There are so many untouched, half-baked and unrealized ideas out there. For an idea to become a reality, it takes a passionate person or team, an executable plan and a bit of funding, and the most common way to raise funds has been through trusty friends and family. Rarely would you find a random person ready and willing to fund your idea on a moment's notice. Crowdfunding changes that.
With crowdfunding, ideas are funded in small amounts by the larger general public. It works like this: projects get published on popular crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. The project owner sets a goal for the amount of money they need to raise to make this idea an actual reality. Rewards, from the simple to elaborate, are offered to their funders. Here's the really interesting part - campaigns start to get shared across multiple channels, some of them hit the mainstream press, reaching people half-way around the world who have no idea who the person is behind the campaign, but they believe in the product enough to say, "Sure, I'll back this." There is a catch - campaigns have to reach their funding goal by the determined end date or they will not collect any of the funds that have been raised. Not all campaigns are successful but the ones that are go on to reach their potential, or fail trying.
As you can imagine, this is going to have an enormous impact on ideas coming to market. Gartner research estimates the crowdfunding market will be $6.2 Billion in loan volume in 2013. So jump on board people, this bus is moving, and here are our top five crowdfunding campaigns in Dallas on our radar.
The lovely women behind the famous The Pearl Cup coffeeshop wants to put their award-winning coffee on wheels. They're using crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise $30,000 to convert a food truck or van and equip it with a La Marzzoco coffee machine. The money raised will only cover a portion of the cost and the rest will be funded by female entrepreneurs themselves. Want coffee on wheels at your next corporate event or even tailgate party? They'll make it happen for you if you can help make it happen for them.
This campaign is on our radar because The Pearl Cup serves up delicious coffee in Dallas and we'd love to see this business grow beyond their wildest dreams.
Campaign ends December 31st.
The O's released their first album in 2009, We Are The O's, and we've been cheering this beloved Dallas band on from our car radio down to the Doublewide. The banjo playing duo have been winning "Best Of" awards across Texas, touring the US, UK, and Europe and sharing the stage with amazing artists along the way. They are currently recording their third album at Sonic Ranch Studio in El-Paso with Grammy-nominated record producer, Frenchie Smith. The Kickstarter campaign will make you an Executive Producer of their new album. Pledge to their campaign and get rewarded with koozies, limited edition vinyl, drinks with the O's, or a day at Six-Flags with the O's.
This campaign is on our radar because, really, how many chances do you get in a lifetime to say you're an Executive Producer on a music album?
Campaign ends December 15th.
This Dallas-based startup is led by two UT Dallas MBA grads that have a deep passion and understanding for light, mobile and technology. You might have heard the phrase "the Internet of Things" as of late. The Internet of Things takes everyday objects and turns them into connected devices that can be monitored and managed from other devices and locations. iLumi, essentially, is an LED lightbulb that has built in bluetooth. Meaning, iLumi lightbulbs can now be connected to your mobile device and controlled from any room in your house. Watching a movie? Dim the lights from your couch. Have a specific time you come home from work? Program your lights to turn on/off before you come home.
This campaign is on our radar because the Internet of Things is here and this Dallas-based company is paving their way into everyone's home.
Campaign ends January 3rd.
Stanley Marcus was the man behind turning the high-end fashion store Neiman Marcus into a globally recognized, distinguished brand. In Dallas, he was regarded as being a viable business leader and humanitarian. Stanley Marcus was one of the first business owners in Dallas to desegregate at the prestigious Neiman Marcus Zodiac Room and began hiring African American employees in the department store in the early 1950's. Local production company M3 Films is seeking $20,000 to continue the production of the Stanley Marcus documentary. The film will "reveal the glamorous and dramatic relationship between Stanley Marcus and his beloved Dallas."
This campaign is on our radar because of the global attention this documentary will receive celebrating a Dallas retail legend and community advocate.
Campaign ends January 12th.
Dallas is an incredibly diverse city. There are physical spaces in the city for us to experience just about anything we want - to see art we go to museums, to experience live performance we go to theaters, to cheer on athletes we go to sporting arenas, to learn how to cook we go to culinary school, to learn how to be funny we go to comedy clubs. All these great places make us a vibrant city but we're missing something. A space for the makers, the hackers and the innovators to build stuff - to take things of the imagination and turn them into real things that exist in the physical world. The Idea Engine will be located in Deep Ellum and will encourage creativity by having a 24/7 physical space available for members to build prototypes, learn 3-D printing, do some woodworking or metal shaping, even learn how to sew.
This campaign is on our radar because of the positive impact this place will have on the Dallas community and the Deep Ellum area.
Campaign ends December 20th.