Journey of crowdfunding

We got advice to post updates on the crowdfunding platform from a lot of experts that I’ve seen over the last couple of months, so of course we did. I just want to show you what we have been doing.

Well before you actually start you have to create fill in tons of data for the crowdfunding platform. Who you are, what your pitch text is, the video that needs to get uploaded, the perks, etc. In a couple of talks we went over a couple of these principles as perks, pitches and the crowdfunding movie. But I don’t think I have touched upon the process of the actual campaign when we launched it.

DELITELABS Crowdfunding campaign target acquired

The start

We started out by filling all these tedious forms in that need to get filled out when you start a crowdfunding campaign. Then there is a reviewing period from which it is unknown how long it would take. We wanted to launch around the first of October to have 30 days of campaigning. But what actually happened was that the process took way too long so that we didn’t have 30 days but more like 25 or 26, I’m not sure anymore. In a stressful situation, like you are almost always in at a startup, you don’t want to deal with this kind of situations. But it had to be dealt with and with a couple of phonecalls made by Violeta we could go on and set up our crowdfunding campaign online.

The updates

We had a couple of updates that we send out on our crowdfunding page. To tell something about our project or tell the backers more about our students, because in the end that’s all that is important. And is in line what I’ve heard from most experts on this topic. Maybe we could have done a couple more posts, but overall I think it was already pretty good that we went nuts on finding people who wanted to back us.

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The first 25% in one day!

This was really something we, or at least I, did not expected. We just launched the event and in half a day we managed to back our project with 25% of the money already. I was in the seventh heaven. I just couldn’t believe it myself. Really a energy booster for the rest of the campaign. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, because most experts I heard talked about what immense workload it is to drive a crowd towards your set goals. The odds were against us, but we managed to prevail. Great, great feeling!

Conclusion

Probably, but this is just something I guess could be true. If we had had a couple of extra updates on our website and began earlier with posting about our teams and their project we could have probably gotten a bit more money. But for the very first crowdfunding campaign it was an amazing success!

Canva: a new design tool

Canva is a tool we came to use when Violeta joined our team. One of the most simplest Design programs I’ve ever seen and free to use. With Canva you can design beautiful digital products like presentations, posters, social media imagery and many other things.

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There is actually not really much to it when you use Canva. This is the starting screen and the two pictures below I have made. You can select one of the designs shown in the top and work from there. You can use the same formatting if you want or play around with it. You just put predesigned text, filters and imagery together into one image, with the click of a button you had a new piece of content you could put out there.

When did we use it

We used this tool many times during our social media outputs. It just made messages more attractive than if you would just used a regular photo. Most of the times we used Canva when there was something special to show, like in the prototyping week of the University of Twente or when we were looking for more participants for our course. Violeta really pushed us to make pictures as beautiful as we could and communicate the messages that we wanted to send out in the best way possible.

Some of the Pictures I had created

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Conclusion

What I really like about Canva is is that it’s easy and quick and it produces a lot of content. So if you need content straight away you can just use Canva and 5 minutes or less later you’ll be done and can post a new piece of beautiful content.

The crowdfunding video: Chaos!

One of the things that I’ve noticed during my time at DL and working on the crowdfunding campaign. If you think you prepared well enough, think again.

Change of Launch Date

We prepared to launch for our company, Delitelabs, Which was to be launched at October the 19th. This because then we would have time to prepare our networks, create a crowd and create contact lists to call when the time has come. A little over two weeks ago another idea arisen. The idea that we would have two crowdfunding campaigns running at the same time. One starting in the second week of the course, this week. And the other at the set date that we had set previously, the 19th.

This would be no problem for me. In my head this would mean that we could also use the crowdfunding campaign of the participants as a experimental CFC, and we could advise them to best implement it, but that was not what happened. In the first week of the course there has made a decision that we run the crowdfunding campaign with the participants. They would have a large roll in this and could use their networks to spread the message. I think a pretty good move, but this also meant that the video has to be made in one day, because the launch was planned on that day, yesterday.

How not to create a video

The video would have been made without a team, without expertise, without a plan, a budget, a script or even the right equipment to film the video. I’ve said that I would do my best, but that the quality of the movie would be very questionable at best. At the day before I’ve asked some advice from a friend of mine in the movie business, Bob van Schaik, about what to best do. He also advice very much against it, but if we should go through with it we should have a decent camera and audio equipment.

