Last weekend I participated in a youth entrepreneurship forum by signing up on a crowdfunding website in Taiwan.
How much does it cost? Free.
It is basically a free forum. However, I did pay a NTD100 (USD3.50) upfront on the crowdfunding site as a sign of “support”, with an option to get the full refund at the end of the event. This is to ensure that everyone stays until the end of the event. Event registration of a forum on a crowdfunding site is uncommon and innovative enough for me to find out more.
The crowdfunding website that links event participants like me with the forum here is called flyingV. Launched back in 2012, flyingV is currently the biggest crowdfunding site in Taiwan.
For those unfamiliar with the term crowdfunding, crowdfunding is a way of raising money by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money. This money can be used to support projects, businesses, creative campaigns and many more.
The most popular and successful crowdfunding project with flyingV is probably the experimental sale of “ch+u electrical pilot watch” in 2012, a watch that adopts Seiko’s AGS technologies to enable automatic generation of electricity from the wearer’s body movement.With its refined design and project description, it managed to raise a total of NTD3.54 million (USD118,000), almost 10 times more than its original funding target of NTD360,000. In total, over 700 people supported the project even before it was launched.
Crowdfunding, along with the rise of entrepreneurship globally, grows in popularity over the last 5 years. Some of the most popular pioneer crowdfunding sites include Kickstarter and Indiegogo from North America, as well as Ulule from Europe.
How about Asia-Pacific? Interestingly, there are quite a few of them too:
- Pozible, Australia
- Kitabisa, Indonesia
- Campfire, Japan
- Demohour, China
- Zeczec, Taiwan
- Fundu, South Korea
- Fundator, China/Pan-Asia
Other than popularity among the mass public, crowdfunding is also favored by political figures including Barack Obama. Of the 1 billion raised by the Obama’s election campaign 2012, 57% of them came from crowdfunding, with an average donation of USD200.
People buy into the dream and visions of others through crowdfunding platforms. Through crowdfunding platforms too, the mass public is empowered to make something happen: to help singers travel and perform on the international stage, to help filmmakers film a documentary or to put something into production.
(“Attack on Flour” demo picture. Source: flyingV)
It feels exciting to get involved in somebody’s dreams, and be part of some adventurous plan. A sense of engagement is what powers crowdfunding, and with everyone’s involvement, dreams can be realised.
As crowdfunding campaigns become more and more popular in Asia, we definitely expect more creative projects being featured and funded on platforms such as flyingV.
Featured image source: aurora.com.cn