donderdag 2 december 2010

The next step in Crowdsourcing has arrived

Crowdsourcing site generator Evly opens shop.

One of the more popular topics in online media nowadays is Crowdsourcing . Sparked by recent Crowdsourcing campaigns initiated by large companies such as Lays (make your own flavor), Cisco (product development successes) and Pepsi, Crowdsourcing is increasingly utilized by companies all over the globe,  becoming a widely accepted tool for  sourcing resources, knowledge and network.

Last week I had a call with Eran Eyal, co-founder of evly. evly is the only software as a service (SaaS) of its kind which allows people to build their own Crowdsourcing platform in a matter of minutes. A fantastic idea, which could mean that persons can own a full fledge crowdsourcing platform for free. Further contributing to the dispersion of Crowdsourcing.

evly took a novel approach – they soft launched on 22 November, releasing a limited amount of "build tokens" every day to help crowdsource the bugs and improvements for the official launch in February next year. Every day they release between 5-9 build tokens a day to beta testers, with a list of over 2000 requests already from eager crowdsource site builders. Eran was kind enough to provide us with such a build token to test drive the software, so we did.

After registering, it only took 15 minutes to drag and drop a fully functional Crowdsourcing site. Although the generator still suffers from some bugs (remember, it is only a Beta version), the system is easy to use for non programmers, making the act of Crowdsourcing easier than ever before.  Take a look at the end result.

Interestingly the “add widget functionality” allows evly users to offer out of the box functionality on their evly sites. Widgets such as a placement of Twitter streams and other relevant additional functionality make this generator a very nice product. evly took the high road by offering supportive software to publish  Crowdsourcing campaigns online, doing so the South African company made a brilliant move in taking the act of Crowdsourcing to a mainstream audience . I truly think that we will see a tremendous increase in the number of Crowdsourcing campaigns, especially now people can make their own sites in only a matter of minutes using evly.

A second follow-up with co-founder Eran Eyal revealed : "We have been getting amazing responses from all over the globe. Our current emphasis is to clean out the bugs over the next 2 weeks and build amazing UX to compliment all the powerful features in the platform. We want to make it super simple – to lower the learning curve to the point of intuition."

I for one am very impressed with the initial Beta product, evly’s vision and the people behind the company. I do recommend all readers to check out the site and evly’s generator. Let me know what you think or show Crowdfundnews readers your evly page via Twitter (tweet to @crowdfundnews).

Kind regards,

Thomas Crowd 


dinsdag 23 november 2010

Introducing LoudSauce Alpha

Recently a new Crowdfunding platform named LoudSauce entered the Crowdfunding arena with a somewhat deviating mission as one would expect from a Crowdfunding platform. Nevertheless the idea is spot on and this application of Crowdfunding is considerably different from others and therefore worth writing about.
So what is that sets LoudSauce apart from other Crowdfunding platforms? According to their mission statement, LoudSauce is the first Crowdfunded media buying platform that lets users spread the word about ideas that matter. As many inspiring projects and organizations have limited awareness and poor marketing. LoudSauce believes that Crowdfunded media buying can bridge this marketing gap by reaching new audiences beyond the social networks of those organizations. But are they right?

To some extent, I think they are. Their focus on inspiring projects and organizations makes it easier for possible believers (mainstream public) to relate to specific campaigns on their platform. Thereby the direct link with the real world (i.e. the direct results Crowdfunders can experience once their campaign is out there) must yield more satisfaction among believers, stimulating the dispersion of the service.  

Their hypothesis; that funding advertising maximizes believers impact by reaching completely new communities for believers their favorite causes seems to be valid. Although the actual results for the campaign owners are debatable (at least from a marketing perspective), the concept on itself embraces a more individualistic approach towards charity/good causes and also links direct real world results to online actions, something charities always have been struggling with. The only question marks are the actual funding targets as advertising space is expensive, they will need a considerable Crowd to lift their idea to a full-fledged marketing funding machine.

Despite the disadvantage above I do believe in their approach and I’m sure we will hear more about their developments. For everyone who wants to try LoudSauce, there are two campaigns already live…check it out and let us know what you think!

