In the 2004 bestselling book by James Surowieki, The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, the author made a great case as to why the aggregation of information in groups results in decisions that are better compared to decisions made by any single member of the group. In many ways, the book laid the foundation for the tech industry’s fascination with all things CROWD—social media, flash mobs and now the increased use of the crowd as a source of investment.
The latter is the reason why ProHatch, a leader in promoting expertise and education to the emerging crowdfunding sector, and provider of a one-of-a-kind Phase-To-RaiseTM crowdfunding platform, is interesting. ProHatch has launched its 2013 Online Crowdfunding Incubator Program. According to ProHatch, it is “designed to provide free business intelligence, consultation and training to social and business entrepreneurs on how to effectively prepare concepts and businesses for a successful crowdfunding campaign.”
If you are an entrepreneur, registration for the program has commenced at www.prohatch.com and will continue through March 15th. Plus, it will broadcast in a three part series running Monday - March 18th; Wednesday - March 20; and Friday - March 22 at 11am-12pm eastern.
“The ProHatch team welcomes everyone who is interested in using crowdfunding as a means of capital formation to participate in our Online Crowdfunding Incubator Program called Coffee & The Crowd,” said Liz Kulik, Co-Founder of ProHatch. “Entrepreneurs will be able to join us for three information packed hours over three days, and get a wealth of expertise and insights from business and crowdfunding leaders, as well as learn if donation, reward or equity based crowdfunding is right for their business.”
The Online Crowdfunding Incubator Program includes a free training/educational series called “Coffee & The Crowd” – an online webinar training program series that gives participants an opportunity to enjoy a free cup of Starbucks coffee, compliments of ProHatch, while being educated on the latest information about crowdfunding and business preparation by both ProHatch and industry experts. Topics will include things like Crowdfunding 101 & The JOBS Act, How to Enhance Your Projects, How To Prepare Your Business, and Using Social Media To Build Your Crowd.
There is also an incentive. ProHatch will select 50 entrepreneurs who have chosen ProHatch as their crowdfunding platform the chance to earn a scholarship for participation in an extended Incubation Program that will provide a number of advisory services including additional training, free access to a social media and publicity platform, and several hours of free consultation.
For budding entrepreneurs, the extended program could be valuable. The consultations are one-on-one, for an hour for each of the 30 day phases in their project for up to three phases – for example, a feasibility study phase, design concept phase and a prototype phase. Of course, actual types of phases will vary by project. There is also free access to Enhance My VisibilityTM a step-by-step publicity execution system that incorporates all of the tools, templates, and expert knowledge needed to help companies gain the visibility for supporting their crowdfunding campaigns.
And, the company is aggressively promoting the exposure entrepreneurs will get to their flagship Phase-To-RaiseTM crowdfunding process.
The reason this is important is because many entrepreneurs have great ideas but are not skilled in the niceties of raising money and pleasing investors. As ProHatch notes, “Phase-To-Raise helps protect investor/donor risk by requiring business owners and entrepreneurs to deliver three milestone reports tracking how funds awarded were used to execute the plan being funded.”
They also state that, “Phase-to-Raise is the only platform that delivers funding to entrepreneurs for their business ideas every 30 days, instead of waiting for long periods of time to actually realize funding at the end of a campaign. Phase-To-RaiseTM offers ‘All-or-Nothing’ funding for business and personal projects and ‘Everything Funds’ for philanthropy projects – and – takes projects through four key steps…Build, Broadcast, Fund and Deliver.”
As somebody who has both sat on the advisory board of early stage startups and has been a judge of business school competitions of people with great ideas but who are in search of mentoring, it is great to see that this type of resource is available. This combines the wisdom of those who have successfully gone before and the money of the crowd and how to tap into it. Not a bad combination.
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