Exciting news from my hometown of Columbus, Ohio broke this morning that serial entrepreneur Wil Schroter is introducing his latest project. And if you’re a new or struggling startup, you’re definitely going to want in on this.
Fundable.com, a platform designed to crowdfund backing specifically for “serious startups”, launched today. You’ve probably heard of Kickstarter by now which is the current front-runner in successful crowd-fundraising, but has no niche limitations on who is allowed to raise money with their site.
The idea for Fundable comes after the JOBS Act (which is also being called the “Crowdfunding Act”) has allowed startups specifically to raise money publicly from anyone willing to back them. This was obviously a big inspiration for Schroter in developing this early stage incubator startup.
“The Crowdfunding Bill signals a massive shift in the access to capital by startup companies,” says Fundable’s CEO and co-founder. “No longer are startups relegated to a small number of accredited investors and lenders to raise capital. Now anyone can participate in the creation of startup companies, from friends and family to customers and strategic partners. This fundamentally changes how startups get launched.”
What’s really interesting about the platform is that they work on an “All or Nothing” strategy. This makes the startup’s job of deciding how much to raise extremely important, because if they don’t reach that minimum goal they will not receive any of the financial backing pledged.
Fundable has also tailored two options for how to thank backers for contributing to your startup:
- Rewards-Based Funding: Depending on what the startup has to offer, financial backers can receive a pre-order or special item in return for their contribution.
- Equity-Based Funding: For investors looking to give more money (usually more than $5,000).
Upon visiting Fundable today, you’ll notice it is launching with five startups, all of which have been raising money through the beta period of the platform. uFlavor, Tackk, Stamp TEG, Purge, and bikedabs were strategically chosen for this launch to show the range of companies that can benefit from a platform like this to raise the capital it needs to move forward.
Want to raise money for your startup? Here’s how to get started with Fundable:
- Apply: Like Fundable says, they only work with “serious” startups. So you’re going to have to go through a vetting process in order to be accepted on the platform.
- Ask for funding: Once you’re approved you will be asked to start a profile where you need to provide information about the startup, your fundraising goals, and the rewards that you can provide the backers who are not contributing a large enough amount to receive equity.
- Backers pledge money or personal assistance for startups they like: Backers can pledge as little as $1.00 through Fundable in return for rewards or equity. Not only can you offer money, but any personal offerings from customer introduction to graphic design can be offered as well.
- All or Nothing: The startups using Fundable will only be able to collect from their efforts if they reach their pre-determined goal. There is no limitation for the amount you can raise, but you must reach it to receive any of the backing.
It’s pretty exciting for Columbus to be able to stake claim as partial home to Fundable (Schroter’s technology incubator Virtucon Ventures also has offices in Santa Monica, California), but the support of powerhouse individuals of Silicon Valley are what make this launch even more impressive.
Schroter has created an advisory board for Fundable which includes well known individuals in technology including 500 Startups Founder Dave McClure, Startup Weekend CEO Mark Nager, Venture Capitalist Mark Goines, and early founders of both Secondmarket and SharesPost.
“Crowdfunding is going to open the doors for early stage companies. Fundable will provide the opportunity for thousands of young startups that most likely would have never had the resources to get off the ground,” says Advisory Board Member, Mark Nager.