Kind regards,

Thomas Crowd


woensdag 17 november 2010

Mandatory Reading: The Crowdfunding Revolution: Social Networking Meets Venture Financing

Six months ago I wrote a blogpost titled “ Your Crowdfunding Library - A must have knowledge base for Crowdfunders " . In my opinion still a good starting point for someone considering getting involved with Crowdfunding. Some of the readers rightly pointed out that most of the books were more focused on Crowdsourcing than Crowdfunding - and they were right!

Fortunately for everybody interested in Crowdfunding, Kevin Lawton and Dan Marom recently published a book titled “The Crowdfunding Revolution: Social Networking Meets Venture Financing” . In two parts Lawton & Marom provide readers with an insightful analysis of the Crowdfunding industry, the current regulatory difficulties, current initiatives and the future of Crowdfunding becoming a mainstream funding instrument.

The book is thoughtfully written and provides the reader with the necessary tools to interpret the modern Crowdfunding industry in its noticeably unsettled state. Lawton and Marom's comprehensive approach towards current initiatives in the first part proves to be valuable for persons considering undertaking a Crowdfunding campaign. Whereas the second part of the book ,where they envision the future of the Crowdfunding industry, holds valuable lessons for current initiatives already active in the domain.

Concluding that “The Crowdfunding Revolution: Social Networking Meets Venture Financing” is the first book in its kind - it should be on the mandatory reading list for everybody active in the industry or for everyone who’s planning to be. The complete book holds many hands-on tips and provides an extended theoretical case for Crowdfunding as a mainstream financing instrument.

On behalf of the whole industry thanks for this great read!

Kind regards,



Find your Crowd! Fund your Film!

If you are a filmmaker of any level or type, you'll want to make sure to join the upcoming online event, THE CROWDFUNDING SUCCESS SUMMIT (Clikc on "Documentary How to") on December 5th, 2010.

Crowdfunding has emerged as one of the most exciting developments in Independent Filmmaking recently, but there is a lot of confusion about which platform to choose and how to set up campaign parameters to ensure success. Many crowdfunding campaigns struggle to meet their dollar targets and it can be really frustrating for filmmakers to see the promise but not to reach the goal. Now you can break through that confusion and get to success!

The Crowdfunding Success Summit will lay out the 7 STRATEGIES FOR CROWDFUNDING SUCCESS, and will give you many ways to guide your campaign to its goals and even beyond. Expert guests will present key information in every aspect of Crowdfunding, all online, so that you can attend from anywhere in the world. No travel required! You'll just need a computer and an internet connection. And the Summit will be recorded, so if you're not available on the 5th, you can view the Summit for up to one year.

The price for the Summit is phenomenally affordable so that everyone can participate. A very small investment in this Summit could potentially have huge returns for you. And not just on one film, but on every film you make from here on out. And, the Summit content is applicable to any stage of filmmaking and any genre of film.

So, join in on THE CROWDFUNDING SUCCESS SUMMIT! The price is 30% off through December 1st, to give you an extra chance to get in on this amazing opportunity to move yourself and your filmmaking forward.

Thanks and hope to "see" you at the Summit on December 5th, 2010! I will be there for sure.

You can buy your Summit pass here.


Thomas Crowd

dinsdag 26 oktober 2010

1,802,330,457 potential crowdfunding-investors in your network

In my latest blogpost the term Equity Based Crowdfunding was introduced and despite the promise to blog about investment criteria for Crowdfunders (e.g. believers) I’ve decided to blog about the vastness of this potential group of investors, just a heads up the results are astonishing!

First a small recap, I’m still convinced of the fact that  a  radical innovation has to take place in the way we practice entrepreneurship and the way we finance entrepreneurship. We live in a world that is becoming extremely flat (global village), all due to the fast dispersion of the internet. Many traditional value chains migrate to the internet, and this migration withholds  a great entrepreneurial opportunity to upset the traditional picking order, the success of is an example of an excellent executed plan based upon exploiting such an opportunity.

