[Note from the editor: the event listed below was held on September 27, 2016.]
So you’ve developed this mind blowing business idea but could use a little extra boost to take it to the next level. You’ve exhausted the traditional lending route: seeking assistance from family and friends, using your credit card, and of course taking out a personal loan from your bank. However, the traditional route was not as successful as you had initially hoped. But before you go wishing for a fairy god parent or a humble (but generous) money tree, this may be a good time to explore what crowdfunding could do for your business.
Beyond the traditional approach, are more creative lending methods like crowdfunding- a form of crowdsourcing. Crowdfunding is an alternative financing source that continues to grow in popularity. It allows entrepreneurs to raise money from a large group of people via online portals. You may be asking: what does the group (‘the crowd’) get in return? The incentive largely depends on the type of crowdfunding campaign. A rewards-based campaign grants the crowd a reward which is typically a sample of the company’s product or service.
But it's not all about the money! While crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds for your business, it's also a great way to validate your idea and market test it. If you're just at the idea stage of your business, or looking to expand but not sure if there is a market for it - this is a great way to test it! If the crowd is willing to back your business for rewards, then there's a good chance there's a market for your business.
The ultimate community push!
ATB BoostR has developed a great opportunity for getting community help in reaching your business goals. We spoke to ATB BoostR’s Marketing & Events Coordinator, Manu Salazar, to find out more about their platform. She describes the organization as a “rewards-based crowdfunding platform from ATB Financial for Alberta entrepreneurs and change makers”. Besides providing an online channel to raise funds, entrepreneurs also receive exposure, crowdfunding coaching, and constructive feedback. If that’s not cool enough, they host exciting live pitch events for clients who use Alberta BoostR.
Manu explains that the BoostR Stage “is an event where five local entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to a crowd of over 300 people. The crowd gets to vote- through a text to vote function towards their favourite business. Each vote translates to $10 towards that business’ crowdfunding campaign”.
This is the ultimate community event as new local small businesses come together to pitch their business ideas while supporting neighbouring businesses. Not only do you learn about businesses making waves in your community, you get the chance to contribute to Alberta’s economy in supporting a local small business. And, it's a ton of fun!
Want to have an impact on the small business community? Join us, as we partner with Alberta BoostR for their upcoming BoostR stage pitch event in Edmonton on September 27! Come out to meet local entrepreneurs, and support small business!