5 Minutes with David Ives, Crowdfunding Expert.
If you have a question about crowdfunding, there are few better people to ask than David Ives. Previously the Chief Technical Officer for Crowdcube, the world’s first equity crowdfunding site, he has highly sought after experience in the crowdfunding industry.
As one of Acorn’s expert advisors, we took five minutes to sit down with him and pick his brains about crowdfunding, and our platform relaunch.
Here’s what he had to say…
Acorn is a truly global platform. There is no other crowdfunding option out there that offers such availability across the entire world.
Acorn’s use of cryptocurrency is breaking down borders like no other platform has ever been able to do. The opportunity for a founder to reach a global audience is a game changer. An amazing project shouldn’t be limited to a subset of territories — a great idea, is a great idea regardless of its origin.
The Acorn Marketplace is unique and one of the most exciting aspects of Acorn for me.
To open up an almost infinite supply of services and skill sets right inside the platform is incredible. Community has always been a huge motivator for me regarding crowdfunding. This really does expose founders to an unparalleled pool of resource right there where they need it. The potential for the scale of the Acorn Marketplace is mind blowing. The opportunity for not only founders, but also backers, and members of the collective is absolutely huge.
Transparency of the project throughout its life cycle is a game changer.
Traditionally, the communication between founders and backers is at its highest during the actual raise period — once the target has been reached, this normally drops significantly.
The problem with this, is that backers are left with a feeling of disconnection with a project that they were formally incredibly engaged in. By utilising blockchain throughout the post raise period, all activity is open to all. Not only does this ensure the founders are delivering on the promises they made, but it also provides an opportunity for those involved with the project to offer advice and assistance if momentum drops, or unforeseen issues are experienced.
Crowdfunding has always been about far more than an alternative funding source.
The crowd have so much to offer in terms of skills and experience that by providing visibility of a project, this resource can be utilised fully.
One of the biggest challenges in crowdfunding is when a founder has a fantastic idea, and the drive and determination to give it the best possible start — however, many do not have the experience required to take that idea to the next level.
Have they ever created a marketing campaign? Have they had to source overseas manufacturing? Have they had to manage a large budget and burn rate etc? One of the significant benefits of the Acorn Marketplace is how it connects founders with an incredible array of skills and services. This can be the difference between a moderately successful idea and a global success.
Backers come in many shapes and sizes.
There are a wide range of backers in crowdfunding, from serial backers that love the thrill of getting involved with early stage projects, to those with an emotional investment in the project, and budding VC’s that are excited by spotting the next Pebble or Oculus — the list goes on!
The constant requirement of all of these individuals is the need for communication.
It is too easy for a founder to go full steam ahead with their project once the target is reached, that they can easily neglect the essential need to keep their backers up to date. How is their investment being used? Are the milestones being regularly completed? etc etc.
Blockchain provides complete transparency. When this is combined with the amazing resources that Acorn can offer in the shape of expert advice, mentoring and the huge array of services available in the Acorn Marketplace, we can ensure that regular communication is an incredibly simple process for backers.
Smart Contracts can be used to further alleviate the pressure on a founder by automating large proportions of those tasks that can prove distracting when building a business. Regular progress and financial reports can be automatically generated and distributed to all stakeholders — the possibilities are endless.
Rather than fitting into the crowdfunding market, I believe Acorn will redefine it.
In my opinion, transparency is the difference between a good campaign and an incredible campaign. The backers are the greatest advocate that a project has — they are spreading the word about the project.
We use crowd sourced reviews to make decisions every single day; Trip Advisor, Amazon reviews, Uber ratings, and the list goes on. Stakeholders with up to date information are your best advocates — they have the influence to make or break your project. Blockchain not only enables, but enforces this transparency.
The sky is the limit for Acorn.
Nothing of this scale has been created before. We have seen the huge success of crowdfunding as an alternative source of finance — traditional VC’s are involved, as are governments. The model has been well and truly proven, but now we are taking it to a global stage.
This post was originally published on our Acorn Collective Medium publication.