As many traditional value chains can be replaced by digital ones, question remains why the value chain for investments hasn’t been migrated to the internet yet? In previous posts it became amply clear that regulating forces are at work here,  these forces prevent an equity based method for fundraising over the internet, simply because this legislation is outdated and dates back to the days we didn’t had access to the internet.  

Imagine you could invest a minimum amount directly in start-ups? You go to a website, you select an attractive business plan that suits your expertise or a proposition you truly believe in and you activate your network by letting them know you juts invested in a start-up. According to the “six degrees of separation” theory, it should be possible to connect with anybody on this planet within 6 steps, what about organic marketing?  

This means that if you, as an investor, are able to plug your investment in your  network you should have a theoretical reach of 1,802,330,457 potential investors (based upon the average number of persons worldwide with a tendancy to invest, source: GEM).  This number clearly shows the vastness of this group, could very well mean a full alternative for the ways entrepreneurs obtain start-up capital nowadays.  

And the best part is yet to come, these potential investors don’t behave as banks, they are people who have a interest in the success of the venture that goes beyond a simple Return on Investment. This implies that they will do almost anything to help you succeed as an entrepreneur (e.g. Crowdsourcing).

Combining Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing are not only ways to obtain information, aid and finance but used together they become a whole new breed of organization. These organization are operating in closer proximity to their customers and suppliers and by using the newest technologies become more agile than their peers to co-opt with the ever changing business environment. Who is in?

Kind regards,

Thomas Crowd


zaterdag 16 oktober 2010

Crowdfund News introduces Thomas Crowd as principal editor

For a while now we have been informing you about everything that is going in the Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing industry. What started out as a hobby has now become a day job, which should be managed by somebody full-time. So to keep you perfectly updated, Crowdfundnews’s very own Blogger Thomas Crowd, will also act as a principal editor. For everybody out there who is submitting links, stories and other great resources for our channel, please keep on doing it via Here are also some social channels from Thomas for everybody interested in connecting with him.

Follow Me!

Beside our readers and contributors we would like to thank our sponsors, and for making this professionalization of Crowdfundnews possible.


woensdag 13 oktober 2010

Introducing Equity based Crowdfunding

After connecting with many like minded people in the realm of Crowdfunding (people connected to some of the world’s most profound approaches towards Crowdfunding) , I must conclude that the industry is developing at a fast rate. However are we going in the right direction? Of the 200 Crowdfunding sites out there, not one is offering a straightforward equity model to wheel in believers and the necessary investments needed to spark innovation from the bottom up.

And  this makes me wonder if Crowdfunding in this form will ever becoming mainstream? I’ve never made a secret of my dislikes towards the banking industry, as we know it nowadays, and their inhibiting effect upon investments made in start-ups and SME’s. These effects are mostly due to the  decision criteria banks use in order to assess investment opportunities. With the rise of Crowdfunding a different kind of investor is entering the playing field - the believers. Although they use a more subjective approach towards their investment decision and therefore make more (micro) investments possible. Fact remains that the lack of offering  a return on investments is a major hurdle for the industry to overcome. The reasoning behind this remark is simple – Crowdfunding will never be an equal funding opportunity for entrepreneurs if the potential amount of money available by Crowdfunding is too little.

Concluding that if we want Crowdfunding to be a new way of financing, a more subjective approach towards the capital fulfillment of start-ups and SME’s is needed and the industry has to move towards a model that is based upon equity and return on investment. This all to wheel in the main stream audience. Preferably the industry introduces a model were Crowdfunding becomes an alternative stock exchange, were believers can trade their crowdfunded propositions with each other. I’m sure there is a global interest in such an exchange, that no longer makes the “little” man obsolete, as is happening with “normal” exchanges (as they are dominated by the electronic high volume traders). If the industry is able to come up with a solution for solving the problem stipulated above Equity based Crowdfunding will become the new norm.

I’m very interested what your take is on the industry and if you agree to my opinion, that if we want Crowdfunding to become a  full alternative for other ways of financing such as banks, angel investors or venture capitalist, the industry has to move to an equity based model.

