What's Up Wednesday

The Ōtakarō Orchard Project

Since the earthquakes shook the city apart, the local food resilience movement in Christchurch has been gathering momentum. In the event of supply chains becoming disrupted, supermarkets carry only three days worth of food – so community gardens become more important than ever. And in a time when up to 40% of Cantabrians struggle to have access to the food they need, community gardens become a necessity.

Enter the Ōtakarō Orchard Project.

The project has three parts: an edible park, a local food information centre and cafe, and a dome to serve as an indoor food production and education space. The team behind Ōtakarō Orchard want to create New Zealand’s first urban food hub – an oasis in the city producing tonnes of food each year for their community. But they need your help to do it!

Since 2015 the project has received over $300,000 in public donations and grant funding, but they need an extra $60k to get the first stage of the landscaping done. In return, they’re offering everything from a vegetable bouquet to a tree named after you! But in case you wanted to find out a little more before you got pledging, we got in touch with Chloe, the project coordinator:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

love being able to share this project I’m so passionate about with our community so that’s been a joyous process! We’ve had a really great reception so far with lots of people excited about the project and members of the business community coming on board to offer more rewards and in-kind support for the construction of the park. So although our rate of pledges will need to pick up in the coming weeks, we’re feeling really optimistic we’ll reach target.

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We’ll be releasing more exciting rewards and also video clips of people from Christchurch and beyond telling us why they’re excited about the Orchard. Then I think we’ll also have a great wrap party!

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

The thing that’s going to make this campaign a success is if we can reach the people who want to take the higher rewards – naming planters ($5000), trees ($1000) and bricks ($250). This is important for meeting our funding goal, but also in the park feeling community-owned once it is built. We want as many names on it as possible! So if you know a person, group or business that might like to make a donation at this level then please phone or write to them to tell them about this opportunity! Many thanks in advance.

To find out more about the Ōtakarō Orchard Project and get a tree named after you, check out their campaign page right here!

How to PledgeMe.

How to create your Crowdfunding Canvas

One of the hardest things about every crowdfunding campaign is making it simple. Seeing everything you need to do on one page, and keeping track of where you’re at. Recently, we canvassed our crowd for ideas on how to make things easier and our friend Nat at Mum’s Garage came to the table with the idea of a canvas.

We’re big fans of the Lean Canvas here in the PledgeMe office, being regular mentors, judges, and attendees at Start Up Weekends around New Zealand. So, taking inspiration from that, and the Social Lean Canvas, we decided to create our own Crowdfunding Canvas.

 

Note: THIS IS NOT A BUSINESS PLAN! You should have your project and / or business plan stored somewhere else. This is just for your crowdfunding campaign (pre, during, and post).


Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Get the canvas

Go to the Crowdfunding Canvas and either:

  1. Create a Google Docs copy (File → Make a Copy), or
  2. Download the canvas (File → Download As).

You can print it out and hand write your plans on (small) post it notes / change as you go, or keep updating an online version.


Step 2: Fill out the canvas

Have a first run through of the canvas filling out each of the sections.

Left side: Your Crowd

  • Crowd

Write down the people who will pledge / share your campaign, and start chatting to them. These are actual humans you already know, not the crowd you’d like to support your project – a list of names, not general categories like students or animal lovers. Think about why they support you and how much you can reasonably expect them to be able to pledge.

  • Skills needed

Write down the skills you need, and think about whether anyone in your crowd above could help. Videographers, designers, writers, journos, social media whizzes, party planners – who do you know?

 

Middle section: Your Content

  • Funding

Note your overarching goal for the campaign (both min and max if you’re doing a lending or equity campaign) and make sure to include the costs for preparing and sending rewards (production, postage, etc) and PledgeMe’s fees. You should note what this money is for in one sentence. How does your budget compare to the pledging capability of your crowd? If you’ve got a shortfall, you’ll need to find a way to build a bigger crowd.

  • What we do

Write down in a sentence or two what you do. Where did your idea come from, why are you and your team the right people for the job, and why should your crowd get excited about it?

  • What you offer

Start drafting what you will offer your crowd: shares at what valuation, loan notes at what interest rate, or rewards. What will they get in return for pledging on your campaign?

  • Video and imagery

Start planning your visuals – note where you are at with your video (link to a script?) and where your best imagery is stored (of you, of what you do, and of your team).

