Ideas. They are the spark that bring new innovations to life. In today’s world, one well-timed, ambitious idea could ignite a movement, a shift, a new paradigm or way of getting things done. Yet many ideas fall through the cracks at the early stages and fail to get the necessary funding and support they need to get off the ground.
With this in mind, I have been following a new trend known as crowdfunding. Crowdfunding originated as an extension of the microcredit movement made prominent by organizations working in the developing world, such as Kiva. Kickstarter, an American-based crowd funding site that launched in April 2009, is considered to be the spark that ignited the crowd funding movement. Since its inception, over $100 million dollars had been raised through the site with a project success rate of 44%.
So what is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a new model for financing ideas and early-stage projects; in contrast to the traditional model where you ask a few people for a lot of money, crowdfunding is about raising a small amount of money from a lot of people. Through online portals, projects can easily be posted, shared and funded. Anyone with a creative, social or entrepreneurial venture can post their project on a crowdfunding site – if they are able to reach their pre-determined funding goal in the specified period of time, then the project is funded. While crowdfunding has made its biggest waves in the US, it has recently gained a lot of traction in South America – so that’s where I am headed.
Check out this amazing visual by Crowdsourcing.org to see crowdfunding on a global scale
Why South America?
Most people who know me know that I have a “thing” for South America – the culture, the people and the language are all factors that get me inspired when I think about this continent. On this trip I plan on spending time in two countries: Argentina and Brazil. I have already lived in Argentina, so I know it well, while Brazil is a place I have remained fascinated by since spending a week there in 2006. New crowdfunding sites have been launched this year in both countries, so there is a lot to explore.
What’s my plan?
I plan to go down there and conduct an informal study on crowdfunding. By informal, I mean that there is no specific structure or predetermined result that I will be looking for. Rather I will be hoping to connect with as many companies and supporters of the crowdfunding movement throughout Brazil and Argentina as possible. During the course of this trip, I plan to blog and share my thoughts on what’s out there. To make it all official, I am hoping to crowdfund a portion of my trip, which I why I have included a donate button on the sidebar. You can click on the button and donate through PayPal with a few clicks of the mouse and I’m willing to negotiate for social rewards if your are interested.
Either way, I hope I can share some cool insights and examples from the crowdfunding movement down South. Stay tuned …