Kind regards,
Thomas Crowd

Ps: Next post will be all about investment decision criteria for believers, so if you are believer in a crowdfund proposition please tell me what your criteria were for investing.


dinsdag 10 augustus 2010

Are the banks finally awake? ABN Amro is for sure!

My latest blogpost “Failing system banks, sprouting technologies and chicken-hearted governments It is Crowdfunding Time!!” covered, in my opinion, the failing approach towards Crowdfunding by governments and the lack of risk taking behavior within the large system banks due to their own governance strategies. Surprisingly ABN Amro, last week announced their involvement in the realization of a Crowdfunding platform named Seeds(NL only).

As you might know this blog is dedicated to cover all subjects related to Crowdfunding, so this development couldn’t pass by unnoticed. Firstly for a deeper understanding of ABN Amro’s move and for everybody who isn’t familiar with the ABN AAmro bank, please allow me to take you on a tour true history (provided by Wikipedia);

The bank has a long history of acquisitions and mergers that dates back to 1765. ABN AMRO was created in 1991 as a merger between Algemene Bank Nederland (ABN) and Amsterdam and Rotterdam Bank (AMRO). By 2007 ABN AMRO was the second largest bank in the Netherlands and eight largest banks in Europe by assets. At that time the magazine The Banker and Fortune Global 500 placed the bank at number 15th in the list of world’s biggest banks and it had operations in 63 countries, with over 110,000 employees.

In 2007 the bank was acquired, in what was at that time the biggest bank takeover in history, by a consortium made up of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Fortis bank and Banco Santander, of which the first two got into serious trouble as a result of the takeover. The large amount of debt that had been created to fund the takeover had depleted the banks reserves just at the time the Financial crisis of 2007–2010 started. As a result the Dutch government took over and nationalized the Dutch parts of the operations which had primarily been allocated to Fortis to stop it failing. The UK government took effective control over the divisions allocated to RBS due to its financial bail-out of the Scottish bank. The remaining parts of ABN AMRO held by the consortiums RFS Holdings B.V., notably the overseas businesses, were merged with RBS, Santandar, sold off or shut down.

So, in short the Dutch government paid somewhere around 30 billion euro (Tax payer’s money) to acquire ABN Amro, resulting in an average contribution of each Dutch person of 1875 euro! Making ABN Amro on itself already a Crowdfunded bank. The skeptism from professionals in the market about earning back the tax payers’money have been spread last months. Fortunately this blog does not require me to assess the chances ABN Amro will pay back this tax payers money, but to assess the motives behind ABN Amro’s initiative to start a Crowdfunding platform and more importantly does it seem attainable that ABN will succeed in setting up their Crowdfunding platform.

Why Crowdfunding?
For starters one reason could be that Crowdfunding is a new buzz word in the blogosphere. Many platforms have sprouted recently and my estimate is that the number of Crowdfunding platforms run in the dozens. Obviously not all targeted at the same niche, but the fundamentals behind Crowdfunding are used in all of them (e.g. a lot of people X a little money = a lot of money). Maybe ABN Amro wants to tap into an emerging market? However given the little short term earning potential, much money needs to be invested before Crowdfunding becomes mainstream and is able to really contribute to ABN’s bottom line.

Another reason could be that this Crowdfunding plan is part of a greater scheme to get closer to their customers. ABN Amro already tried the social road in 2009 with their Flametree network, a b2b network made in order to connect entrepreneurs. Unfortunately this attempt by ABN Amro was killed in January 2010.When Pascal Spelier (director Flametree) was asked why the project was terminated the reasons was simple;

“The last few months we searched for a potential buyer or strategic partner for the Flametree project, however despite our best attempts this approach has failed due to the economic climate.”

Simply said; the investment into Flametree had gone up in flames and there was no money left for further investments.. So it seems unlikely that Seeds is a revamped version of the Flametree project. And the fractured introduction don’t seem to support any evidence for a greater scheme to get closer to customers.
As the most relevant and legitimate motivation to start a crowdfunding platform, I do think that the Seeds platform will provide ABN Amro the opportunity to sell their services to (nascent) entrepreneurs. And if this would be the main motivation for ABN to enter the realm of Crowdfunding it will prove the Crowdfunding industry a favor by advocating and plugging Crowdfunding – making Crowdfunding mainstream and providing legitimacy for the concept as a whole.

