How best to go about getting seed money through crowdfunding

Jan 02, 2014

Early on in our careers, many of us were tutored as to how to best write an effective and attention-getting curriculum vitae (CV) in looking for a job. But in today's world, many are looking not for just a job, but are engaged in wide, often Internet-based searches for seed money to launch entrepreneurial ventures of one sort of another. But what guidelines exist as to the best way to go about securing this kind of funding?

To look into this issue and provide some answers, an extensive research project was launched at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in which the researchers sought to resolve these questions: Are prospective investors being influenced in their investment decisions by the entrepreneurs' description? Should entrepreneurs focus their business pitches on themselves or on their projects?

The answer, for some fund seekers, is: don't hesitate to boost yourself

The research on the issue was carried out by Prof. Orly Sade and her graduate student Dan Marom of the Jerusalem School of Business Administration at the Hebrew University.

Securing seed funding is one of the biggest challenges for any entrepreneur, notes Prof. Sade. When pitching the initiative to investors, there are various methods the entrepreneur can call upon in order to convince the investor to fund the project. Most notably, the entrepreneur may decide to place the emphasis of the pitch on the business idea. Alternatively, the entrepreneur may center the presentation on his personage, calling upon his name, resume, or past accomplishments.

Sade and Marom's research empirically investigated the importance of the entrepreneurs' description in the early investment pitches of more than 20,000 fundraising efforts, conducted by various entrepreneurs through a leading, US-based crowdfunding platform—Kickstarter.

Using custom software to collect the investigated data, they amassed a database from Kickstarter consisting of 4,304 ongoing projects, 16,641 successful projects, 4,128 failed projects, 22,274 , 1,108,233 investors, and investments that sum up to more than $120 million. The period investigated in the project was from the inception of Kickstarter, in April 2009, up until March 2012.

Focusing on the frequency of the mention of the entrepreneur's name in the funding applications, the researchers found that this factor was significantly higher in the applications involving "artistic" projects (those ventures involving such areas as entertainment, food, music, fashion and others) than in the technological category. Further, they found, that this emphasis on the entrepreneur was directly related to the probability of success in securing seed funding in the artistic category.

"In an era in which crowdfunding is a growing source of venture capital (more than $2.7 billion was raised in the US in this manner in 2012), it is important for academics, investors and those seeking funds, to have a basis for aiming their pitches in the most effective manner," said Sade.

Explore further: China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

India's startups lacking guardian 'angels'

May 08, 2013

It is seen as a land of entrepreneurs, economic growth and huge business potential, but India appears to be failing its promising startup companies which are struggling to find investors.

Preparing for the chaos of equity crowdfunding

Jul 18, 2013

Equity crowdfunding is not yet legal, but when it is, expect a period of "chaos" before those involved learn how to make the most of its benefits and minimize its risks, say University of Toronto researchers.

Recommended for you

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

9 hours ago

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

Dec 20, 2014

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

Dec 20, 2014

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

Dec 20, 2014

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.