk logo

This is a organisation that is very similar to thuisafgehaald.nl. Only it provides care in stead of food. Neighbours or family members can easily divide tasks that need to be done for the elderly/family. In this app you can put in activities that need to be done and arrange and divide them up among the people that want to be involved in the help for these elderly people.

SYR

syr

This was actually a very interesting talk. Especially since I’ve been working with refugees myself. They have build a restaurant with a Syrian kitchen and with the help of Syrian Refugees. Many refugees, and I know this from my own experience, can’t do anything without a permit and are often locked away in camps without sufficient guidance. SYR is an very interesting place because people can work or volunteer here even if they don’t have a permit. A very interesting pitch given by Hester van Eerten.

Conclusion

The experience of the event overall was a very nice event. I’ve learned a bit about the pitches, although most of them I didn’t find particularly intriguing the overall trend of social entrepreneurship was both appealing and satisfying. I don’t know yet what this will entail for me, because I’m not sure yet what I want to do. But I do know that I want to help build on an enterprise that tries to improve one or more societal problems. So in a way it was very enlightening for me to be at this interesting event.

References

MKB Service Desk (z.d.). Stichting Jong Ondernemen. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.mkbservicedesk.nl/6571/stichting-jong-ondernemen.htm

Hummels, H. (z.d.). Linkedin profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-hummels-50a8547

Schuur, R. (z.d.) Linkedin Profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/rutger-schuur-2275854

v. Eergen, H. (z.d.). LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/hester-van-eerten-62bb5522

Duifjes, I. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/ime-duyfjes-243a97

Jong Ondernemen (z.d.). ‘Jongeren inspireren en uitdagen te bouwen aan een ondernemende toekomst’. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.jongondernemen.nl/missie

van Hengel, N. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/nvhengel

Vreeburg, J. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasmijnvreeburg

van Tilburg, A. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/astervantilburg

De Deelkelder (z.d.) Eerste spullen bibliotheek van Nederland en misschien wel de hele wereld. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.dedeelkelder.nl

De Bruisplaats (z.d.). Homepage website. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.voorjebuurt.nl/campaigns/bruisplaats/

Voor je buurt (z.d.). Over voor je buurt. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.voorjebuurt.nl/over-voor-je-buurt/

Crowdfunding Marketing: Creating a story

There is a youtube video of a talk given by a man by the name of Darren Marble, the CEO of CrowdfundX. He has shown that there is a method to the success of a crowdfunding campaign. He mostly talks about equity crowdfunding, but the three principles he talks about in his talk are just as applicable to other crowdfunding campaigns. You’ll see in a minute.

darren-marble

The three elements of Crowdfunding

  1. Crafting a story
  2. Producing the story
  3. Distributing the story

Part 1: Crafting a story

There are a couple of things he tells about this, but the most important one is that you have to create a story that emotionally connects with the audience. The impact of your company, product or service has to be much bigger than just making money for yourself. You should ask yourself the question: “What is your contribution to society?” and be able to answer this very concretely. In other words, as Simon Sinek would have asked it, “Why do you do what you do?”. If you have the specific and concrete answer to this question you can start with step 2, that is producing the story, preferably visually.

Part 2: Producing the story

And a visual one at that, at least that’s what I got from the talk. Darren talks again about a couple of questions you need to ponder on as a business to really know what it is all about and why your story is more compelling, better, funnier or just more authentic than that of the other. The questions to ponder on are:

  • What does your company really do?
  • How are you different than your competitors?
  • How are you going to make money?
  • How are you going to return the money to the investors? Or in our case: how are you going to show our backers that it is not only for a good cause but it creates the impact they want to see. Another way is to provide perks. Small or large gifts that come as a counterpart of the donation.
  • Why the backers need to take action now? In other words: How do you create an urgency with your crowd that they feel they have to give money this instance.

This is one of the more important and cognitively more difficult challenges to counter when you have a campaign I’ve already seen. Now the part where it is actually all work.

Part 3: Distributing the story

In this part they explained or better said Darren explained what they exactly did to distribute the story. He shows that the best campaigns make a huge community. To create this you need to do a lot of different things. He talked about PR and blog outreach, the journalists and bloggers they helped out, two months of preparation, email marketing, lots of press hits and with this creating a huge community.

For example the amount of effort putting into this one CF-project they had. They spend 50.000 on the campaign and roughly got 1 million back.

During this campaign they reached out and try to use 1000 journalists and bloggers to write about the project, had dozens of press releases, used digital marketing tools like: thunderclap, reddit, AMA check, product hunt campaign and hacker news.

Darren also talks about paid media. 80% of their budget goes to Facebook ads. To lock the target audience. With this you can target your audience very specifically. So if your definition of your target group is valid, it can have amazing results. The way to do that is to check your first 500 investors. Get their emails. Facebook matches them u to people that own the profile and does an analysis of the demographics of  this baseline audience. This creates a look alike audience/persona and Facebook gives you 500k to 1 million people with the same demographics. Then buy 100.000 ads and use them to target new investors.