  • Why crowdfunding?

Write down in a sentence or two why going to your crowd makes sense to you. It should probably be along the lines of “our crowd loves us, they matter to us and we want to keep them involved as we do our thing.”

  • People

Who are you? Write brief bios of each of your team, and be clear on what their role will be during the campaign (and beyond, if relevant). You can link to a bigger doc here if required.

 

Right side: How you communicate your content to your crowd

  • Spreading the word

Even if your crowd loves you, they can’t support your campaign if they don’t know about it. How are you going to get them involved? Phone calls, social media, direct emails, a newsletter, events, media coverage – what are you going to do, and who on your team will be responsible?

 

Bottom section: Your timeline

  • Timeline – Pre launch

One of the most common things we hear from campaign owners (both successful and not) is that they wish they’d spent more time planning. Most of the work behind a successful campaign takes place before it ever goes live. Prepping your crowd, nailing the budget, making a video, perfecting your rewards, reaching out to journalists, drafting a solid promotion plan – all essential to a smooth campaign. What do you need to have in place before you launch?

  • Timeline – During and Post launch

Even with a solid plan and your crowd’s interest piqued pre launch, you’re going to need time during the campaign to make it all happen. Getting the word out to your crowd via social media, direct emails, phone calls, campaign updates, and events can take up a lot of time. If your media plan goes well, someone will need to be on call to chat to journalists. After you close, organising and distributing rewards can be a full time gig. How will you and your team fit the campaign around your other responsibilities?


Step 3: Get feedback

Get feedback – this could be from your team, from us, or from your crowd! Are people excited about your rewards? Do they ‘get’ your vision? Does your budget sound reasonable? Would they pledge?


Step 4: Keep updating

Keep iterating and improving your canvas based on feedback and experience, both in the lead up to and during your campaign. If you’re getting similar questions from a lot of people, think about how to make your pitch clearer. If a reward is popular, ponder ways to offer more like it. Ditto for criticism – take it on board, integrate it if you need to, and thank people for their honest feedback. It’s better to hear this during the planning stage than when you’re in the midst of a busy campaign!

What's Up Wednesday

Bikes Welcome

Jan 25

Are you a shop looking to attract a new crew of customers? Or a cyclist just looking for somewhere safe to store your cycle? Well, businesses and bike-lovers alike should be paying attention to the grand plans of Bikes Welcome.

Bikes Welcome is a charitable trust focused on making businesses more bike-friendly, because regular bike use is great for people, health, business, communities and the environment. They want to help businesses recognise and value their cycling customers, and help councils, bike-users and businesses connect and work together to create change. The first step? Better bike parking.

They’ve already received some grant funding, but they’re turning to their crowd now to help roll out their plans all across NZ. If they hit their target, then they can design, print, and post window stickers out to Bikes Welcome businesses, to signal to cyclists which shops are on their side. The more money they raise, the more great, cycle-friendly things they can achieve. And what’s more, they have some fantastic rewards on offer – everything from Thunderpants to Pic’s Peanut Butter!

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We wanted to find out more about why you should be getting in gear with Bikes Welcome, so we had a chat with team member Jo:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

This is day one, so nerve wracking would be one answer!  Others answers would include: inspiring (thanks awesome people), exhausting (yes, there is a lot of work involved, and why did I decide to do this in the school holidays? it just confirms that I’m kind of nuts).  It has also been stretching (taking me outside my comfort zone) and stimulating (learning new things and meeting new people).  But I’ll go back to nerve wracking because this is a big huge leap of faith, faith that there are enough people out there who believe in what Bikes Welcome want to achieve, faith that we can connect with them and inspire them to be part of it.  Yep, in the words of the late George Michael, ‘you gotta have faith’.  Faith…… and a wonder-woman costume.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

I’d like to summon up creative genius and add a cool reward for bike users who want something that makes the statement ‘yes, I bike’.  Not sure what it will be yet…. all suggestions are most welcome!  And it is just possible I’ll drag out the wonder woman costume again if I need to shake things up.  Maybe I can get people to pledge for me NOT to wear it?  And I’d like the #yesIbike tag to take off, so look out for your chance to have a play with that.

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

Thank you!  Thanks awesome people for helping spread the word and supporting Bike Welcome, for your faith, ideas and feedback, positive words and wisdom.  And thanks to my understanding kids and husband for all their support.  And in the words of Dr Seus’s Lorax “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”  So keep on being the change you want to see in this world.

