Category Archives: Crowd Funding

Property Crowd Funding – The Magic of Modern Day Investing – HuffPost

As an entrepreneur and global communications specialist, Ive come across a diverse spectrum of investment avenues that are both lucrative and proactive.

However, the world of real estate has always intrigued me. Real estate has been booming around the world, particularly in the UK, with new housing, apartment and condo complexes being built at a phenomenal pace.

This provides a great opportunity for investment when it comes to making your money work for you.

During a recent visit to London, England, I came across an entrepreneur that opened my eyes to the world of Property Crowdfunding.

Abdullah Iqbal, Co-Founder of the Knightsbridge based start-up PropTech Crowd, reveals: Property crowdfunding is a relatively new form of investment which allows multiple investors to come together to invest in specific properties. As each has a small share, the cost of entry is significantly lower than it would be if they decided to invest alone

Belonging to an ethnic Muslim background, I learned that Abdullah joined his father who has been involved in the familys property business for well over three decades.

However, it was during a trip to his native Pakistan that his father thought of introducing an interest-free property crowdfunding model that would also be attractive to the thriving global Muslim community, specifically in the UK.

Abdullah Iqbal, Co-Founder at PropTech Crowd.

While there existed property crowdfunding companies already, Abdullah and his dad saw an obvious vacuum in the market. None of the property crowdfunding platforms were Shariah compliant at the time, due to them being involved with interest. Our motivation was to take the banks out of the equation, enabling investors to have shares and democratising the property market for everyone, while conforming to the Islamic prohibition of interest, emphasises Abdullah.

The companys core mission is to revolutionise property investment through innovative crowdfunding technology, allowing everyday investors to access high-ROI opportunities that they may have been priced out of in the past.

As I learned intriguingly, some of the key benefits of property crowdfunding are:

As an individual with limited finances, I asked how is this relevant to someone, or even beneficial in the short or long run of things?

Abdullah adds, Property crowdfunding is opening up property investment, allowing anyone to access benefits that were previously only available to high-net- worth individuals and asset managers.

When investing in property, one of the biggest facets to look at is obviously ones return on investment.

Would you invest in something with a high return on investment (ROI)? Of course you would. Anyone would! Thats a no-brainer. And Abdullah elaborates, According to the Office for National Statistics, UK house prices have risen by 31%. This is far superior to the return you get from savings accounts.

The model is applicable to both Muslims and Non Muslims. There are no bank involved, no loans with interest, and one receives full voting and financial rights with your investment.

So how is the Shariah compliance is ensured?

I learned that Mufti Abdul Kader, a renowned Islamic scholar and expert in Islamic finance, is a Shariah Compliance Advisor at PropTech Crowd. His duties entail making sure that all elements of the business are Shariah compliant, visibly and consistently.

When I asked Abdullah about ownership as a landlord, I was surprised at the answer. Longer-term investments receive a yield the rent in addition to any capital gains you may receive when the crowd sells the property. You get the benefits of being a landlord without the huge start-up costs and with all of the administration done for you, reveals Abdullah.

Where does the company go from here?

Abdullah smiles gently and replies, Our 5-year vision is for our investors to have access to properties across major global cities. We want to open doors up in various countries for ordinary people to invest and own property anywhere. Owning property shouldnt be difficult and we intend on creating a model that facilitates it in the most effective and beneficial way.

The company is also actively cross-promoting with established platforms such as Ethis Crowd, the Worlds first Islamic Real Estate Crowdfunding platform headquartered in Singapore and Islamic Banker, a marketplace for responsible investments.

He elaborates, The purpose of Crowdfunding is to get together and accomplish something, whether it is a social cause, to support a start-up, or invest in property. As a platform, we find collaboration to be the essence of success. Our motives and vision are very much aligned with Ethis Crowd and Islamic Banker, so it is clear that if there is synergy, we should explore it.

Conclusively, property crowdfunding is an exciting and rewarding method of investing in the property market. Since human beings will always require shelter as a basic necessity regardless of how the economy is the real estate market is incessantly glorious and an ever green form of investment. As an entrepreneur, we are told to think forward.

