There is a new type of website service out there called crowd funding which basically allows entrepreneurs and inventors to put up their idea and ask for donations to help bring the idea to life. It's not really the same thing as an angel investor as the crowd funding platform caters more to individuals that want to make a difference in the world. Also, with crowd funding comes extra perks in that the good folks that post a project looking for funding also offer perks in exchange for the funding being donated.
It reminds me a lot of the way public television has been trying to get you to part with your money for years now. Just like on the TV channel, if you donate a certain amount, you get a perk in return such as an unreleased DVD or a combo package only available to those that choose to donate. Crowd funding as I already mentioned, works much the same way in that a company seeking funds will offer something in return.
In Alberta, there is a new system that was created and is being backed by the good folks over there at ATB Financial. It's a crowd funding platform specifically for the Alberta based business owner, and it's currently in beta so I invite you to visit Alberta BoostR and support your local business community.
Since it is still in Beta, it only covers Edmonton and Grande Prairie businesses at the moment and is just getting it's feet wet so donations are sparse and projects to choose from are even fewer. The problem may be in the timing as the world's largest and most well known crowd funding platform has just opened it's system to Canadian businesses,and the launch is just around the corner.
However, the great thing with Alberta BoostR is that they currently do not charge any fees as opposed to the hefty fees charged by all the big crowd funding sites out there so they can operate at a profit. It's a no brainer, if you are in Alberta and thinking about crowd funding, I would highly suggest trying Alberta BoostR so as to get the word out and have the opportunity to use all the money you raise with your campaign as opposed to just a portion as would be the case with other crowd funding platforms.
MrTech has applied to have a campaign listed on Alberta BoostR so that we can raise enough rent to cover 3 months which is what a basic damage deposit is in commercial real estate leases.
Application status so far it has gone really well and I've had to add information before I could get approved. It was quick, and I even got a phone call to verify a few details. I was told that as soon as I provide the extra information that the campaign could be approved. I did it on the week-end so knew I would wait until the following week for any kind of response.
This time, it did not come as quickly, taking a few days and I get another notice that my website (www.mrtech.ca) was currently in maintenance mode and how much longer it would take to have it live so they could approve the campaign? Well, I've been working like mad for the past 10 days to get the site ready for launch and for the campaign.
The final step was to write this blog post to give you an idea of how it all went. I plan on updating this blog with campaign updates as I get them so stay tuned!
Update 1: It's official, on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 - the MrTech Alberta BoostR campaign was approved and launched! I invite you to visit the campaign and most of all, please share the link (mrtech.ca/campaign) with your friends, family, co-workers and especially your arch nemesis to help spread the word about MrTech's efforts to open a retail location in Edmonton, Alberta. Pssst! You should also donate $1 and click the Facebook 'Like' button!
Update 2: It's been one week since you heard from me, it's been one week since you... wait this is not a Barenaked Ladies tune, this is a little more serious. As you can see from the screenshots below, many of you have visited (thank you) my campaign page and I thank you for that.
However,if you were to look at the campaign page as of today, September 12th, 2013 - 11:11am local time - there is not a single donation to be found. Thanks to an old friend Veronica for reporting an error in the donation process, it was fixed as of late last night. Of course the site is still in Beta and things like this are to be expected. The problem is solved, and I invite you to give me one more chance. Please visit the MrTech crowd funding campaign again. I am located on the Alberta BoostR website.