Launcht recently partnered with VoltCrowd, a Boston firm that’s trying to help 93 start-ups create 600 jobs in their National Crowdfunding Challenge. They consider themselves not a crowdfunding platform but rather a “start-up accelerator” working on a $50K Challenge business competition.
Startups from across the United States have competed for one of the coveted 93 spots; the winners were selected for their potential ability to succeed and were then put through a rigorous training course for crowdfunding. They received valuable lessons on how to run a successful business and a successful crowdfunding campaign. Their training included:
- Multiple small group workshops for startups, taught in an advanced 2nd year MBA course at Babson College (ranked number 1 in the US for Entrepreneurship in schools)
- Support for creating excellent pitches, profiles, videos, and rewards
- Workshops on “Rocket Pitches” and social media campaigns
The winners come from 45 cities across the United States and include PhD’s, MD’s, lawyers, and MBA’s. They come from schools like MIT, Babson, Duke, and Columbia, and some come from prestigious–or at least eye-catching–careers: a Paramount Studios executive, a Britney Spears opening act, and a Today Show guest speaker have all made the roster. These hand-picked best and brightest have one mission: raise the funds they need to create jobs and get their startups off the ground. VoltCrowd hopes that with the training they have received and their cumulative 2.5 million social media and mail connections, they can succeed. So far the outlook seems promising: with no press releases or national media attention to date the campaigns have already earned over $12,000 cumulatively, and most have over a month left to go.
VoltCrowd is now officially launching, and we are excited to see what strong minds, solid training, and a will to succeed can do for these startups. Their ideas range from restaurant organization apps, to endurance athlete organization and motivation apps, to 3D printed ceramics. Many offer great perks that double as Christmas gifts (a 2013 Tough Mudder unlimited season pass, a ceramic fruit bowl, a trip to a New York launch party, the list goes on…) so if you have any interest in doing your holiday shopping while adding to the U.S. economy and creating jobs, this should be your portal. If that’s not enough incentive, VoltCrowd hopes to raise over $1 million collectively in this first challenge and donate 5% of those profits to the Red Cross to assist in Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. It is crowdfunding at its finest, and we hope it will serve as a model for those who hope to run successful crowdfunding campaigns in the future. To see the campaigns, click here.