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

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

The move to an awesome new location

The last week we have moved to a great new location. It was heavy work, but we buckled and succeeded. So glad to be in this new place! The whole day spend on getting things to the highest floor and then to think we had already some stuff in another location we would have been in, wasn’t it that we had a better one for the grabs. I’m very enthusiastic when I imagine how the new participants will like the place. It’s right next to the Hermitage in Amsterdam very close, I should say almost in the middle, of the city centre.

Nieuwe Locatie Delitelabs

It was a nice move, we had a lot of fun and in a few days the real work is going to commence!

Meeting with the new Communications team

Since a few weeks we have a new team at DELITELABS. We have a couple of new members that can help us with setting up the course and everything else to help the organisation. Therefor there have been some interesting changes in the way we work.

The biggest influence on the team is now a woman from Valencia, Violeta Garin. She has done a many projects involving social entrepreneurship and is an expert in communication. We are very lucky to have her. Since she has so much experience in the area of communication we have set up a couple of new systems to work way more efficient.

Trello and Hootsuite

hootsuite

We have talked about things like Trello a activity managing tool, using Hootsuite only for Twitter, setting up a blog on our website and explaining how we can use the other social media (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn). Because she does set up systems to work from everything works so much smoother and more efficient since she’s in our team. We even made a Communication plan to see what we want to convey, how we are going to do that, which media we should use and who our target audiences are.

My Role

We had two meetings about this, yesterday and today. We divided roles and responsibilities within our three-man-strong communications team. I’ll be responsible for the output in Twitter. This doesn’t mean I have to do the 200 posts all by myself or that I don’t have to take any other activities for my part. It means that it is my responsibility that it has to be done before the deadline. So if I need help or are having trouble with it I can rely also on the others.

Twitter

We set a goal for ourselves for the different social media. For Twitter it is to post 200 posts in the coming 5 weeks. This means about 4 Twitter posts a day. 80% of the posts will be with one of the hastags that are created: #adayatdelitelabs, #delitelabsisforyou and #refugeestakeaction. The last one will only been used if it is a post about the collaboration between Delitelabs and the organisations that teamed up with us, like Refugee Startforce, Hack Your Future and Refugee Company for example.

Facebook & Blog

Facebook will be linked to the blog and will mostly contain the links to blogposts. We will do three Facebook posts per week that will be mostly out of our blog. The blogposts will contain success stories of our former students, posts on why we should be more entrepreneurial, a review like a diary every day, interviews with acquaintances of Delitelabs and the speakers of the week. The blog was an idea that Violeta came up with. She used it already in one of the projects that she did in Valencia and that was pretty successful. Especially the interviews that she did for the blog where by far the most effective in terms of reach and involvement. Here is her blog.

Instagram

On Instagram we are going to do two things. Post beautiful pictures that we made in, around or with the people of Delitelabs and we want to do a quote with that. At least one post per day. The advice Violeta gave us was that Instagram was about making the most beautiful pictures possible. This means we have to be very selective of the pictures we will post on this medium.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is probably the most serious of the Social Networks that we will use. The output on this medium is at its minimum. We will only post something here if we really have a great article on our blog or found one on the web that is really helpful or interesting to the crowd that we have on LinkedIn. At the most we shall post 2 articles a week.

Conclusion

There is a new wind in the company. An actual communications team is put together. Jana, me and Violeta are part of it. We all have our own roles within this team. I’ll be responsible for the output provided on Twitter. Second, we are going to use Trello. This is a management tool that will help us with internal communications. In the following post, this one, I’ll show you how a communications plan looks like.

Examination Crowdfunding platforms

Another part of the research I’ve been doing is what type of crowdfunding platform we are going to choose for our CF campaign. I didn’t know this before but there are actually quite a lot out there, even in a small country like the Netherlands there are whole bunch. I first started my investigation overall. So, I looked at a couple of comparison websites, like top10crowdfund.nl/. This website gave the overview of crowdfunding websites that are active in the Netherlands. The website estimates that there are 92 crowdfunding platforms operating in the Netherlands.

cfplatforms

What should we choose?

There are very many different crowdfunding platforms to choose from. Some very specific to a certain topic or a specific way of funding (e.g. just by lending instead of donations and rewards) and some are more generic like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. I’ve looked into most of the popular ones, but most of them looked like a saturated pool to me.

The two golden questions and a bit of myself

It was nice to have an expert, which I interviewed before this research,to give me advice on this subject. Eric Heesen, the founder of Crowdfundy, told me two golden questions I should ask myself before chosing a crowdfunding platform. First “Wat was the topic our crowdfunding would be about?”. The second question was “What type of financing system did we want to have?”. In crowdfunding there are four different kinds of funding: equity, loan, rewards and donations.

What I also saw on many crowdfunding platform that there is a certain fee that you have to pay beforehand or afterwards. These fees depend on wether or not you have successfully achieved your goal and how big your goal was. This is called “placement fee” and “success or failure fee”. I’ve put these also in the description for a more detailed overview.

Our answers

The answer that our team had answered to these questions was that: “We were a social enterprise and worked with refugees and inspired enterpreneurship.”. So three topics I could search for when looking into the “right” crowdfunding platform.

