What's Up Wednesday

The Misprint Co.

Sept 7

Back in design school, Kareena and Jenny were just two students creating good-looking notebooks for a university project. But then they began to notice how much paper their creations were using up. After some research, they discovered that it takes 10 litres of water to create just on A4 piece of paper – and they wanted to do something about that.

So they founded The Misprint Co, a Wellington company that offers paper repurposing services to local schools and businesses. These organisations provide the paper, and the Misprint moguls turn it into beautiful custom-made notebooks, which they then sell back to the organisations. To date, they have repurposed 61,169 sheets of paper – which amounts to 611,690 litres of water saved.

The Misprint Co. is growing already. They’ve been through both Lightning Lab Manufacturing and the Low Carbon Challenge, and now they want to take their business to the next level. They’re expanding their office, their reach, and their team (they need more than 2 people to get it all done!) And so, they’re turning to you to make it happen.

Kareena and Jenny are looking to raise $20k with their campaign, $15k of which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Wellington City Council, thanks to their success in the Low Carbon Challenge. They’re already over half of the way there, but they need their crowd to get behind them – so we had a chat to Jenny about why you should be getting involved in this campaign.

How are you finding the campaign so far?

The campaign is going really well so far! We’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support and generosity we have received from our crowd. We are super stoked to have made it over half way in just under two weeks. What really helped us was our launch party, which really kicked things off.

We’ve found we have had a lot of engagement through our social media. All our big supports such as Wellington City Council, Flick Electric, Creative HQ and The Low Carbon Challenge (the list goes on) and even Justin Lester who’s running for mayor have tweeted about us and shared our campaign! With 11 days left in the campaign there is still time for us to reach our target. But at the same time it’s quite nerve racking.

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

We have a few things up our sleeves. We will be launching a new reward in our last week, I won’t say what it is but it will definitely be interactive. We are also planning some new marketing, potentially in a guerrilla form. Keep your eyes peeled for fun things happening.

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

We would love to say a massive THANK YOU! Everyone has been super supportive and are really backing us for our crowdfund to be successful. A big shout out to our current clients too who are ordering their next round of notebooks through our campaign. We are forever grateful to those who have pledged and shared our campaign so far. Our crowd is amazing!

To find out more about The Misprint Co. and help these paper people reach their goal, check out their rad campaign right here.

How to PledgeMe.

$2 mil in 2 days

ParrotDog made history two weeks ago, as the quickest equity campaign in New Zealand to hit the $2 million mark.

How did they get there? It wasn’t luck. It was 5 years of growing their business and brand, five months spent creating their campaign, 5 weeks communicating it, and a clear vision of where they wanted to go (and what they needed to get there).

Here’s five things that we saw that they did really well, that could inspire some of you aspiring crowdfunders out there:

1) Have a plan

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We talk about having a campaign plan, and even have a Google Doc that we share out, but the Parrot Dog crew went next level with their planning. They had a wall chart with daily tasks.

Matt Stevens was the mastermind behind their plan, which had a page for every day in the lead up. It included everything from when they needed to have their directors indemnity insurance in place through to when they’d post on social media (Mondays and Thursdays).

Everyone was part of delivering the plan, and everyone could see it as it took up a whole wall in their office.

Remember: it always takes longer than you think to pull together a visually pleasing business plan, and a kick ass pitch video.

 

2) Get in touch with your crowd

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You can’t raise your money, if your crowd doesn’t know what’s happening.

The ParrotDog crew created a newsletter in the lead up to their campaign, with their first major announcement being that they were crowdfunding. After that, they had specific key messages they wanted to talk about each week, from announcing what the funding was for to the location of their brewery through to a copy of their IM.

Here are the newsletters they posted out to the world

They talked to everyone from their suppliers to their mums, and started asking folk to sign up to their newsletter weeks in advance of their launch.

 

3) Be yourselves

This was a big one for the ParrotDog crew. They didn’t want to become flashy or corporate. They wanted to bring their own strengths, but not try to become something they weren’t. So, they refused to do a traditional press release to announce their campaign – they made a quirky video instead.

ParrotDog Beer. nice. | Press Conference from ParrotDog on Vimeo.

