By Claudio Marseglia, @ClaudioMarsegli
I recently attended "The Funding Event“ organized by the Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE). The event, from which I learned several valuable insights, introduced Leapfunder, an Amsterdam-based crowdfunding platform primarily designed for angel investors. Personally, I believe that startups offering viable products or services should consider crowdfunding because of the next three reasons.
Whenever I visit crowdfunding platforms, I experience a new wave of products or services offered by previously unknown startups. If the products and services were designed for the target market to which I belong, then chances are high that I am interested in the offer. Startups receive free publicity from curious minds attracted by the platforms. Nevertheless, the cost of the associated marketing is usually included in the fee that startups pay when they receive their funding. Interestingly, by browsing through crowdfunding platforms, visitors are exposed to novelty, which releases dopamine and implies an addictive element. As a result, visitors tend to visit the platform regularly and startups can expect progressive free publicity if they consciously choose to market themselves constantly on crowdfunding platforms.
Whereas it depends on the industry of the startups whether test marketing is possible, there are two reasons for it: 1. It gives an indication of the sales performance and 2. Management can conduct a SWOT analysis based on the outcome of the crowdfunding campaign. Afterwards, adjustments can be implemented if necessary. Nevertheless, if the test marketing is successful, then it is wise to introduce the product or service as fast as possible as otherwise competitors will take the leap. If not successful at all, then founders saved themselves from investing heavily with private funds in products or services that are not fit for the future.
As an entrepreneur, I often go to business-related events to meet other entrepreneurs and extend my network. Most of the times, this was how I created most opportunities and met the most interesting professionals of the region. While being present on a crowdfunding platform, startups can grow their network through an enormous market reach. Other professionals can simply contact the startup for collaboration purposes.
Finally, if startups decide that crowdfunding could be a premeditated option, then it is recommended to research how to set up and launch a successful crowdfunding campaign. Alternatively, connect with me. I am happy to share my business expertise.