Entrepreneurs looking to get a financial start are more frequently turning to strangers online to find the funds.
Crowd funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo give an online platform for ideas, business plans and propositions for new products. Business-minded people in San Mateo County are turning to the trend more frequently. While statistics on success rates of such campaigns aren't greatly advertised, locals have found success by reaching out to support from strangers.
Erick Mott of Burlingame, for example, started his idea in college. He was tired of crouching over a book. Instead, he designed a stand to hold up a book that previously sold in office supply stores near colleges. Now, he reinvented the idea to be adjustable for a variety of things such as papers, books or even tablets. Made from eco-friendly material, the creatorstand is also made locally.
Mott set a goal of $15,000 on Indiegogo to get production started. On Sunday, Mott will receive the money because the goal was met. He can raise more money with the time left. But after raising the minimum, Mott at least knows he can get started with his product.
Mott said the opportunities to raise funds online are inspiring for small businesses. It means less risk to launch and less risk to the consumer. Mott opted for a fundraising plan in which he would only receive the money if he reached his goal. Indiegogo allows for other flexible plans. This way, Mott said, money wouldn't be spent until he could make his product.
Another advantage Mott found was through crowd sourcing. His online campaign resulted in quick feedback from possible consumers. Some had questions which allowed Mott to tweak his presentation quickly.
Despite the lower risk, Mott said much work needed to be done before setting up his online campaign. But the crowd funding method was a cheaper approach to the problem of getting a business funded.
For Tom Borden of Half Moon Bay, the idea of a seasonal crab shack had always been an attractive idea for a family business. This summer, he and his wife decided to give it a go. They put the goal of raising $10,000 on Kickstarter