Everything they did was on brand, and really showcased who they are as people and as a company.

4) Have a clear goal

PD event 8

The ParrotDog crew were super clear on what they needed money to do – build a bigger brewery. With a brew bar included, it really inspired their fans (especially those based in Lyall Bay) to get in and support. Having a really tangible plan, and vision that your crowd can embrace (or drink) is a big part of having a successful campaign.

5) Meet people #IRL

PD event 11

We sort of pushed the Matts into this, hosting the ParrotDog crew in our space for a meet and greet with potential investors a few days before they launched. It was a great opportunity for their crowd not only to ask questions in a group setting, but meet each of the team and ask them questions individually as well. With just a few days notice, the ParrotDog crew had over 90 people attend either in person or online. Many of the people there that night were the first pledgers to get in to the campaign.

 


Well done again to the ParrotDog crew, for funding their vision and inspiring a new wave of Kiwi crowdfunders.

 

 

We get by with a little help from our PledgeMe.Friends

We first wrote about the idea of PledgeMe.Friends in our blog two weeks ago. Here’s a bit more about how we see our new friends-powered referral system working.

2014_07_08 PledgeMe equity launchOne thing we’re blessed with here in the PledgeMe office is a great circle of friends – be it our alumni, our shareholders, our personal networks, or our professional contacts. We’ve been around for a few years now, and have gotten to know people up and down Aotearoa New Zealand. We’ve talked at 100’s of events, met 1,000’s of people, presented to over 10,000 attendees and helped over 1,000 campaigns fund through our platform.

And, now we need your help. We need help finding and nurturing crowdfunding campaigners that might not come to us direct. Companies, organisations and teams that you think would be a natural fit for going out to their crowds, but they might not see it.

They might be so deep in the delivery of the work that is in front of them, that they haven’t had time to think about raising money to expand, or time to learn more about crowdfunding.

Great campaigns are already coming through our doors – but we know there are so many more awesome campaigns out there that just don’t know what they don’t know.

Project successes in last week

Things like ParrotDog are happening, things like Eat My Lunch are happening, things like The SpinOff are happening. These are all campaigns, across our three types of crowdfunding, that have done what our platform does best: activate their own networks to make their plans happen. And, their plans are so much more than just about making some investor they’ve never met a 30 times return. They’re about strengthening communities, building brands, and making a change in the world (even if it’s a beer based change).

But, these campaigns can be hard to find, hard to nurture, and hard to support. So that’s where you come in.

We’ve launched PledgeMe.Friends. We think there’s really nothing more powerful than our own crowd. You’ve shown us time and again that you back us: when we ate our own dog food (twice), when we made a magazine, when we wanted a new board member, and when you all decided I seriously needed a holiday.

What we really need most right now is more companies and organisations we can help through project, equity and lending campaigns. That’s where you come in:

If you are the first person to shoulder tap a company to run a campaign, and they end up running a successful campaign, we’ll give you a $500 success fee (either direct to you or pledged towards the campaign for you). The campaign needs to meet its goal by its deadline, and it needs to raise more than $50,000.

How is this going to work?

  • Fill out this form here (or email us on contact@pledgeme.co.nz)
  • If you’re the first person to recommend that company, we’ll get in touch and ask for an intro (if you can do it)
  • The more details about how we can help the better
  • You could even help them get to their goal – support, share their campaign, be their cheerleader (with benefits).

Yep – you can be from the company. If you aren’t the first person on board to recommend someone we’ll let you know, and send a high-five your way.

What does a potentially successful campaign look like?

  1. Something that has been around for a little while (eg. people have seen the work the creators are doing)
  2. A great crowd around the company or organisation – be it customers or friends
  3. Great communication – they should pride themselves on being awesome at communicating with their crowd
  4. A plan (or ability to create a great plan) – something that a crowd can get on board to make happen

Here’s to the next great campaigns that come through our doors. Hopefully with your help, friends!

Confessions of a Crowdfunding Enthusiast

Our latest guest post comes from crowdfunding enthusiast, Adam Millen. Engineer by day, children’s author by night, he went from backing campaigns to running one of his own. He’s hooked and planning another campaign. You can find out more about it at jackfeelsbig.nz/sophie. He tweets about crowdfunding @crazyideasnz and blogs at crazyideas.nz.

