We’re going to miss you, Jen

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So, it’s official. Jen is going full time into producing fab female comedy, and leaving an O’Sullivan sized hole in our hearts (and team).

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We’ve spent the past few days trying to talk her out of it. Now, it’s time to confront the fact that Jen knows best. And, if we move quick, she’ll be able to train Jen 2.0 in the wonderful art of People Wrangling before she goes.

 

We’ve written up a list of our favourite Jen qualities, which we think will help anyone thinking about applying:

 

1) Jen makes us laugh, a lot. Like that time she accidentally bought 30 bottles of almost expired Passionfruit lube, and gave it away to everyone on Twitter.

2) Jen is nice to everyone, and deftly guides even the technically scared through the process of creating project campaigns

3) She has mermaid hair. Which Rory thinks is the best.

4) And a handy supply of chocolate (which Anna eats most of)

5) But, most of all, she really cares about us all. Through the highs and cheese lows, she’s been there with us. And we’re going to miss her greatly.

 

Be forewarned Jen, we’re going to be the loud and rowdy audience members at all of your shows.

 

(If you’re interested in applying to be Chief People Wrangler, here’s the job description. Send your CV’s by 1 June to lana@pledgeme.co.nz – you can be Auckland or Wellington based).

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Saving the World Through Video Games

There are only 55 Maui’s dolphins left in the entire world. Their species teeters on the brink of extinction, along with NZ’s other natives, the Hector’s dolphin. Very little is being done to protect these species. But Gamestarter, the team behind Plunge Free Dive, are determined to change that.

Plunge free dive
Plunge Free Dive is a game based on the awe-inspiring feats of William Trubridge, freediving World Champion and double world record holder. In 2010, Trubridge not only set the world record for freediving (101m on just one breath!) but by doing it for Project Hector, brought the desperate position of Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins to the world’s attention.

William Trubridge

That’s what the creators behind Plunge Free Dive want to recapture. In their game, players train as William Trubridge for his record-breaking event, with a chance to experience the real-life exercises Trubridge underwent to perform his feat, and the occasional opportunity to save dolphins from fishing nets as they dive. Through this interactive medium, Gamestarter aim to raise awareness about the dolphins’ plight and help the player to understand the need to take action.

Gameplay

But they need your help to do it. Gamestarter have to raise $10,000 to develop the game, and they’re offering everything from blowfish t-shirts to the chance to design your own customised character as rewards! Check out their amazing campaign here and help make a real difference to our native dolphins.

Powerful feedback on Powerhouse

With Powerhouse Wind almost a quarter of their way to their funding goal, some pretty awesome investors are coming out of the woodwork. Yesterday the team received this email from Hamish from Wellington who has pledged on their campaign.

My wife and I work pretty hard in Wellington with a dream of one day being largely self-sufficient on our block of dirt in the Coromandel. We have a shed up there currently and I have been playing with panels, charge controllers, batteries and inverters. I love the thought of not being dependant on suppliers and I enjoy the technology so the tinkering with solar has been both fun and practical.

We have had a quote for $86K to get power to our site so it was always going to be solar. We do have a budget though and the biggest concern for me was the size and cost of batteries and backup required to get through extended grey periods. It doesn’t sit well for me that when relying on the sun you have to effectively over-size your system to cope with the variances in weather and season. The research into wind turbines left me feeling that they were probably a bit expensive, quite intrusive, and overall quite agricultural. Once you add resource consent it tipped the wrong way for me.

When I saw your PledgeMe campaign things instantly tipped back the other way: a local manufacturer (really important), an efficient and quiet product, and reasonably priced. To cap it all off my wife and I want to support Kiwi business and innovation (this is our first investment in something productive i.e. not property).

I had to slow myself down to research your proposition but can still say that I am very proud to be the 2nd pledger!

I’m happy to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this. Thank you.

And this is the cool thing about equity crowdfunding: it allows companies to connect with people. Not only do Powerhouse now have an investor, they have a customer, and a champion who is going to proudly power his shed with a ThinAir!

Powerhouse still have a month to run on their campaign, so check out their offer here.

POWERHOUSE WIND!