To find out more about Bikes Welcome and act on the words of the Lorax, take a look at their campaign right here.

How to PledgeMe.

How to find out if your crowd wants to fund you

One of the biggest things that we’ve learnt over the past 5 years is that the most important part of any crowdfunding campaign is your crowd. The crowd you already know, whether it’s your mum, your co-worker, or your customers. Do they want to support you? Do they know your campaign is happening? Do they feel valued? All important things to take into account before launching a campaign, but sadly not always prioritised. You can build the shiniest campaign in the entire world, but if your crowd doesn’t know it’s coming, and don’t feel like they’re being valued, they won’t get on board.

So here’s our five step guide to checking that your crowd wants to fund you.

1)    Figure out who your crowd is.

Write down the names of people in your crowd that have supported you in the past, or have been watching you work on the thing you want to fund. The longer you’ve been working on the thing you plan to fund, the easier it often is. If you’ve been working on it for a while, and your crowd has been watching, they’re more likely to believe you’ll be able to do the thing you need funding for (and will know the hard yards you’ve put in to get to this point).

2)    Ask them

Screen Shot 2016-12-31 at 1.01.23 pm

Yep, it’s seriously that easy. We recommend asking at least 50 people what they think about your campaign. Not everyone will be on board, and some people will just say what they think you want to hear, but these conversations can help you decide whether you should crowdfund or not. Here are some questions you could ask:

  • What about the thing I’m doing do you like?
  • What reservations do you have? How can I change that for you?
  • Does this thing really matter to you? Why? Why not?
  • Who do you think would also love this thing?

Also, some people will always say yes to please you. Don’t ask them.

 

3)    Crowdsource support

Involve your crowd in the whole journey, including your campaign prep. Get feedback on your content. Ask for ideas on rewards (or, better yet, some of the rewards that you can offer!). This doesn’t have to be all 50 people, and you might not ask for the same support from each of them, but we do think that in crowdfunding the old adage of “if you ask for money, you get advice and if you ask for advice, you get money” is dead. We find that if you ask for advice, you’ll often get both.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-1-03-47-pm4)    Create a newsletter sign up

Only do this once you’ve decided that you’re definitely going ahead.

Make sure to set a date and time that you will be launching so everyone signing up knows the D-Day.

Manage expectations around what you’ll be telling people here, and create anticipation by sharing information bit by bit to them in the lead up.

You can also ask your crowd again for more information – like what sorts of perks would they like as shareholders, like Yeastie Boys did (as you can see to the right).

 

5)    Share on your social media accounts

If you don’t have social media accounts, this could be a bit harder. You’ll need to be really really really clear on how you’ll activate your crowd if you don’t have them. Is it emails?

If your crowd gets on board, you’re so much more likely to get people you don’t know on board. They’ll see the validation of your crowd, feel comfort by being shoulder-to-shoulder with your existing supporters  and emulate them. Sort of like in Derek’s TED talk on how to start a movement.

Don’t be afraid to ask your crowd if they want to fund you. And, don’t be afraid to wait if they’re not ready yet.

What we learnt in 2016

Another year older, another year of helping kiwis doing the things they care about. And, in some ways another year wiser. Or at least, another year of learning under our belt.

While not every campaign makes their goal (and we feel that, deeply), we see so much more happening through the platform than money being processed. We see friends supporting friends, new friendships made, things other than dollar bills being offered, and hard work turning into more (but better funded) hard work.

I’m writing this while on holiday (turns out, I’m not so good at completely shutting off). After two weeks of almost screen-free days, I feel like I can properly reflect on the last year’s highs (and lows) with a bit of distance and sort-of hindsight. And, instead of just talking about all the good things, I’d like to share some of our learnings, too. Because, if we want Aotearoa New Zealand to be a better funded and more equitable place, we have to share not just the highlight reel, but the lessons learnt.


 

You need to look at the numbers. And, sometimes you’re looking at the wrong numbers.

In 2016 we had over $5 million processed in successful campaigns: over 150 project, 5 equity, and 2 lending campaigns. This brought us to over 1,100 campaigns funded since we started in 2012. We had a 16% increase on dollars pledged to successful campaigns than the previous calendar year, but a decrease in the number of campaigns.