What would you do if your friends and family offered you a couple thousand dollars? They say they want to support that thing that you’re really passionate about, and the money is for you to produce something cool to share. What would you do with it?

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At the start of last year I had the idea of creating a book to teach kids the names for their feelings. And I crowdfunded it. I’ll tell that story, but first – why? Why do I care about crowdfunding ideas? Why should you care?

I care because I’m excited about the way that crowdfunding forms a bridge between people’s ideas and reality. A bridge for ideas that otherwise would never have come to be.

You should care because you could be one of those people! And it’s really rewarding to do! Both the creating and the backing.

So let me tell you my story. It actually starts even before I had the idea. I had backed crowdfunding campaigns and I already knew that I wanted to create something, but I didn’t know what.

Then, at the start of last year I stumbled across inspiration. I read an article laying out how important it is to teach young children to name their feelings and I saw a gap – it would be easier to teach these words if there were books with stories that specifically used these words. It seemed like something that I could put together. I couldn’t draw well enough for a kids book, and I don’t have the equipment for printing and binding. But I could find people to do those. I could use my engineering brain to analyse a complex concept and break it down to simpler parts. And I could come up with a suitable scenario to illustrate each feeling. I got pretty excited about this useful thing that I could create!

Coming back  to my first question – what would you create? Have you had ideas like this? Have you seen something missing from the world? Maybe you thought “someone should definitely make that”. Maybe you could be the one to do it!

I shut myself in my room over the Easter long weekend last year and wrote up a dozen stories and laid the groundwork for some more. I came up with a defined project. I would get illustrations done for 15 stories and publish them in three volumes.

Next I did some research on how much that would cost and got quotes from printers and illustrators.

If I set my crowdfunding goal at $20,000 that would mean I would need to pre-sell eight hundred copies of the book at $25 each. That balanced the fixed cost of fifteen stories worth of illustrations with the variable costs of printing, postage and crowdfunding fees.

I hadn’t done books before. I didn’t have an existing customer base or relevant community to go to. I had friends and family, but the $20,000 goal was not realistic. No worries. I just had to re-package.

I redefined and resized the project – to get illustrations done for just five stories, and with those in hand, publish “Volume 1”. For me, crowdfunding would be a stepping stone. Maybe the thing you’re passionate about is too big for a couple thousand dollars. Can you make part of it become a reality on this budget? It could be the first step to something awesome.

For my campaign, the main reward would be a copy of the book for pledging $25. For $5 and up, backers would be kept updated and would get to choose which five feelings went into the book. For $50 they would get a signed copy. There were options all the way up to a thousand dollars. The $25 reward point tends to be the most popular, but it’s important to cover the whole range to leave all of your crowd satisfied.

So what about your passion? If you packaged up a project with a budget of a couple thousand dollars, what would you share? Something tangible – like a print of a painting of yours? Or an experience like tickets to your big show? A virtual reward maybe – like an mp3 of your song? Public appreciation – like a place in the credits at the end of your documentary? Or involvement – like being part of the crew, getting inside access or VIP (Very Important Pledger!) treatment? If all else fails, how about some merchandise – like a tshirt with the name of the community group? There’s so many options if you think freely about it.

Ok. So I had my plan laid out. Next, I spent a weekend putting together a video. I had the technical know-how, and I had my idea pretty well condensed, both of which helped. My delivery wasn’t the greatest though, and it took hours of recording to get just a few minutes of not messing up my lines. And then a whole lot of editing!

If you’ve got an idea that you want to crowdfund, you’ll need to make a video. And you need to be in it. Why is this so important? People need to see your passion for this thing. If you don’t believe in it, why would anyone else? But I’m sure you can get excited about your big idea! You also need to keep it short and to the point, and it helps if your camera is stable and your shot is well lit.

The next thing I needed was a crowd. I made sure that I started talking to people even before I launched, trying to make sure I had a list of core backers that I could depend on to pledge immediately. My closest friends, immediate family and other friends who also happened to be in my target audience. When the campaign opened, it was people from this list that gave it a running start.