And the second answer was that we didn’t want any lending crowdfunding campaign, nor do we want convertible lends (loans that can be converted into shares). We want to go for the rewards and / or donations. Ideally a mix between the two.

So I set my two parameters to these conditions and out of these came four platforms that we are going to discuss at large on the first of September, which is this Thursday. A quick note, I’ve put the financial details of the platforms at the bottom so it is easier to compare.

The Platforms

  • OnePlanetCrowd
  • 1%club
  • Chuffed
  • Crowdaboutnow

OnePlanetCrowd

oneplanetcrowd

OnePlanetCrowd is a platform that is stationed in Amsterdam. Their main topic is social sustainable impact. So, it is ideal for our organisation to take into account, because our organisation is similarily concerned about the same topic. Their main target group is social entrepreneurs, which we also are. Further than that, everything that falls into this category is allowed. OnePlanet has a few criteria that we would have to take into account.

Conditions

  • The project has to have an positive impact on man or nature
  • There is a concrete, urgent and clear communicable spending target
  • The financial needs must be between the 1.000 and the 1.000.000 euro’s
  • The campaign has to be totally led by the one who started the campaign.
  • If you don’t get your goal, every penny is send back to the investors

Another thing to take in account is that the platform is mostly based on projects in Germany and The Netherlands.

One%Club

1%club

This is also a crowdfunding platform that is stationed in Amsterdam, but other than the previous platform, the one%club is internationally oriented. It spreads the message that the projects that are being put on the platform all do ‘something good’. This can mean anything, but is in the realm of social projects. For example there are projects in Zambia that fund a new sustainable school, support refugee employees in Greece or support a sailing school just in the Netherlands.

Conditions

  • The target amount must be between the 250,- and 1.000.000,-
  • Successful or not, you will always get your money with this platform

Chuffed

chuffed

Chuffed is an Australian platform that is internationally oriented. And it was actually interesting to see that this page was one of the few, that had a tab especially for refugees. And since our core business is helping refugees, I was compelled to look into this one. The more I read the more I liked it. To quote Chuffed:

“We only crowdfunds non-profit and social enterprise projects. That’s it. That means we know what works for social causes, and our community is only interested in projects like yours.”

The website is very suitable with a lot of information on how to promote your own campaign. Luckily One%club has the same policy, but the afore mentioned onePlanetCrowd does not have that at all. What makes it a more difficult choice is that this is the only platform that is not stationed in the Netherlands.

CrowdAboutNow

crowdaboutnow

This platform is different from the rest because it is the only platform that is completely Dutch oriented and is stationed in Utrecht. It is all about social entrepreneurship. They assume you are one, of course, and they stretch the importance of the network that you already have. They say they offer much support during the campaign. I called this company as well and they advised me to check what kind of finance system we want. If we want to go on to (convertible) loans we should look at a platform like OnePlanetCrowd. When we want to do it more based on rewards and donations it’s better to choose a platform like us, more peer-to-peer based.

Financial situation

OnePlanetCrowd

Placement campaign: €200 + 1% target amount
Transaction costs: €0.50 (only paid if campaign was a success)
Succesfee: 7%

1%club

Placement campaign: free
Succesfee: 7%
Failurefee: 5%

Chuffed

Placement campaign: –
Transaction costs: €0.50 + 2.9%
Succesfee: –

CrowdAboutNow

Placement campaign: 1% target amount
Succesfee: 6%

Conclusion

Based on these examples I have chosen 1%club. Especially since we get started sooner than expected. With one%club you get your money, either way. One%club is also Dutch, and is centered in Amsterdam. It has the same overarching mission as we do, “doing something good”. Since this is our first campaign as a company ever, and we still have a lot to learn about how to do a good crowdfunding campaign, one%club is a logical option to take. This needs only to be discussed with the team.

Keep you posted on this.

– 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

 

An evening on story telling

The power of storytelling is a big one, definitely when I look at the entrepreneurs that I follow on youtube and their success. Names like Sam Ovens, Casey Neistat, Shaun Mcbride, Tai Lopez, Emilie Wapnick and many others who earn their bread with this inspiring skill. To make our course as compelling as possible Michaela Krömer went to a storytelling workshop and asked if I could come as well. Of course I decided yes. Being able to tell a good story is one of the things I could use big time in the campaign and I’d love being able to tell my stories in a more inspiring way. So off we went.

The workshop

The workshop storytelling took three hours, but there was never a dull moment. The way it was presented was entirely in the style of storytelling. It intrigued me, especially the amount of interaction Eldridge, the lecturer, had with the audience. You could stop the lecture whenever you had a burning question and this gave a great sense involvement. This gave a aura of freedom in the room. Many theories, examples and tools were discussed during the course. To name a few.

In this post we will take a look at the Drama and Winners Triangle. The other methods and theories will be explained in other posts. If you want to read them you can click on the link and you can read on what it is all about.