For a lot of this year it didn’t feel like that would happen. We had a super slow start, for a whole bunch of reasons. Despite that we still grew on the dollars pledged to successful campaign side. And, even more awesomely, we grew even more on the revenue side. We added a new revenue stream (in a way that we hope helps our campaigners) meaning our revenue increased 30% from the previous year.

We also broke the record for the fastest campaign to reach the $2million cap in New Zealand, and broke our own records for most funded campaign when that happened.

We had so many different crowdfunders – from an urban winery to a refugee catering company, from the Spinoff’s War for Auckland to 8 teams from Diocesan School for Girls.

So, even though our numbers were patchy (nothing new there) and our numbers declined in some areas (fewer project campaigns, but more large campaigns), we still grew in size and impact. You need to regularly step back from the day-to-day and see what the numbers are saying.

 

New shiiiiiit. You have to constantly be improving (and listening to your team).


We launched PledgeMe.Lend, and had our first two successes (Eat My Lunch and Denheath). This was mainly due to a mammoth effort by our team member Barry in convincing our board it was a good move, creating a simple offering, going through the licencing process, and managing the technical build. And, we’re stoked. PledgeMe.Lend extends so much further than just Auckland based “high growth” companies. It could help community organisations, schools, companies based outside of Auckland, anyone who has a revenue stream to help repay the loan and interest, and it could help their crowd support them too.

TePapapaLunch1 copy

We also launched a private version of PledgeMe.Equity and had our first two successes there too (with over $400k pledged). Originally, I was against this idea. I thought that it undermined the transparency that I thought underpinned crowdfunding. But, with the help of my team, I realised that private crowdfunding is still transparent, still a place for questions and feedback, but just with a smaller circle of potential pledgers. It’s great for companies that are super early stage, for companies that don’t want to go too wide (or get too much media coverage).

 

You can’t just go it alone.

It’s easy to think you know best, and you don’t need any help. But when you’re starting (and growing) a company, you should be constantly finding people to help and accelerate what you do.

Recently, we hired Tan, our first sales person! We’re excited to have one person whose sole job is to get campaigns through the door, so we can do what we do well – helping them reach their goals.

The hiring process is hard though. We don’t always get it right, especially in areas we don’t know a lot about. So we’re constantly improving, refreshing, and figuring out how to do work and team better. And, that means being open to flexible working, supporting folk with families, and checking our assumptions around what (and how) work should be done.

We also announced our partnership with the Akina Foundation, to help more social enterprises crowdfund. We’ve grown up a lot since we first met this crew, but we’re still as aligned with their values as we were on day one. So, we’re excited that we finally managed to put a ring on it.

 

You can’t just talk about diversity.

We realised we weren’t walking the talk around diversity with our board, so we wrote a blog about it. Then we went through a rigorous process to find and hire a new director (in the end, we had over 100 amazing applicants, and we hired two directors: Mel and Jessica). We wrote a blog about the process, to help other people find new board members.

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Leading on from this (and some other work that I’ve been doing) I helped co-instigate an unconference for Women Who Get Sh*t Done in New Zealand. We had 120 women and kids come along for a weekend of learning, sharing, and growing. In 2017, we’re hoping to have three events up and down the country, scaling the number of women we can get along.

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Sometimes you need to retreat to move forward.

13413558_10157254630785556_3308911908737007131_nMy team decided I needed a holiday so bad, they did a secret crowdfunding campaign to send me to Samoa. The time away then (and now) has provided me with the space I needed to really review, plan, and relax. And the space to not burn out. The reward of me wearing my onesie to Samoa was not ideal though….

 

Apart from forced interventions, I regularly get time out with other entrepreneurs to help with this, including my quarterly female founder retreats that I wrote about here.

 

You don’t get to keep the awesome people forever.

Some of our amazing PledgeMe team moved on to new adventures in 2016: Lana to be the GM of Raygun, Jackson to AirBnB, Will to Canada / the US, Rory to running a design shop.

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I think that’s partially another sign that the way we work is different – people move from role to role, learning, doing, and improving. We’re stoked to have the team rocking out all over, and often coming back to visit and help us out when we need it. But we do miss their smiling faces on Team Skypes.

 

You also can’t get good media coverage forever.