Powering Up

Powerhouse wind launch

Today, Dunedin-based clean tech startup Powerhouse Wind launch their equity crowdfunding campaign – and we can’t wait.

Powerhouse Wind is working to provide the people of New Zealand with household wind turbines, promoting a clean, efficient, and highly affordable energy alternative. They’re turning to equity crowdfunding to bring their new turbine, the ThinAir, to a wider marketplace. This new product is quieter, safer, and more able to harness gusty winds than other turbines, and it’s as user-friendly as a dishwasher. Reliable, simple, and elegant, the ThinAir looks set to revolutionise the way kiwis power their homes.

Powerhouse wind workers

And this is where you come in. Powerhouse Wind is offering investors a chance to get on board with a truly innovative company, and be a part of the changing landscape of energy generation. As director Bill Currie put it; “we’re not just selling thin air, we’re giving people a chance to buy into our company which is revolutionising small scale wind power generation.”

Powerhouse wind illustration

So if you want to be a part of this revolution, check out their offer  now, or watch their launch video, and help Powerhouse Wind start powering up!

The Crowd: PledgeMe makes a mag

One of the awesomest things about working at PledgeMe is all the amazing people you meet. From the chick looking to raise $12 to buy her cactus some cacti pals to the dudes looking to raise $1.7 mill for their business, our crowd is varied and huge. The team wanted to give something back, celebrate the successes and share stories on how PledgeMe has helped our crowd fund the things they care about.

So we knocked our heads together, and it turned out a super-secret cell of magazine-makers had emerged inside Team PledgeMe. Way back in 2009 Rory (now our chief awesomeiser and creator of the PledgeMe menagerie) and I put together Salient — Victoria Uni’s student rag [Ed’s note: And I’ve put together other mags —JJW]. So we thought ‘Hey, why don’t we put together a mag!’

So we did…

THE CROWD

Read More

On the Road to Success

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 10.32.45 pmIt all started with a traffic jam.

After missing out on countless meetings and precious family time due to congested roads, Chariot’s CEO decided there had to be a better way to travel. He started to imagine what it would be like to just tap on a screen and get a ride from someone passing by. And so, in early 2014, Chariot Ridesharing Limited was born.

This carpooling and ridesharing app is designed to connect drivers to passengers and revolutionise how people travel in NZ. With an emphasis placed on safety, community, and fun, Chariot has the power to redefine how we commute, and make the dire daily drive more social, economical, and environmentally responsible.

ChariotBut they need your help to do it. Chariot has grown exponentially since the first days of traffic-jam madness – they have an ace strategy, awesome growth prospects, and a team with “commitment and relentless passion”. Now what they need is investment so they can enter the market with a bang.

And this is your chance to get on board! With just ten days to go and less than $5,000 before they hit their minimum goal, Chariot is revving for action. They’re offering some amazing rewards too, with everything from a personalised premium number plate to dinner with Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

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Update: as of writing this blog, Chariot are actually now at $25,642! The pictures can’t keep up with the pledging!

 

So if you’re keen to be a driver of change and get behind the wheel of this awesome company, check out their offer here and get pledging!

6 days to be a part of the solution

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Are you ready to be part of the solution for young people?

With youth anxiety, depression, eating disorders and cyber-bullying all on the rise, it’s clear that it’s pretty tough to be a young person right now. The team behind BE Intent want to change that – and they’ve got a great plan to make it happen.

BE Intent Youth is a positive education technology toolbox, designed to change how schools support their students, and help young people navigate the challenges they face day-to-day. Delivered as an app, it’s been created to inspire students to “meet their potential, increase their well-being and help get more out of their day, lives and their study.”

Be Intent

The team behind BE Intent know what they’re talking about. Founder Susanne Hall has used her ample business experience – including being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to business in 2005 – to build BE Intent, and she and her team have spent years developing and implementing the adult and corporate versions of their platform. They know what works and why, and now they’re ready to use that knowledge and experience to help young people all around the world.

This is where you come in! Funds raised through BE Intent Youth’s equity crowdfunding will allow them to finalise their youth-specific research, and implement their marketing and sales strategy as they take their business global. They’ve already come an incredibly long way, raising $116k in just three weeks, and rocking out awesome events like their investor session last night.