Drama & Winner’s Triangle

These two concepts are actually very interesting to look over and are in most forms of communication very handy to use. It is a framework on which rol you can play or to get insight in the rolls that you play unnoticed. There is a positive side and a negative side in this. Obviously the Drama Triangle is the negative counterpart of the Winner’s Triangle. I’ll start with the drama triangle.

Drama Triangle

Drama Triangle

The Drama Triangle is shown in the picture above. The Drama Triangle is a model that shows the relations between the three rolls Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim.You can see these rolls for example in movies, You have a Hero an Villain and a Victim, someone who has to be saved. But if we examine our communication and that of others we see that we also apply these rolls ourselves.

What are those roles entail?

To give an example in the Batman Series you have Batman as the Hero, The Joker as the villain or persecutor and Gotham or Rachel as the Victim that has to be saved. This model is being used in a lot of movies and therefor we see it too often as truthful. The reality is that this is most of the time a destructive way of communication for at least one of the two parties. Batman has to hide his true identity and has many problems in his social life because of this. The Joker is a crazy person and won’t be any help for the world, because he wants to watch it burn. Lastly the Victim, Gotham city, will be always dependant of his Hero, Batman.

So when something happens to him Gotham is helpless. The theory says and I think most people would agree, that these rolls are all undesirable to play. The way to solve this is to look at the Winner’s Triangle. See below.

Winner’s Triangle

WinnersTriangleThe Winner’s Triangle is the positive counterpart of the Drama Triangle. It is the realistic roll you can play that is constructive for both parties. The three parties of this Triangle are The Coach, the Challenger and the Creator. The Rescuer becomes the Coach, the Persecutor becomes the Challenger and the Victim becomes the Creator.

Coach, Challenger and Creator, what are those?

The Winner Triangle twists the negative points that the three rolls, Victim, Rescuer and Persecutor, have into positives. The Victim becomes the Creator and becomes his own rescuer by dealing and solving their own problems. They ignore the scoldings or remarks of the Persecutor. The Persecutor becomes the Challenger that instead of putting people down by their negative exclamations challenge people to make healthy choices. The Rescuer becomes the coach. Preferably they coach proactively before the people whom being coached head for trouble.

These triangles can also be very helpful in your communication. On stage, during a meeting, on social media or on your website. With this framework you can pinpoint where you stand yourself in different relationships you have or how you communicated on the web so far and see how it can be beneficially be changed in the future.

How you communicate and a pitch

For me this was an epiphany. The whole lecture was a great way to learn a bit more on how I communicate and what could be different about it, on or off stage. One thing I’m particularly proud of was when asked if anyone would give a pitch I was one of the few who would raise their hand. Actually to my own surprise, because in reality I was pretty scared to actually do it. After the break we would start with the pitches. I actually practised a couple of times on a pitch about “having a mentor to excel”, but when I got called to the stage I changed my mind. I didn’t feel the things I was going to say so I quickly came up with the subject I had absolutely my heart for: Delitelabs. The way we help people who need it most. I felt like a badass and it actually was a pretty good pitch I heard afterwords. So good that we got a couple of people interjected us afterwords. They asked if it was a real endeavour I talked about. When I said yes they immediately wanted to help. Great how things can work out when you do something you’re afraid off.

Conclusion

We can use many things that I have learned in this lecture. We can implement these learnings in the posts that we are going to put out before, during and after the crowdfunding campaign. This kind of storytelling I’d love to implement in the posts we are going to put out on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and hopefully on our blog. This lecture will only be the beginning, because in one lecture I’m not yet a storyteller. At least not a professional one at that. So a long way to go, but the beginning has been set.

Hope to talk to you guys soon. Leave a comment if you have a question or have something to share.

– 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

Talk with SAE student

Today was a pretty interesting day. I had had already contact with two students from SAE to negotiate a proposal to make a video. One of them took it really serious and wrote me that she would love to make a movie with us. She had to look f she had enough time that she could spend on it, together with her work for studies she explained she was pretty swamped. So what we would proposed to her on this day was that she could collaborate with her teachers if she could combine an assignment that she had to do for her studies with helping us out with a movie.

So the collaboration was with SAE student, Neddy. We are now negotiating what will be the best way of pursuing the video for the crowdfunding campaign and if we need maybe more than one movie on it. And what kind of movie it has to be. It has to be a movie with a very strong CTA (Call to action). That is for sure. We want to persuade people to actually buy our movie and go with it. Spend money, share our video and our story.

To be more specifically on the crowdfunding part of the video. We need to ask questions like: “What perks we can use?”, “Who is going to talk in the movie and in what manner?”, “What is the overall tone of the movie?”, “What is our mission as a company?”.

I learned a great deal on what a moviemaker or person needs before a meeting. If I had send agenda points, an overview of our company and a small summary on what was already done with photo’s, storytelling and movies we could work way faster on what should actually need to get done instead of the first half of the conversation explaining this.

Conclusion

When creating a movie with other people that are involved you have to be very specific and thorough in your planning and necessities. Before the meeting you should have already sent a list with requirements and necessities that you want in the movie. Preferably, when you are already in the middle of these things you could even think of ways to write out your storyboard or script. This so you can collaborate with the movie makers what is the best way to go. So actually three words: Preparation, preparation and more preparation.

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.