We got our first real slamming in traditional media this year. Previously, it had just been kept to the comments sections, but this was different, and it honestly stung. But, it gave us this opportunity to update our crowd and talk about where to from here. And, as one of our board members put it, we weren’t going to have a good run forever, so we might as well start learning how to deal with less than effusive coverage as well as the good stuff.

 


 

My final learning, and something I’m grappling with at the moment is: It’s easy to make something complicated, it’s hard to make something simple. We need to be constantly striving to make things easier, simpler, and better for our users and for New Zealand.

What will 2017 bring? Well, according to our strategy, an attempt at doubling our revenue, getting the word out about PledgeMe.Lend, and helping more kiwis fund the things they care about.

What did you learn in 2016? We’d love to hear.

What's Up Wednesday

Women Who Get Shit Done

dec-14

It’s hard to fund an event with “shit” in the name. But that’s not about to stop this crew.

In June of this year, the first “Women Who Get Shit Done” unconference was held in Wellington. Women of all backgrounds from all over the country came together to talk about all the shit they had to deal with, and all the shit they wanted to get done. They made connections, they formed an agenda, they were inspired and inspired others. And now they want to do it all again down in Christchurch – but they need your help.

This time around, the team behind WWGSD want to make sure that those who can’t afford the (already very low) conference fee aren’t precluded from attending. They don’t want the ability to pay to determine who gets to be in the room – but that means they need to set up scholarships in order to subsidise the conference fees. That’s where you guys come in.

In return for your support, they’re offering everything from kids’ coding classes to a six-pack of poo emoji cupcakes! And of course, you also get the awesome feeling of knowing you’ve helped some awesome ladies keep kicking ass. (Full disclosure: our very own Chief Bubble Blower Anna was a founding member of this unconference, so we’re a little biased – but we think that speaks to how rad this group of women are!)

To hear a bit more about why you should be pledging, we talked to Catarina, one of the women getting shit done in question:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

Humbling to see how many people really give a shit and are willing to put their money where their potty mouth is. We feel uber loved down here in CHCH!

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We’d love to share stories of the past events to showcase what awesome returns and results have come out of women getting shit done. And hopefully more poop-shaped rewards (notice I didn’t say shitty rewards)!

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

Shout out to the awesome men for putting up some cash too! It’s not an us vs. them thing and you get that. We’re all in this together to create a safe space for people who identify as women to create and learn from each other. We promise to make this event as accessible and diverse as possible with your help!

If you’re willing to put your money where your potty mouth is, and don’t mind supporting an event with shit in the name, head on over to WWGSD’s campaign page here.

Custardy countdown

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-2-12-02-pmDenheath Desserts is the quintessential kiwi start up story. A business that started as a small cafe in Pleasant Point with an amazing custard square recipe has now become an international custard square exporter.

How did it start?

Lisa started working at the cafe as a kid, making the squares as part of her work. Her mother loved the custard squares, and basically bought the cafe for the recipe. She grew the cafe, and her dying wish was for the company to grow and start exporting.

Lisa and her husband Donald took that wish and ran with it, expanding their operations first in New Zealand and then internationally. They started by going to cafes in Canterbury and giving away free samples, and were soon doing daily deliveries up to Christchurch (with Donald leaving at the crack of dawn every morning). 

Now, they are exporting to Australia, South Korea and Japan, and tailoring the square sizes to suit each market (some are perfectly chopstick-sized!)

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But, they want to grow bigger. They want to export to New York, they want to sell in more New Zealand stores countrywide, and they want to grow their team in Timaru (and improve the technology used by their business).

The money they are raising from their crowd isn’t for shares or rewards though, it’s loan notes. So the money will be repaid over time with an 8% annual interest rate.

They are passionate about local economic development, and are unashamedly South Islanders. They’ve often been told that to succeed they need to move to Auckland, but with the cost of living lower in Timaru, and the cost of shipping from their port on par with shipping from Auckland, they want to stay. They want to employ local people, support their local economy, and stay in the region they love.

And, we believe that in a world where things like Brexit and Trump can occur, that kind of attitude is what’s needed. Actually providing jobs in the regions is the antidote to the underbelly of urbanisation.

Where to next?

Today, they create 10,000 custard squares a day and export to Australia, South Korea and Japan.