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Now they’ve got just six days to go and less than $39k to raise – with 100 people pledging $500 each, they could reach their target in no time! So what are you waiting for?

To find out more about BE Intent Youth and get on board, check out their offer here, or take a look at their website.

 

World’s youngest equity crowdfunder

The very young Look Through Our Eyes team.

Here at PledgeMe we encourage everyone to try to try and fund the things they care about. And age is no barrier to successful running a crowdfunding campaign. We’ve had a whole bunch of great projects on PledgeMe reach their goals and do really cool things. Examples here, here, and here.

So when 19-year-old Indy Griffiths approached us looking to run an equity crowdfunding campaign for his kickass company Parent Interviews, we were stoked! As far as we know he is the youngest person to ever equity crowdfund anywhere in the world and he’s making the most of the opportunity.

Indy pitching at BNZ Startup Alley 2014.

Parent Interviews started as Indy’s school project in 2013 when he was at Bayfield High. A couple of years later he has transformed it into a company which has already helped over 23,000 students manage over 400,000 interviews so far.

It’s a simple concept: help schools and parents arrange parent-teacher interviews with less stress and hassle than the ol’ fashioned way. And people are loving it. Parent Interviews has been getting a bit of media coverage, from the ODT to WIRED online.

Now with just over a week to go and with more than half their goal pledged, Indy is gearing up to scale his product internationally. There’s no reason why teachers all over the world can’t use his platform to arrange their interviews too. This is one lad with a bright future.

If you want to invest in Parent Interviews then check out their offer.

Equity crowdfunding takes us over the $5 million edge….

On Thursday 9 April 2015 PledgeMe hit the $5 million total pledged mark after closing two successful equity crowdfunding campaigns.

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Children’s shampoo and body care maker Pineapple Heads and social marketplace app SellShed’s campaigns both wrapped up their offers successfully raising a combined $917,000. This brings the total number of successful campaigns on PledgeMe Equity to four – raising more than $1,500,000 in the process.

The way crowdfunding works is that a minimum target is set and must be achieved in order for the campaign to be a success. PledgeMe Equity success comes through many ingredients, including:

  • Reading through our Education Guide to Equity Crowdfunding (online & PDF available),
  • Doing the hard yards on your business plan, its growth, and valuing your business (hint: we talk about this in our Education Guide)
  • Developing rockstar communications to prime and educate your crowd about what equity crowdfunding is and that you’re doing it (including newsletters, press releases and other channels of communication key to your business)
  • Putting together a your launch plan to kick off your campaign
  • Managing a campaign communications plan for current pledgers, followers other potential investors (equity crowdfunding is not a ‘set it and forget it’ process)
  • Focusing on what’s working (maybe investor events or focusing on key groups has worked best – be conscious of this and stick to what’s working)

With less than a week to go both of these campaigns were sitting at approximately 50% of their funding target. Megan @ Pineapple Heads and the team at SellShed deserve a massive shout out in activating their crowds right through to the finish. Their success came from having a plan, knowing who/what/where was working and backing themselves right through to campaign close off.

It was a very exciting week last week for us at Team PledgeMe, for these two companies who we’ve been working with, and for equity crowdfunding as well which is barely more than one year old in NZ.

We currently have three other equity crowdfunding campaigns running for Chariot, Parent Interviews, and Be Intent Youth as well as have a tonne of awesome Projects on the go.

Our Equity world is pretty crowded… and we love it

Equity Crowdfunding turned one year old on the first of April (no fooling). It’s been a crazy year in the PledgeMe office, which has included:

At the same time we’ve also:

  • Grown our team (including two Auckland based staff!);
  • Moved into one of the coolest offices in Wellington (/NZ/the world), and;
  • Launched 5 equity campaigns at one time (ahem ↓↓).

Equity

We’re really excited about the recent addition of equity crowdfunding to our platform and are very fortunate that the NZ Government has decided to make our country world leaders in this space by being the one of the first countries to introduce new legislation allowing equity crowdfunding. This has opened up a whole new channel for companies to raise funding, and we hope it’s bridging a capital chasm that a lot of companies face when they’re starting up or growing.