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Property Crowd Funding – The Magic of Modern Day Investing – HuffPost

Getting Crowdfunding Fundamentals Down to A Science In Advance Of Campaign Key To Success – HuffPost

If I were to start a crowd funding campaign today the first thing I would do is start with a good definition of the word crowdfunding. According to Wikipedia Crowdfundingis the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people.

Crowdfundingis a form of crowdsourcing and an alternative method of finance which has gained popularity over the last decade. In 2015, it was estimated that worldwide over US$34 billion was raised this way.

There are a variety donation crowdfunding platforms where individuals can raise capital for their projects. Crowd funding can be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit event, and other methods, but the most common method is internet-mediated registries.

The top ten crowdfunding sites are listed on Traffic Rank, and the list is sorted based on independent traffic data found on Alexa an Compete. Currently, Gofundme, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo rank on the top three list.

The top three books on crowdfunding in 2017 are Step-by-Step: Everything you Need to Raise Money in the Crows by Joseph Hogue, CPA, Crowdstart: The Ultimate Guide to Powerful & Profitable Crowdfunding Campaign by Ariel Hyatt, and Fundraising Crash Course: Fundraising Ideas & Strategies to Raise Money for Non-Profits & Business by Arnold Taggert.

Crowdfunding begins with a proposed idea, project to be funded, individuals or groups who support the idea, and building a platform with all of the pertinent information to engage individuals or groups to support the ideal.

Crowdfunding can be used to support for-profit entrepreneurial ventures, social sector projects, community projects, medical expenses, etc.

According to these sources cited crowdfunding websites helped companies and individuals worldwide raise US$89 million from members of the public in 2010, $1.47 billion in 2011, and $2.66 billion in 2012 $1.6 billion of the 2012 amount was raised in North America.[48]In 2012, more than one million individual campaigns were established globally[49]and the industry was projected to grow to US$5.1 billion in 2013.[49]and to reach US$1 trillion in 2025.[50]A May 2014 report, released by the United Kingdom-based The Crowdfunding Centre and titled “The State of the Crowdfunding Nation”, presented data showing that during March 2014, more than US $60,000 were raised on an hourly basis via global crowdfunding initiatives. Also during this period, 442 crowdfunding campaigns were launched globally on a daily basis.[21]

Youll also receive an 8-page Crowdfunding Kit that includes:

Successful Crowdfunding takes patience, planning, commitment, creativity and a great offer to individuals and groups looking to support your cause, so make sure you take the time to develop a well thought out campaign and plan of action from beginning to end!

Phil Andrews is the President of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. an affiliate of the US Black Chambers, Inc. and Past President of the 100 Black Men of Long Island. Mr. Andrews is also the President-Emeritus of the Black Public Relations Society-New York an affiliate chapter of the National Black Public Relations Society. Mr. Andrews has appeared on WABC Here and Now and NBCs Positively Black. Mr. Andrews is a Black Enterprise BE Modern Man.

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Getting Crowdfunding Fundamentals Down to A Science In Advance Of Campaign Key To Success – HuffPost

Dreamhost Crowd-Funding Legal Action Against DOJ – eWeek

Web-hosting company Dreamhost is trying to raise $10,000 to help cover its legal costs in an ongoing fight with the U.S. Department of Justice by using crowd funding site Crowdjustice. Pledges are about a third of the way there as of Aug. 21.

The fight stems from a demand by the DoJ that Dreamhost turn over about 1.3 million visitor records–including IP addresses, full contact information, emails, photos and even server logs–as they pertain to Disruptj20.org, a site that planned to hold protests and otherwise cause disruptions during the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the U.S.

Protests on Inauguration Day turned violent, and about 200 people eventually were indicted for rioting. The Justice Department began requesting records for users suspected of being involved in the rioting, and initially Dreamhost complied with the requests for information. However, the DoJ issued far broader demands in a search warrant on July 12, 2017, that demanded all records including all files, databases and database records stored by Dreamhost as they relate to the Disruptj20 site.