The sooner you start building you crowd, the better. Even before you have all the rest planned out, it helps if you make a habit of talking about what you’re passionate about. Post on social media, join relevant community groups. It all helps.

After that I reached out wider, direct messaging every single Facebook friend I had. The second push was enough that the first few days got me to about 30% of my goal. This is a typical start for a campaign that’s going to make it. It’s is a very exciting time. And then things leveled off. In general, a typical successful campaign will spend the next ten or twenty days steadily plodding toward the 60% mark. This part tested my perseverance. Someone who really liked the idea pledged $500! Then several days passed with nobody at all pledging. Then  I got an article on Stuff! But it didn’t bring in any new backers. There were definitely times when I wondered if I would even make it!

I made sure to send updates out during the campaign. I engaged with my backers and encouraged them to help spread the word. It was hard work keeping at it, even when the early optimism flagged.

Most campaigns that reach 60% by the 5-days-to-go milestone will get to the mark. As the countdown approaches, if you’ve got enough funding that it’s looking credible, the fence-sitters jump on board. The despair of the middle of the campaign is suddenly replaced with joy! All your hard work has paid off!

I reached my goal, and actually managed a little bit more. In the end about three-quarters of my backers were friends and family.

Even after the crowdfunding campaign was a success, I still had a lot of hard work to do! Producing and shipping a quality children’s book took plenty of time and effort. I spent most of my Easter long weekend this year personally delivering books to backers (a great experience in itself). Now I’m all done and I’m selling the book on my website. A book that might never have existed.

I’ve made my crazy idea a reality. How about yours? If you don’t have a project of your own, get on board with someone else’s. Help them make the video, share their page. Or back it!

Crowdfunding is going to be the bridge to reality for a whole stack of ideas that otherwise never would have gotten there. And that’s exciting.

 

Keep your eyes peeled for Adam’s upcoming campaign, Sophie Feels Big.

 

Being a Crowdfunding Investor

Simon Papa, down-to-earth lawyer with a penchant for crowdfunding, shares his thoughts on what you should expect and do as a crowdfunding investor in a NZ company.

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Crowdfunding is an exciting development but what does it mean to be an investor? When it comes to equity crowdfunding it means that you own a part of the company – you own shares.  You ultimately benefit if the company is successful, but you also risk losing your whole investment if it isn’t.  I’ve briefly considered below some of the things you can expect and can do once you’re an investor.

Communication

You can hopefully expect good communication from the company.  While at law the company has limited obligations to proactively communicate with you (and very few if you hold non-voting shares), there’s an expectation that crowdfunded companies will regularly update you on their progress.  If you have voting shares then you can expect an annual report before the annual general meeting (AGM).  Also, as a shareholder and regardless of the rights attached to your shares, you have the right to request information from the company, but they aren’t obliged to provide that information (and might impose an administration fee), particularly where it is commercially sensitive.  You do have a separate right to inspect and ask for copies of certain company records, including shareholder resolutions and financial statements.

The AGM

The company must hold an AGM (and invite you!).  It’s an opportunity to find out more about the company’s progress and future plans and to ask questions of the directors (the company might make it possible to attend using technology). Tea and biscuits (or something better) might be laid out for you.  Or they might not, so check beforehand if refreshments are your main reason for turning up! An AGM must be held within six months of the company’s financial year balance date so, if that’s 31 March (which it usually is), then you can expect an AGM to be held no later than the end of September.

Rewards

The company might have offered shareholder discounts as an incentive to invest.  So use them if they’re of value to you.  But if you’re getting more than minor discounts check to make sure that the company has made arrangements to deal with tax arising – some companies pay your share of tax for you.

Selling your shares

You can sell your shares, though the law places restrictions on sales in some situations.  There is currently no stock exchange for trading crowdfunded shares so finding a buyer might be difficult.  If you do want to sell you could contact the company to see if they know of potential buyers (though because of restrictions at law the company may have limited ability to assist).  However you may not be looking to sell.  Many investors invest with other goals in mind.  You might have invested because you believe in what the company is doing (and are less concerned about an economic return).  You may have invested to enjoy shareholder discounts, to earn dividends, or to benefit from a future sale of the company or its business (though this is by no means guaranteed).  Or you may have a  mixture of those goals.  Dividends are probably unlikely for long periods where the company is growing fast, since the focus is on reinvesting profits to support sustained growth and hopefully significant value add.