Since getting our license we have had more than 500 people contact us because they’re interested in using equity crowdfunding as a way to help fund growth in the businesses they care about. It never ceases to amaze our team what some Kiwis are getting up to in their back sheds and offices, and how passionately they are creating value with their businesses.

This week opened strongly as SellShed surpassed its $250,000 target meaning their campaign is now sitting in the success column and interested investors who have not yet pledged have until 7PM 9 April to do so. Congrats to the team at WebSoft Ltd on their campaign and we look forward to a strong finish as they push towards a $1M maximum.

Although this is a cause for celebration we’re a wee bit too busy with a further four more live campaigns including Pineapple Heads who also close Thursday, BE Intent Youth which just went live, and Parent Interviews & Chariot both currently in the middle of their campaigns.

In the past few weeks we’ve had more than $500,000 of pledged investment towards our five current equity campaigns and look forward to seeing more funded campaigns and excited new shareholders by month’s end:

The Closers:

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SellShed by Websoft Ltd. – FUNDED
Raised: $275,100
Target: $250,000
Maximum: $1,000,000
Closing Date: 9 April – 7PM

SellShed is an easy to use social marketplace. It provides a locally relevant and socially integrated platform for it’s buyers and sellers, allowing them the opportunity to easily trade right from their pocket.

SellShed is free for individuals to use and is designed for mobiles and offers an attractive alternative to existing desktop focused pay-to-list or pay-upon-success online platforms.  The future is social, and SellShed have a marketplace available in iTunes and Google Play which is already enjoyed by more than 13,000 people.

SellShed has reached its target of $250,00 but investors have until 7PM 9 April or an investment cap of $1M.

Here’s what two pledged investors said about this offer:

“For me Websoft Ltd is a cutting edge technology platform providing huge growth opportunities with genuine global potential for investors” – Ian Gleghorn

“I invested in SellShed through PledgeMe as I see huge potential. The app is so easy to use and free and I’m excited to own a part of a New Zealand based Tech Startup that has huge scope. Can’t wait to see where it goes” – Kellie Deuchar

For more information on this offer check out the campaign page http://pldg.me/SS

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Pineapple Heads Ltd.
Raised: $102,150
Target: $189,000
Maximum: $389,000
Closing Date: 9 April – 7PM

Pineapple Heads is a range of eight children’s hair and bath products made in New Zealand. They are sold throughout New World supermarkets, 70 other retailers throughout New Zealand and Australia, as well as through their own online shop.

Pineapple Heads are raising funds to onboard two Sales Reps and an in-house Digital Account Manager to roll out Pineapple Heads across New Zealand, aggressively opening up Nationwide distribution along with growing partnerships in Australia.

Megan is a solo-business owner/mother who has had some pretty awesome press all around the country about her capital raising mission.

Here is feedback on the offer from two invested pledgers:

“Fully supportive of a great lady, great product and all New Zealand made.” – Erika Burt

“I love your products and believe in the company.” – Sarah Chainey

Upon reaching their target, Pineapple Heads is offering one lucky family the chance to visit the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast along with a year’s supply of Pineapple Heads Products! Contest open to all pledgers (past, present & future!)

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For more information on Pineapple Heads offer check out their campaign page http://pldg.me/PH

 

New Kid on the Block:

DevicesBe Intent Youth Ltd.
Raised: $87,000
Target: $150,000
Maximum: $580,256
Closing Date: 28 April – 5PM

BE Intent Youth is a cloud based technology platform and toolbox that delivers positive education and solutions that inspire and support students to meet their potential, increase their well-being and helps them to get more out of their day, their lives, and their study.

BE Intent Youth are raising funds to finalise the research that is specific to youth and implement their marketing and sales strategy.

Based on positive psychology, neuroscience and neuroplasticity research their technology aims to change the way that schools around the world support their students with issues like bullying as well as help youth become mindful, motivated and resilient.

For more information on Be Intent Youth’s offer check out their campaign page http://pldg.me/BIY

 



For a full list of our current equity offers http://pldg.me/offers