One of the last tips he mentions and als adds that it is maybe one of the most important things to consider when doing business with another company is: “You have to believe in the company you’re doing business with”.

Conclusion

To get a very large community in a small period of time for a crowdfunding campaign you need to invest money into Facebook ads and a large enough team to execute the other activities that will be needed. Creating a target group, structuring and creating your story, setting up a list with journalist and bloggers, contact them all try to draw attention from the conservative media and much more.

Since we don’t have a budget, or at least a very small financial source we can use for this campaign, we aim to use the other mentioned methods. We’ve been busy with many things that are being called under the attention of this movie, which is, I think, a good thing. For example we have made long contact lists, have used and are using digital marketing (social media and mailing), We have created a storyline and with that a tagline “We take them to the starting line”.

I think it would be very interesting to see how Facebook in this sense works. I’ve only had the liberty to check out Facebook insights these last couple of weeks. This was very helpful, but I think when you have some budget to spend on it it becomes even more interesting. The ideal place to find, communicate and getting involved with your target audience.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

– Bas

 

An introduction meeting with UT

Just before summer break we had a meeting with a three of associates of the University of Twente, Jaap van Tilburg, Juan Manuel Jauregui Becker and Rob Geerts. When I asked I was allowed at this meeting. One of my first official meetings I had every had the honor of being part of, which was very interesting and to be honest a little overwhelming for me, but nevertheless I was very happy that I could be a part of it.

During this meeting we have discussed what the opportunities are of collaboration between the UT and Delitelabs. The University is profiling herself as the “entrepreneurial University”. Two large projects they have helped build up are for example Venturelab and PC3 (Product Co-Creation Centre), but more on that later.

The Three Gentlemen

jaaptilburg
Jaap Tilburg was one of the professors. He is now a entrepreneur in consulting and innovation for the last 15 years. He is the CEO of a company that is called Van Tilburg innovation BV and Program manager at Venturelab.

A little about Venturelab:

“VentureLab East offers business development support for technology-based start-up businesses and is a business growth accelerator for well-established companies. Our one-year business development programme jump-starts and provides sustainable growth for young businesses, as well as long-standing companies, which aim to grow further and more rapidly. We are located in Enschede, in the Netherlands.” – http://venturelabinternational.com/

juanjaregui

Juan Jaregui Becker studied in Venezuela and does research in Product Development and Design. He has done a TEDx talk with the title “the power of product development for social change”. He is one of the professors that we still have contact with and are actually planning an event from 10 till 15 October. To see the preparations of this event or the review of the event that will be coming up just click on the provided links.

robgeerts

The third professor that joined us was Rob Geerts. He has studied at the University of Windesheim in Zwolle. Has been teacher in Logistics & Economics and Retail has been a product manager at Superior Electronics.

The meeting

With these gentlemen we have discussed a couple of possibilities of a collaboration between the University of Twente and Delitelabs. Both parties first laid down detailed information about their own projects and their outcomes of this meeting. Delitelabs started for example in Valencia and had their first two courses their. Especially because the unemployment rate in Spain is very low. At the time of the courses in Valencia the rate of unemployment in the target group youth (15 to 25 years old) was more than 50%. Christof did also a course at the organisation THNK, with whom we are still collaboratively working. They are one of the network advisory boards of DL. Just as Wework, which is a co-working space. During the first two courses they provided a free space for the winners of the pitch events that were organised at the end of the course. Another organisation that really helped us out was the organisation ID&T which provided us with a free office and working place for about a half a year at the industrial area at Sloterdijk station.

We already talked a bit about the initiatives that the University of Twente is cooperating with. Venturelab and PC3 are two of them, KEB (Kansrijk Eigen Baas) is another. The common factor in all these initiatives are that they have been set up to stimulate and offer guidance to young starting entrepreneurs.

So if you read carefully the collaboration between DL and the UT, especially in regard of these initiatives, is ideal. We have the same vision, or at least outcome. We want to help people to develop and stimulate their entrepreneurial skills. We both think that these skills are very valuable and are actually the skills that we now see that can help people to help themselves. You see this everywhere in the world and this is what we want to stimulate.

At the end of the meeting we agreed to have a followup meeting where we will discuss possibilities regarding tangible activities, probably in the form of an event. Luckily this really happened. You can read about the arrangement.Really looking forward to it. It will be a prototyping event where our students will be guided in the process by students of the UT. One week of creating new ideas, forms and business models that will be revised and sharpened. Read about it here!

Conclusion

So excited that we are going to probably have an collaboration with the University of Twente! Hopefully we will soon hear what we can maybe co-create.

 

Sources:

Coaches