Enjoy the ride!

Enjoy the ride and remember that this post is a very broad (and incomplete) summary only and is not legal or financial advice.  The Financial Markets Authority provides useful information for investors.  The law is complex and investing is risky so make sure you seek appropriate professional advice before acting.

 

(A beautiful lawyer’s flourish at the end there, Simon!)

Simon is the director of Cygnus Law Limited. He’s passionate about providing sound, understandable and relevant legal advice that helps to add value.

 

What's Up Wednesday

Thought-Wired

Aug 24

For more than six million people around the world, daily communication is a struggle. Due to severe physical disabilities like cerebral palsy or motor-neuron disease, these people (who often have sound, healthy minds) cannot move or speak, and must rely on complex and convoluted methods in order to express themselves to their carers and families.

The team behind Thought-Wired decided that given the technology available today, that simply wasn’t good enough. And so they dedicated themselves to creating nous™: a brain-sensing technology that detects the user’s thought patterns and turns them into actions. By selecting words and images on a computer screen, people can communicate with those around them – and as the technology develops, the possibilities for how much more control they could have are endless.

Thought-Wired have successfully created and trialled a prototype of the software – now they want to take it to the market. That’s why they’re equity crowdfunding: they’re reaching out to their crowd to gain the funds they need to take their business to the next level, and improve the quality of life for their customers. Their campaign has only been open for a week and they’ve already raised well over half their minimum goal – so to find out more about why you should be getting on board, we had a chat to Founder and CEO Dmitry Selitskiy.

How are you finding the campaign so far?

We’re positively overwhelmed by the response and the support. We knew we had fans and interested investors alike, but running out of the gate like we did in the first 36 hours was a fantastic surprise. Now we’re about to cross the 2/3 of minimum target mark, and are already past 1/3 to maximum within the first week!
On top of that, there’s so much more activity happening surrounding the campaign besides direct participation of investors: new connections, new opportunities, and a continious stream of energy and support. It’s very humbling and encouraging!

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

Our campaign launch event was a wild success but unfortunately not everyone could make it. We’re busy thinking up ways of how to get more people to experience the nous™ tech, meet us, ask questions and provide feedback. Stay tuned for announcements!

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

Just the biggest Thank You! We could not get here without your ongoing support and encouragement. Together we can really change the world!

P.S. just in case you have not seen it still, check us out on last week’s Seven Sharp!

To find out more about Thought-Wired and help change the lives of disabled people worldwide, check out their campaign right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Cult Wine

Aug 17

Looking for a wine that will rock your world? We have the campaign for you.

Back in early 2015, Jules van Costello and Asher Boote had just founded Hillside Kitchen & Cellar in the heart of Wellington. Thanks to its creative European-style cuisine and its enticing wine list, this restaurant quickly became a favourite among Wellingtonians, and earned accolades from the likes of the Dominion Post and Cuisine Magazine. But Jules and Asher noticed something else, too: as their restaurant grew in popularity, so too did the demand for the kinds of wines they championed: wines with “character, personality and integrity”. So often, those wines were only available to buy from their little outlet in Thorndon – but they were determined to change this.

So they came up with the idea for Cult Wine, a subscription-based service offering some of the best wines available in NZ. Each month, subscribers will receive 6 bottles of wine to try, chosen not only to reflect the season but also, with three tiers of membership available, chosen to reflect their budget.

Clearly, this is something kiwis are keen to get behind. Don’t believe us? Check out Cult Wine’s campaign page, where they’ve already more than quintupled their campaign goal! We had to hear more about this roaring success, so we got in touch with Jules himself:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

Amazing, we are thrilled by the support. It’s always tough to gauge a new market when launching a new business but the support we’ve had already is telling us there is a real desire for the kinds of wines we are going to be offering.

