Inside Launcht: Social Entrepreneurship and Launcht.org

After graduating this May from Middlebury College, Mike Campbell joined the Launcht team to help push us through the summer months.  This second part in our summer intern series is about Launcht.org, the crowdfunding platform for social entrepreneurs that Launcht is reigniting in July.  Mike is handling the communications end of setting up Launcht.org, so we asked him to update us on how it’s going.

It’s only my third week here at Launcht, but things are ramping up quickly.  Freeman was out for some of last week speaking with the SEC in Washington about equity crowdfunding, and Spencer is out of the office today so that he can speak on social media management at the StartupVT Conference tomorrow.  I’ve been handling the media monitoring for Launcht, setting up the June newsletter (should be sent to members on the mailing list today), and communicating with social entrepreneurs who are interested in setting up campaigns for the Launcht.org platform in July.

The Launcht.org platform is the most exciting project I’m working on.  While Launcht provides white-label crowdfunding platforms for clients, the Launcht.org portal is a separate platform produced by Launcht exclusively for social entrepreneurs.  After a temporary lull, we’re reigniting the platform with an opening date set for July 18.

The coolest aspect of the Launcht.org platform setup is recruiting social entrepreneurs to campaign for their causes.  Social entrepreneurship essentially entails identifying a community or societal need and creating a system to meet that need.  This covers a broad range of markets and ideas, from fresh food production to green energy products to microfinancing.    As a result, the social entrepreneurs who are preparing to go on the live launch often have nothing in common.  I can’t say much about the campaigns themselves yet, but if you have a campaign or know someone who might be interested in crowdfunding for social entrepreneurship, send me information at michael@launcht.com.

I’m also pleased with how the upgraded Launcht.org portal looks – or will look, as it’s not available to the public yet.  The design is very sleek and clean.  A big improvement over the old Launcht platforms.

Media monitoring is something I had never actively done for someone before.  I essentially comb the internet for mentions of crowdfunding so that Freeman and Spencer stay up to date on the crowdfunding world.  After spending last semester taking ten minutes to explain what crowdfunding is to everyone who asked where I would intern in the summer, I’m amazed at how often it’s referenced in the media, and I’m convinced the industry is only picking up steam.  This article from Luke Richards gives a succinct analysis of where crowdfunded could be headed in the near future, based on numbers from Massolution’s Crowdfunding Industry Report.  It projects crowdfunding revenue to reach $3 billion in 2012, a 91% increase from last year.  Things are picking up, and I’m happy to be here.

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