Up until a decade ago, for most people these ideas remained just that — a pipe dream. In theory, crowdfunding changed this. It made the funding of anyone’s idea a real possibility (at least in the developed world). If you wanted to get your life’s dream funded, all you had to do was create a decent campaign, apply for a platform, and then share with your audience.
In practice, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Barriers Despite being a $35 billion+ industry, getting listed on a crowdfunding platform isn’t as simple as it seems. Barriers to entry are high, with many platforms shutting out developing countries and due to being equity backed, only accepting projects that are likely to reach their goal (and make a return through the 5%+ fees charged.)
Once on the platform, it doesn’t get any easier — in a competitive market, your campaign has to be strong. An average spend by a crowdfunding campaign will be between $1,000 and $5,000 before it even makes any money.
Currently only 17% of Keep it All campaigns (KIA) reach their funding goal, and 34% of All or Nothing campaigns (AON), which effectively means that the ‘failed’ campaigns don’t make any money at all, despite potentially investing thousands in promoting themselves.
How are we different? We’re using blockchain to change this. Our platform will use the powerful idea of crowdfunding, but remove all the access barriers currently in place on other leading platforms. We’re not equity backed meaning that we can accept any legal and ethical project without considering its immediate commercial potential — this gives more scope for social enterprise and humanitarian projects, alongside technological innovation and creative ventures.
The Acorn platform will have inbuilt support services to give projects the best chance of reaching their funding goal, and will give founders the option of Keep it All or All or Nothing funding structures.
We have had over 230 project submissions so far. Here’s just a few of the projects that our platform will help bring to life:
1. A Polar Expedition A polar expert/author and record-breaking adventurer from the Netherlands, want to become the first souls to attempt the coldest journey in the Northern Hemisphere.
The ambitious pair want to be the first to trek between Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk, two small villages in sub-arctic Siberia, which both claim they are the coldest inhabited place on earth. The villages are 650 kilometres apart, and the temperatures range from -60 to -90. The epic journey will be filmed and a book will be made about the adventure.
2. A Film Maker’s First Horror Film An indie filmmaker from Argentina who has spent a long career so far working on VFX for Hollywood — including Game of Thrones — wants to make his first horror/fantasy feature film.
Part of the funds have been raised already, but he requires the remaining funding to meet the quality standards needed to make it into the international circuits.
3. Sustainable Food Source Using Mealworms
A scientist in Canada is creating a sustainable, nutritious food source through the mass production of mealworms fed off waste food. This project hopes to ultimately create a sustainable food source with little to no carbon footprint.
4. Filters for Safe Drinking Water
Using Nano technology developed by NASA in 2008, one entrepreneur wants to develop a water filter for wells in regions such as India, Pakistan and Africa where many people don’t have access to clean drinking water.
5. Bakery Training School A bakery and bread training school in Nigeria requires extra funds to expand its training projects to target those who face job insecurity and economic hardship.
We have been overwhelmed by the variety of project submissions we’ve received so far, in a huge range of sectors, from all over the world. The sheer volume of innovative ideas reinforces our belief that crowdfunding should be for everyone.
We all have our own ideas about projects or inventions we believe will change the world. Whether it’s a theme park in your back garden, a donkey sanctuary, or some spring loaded trainers…
We’d love to know — what would you crowdfund if you had the chance?