DoJ Demands Detailed Information on Content of Email

The information the DoJ demanded included extremely detailed and personal information, including the contents of emails belonging to users of the site, credit card information and any domains that may have been registered by visitors to the site. The demand included all source code from JavaScript, all HTML code and all communication logs.

Dreamhost has declined to provide the information demanded by the DoJ, saying that the warrant is overly broad and as a result violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which forbids unreasonable search and seizure. Dreamhost is also saying that the demands may also violate the First Amendment because of the chilling effect they may have on free speech as regard to political protest.

Supporting Dreamhost in its legal battle are TechFreedom, a non-partisan technology policy think tank, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group. Both groups say that the Justice Department demands are far too broad and are specifically forbidden by the Fourth Amendment.

The founders outlawed general warrants precisely to prevent governments from harassing their political opponents en masse, said Berin Szka, president of TechFreedom, in a statement on the organizations website. If the DOJ can unmask over a million internet users simply for visiting a website, without any further alleged connection to criminal activity, then no American is safe to use the internet to access dissident speech. The fear of being unmaskedand be subjected to harassment, or far worsewill chill the speech of millions more.

EFF: DoJ Making Unconstitutional Demands

Mark Rumold, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that the Justice Department is making an unconstitutional demand in its investigations of the January riots. He said that such a warrant would bring anyone who ever visited the site into the investigation, regardless of why they were there or whether they had any part in the attempt to disrupt the inauguration.

No plausible explanation exists for a search warrant of this breadth, other than to cast a digital dragnet as broadly as possible, Rumold said in a statement on the EFF website. But the Fourth Amendment was designed to prohibit fishing expeditions like this. Those concerns are especially relevant here, where DOJ is investigating a website that served as a hub for the planning and exercise of First Amendment-protected activities.

Yet, its not clear that the federal courts will agree. For years, investigators have used a two-stage process for investigating digital crimes. Those two stages are first, seizing all computer equipment suspected of having information needed by investigators; the second stage is performing a forensics search of the seized computers. Courts have routinely upheld such searches, because theres no good way to find the data needed except by getting it from the storage on the computer.

The procedure there is to hold on to the computer for as long as it takes to get the evidence, even if it takes months. The difference with Dreamhost is that the DoJ isnt asking for the computers and storage, but rather asking the company to get the information itself and pass it along to the government.

Dreamhost Not Suspected of Wrongdoing, Just Hosting

The difference is primarily one of procedure, and it has the advantage to Dreamhost of not having its servers and storage physically removed from its control. But the question then becomes whether theres a difference from the government taking the equipment or asking Dreamhost to keep the equipment and provide the data.

The other difference in this is Dreamhost isnt suspected of any wrongdoing, but rather of hosting a group thats suspected of doing wrong. Its like the owner of an apartment building being required to allow a warrant to be served on a single apartment, rather than searching the entire building. Here, Dreamhost is being asked for the contents of a single customer website, not for the contents of all sites that Dreamhost has.

Those differences may be subtle, but they could make all the difference when the Dreamhost case goes before the judge in Washington on Aug. 24. Whether Dreamhosts arguments are compelling remains to be seen.

Its also not clear whether the crowd-funding effort will raise enough money to support the appeals that are the almost certainly the next step.

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Dreamhost Crowd-Funding Legal Action Against DOJ – eWeek

Buy a share in a brewery: Pozible launches equity crowd-funding site Birchal – The Sydney Morning Herald

Dan Norris wants to turn the drinkers of his beers into investors in his brewery.

The co-founder of Black Hops Brewingis keen to use equity crowd-funding platform Birchalto raise further funds for his business.

“The sort of business we are in requires a lot of money to do what we do,” he says. “Any sort of expansion to build a new brewery costs in the millions of dollars. As an entrepreneur I have always struggled to get people to invest in what I’m doing, the banks are really hard work and raising capital is really difficult, you often have to be an expert yourself.”

Norris wants Black Hops Brewingto be one of the early businesses listed on equity crowd-funding platform Birchal, which launched in Melbourne on Tuesdaynight.

The platform is being spun out ofAustralian rewards-based crowd-funding platform Pozible and is founded byPozible co-founder and chief executive Alan Crabbe and former Ashurst lawyerMatt Vitale.

