Startups are encouraged to tap crowdfunding to raise capital needed to make their business ideas into reality, as it also brings about improvements in designing new products to capture the market and provides opportunities.
“Crowdfunding is more than just about raising funds. While that is the focus of course, you shouldn’t miss out on the chance to gain other benefits from crowdfunding,” Audrey Hontiveros, crowdfunding manager of the Spark Project, said in a webinar.
Hontiveros said it helps entrepreneurs get feedback from supporters on whatever they crowdfund for.
“(You) get insights on how to improve your product or your idea for the future. And another one of those benefits is that crowdfunding inevitably will be able to connect you to other opportunities so you can use the time that you are running your campaign to widen your reach and really build a community around your work as well,” she said.
Hontiveros said there are a lot of different things and kinds of projects that entrepreneurs can raise funds for, adding that each crowdfunding platform caters to a different audience.
“So at the end of the day, it all depends on the platform that you use to crowdfund on so each platform has different guidelines and different rules that you have to follow. But generally, people raise funds to crowdfund for projects that have clear goals and have clear timelines,” she added.
Hontiveros cited as an example in the Spark Project wherein it does not allow campaigns to crowdfund to start a business or an organization but instead crowdfund for projects within businesses and within organizations.
Spark Project is a creative conscious platform that uses crowdsourcing and education to enable entrepreneurs and changemakers to start and scale their projects.
“Whichever platform that you choose to crowdfund on, though a good baseline for what we like to call crowdfundable project, would befirst that the project or service or idea and its story should be ready to be put out in the world and seen by other people. This should be able to answer any potential questions that your backers or supporters might have about your project and it is really crucial to make your campaign and yourself credible because people are going to give you money and they are expecting something in return,” she said.
To make the campaign more attractive, Hontiveros advised entrepreneurs to have a good flow for their story and a video to make it more personal and engaging with their supporters.
“We also encourage them to have exciting and unique reward packages so it can be anything from a limited edition item or something that is exclusive only to crowdfunding. And aside from that, having lots of photos and visuals in your campaign, not making it too wordy so you should be able to really take (them) into your campaign when they visit your page. The last thing to make your campaign more attractive is to just be honest and don’t be afraid to include some personal touches that really tell more of your story,” she said.
Hontiveros also underscored the importance of mobilizing personal networks in social media to make campaigns more visible.
“The more people talk about your campaign, the more it spreads to others and because of that, the higher your chances are of converting someone to a supporter of your campaign…,” she said.
“And the most important thing about making your campaign visible is to really put in the time and effort in building your crowdfunding campaign to begin with and the plans that you have to promote it online and if possible offline,” she added.
Hontiveros said the timeline from creating a campaign to receiving funds depends on the maturity of the product or idea, the number of team members working on a campaign, and the amount of time that is provided to a campaign.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico said that through the PCCI Innovation Center, the business group in the future will schedule meetings where the startups can meet with people who are looking for investment opportunities.
“It is one of the ecosystems that will be available at the PCCI Innovation Center… This will help not only those who have capital but also those who are looking for capital because if we are able to put these two together, this will result in a better Philippines,” he said.