With your funding, they are aiming to create 35,000 custard squares a day and expand their exports to New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

As a side note, we had a custard square eating competition when they were touring the country:

And, Tan, our latest hire (good hire) was victorious:

If you’d like to support this local business with big dreams, check them out here: pldg.me/custard

Why I invest

We’re a curious bunch here at PledgeMe. Although less flickering-bulb-in-your-face-as-we-interrogate curious, and more so-what’s-your-story curious. We get to hear the reasons behind the ideas when we chat with campaigners and it’s so good seeing someone light up with passion when they lay their story out for us.

But it’s only recently that I’ve begun stopping and asking the other people that matter – the crowd – about their stories, about their motivation to support kiwi ingenuity. And the responses are so wide-ranging.

There’s a whole spectrum of reasons – profit-seeking, prestige, emotional fulfilment, social belonging – some quite visible and logical, some less so but just as powerful.

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Many ways to shear a sheep

Fair to say, there’s many ways to shear a sheep. And there’s many reasons for doing so. For wool. For competition. For the moment. For the story. For kicks. For the sheep’s productivity and wellbeing. For the farm. For the shear enjoyment! Every shearer has their own why. Likewise for every investor.

Crowdsourcing the Why

I want to get your insight. I want to hear from our crowd. What thoughts and feelings swim through you before you invest? Regardless of whether you’ve just tried it once or you’re a serial campaign backer, I’d love to hear your one-line reason: Why I invest.

Why I invest?

Sure why don’t I set the wheels in motion. For me, money is only as valuable as the things it enables me and others to do.

I invest to empower companies who are making a real & positive impact on people’s lives and are doing it their own way.

Take a minute and tell us your “why” here.

What's Up Wednesday

The Taco Cleanse!

nov-16

Imagine it: a world without prejudice. A world where coeliacs, vegans, vegetarians and omnivores can all eat together in harmony. A world where the food they’re eating looks after the planet and the people making it, while still tasting really, really, good. That is the world that the team behind Boquita are creating – and they’re bringing it to central Wellington!

Boquita is brought to you by the team behind La Boca Loca, some of our favourite alumni. They’ve been feeding the fine people of Miramar with top-rate tacos for years, but now they’re ready to branch out and bring the taco goodness to all Wellingtonians.

But they’re not just asking for your money. They’re offering something wonderful in return: The Taco Cleanse. Scientists in Austin, Texas, have confirmed that a taco-centric diet is beneficial to well being – and who are we to argue with science?? So by pledging to Boquita, you can partake in the taco cleanse – replacing as many meals as you like with tortilla-based goodness. We’re yet to find a better path to a bikini body. But if you’re not 100% sure if the taco cleanse is right for you, the team at Boquita have put together some helpful questions:

  1. Do you experience recurring feelings of hunger on a daily basis?
  2. Do you experience a range of emotions?
  3. Do you like food?
  4. Do you enjoy eating your food with your hands?

If you answered yes to all of these, a taco cleanse may be right for you. But if you’re still on the fence for some reason, we had a chat to the taco team themselves to find a few more reasons why you should be pledging:

1. How are you finding the campaign so far?

Lots of fun! One of the things I love the most about crowd-funding is the incredible boost we get from having our community get behind what we are doing, even we’re doing things that are a bit out there – like launching Wellington’s first Taco Cleanse and opening New Zealand’s first 100% plant-based taco joint. We have an incredibly supportive, generous community of customers and friends at La Boca Loca, and we’re thrilled to find out that they’re as excited as we are about Boquita.

This isn’t our first campaign with PledgeMe and what we’ve learned is that these campaigns are so much more than a way to raise money. They’re about building a community of support around an idea, and giving everyone who wants it the chance to be a part of making something new happen.

Having people in our community put their money behind our ideas and plans is a huge boost in morale, and in the past we’ve also found that those people went on to be great champions for our projects once they launched.

We hope that will happen with the Taco Cleanse and Boquita as well.

2. What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

Yup! We have some new rewards which will be added in the days to come, and we have a live event planned for next week – a chance for Wellington to learn more about the science behind the taco cleanse! More on that soon.

3. Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

Just a massive thanks for being awesome! And remember that taco cleanses are more fun in a crowd. So if you’ve already pledged to take the Taco Cleanse challenge, make sure you get your friends to pledge too!

To find out more about Boquita and start your cleanse, take a look at their campaign page right here.

North Island Roadie: complete!