Birchal will be applying to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for anewly created “crowd-funding service”licence.

From September 29 unlisted public companies with annual turnover and gross assets of up to $25 million will be able to issue shares to the public.

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This will enable retail or so-called “mum and dad” investors to take equity in small businesses and Birchal aims to provide a platform for this.

Crabbeand his team have spent over a year, under$500,000 plus “a lot of sweat equity”, building the platform which will be open for early access from Wednesday and should have the first company profiles available within a month.

Crabbe says there are two majorbenefits for businesses undertaking equity crowd funding.

“Firstlyyou are building a very loyal customer base and secondly if you look at these consumer brands that are verysuccessfulthey are able to build a community of ambassadors and that creates word of mouth and foreveryconsumer brand that is very valuable.”

Crabbe says there is a bigopportunityfor consumer brands and consumer businessesin Australia to leverage global trends.

We have people coming to the bar and asking about it, they come in and want to invest but they don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars so this sounds perfect.

“We are seeing consumer brands aregrowingas fast, if not faster than technology companies globally,” he says.”I think this is a space that tends to getoverlookedand tech companieseven like ourselves tend to get the spotlight.”

Crabbe points to brewer BrewDog in the UK which was an early adopter of the equity crowd-funding model and was recently valued at over 1 billion.

For investors, Crabbe says the attraction is getting in early.

“They getaccess toearly stage businesses as generally retail investorsdon’tget access to these companies until they are at IPO stage.”

Crabbe says interested businesses can register on Birchal and set up a company profile with basic details of what the business does and the product and services it offers. Companies can create an online pitch for equity or reward-based funding.

“When the legislation comes into effect on 29 September thesecompanieswill be able to run a campaign to either getexpressionsofinterestto raise funds or raise a round of investment,” he says.

Birchalwill take a 5.75 per centsuccess fee on successfulraises and hopes to enable investors to invest as little as $100.

“With every raise there will be a minimum you have to raise and also a time frame inthe same wayPozibleoperates with an all-or-nothingmodel,” Crabbe says.

Crabbepredicts within three years equity crowd funding will attract $100 million a year.

But he acknowledges it’s not all upside.

“Of course these businesses are typically high risk, they are usually fast-growing scale operationsand generally the foundersmay have less experience than some of the bigger companies,” he says.”There is potentially a higher risk for investors.”

Norris has just closed a funding round of $400,000 to expand Black Hops Brewing and says equity crowd funding would have provided a great source for this money if it was available.

Black Hops Brewing is three years old with five full-time staff andturnover of around $1 million a year.

“We have people coming to the bar and asking about it, they come in and want to invest but they don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars so this sounds perfect,” says Norris. “We are at capacity at the moment, all the tanks are full and we have to expand to keep growing. I think it’s a model that’s going to bereallyinteresting in Australia.”

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Buy a share in a brewery: Pozible launches equity crowd-funding site Birchal – The Sydney Morning Herald

Woman who contracted E.Coli returns home from Turkey after crowd funding appeal – Glasgow Live

A teacher stuck in a Turkish hospital after contracting E.coli has been flown back to the UK after a crowd-funding appeal raised more than 32,000 to bring her home.

Caroline Hope, who has been living in Turkey for four years, picked up the potentially deadly infection during surgery to treat advanced colon cancer last month.

The 37-year-old English teacher had decided to return home to Scotland after receiving her cancer diagnosis in January but complications from the surgery left her fighting for her life in Medical Park Hospital in Izmir, Turkey.

Desperate to bring her home, her family and friends raised more than 31,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a private medical evacuation, as there are strict rules around repatriations for medical reasons.

She was flown to Glasgow on an IAS medical air ambulance on Saturday, landing just before 7pm.

Her brother Scott Hope, who was with her in Turkey, said: “It has been a very emotional day today. Caroline was relieved and so happy this morning, she kept asking when the plane was coming and we had to keep saying we’re just waiting for it to land.

“We were absolutely overwhelmed by the crowdfunding campaign, within two and a half days we had completely smashed our target of what we had hoped to get.