In the morning I stretched the importance of the equipment and the lack of all the things above. But that is off course not in the entrepreneurial spirit. Go, Go, GO! I’ve tried to do it on my own, but I don’t like the outcome of the movie. It is just of too poor quality. I feel like I’ve put people down and that just sucks. This morning we have decided that we are going to do it differently. Waisted a minimum of 9 hours creating something I’m not proud of. One of the first things I’m really frustrated with since I’ve joined DL. The lack of planning and budget when you work in a startup.

We didn’t finish it, because it was just not good enough and lacked audio but here it is…

We saw that it was a mistake to create a movie on such short notice. Especially with the long list of things we needed and didn’t have. So hopefully next time we’ll chose another path to create a movie, with a little of a lot more preparation.

See the followup post on how the creation of the movie went after this.

Hope you did also enjoy my whining once in a while.

– Bas

A big THANK YOU to Christof and Michaela

At the end of the second course we had a couple of things to celebrate. The second group of students had finished their course and had all made a product or service. Just before the pitch event a couple of students had a great idea. I had made a few movies and a lot of pictures for Delitelabs so they asked me if I could help. They were planning on making a thank you video for Michaela and Christof. I thought this was a great idea so we set up a room in our building so we could film students saying their thanks to the people that made it all possible for them. It went pretty smoothly and after all the shots were done I edited it into a movie. The result you see below. Hereby, Thank you as well Christof and Michaela!

Thank you video for Christof and Michaela

 

What a great place to be doing your internship! Really love to be with these people!

Thanks with love,

– Bas

 

Video for Jana and her team

The other kind of work I do at DL is to provide for the participants as much as I can. Sometimes it’s help them writing an English mail. Sometimes it is prepare them with their pitch, and sometimes you just listen to their stories, because most of them have been through a lot, and I mean a whole lot. Prosecution, life threatening situations, war you name it.

The video for Jana

Luckily you can help them a lot by doing these things, but every now and then you can also implement some of the skills you acquired from your studies. Most of the time you have to think on your feet, like last week I had to make a movie on a days notice. Without a script, a product or even a camera. Only a story to sell, which in my respect was fortunately a great one.

I immediately contacted everyone I knew that I could borrow a camera from and luckily one of my friends had one I could pick up the next morning. The next morning the participants first had a lecture on theater to improve their pitching skills, which after we could start with the movie. I gave them the assignment to write me a small text explaining their project in as beautiful and specific language that is possible. the other part was that they showed me a couple of short movies that they found very compelling and had to do with their project, called Fashionize. We brainstormed and we got started. I coached and polished the pitch she was going to put on film and we shot the text in one take. I took some fills as well, of the clothing she brought and of herself. After this I went editing and went back twice for some shots I had to do over or to take some new ones. This is the result. Not great, but with the time we had I’m still pretty proud of what we made.

 

Conclusion

It was wonderful to work for one of the teams in this way. In this way I also improved my skills as a movie maker. A skill that we might need in the future, because we don’t know if the movie maker we have chosen is going to go through with helping us out with a movie.
Especially on a moments notice, creating a movie is a hard one. Without a planning, a script or the props we needed it is a hard job to do. I guess this is what it means to be part of a startup. Luckily I pulled it off and Jana was very pleased with what we created.  Thanks for your faith in me Jana!

– Bas

My first video on Delitelabs

I made my first movie on Delitelabs to see if I could make a example video for the people who have to have a overview of what we want with the crowdfunding movie. I asked a couple of people on feedback from the studie Art and Technologie with their main subject movies. The main critical points were that There was no call to action, a few technical problems like lightning, resolution, one shot was not in focus and the audio behind the movie was incompatible with the imagery. I learned a lot from this and thereby can do it better next time.

Conclusion

We are not there yet with the movie, but then again I’m not a movie maker. I have tried my best and hopefully I can make it happen that we arrange for a more professional movie maker to make us a movie. If not, then I have to up my game, which is always a good thing to do I think. Read about my first contact with an SAE student, the talk with our moviemaker, my own preparation of the CFvideo and the making of the crowdfunding video.