Startup Monday is ABCey’s weekly post that features some of the best and brightest companies in the Bay Area. They are often companies that we have our eye on or have worked with in the past that we would like to share with the friends and followers of ABCey Events.
Based in Israel, OurCrowd is an equity-based crowdfunding platform to provide venture capital funding for venture capital start-ups. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, crowdfunding is essentially pitching an idea or project to the general public and hoping that they find as worthwhile of an investment as you do. Co-founders, Jon Medved and Steven Blumgar, explain that in Israel there are 500+ venture financings and over 1000+ angel financings, making it an ideal place for OurCrowd to launch — and prosper. Individuals can now use this platform to browse through hundreds of different startups and search through entrepreneurs, artists, technologists, and more.
According to its website, OurCrowd has become the first Israel focused, equity-based investment platform to launch and one of the world’s leading accredited investor only platforms! OurCrowd offers users effective tools to research companies in order to determine follow-up investment. IN addition, it offers a low-cost portfolio as well as a broad network of fellow investors.
ABCey Events is always on the hunt for the latest gadgets or tools that will serve as unique event gifts or help us to better plan an event. This just got a whole lot easier with Swish! Swish, which only launched this past Friday, offers VERY new (not-yet-made) products from creators and inventors across the world. Each product gets a 30-day pre-order campaign giving all Swish users the chance to be one of the first people to own a new product.
If you’re hosting a tech event maybe you want to include a Card Ninja in your gift bag? I just finished baking an absurd amount of brownies for a Super Bowl party and could actually use the Ultimate Spatula. There are tons of innovative items that would be very helpful for event planners (and everyone) on this site. Furthermore, never before has your order for something been so meaningful.
Swish co-founder Heather Brundage tells us, “We want to give consumers a voice like the App Store or Reddit, where you get to go and say ‘Hey, I want that!’ and not be limited by what only big retailers think you will like.” When you order a product, you signify to everyone else and the public that the product is worthy and has value – moving it up on the Crowd Favorite list. Your order invariably helps inventors determine a demand for their creation which gives them the go-ahead to ramp up production.
If Fab and Kickstarter had a startup baby, Swish would be their child. It is creative, fun gadgets and products for sale with a little crowdfunding thrown in the mix. It might take them a few months (or up to a year) to get these brand-new products to you, however, you will have the ultimate satisfaction that you’ll be one of the first people to get your hands on an awesome new product that you helped become a reality!
ABCey Events is super excited for tomorrow’s 2012 Crunchie Awards here in our beloved SF! For our final awards coverage, we wanted to spotlight the startups that are up for Biggest Social Impact, those that have contributed to some meaningful and significant social impact in our society.
1. Donors Choose – Donors Choose is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers post classroom project requests on the site, and one can give any amount to the project that most inspires. When a project reaches its funding goal, Donors Choose ship the materials to the school. In return, donors get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you’ll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students. This truly makes giving back an easy and fun task. After all, we’ve all been there when someone ate all the glue.
2. Indiegogo – Indiegogo is a crowdfunding platform where people who want to raise money can create fundraising campaigns to tell their story and get the word out. Indiegogo is also a place to discover what people all over the world are passionate about and how to get involved. IndieGoGo campaigns receive all the money they have been pledged, whether the initial funding goal was reached or not. IndieGoGo is available internationally.
3. Kickstarter – Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. They are particularly useful and great for finding and funding creative projects such as music albums or indie movies. Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.4. Kiva – Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Loans funded through Kiva have a 98 percent repayment rate, so the money you lend to a small business owner is likely to come back to you. By connecting people through lending, Kiva has empowered small businesses and served as an important catalyst for positive change and job growth.
5. Reddit – Reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web. Users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk. Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links. This is far more effective and significant than when you “like” something on Facebook. Interestingly, Mashable has a complete section devoted to “Reddit Facts” learned each week.