Kind regards,

Thomas Crowd


donderdag 1 juli 2010

"Failing system banks, sprouting technologies and chicken-hearted governments" It is Crowdfunding Time!!

It has been a while since my latest post regarding Crowdfunding, the recently opened Twitter account for Crowdfundnews was taking up all my time, thanks by the way for all people who started following Crowdfundnews on Twitter and thank you even more for the reaction and questions, I’ve enjoyed reading and answering them.

As this blog is dedicated to inform you about the market for Crowdsourcing and Crowdfudning initiatives it seems valuable once and a while to take a look at the market for Crowdfunding. A very complete list can be found on of all initiatives identified.

The thing that strikes me most is that all the initiatives are more or less focusing on the soft side of Crowdfunding, whereas in my opinion, the market for equity based Crowdfunding is not only large but also more pressing and interesting in respect to economic growth and prosperity for the Crowdfunder as well as the Crowdfundee. The only real barrier preventing such an initiative to come up are the legal implications of a Crowdfunding model. The main problem lies in the fact that most legislation is based upon old business methods and conducts, and yes it used to mean something if one was investing in stock!

Developments form technological driven companies have given us the tools to all become super investors, spotting new Google’s and Apple’s and cashing in on developments from driven entrepreneurs that conceive the value of having a crowd. Unfortunate governments are not that open minded towards new economic developments, especially after the credit crunch that could well be further enhanced by the global magnitude of their failing policies.
Despite aid packages being distributed to most of the system banks, most capital searches of entrepreneurs at banks led to nothing more than frustration and failure. This neglect of (nascent) entrepreneurs and their credit needs should stop right away and together we can.

As of now, I will fully devote my time, team and resources to the realization of an equity based Crowdfunding platform, however somethings of this magnitude cannot be realized by oneself, so I will need your help. Let me know where you see added value for Crowdfunders as well as Crowdfundees and don’t withhold any feature requests, I’m convinced that together we can change the way we do business permanently for the better.

Kind regards,

Thomas Crowd


vrijdag 14 mei 2010

Your Crowdfunding Library " A must have knowledge base for Crowdfunders"

Crowdfunding is an exciting new way start-ups can organize resources in order to establish a market presence. Although the method is relatively new, some great success stories are out there such as Kickstarter and GrowVC. However, the bankruptcy and the unavoidable takeover of Sellaband do contribute to the suspicion that not all Crowdfunding platforms are flourishing. In order to develop the industry much has to be learned.

Fortunately for all you Crowfunders there are some great books out there! Hereby my "MUST READ" top 3 Crowdfunding content:

Enjoy Reading!

The rise and rise of Crowdfunding

The last decades a major digitalization of the world economy is unfolding itself. The internet has begun to play a more and more vital role in our current economy. Not just in economic sense the internet has had a destructive way of changing the way we perceive ‘business as usual’ but also on psychological and sociological level the internet will contuniously play a crucial role in shifting the ‘real’ economy and society towards a digital one.
Matters that normally took place in the real-life economy are now taking place over the internet for the sake of speed and efficiency. And it works! Parts of real-life economy are disappearing and being replaced by entities working entirely over the internet.
The power of the internet implies a different way of looking to our social, economic and psychological processes we know today. In this blog I will focus on ways how entrepreneurship as an act on itself, as well as all the supporting activities around starting a business, or starting a new project as an existing company, can be improved significantly by making use of the internet in more innovative ways. The goal should be to make realizing an idea and starting an actual business much easier by combining ‘crowd sourcing’ and ‘crowd funding’. Doing so starting a company becomes a group effort, and we think will even increase the success rate.What do you think?


Crowdfundnews on Twitter!

You can now follow all news about crowdfunding and crowdsourcing on twitter.