Crowdfunding could help to drive the next wave of innovation launched by small firms. Missouri-based startup CrowdIT hopes its new site will help to restore entrepreneurship to a central role in the United States economy.
CrowdIt believes that crowdfunding will help drive the next wave of innovation and economic expansion in the United States and is on a mission to support small business growth. This US crowdfunding platform has recently joined up with Startup America, a White House-sponsored national network of communities working to “increase the prevalence and success of America’s entrepreneurs.” CrowdIt’s venture combines the features of a crowdfunding site with the power of social media in order to create a platform that will attract proponents and supporters of the ‘New American Dream’. In partnering with Startup America, CrowdIt hopes that together the two organisations will make it easier for entrepreneurs across the country to source not only financing but also practical assistance for their projects.
Dreamers and Believers
CrowdIt aims to give “everyday people the chance to tap into the collective power of the crowd” on what it describes as a ‘second generation’ crowdfunding site. The site will enable ‘Dreamers’ -those with ideas but not necessarily all the necessary skills and certainly not the financial resources to take those ideas forward- to submit projects. ‘Believers’ can then get involved, supporting the projects and helping the entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality. This will go beyond funding and provide skills and mentoring support to the Dreamers’ startups. As CrowdIt says in its press statement, “the company is building a community of dreamers, believers and suits.” By ‘suits’, it means experienced people who are well-placed to “facilitate the success of small business endeavours through peer-review, business networking, team collaboration and mentoring.” The full launch of the new CrowdIt portal is scheduled for 4 June.
Reinvigorating the individual entrepreneur
As a new member of Startup America, CrowdIt is now also connected with members in its own home state, as there are more than 180 Startup Missouri members. Startup Missouri companies are focused particularly on work in bioscience and technology. Startup America is designed to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship through coordinated public/private effort. It has launched in more than 32 regions across the United States and numbers nearly 13,000 members nationwide. Its objective is to create an alliance of businesses big and small, universities, non-profit organisations and federal agencies to “celebrate and honour entrepreneurship as a core American value and inspire and empower people to build great companies.” Similarly, CrowdIt believes that in the current economic climate, by “working with professionals who share the same values and passion” it will have a “real opportunity to reinvigorate the individual entrepreneur.”