There is no doubt about it: Crowdfunding is booming. In 2014 around 12.5 billion euro (approximately 18.7 billion NZD) was crowdfunded worldwide1. Compared to 1 billion euro in 2011, these numbers indicate an exponential growth of the crowdfunding market. In the Netherlands a similar trend can be detected, with 63 million euro (approximately 94.6 million NZD) being crowdfunded in 2014 (compared to 2.5 million euro in 2011) and we expect this to increase to 100 million euro in 20152. Keeping in mind that the Netherlands is a relatively small country, these numbers are quite impressive.
Douw&Koren, the world's first crowdfunding consultancy agency, currently located in the Netherlands, grew alongside this crowdfunding revolution. This resulted in two very exciting projects that we'd love to tell you more about!
On May 12, Douw&Koren organized Crowdfunding Day, Europe's biggest crowdfunding convention. The Amsterdam ArenA was transformed into a crowfunding walhalla for entrepreneurs, financial professionals and investors. Over 70 speakers and 700 participants joined Crowdfunding Day to learn about, contribute to, and celebrate the crowdfunding industry.
Crowdfunding Day's mainstage
A highlight of Crowdfunding Day was the presence of international 'crowdfunding master', Benjamin Bryant (Head of Special Projects at Pebble), responsible for Pebble's multi million dollar crowdfunding campaign. In a keynote he shared Pebble's experience with crowdfunding and his vision for the future of the crowdfunding industry. You can watch his keynote here.
Benjamin Bryant (Pebble) shares Pebble's crowdfunding secrets at Crowdfunding Day.
Furthermore, there were several parallel sessions and workshops on a diverse range of topics such as Crowdfunding & Franchising, ROI & Risk, Crowdfunding & Marketing, and Regulation of the crowdfunding market. Snowball Effects' Josh Daniell made a valuable contribution to the latter, with the video message (see the top of this post) on regulation of the New Zealand equity crowdfunding industry.
Start-ups also had the opportunity to present themselves to the Crowdfunding Day participants at the Crowdfunding Day Escalator Pitches, before the day ended with the Dutch Crowdfunding Awards, celebrating the best crowdfunding campaigns of 2014.
Start-ups presented their projects to potential investors at the Crowdfunding Day Escalator Pitches.
There is a lot of information about crowdfunding online: "The 10 best crowdfunding tips" lists, in-depth articles, and so on. However, this information is also very dispersed. For an aspiring entrepreneur or project-owner it is overwhelming to realize, once you have sifted through the piles of information, what you need to do for a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Also, more and more investors are jumping into the new pool of investment opportunities created by debt and equity crowdfunding platforms. With the crowdfunding industry still relatively new, these offshoots are still largely unknown for many investors.
And let us not forget about other advising firms that are getting into the mix. Accountants, lawyers, investment advisers and more are all dealing more and more with clients who are involved, or want to get involved, with crowdfunding. This is new territory for them and information on how to handle it is limited.
Therefore Douw&Koren is launching Crowdfunducation in 2015: a video-based e-learning platform dedicated to crowdfunding. Crowdfunducation will offer in-depth state-of-the-art learning trajectories consisting of videos, articles, links to relevant examples, quizzes, and interactive graphs.
It will work as a personal guide that takes project owners from A to Z, covering all the necessary elements of creating a successful campaign. It will also provide answers to investors on all the questions and doubts they might have about crowdfunding and introduce topics such as equity crowdfunding. Financial professionals and advisors will be shown how to coach and advise project owners who are starting or planning to start a crowdfunding campaign.
Crowdfunding is booming and the industry is maturing more and more. As this happens, projects, platforms, investors and advisers from different countries are coming together to see it grow even further, but more importantly, to see it grow on a solid basis and in a sustainable manner. Crowdfunding Day was a great way to get many crowdfunding pioneers and enthusiasts together to exchange knowledge, visions and ideas. Crowdfunducation will be a portal to facilitate access to all these great minds, and their knowledge and vision as an outsider.
It is exciting to see how crowdfunding is evolving at the moment, and we are even more excited to see where we are headed. These projects are just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. If the crowdfunding community keeps collaborating in this fashion we can't wait for what the future will hold.
All the best,
Merel and Patrick
Douw&Koren Crowdfunding Consultancy
1 Massolution, 2015CF Crowdfunding Industry Report.
2 Douw&Koren, Crowdfunding in the Netherlands.