Earlier this year we did our South Island roadtrip. It was a cold 10 days, but a heart warming experience of supportive crowds, beds offered (despite our rocking Jucy caravan), stories shared, and relationships formed/deepened.

And, our second road trip around the North Island was no different, except for maybe the overall temperature – spring was definitely a warmer time to travel! We stopped in 8 towns (well, 9 if you count the fact we were in Wellington twice) over 9 days and presented to over 250 people.

In our first three days we met with over 100 people in Palmerston North and Whanganui (with a small pre-event in Wellington).

palmerston-north-event

The team at BCC really pulled out all the stops. If you are ever in Palmerston North, and want to be connected into the entrepreneurial crowd, this has to be your first stop. Not only did they organise pretty much everything (including spring rolls for the road), they kept us caffeinated and Dave lent us his parents’ house for the night. I think it may have been partially a ploy to get me offline, as they were out of reception range, but it was beautiful waking up on a lifestyle block in the middle of the North Island.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-3-12-04-pmIn Whanganui the local chamber sponsored our event, and we got some good media coverage. The folk at Double Farley let us use their beautiful space, and then the locals took us out for some tacos (we love tacos if the current La Boca Loca campaign is anything to go by…).

 

From there we went on to New Plymouth, where we spent the weekend with an old friend of mine. Barry surfed, and I tried the local cafe and macaroon scene.

Our Monday morning session in New Plymouth was packed out, with the BDO crew sponsoring and the beautiful Manifold space hosting. We had quite a few potential campaigners pitch their ideas to the crowd that attended, and a breadth of ideas and range of companies.

From there we drove back to Wellington for the launch of the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator, and then flew on to Tauranga.

There we had a local journalist from the NZ Herald through, creating this short video on our event at Basestation. It was great to see so many people turn up on Melbourne Cup night, and we even had one current campaigner show up in roller-skates to talk about her project. 

Onward and northward we went, with three more fantastic crowds in Hamilton, Auckland, and Whangarei.

We met with company founders, not-for-profit champions, social enterpreneurs, artists, writers, musicians, you name it.

One of the coolest things for us was to meet some of our alumni along the way, including Ash from ONESIXSIX in Whāngārei where they crowdfunded the rates on their community space, and Adam in Auckland who crowdfunded his children’s book. It’s always so much more powerful to have people in the room that can share their personal learnings.

Ash and Barry in front of ONEONESIX

Ash and Barry in front of ONEONESIX

While we were on the road three of our South Island Roadie alumni were running their campaigns, and TWO hit their goals: Urbn Vino and Em’s Power Cookies. Both of them are food and beverage products from the regions, doing things a bit different. Here’s what Em said about our visit in July:

As you might be aware we did it!! Big thanks for helping me. This whole process has actually impacted more than I ever expected. A few months ago I was feeling disillusioned and burned out. This project has forced me out of my comfort zone and helped to give me a direction and general motivation with my business. As you know there is a lot of background work that goes with this, despite “just” doing a project vs. equity funding. Getting my business plan polished has helped with attracting a couple inner circle investors. And I probably wouldn’t have gotten there in this time frame had you not visited Westport.”

We hope more campaigns come out of our visit both to the South Island earlier this year, and the North Island last week.

We want founders and doers to realise that the money they need might be a lot closer to them than they thought, and that the process of crowdfunding might bring so much more than the funding. It can activate their existing crowd, strengthen relationships they already have as well as going wider.

Big thanks to everyone who helped make our latest North Island roadie a success, including:

  • Our sponsors: Whanganui Chamber of Commerce, BDO Taranaki, TUANZ and Hive.
  • The people that let us stay in their wonderful homes to stay (including, Nicola, who had only moved in at 8am the morning that she invited us to stay! We tried to help her unpack the next morning, we hope you can find all your utensils….)
  • The co-working spaces and venues that let us use their spaces, including: The Biz Dojo Wellington, BCC Palmerston North, Double Farley Whanganui, Manifold New Plymouth, Basestation Tauranga, Wintec, Enspiral Dev Academy Auckland and the Orchard Whāngārei.
  • Everyone who shared the event, or co-hosted it for us.
  • Barry, for putting up with a whole week of me (and doing the lion share of driving so I could try and keep on top of my inbox… Try being the imperative word).
  • And, most importantly, everyone who pledged to come along.