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

Wellington on Plate is underway, so I’m going to be at Hillside pouring wine quite a lot over the next few weeks. Likewise we were also at the NZ Chocolate Festival pouring some amazing wines to match with Chocolate on Friday and Saturday last week.

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

Thank you! Thanks for all your support and thanks for sharing the message. Remember, you’re not just supporting us but you are supporting all of the small producers we buy from!

To share the message more and get a subscription while you still have the chance, check out Cult Wine’s campaign page here.

Our results and our friends

TL:DR, we didn’t hit our forecast last year, and we’re ok talking about that.

It’s a funny beast, transparency – since we went out and crowdfunded ourselves, our forecasts are out there in the ether (and journalists’ hard drives). And when it’s time for us to post our annual accounts as a Financial Service Provider, our results are there for the world to see.

Not that we mind – transparency is our bread and butter. We truly, deeply believe that openness and accountability make the world a better place. (That said, it grates a bit when commenters on news stories about us can still hide behind a pseudonym, and frankly, behave like schoolyard bullies).

It’s true, we didn’t hit our forecast last year. For a whole bunch of reasons. Because educating companies through the process takes time, because we’d calculated our forecast on two strong months at the start of the year, because the market got crowded, because the first blush of being in a new industry faded, because we stick to our fee structure in the race to the discount barrel bottom, because it’s fucking hard work in start up land.

But the explanation for what happened in the past really isn’t important, what is important is what we’ve done since last financial year. Which, in start up time was light years ago. 

We’ve:

  • Launched an education programme to help companies through the process, CrowdfundingU – better supported, well prepared companies are more successful.
  • Gotten two new board members to help build our strategy, Jessica and Mel, with expertise in financial markets, sales and marketing.
  • Launched our lending platform, with Eat My Lunch hitting the ball out of the park on their Lunch Bond campaign. PledgeMe.Lend will enable more great NZ companies AND organisations access the funding they need. 
  • Changed our structure (with our team, not against them) to better match the evolving market and demands of our business.
  • Had over 1,000 successful campaigns through the platform. Yep, 1,000+ campaigns have gotten funded through us.

 

And, we’re excited. Really excited. Tired, but excited.

Things like ParrotDog are happening, things like Eat My Lunch are happening, things like The SpinOff are happening. These are all campaigns, across our three types of crowdfunding, that have done what our platform does best: activate their own networks to make their plans happen. And, their plans are so much more than just about making some investor they’ve never met a 30 times return. They’re about strengthening communities, building brands, and making a change in the world (even if it’s a beer based change).

Project successes in last week

 

But, these campaigns can be hard to find, hard to nurture, and hard to support. So that’s where you come in.

We want to launch a new idea today: PledgeMe.Friends. We think there’s really nothing more powerful than our own crowd, you’ve shown us time and again that you back us when we ate our own dog food (twice), when we made a magazine, when we wanted a new board member, and when you all decided I seriously needed a holiday. 

What we really need most right now is more companies and organisations we can help through project, equity and lending campaigns. That’s where you come in:

If you are the first person to shoulder tap a company to run a campaign, and they end up running a successful campaign, we’ll give you a $500 success fee (either direct to you or pledged towards the campaign for you). The campaign needs to meet its goal by its deadline, and it needs to raise more than $50,000.

 

How is this going to work?

  • Fill out this form here.
  • If you’re the first person to recommend that company, we’ll get in touch and ask for an intro (if you can do it)
  • The more details about how we can help the better
  • You could even help them get to their goal – support, share their campaign, be their cheerleader (with benefits).

 

Yep – you can be from the company. If you aren’t the first person on board to recommend someone we’ll let you know, and send a high-five your way.

The path to changing how New Zealanders do business was always going to be tough, and we’re so thankful to our crowd for supporting us. Here’s to the next great campaigns that come through our doors. Hopefully with your help, friends!

What's Up Wednesday

Wise Boys Burgers

Aug 10

9 months ago, the team at Wise Boys Burgers had a dream: to create the nation’s first fully plant-based food joint. Armed with nothing but that dream, some meagre savings and a whole lot of gumption, they worked tirelessly to build a trailer, and took their burgers to the people.

And the people loved them! Customers went mad for these meatless burgers, and their food truck was praised loudly by everyone from Heart of the City to Urban List. But as they’ve grown more popular, they’re struggling to keep up with demand – and so they want to expand, so that more people can enjoy their wonderful burgers.

This is why they’re turning to PledgeMe. In order to do things properly, they need to refit their entire trailer. They’re putting up half that cost, but they need the help of their crowd to get them the rest of the way. They’re offering some phenomenal rewards, including a date with the Wise Boys team, a jar of their amazing aioli, or even a chance to name their new truck!

We wanted to hear more about their planned revolution, so we got in touch with the brilliant Beka, the girl behind Wise Boys!

How are you finding the campaign so far?

It’s been rad! We’ve had a tonne of verbal support and it’s cool to see that translate into a tangible thing. On the first day someone bought one of our higher value rewards to win the rights to naming our trailer, which got us pretty hyped about the whole thing! It’s also quite nerve-wracking though, because you’re putting yourself out there and just hoping that you’ve communicated well and that people get it, and are up for supporting you.

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

We have a few more rewards that we’re going to launch! And then of course you can look forward to coming and getting a burger from our pimped out trailer once we’re done!

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

On our last night hundreds of you guys stood in the rain waiting for our burgers, which just reinforced why we’re doing this whole thing. Thanks for being part of the food revolution, thanks for your kind words, thanks for eating our burgers, thanks for telling your friends. Let’s keep making this thing a whole lot bigger than just us!

To find out more about Wise Boys and make burgers not war, head over to their campaign page (or check them out on Instagram!)

 

What's Up Wednesday

The Spinoff’s War for Auckland

Aug 3

The Spinoff has been delighting us with smart news stories since it was launched in 2014. Offering an alternative take on traditional media coverage, they’ve discussed everything from Radio Hauraki’s mispronunciation to women’s position in Gloriavale. And now, they’re once again turning their focus to something that should concern us all: the future of Auckland.

The team at the Spinoff believe the upcoming elections and Unitary Plan are “the most important political events in Auckland in decades.” And they’re concerned traditional media will become bogged down in the worries of NIMBYs and fail to do these stories justice. They want to step up and frame the election as the crucial event it is – but to do so, they need your help.

And so many of you have provided help already! Less than two days after their campaign launch, the Spinoff had already doubled their target. With over 300 pledgers, they’ve now passed $23,000 – but they’re hoping to get even further. If they raise $25,000 they can create more noise, and add more fulltime staff to cover the stories. With awards ranging from bespoke tweets to exclusive advertising rights, there’s no reason not to get on board – but we got in touch with editor Duncan Greive to hear even more reasons why you should.

How are you finding the campaign so far?

Overwhelming. We were initially debating whether to go for $5000 or $10,000, and only put in the stretch goal at the last minute, almost as an afterthought. Not because we didn’t have a thousand great ideas on which to spend the money – but because we’d never asked before, and had no idea how our audience would respond. So to have so many people join the War so quickly, and be so passionate about it – it’s humbling and almost intimidating. We’ve talked a big game, and are determined to deliver.

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

We’ve already hired economist Shamubeel Eaqub part-time through the election to do analysis and fact-checking – his ‘Shamubeel calls Bullshit’ series is going to be a good time. We’ve commissioned a piece of web development which we’re really excited about. And there’s a collaboration between an incredible illustrator and feature writer which we think will frame the issue in a quite stark way. And a tonne more. But I really don’t want to spoil the surprise.

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

Just that we love them, and have felt both the excitement and the sadness coming off them since we launched. This was really about trying to cover this incredibly important moment in a way which reflected the voices which have too often been shut out of this debate. We’ve heard a lot from people who might have a terraced house go up next to their property while also having the land further escalate in value. I’m not nearly so concerned for them as for those we haven;t heard from – the generations of young and less well-off who have been locked out due to the excessive amount of concern for the first group. We’ve been delivered a very good Unitary Plan. Now we want to watch to make sure it passes relatively unravaged.

If you’re passionate about the future of Auckland and want to see the Unitary Plan go unravaged, head over to The Spinoff’s campaign page and support them here.