“The way everyone came together around the work to send love and support and best wishes was unbelievable.”

Ms Hope has been taken by ambulance to hospital in Glasgow where her condition will be evaluated.

Mr Hope, who has remained in Turkey to sort out his sister’s affairs, said his mother was waiting for her at the hospital.

His wife Pauline, who lives in South Africa, said the family were relieved that her sister-in-law has returned to Scotland and are grateful to those who supported the crowd-funding appeal.

She said: “It’s just an amazing, overwhelming feeling. It’s just been a really tough couple of months.

“She was very excited to be going back to Glasgow and to have her friends and family around to support her.

“Scotland is the most incredible nation. We were just very lucky to have the support that we got.”

In a message on the JustGiving crowdfunding page, Ms Hope’s friend Bella Shek wrote: “Thank you so, so, so, so much to everyone who has donated to get Caroline home.

“On behalf of Caroline, her family and all her friends, the support from all of you and the general public, many of whom have never met Caroline before has been truly overwhelming.”

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Woman who contracted E.Coli returns home from Turkey after crowd funding appeal – Glasgow Live

Africa’s first impact-focused equity crowd funding portal founder … – CNBCAfrica.com

Crowd funding campaign to save a two-year-old kid – Times of India

Hyderabad: Parents of two-year-old city boy who is suffering from a rare liver disorder since birth, have recently turned to crowd funding to raise money for an emergency liver transplant operation.

While the total cost of the operation has been pegged at Rs 22 lakh, parents of Nihaal Prian, who has been suffering from Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis (PFIC) are trying to raise Rs 9 lakh through the crowd-funding platform Impact Guru.

So far, they have managed to raise close to Rs 93,937, through donations on the online platform.

“Since my son has been suffering from this rare liver disorder from birth, he has been suffering from intense itching, ever since we can remember. He keeps scratching his body rigorously through day and night and this often results in bleeding. He neither eats nor sleeps. Unable to bear the pain, he keeps crying continuously,” said Ramakrishna, father of Nihaal and a daily wage labourer who lives in Manikonda with his family.

“We have consulted many hospitals, doctors and have tried taking many medicines to reduce the effects of the condition. Doctors have finally suggested undergoing an emergency liver transplant operation, which according to them, is mandatory and is only option left for my son to stay alive. My wife Swetha has agreed to be the donor for our son,” he added.

According to research published by the National Technology for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), PFIC is part of a group of rare, chronic liver disorders which are caused by defects in bile secretion and whose symptoms usually manifest during infancy and childhood, typically three months after birth.

“Since Nihaal’s birth, I have spent nearly Rs 3 lakh for his medication and have run into debts. For a daily labourer like me, who struggles to provide food twice a day, it is near to impossible to pay Rs 22 lakh for an operation. In spite of having approached state government departments regarding this, repeatedly, we have been denied any help. This is when doctors at the hospital suggested we use a crowdfunding platform instead,” added Ramakrishna.

Graphics

Features of PFIC

A group of rare, chronic liver disorders

Caused by defects in bile secretion

Symptoms usually manifest during infancy and childhood

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Crowd funding campaign to save a two-year-old kid – Times of India

Arrowtown musician Holly Arrowsmith crowd funding new album – The Southland Times

SUE FEA

Last updated18:19, June 26 2017

Theresa Fryer

Arrowtown singer-songwriter Holly Arrowsmith is crowd funding her latest album.

House concerts and wedding gigs are all up for grabs as Queenstown’s own TUI Award-winning queen of folk Holly Arrowsmith turns to crowdfunding for her second album due out later this year.

Arrowsmith, who was back home in Queenstown early this week to star in Auckland folk band Tiny Ruins’ Sherwood show, launched a Kickstarter campaign on June 15.

She has until July 6 -22 days – to raise the $21,000 to fund her second album, which is almost complete.

Donations can range from as little as $10 or $20, for a free digital album or CD, through to $1000 for which Arrowsmith will sing at your wedding.

“I’ll sing you down the isle and do a one-hour canape set for guests. For $1500 I’ll do that in Australia as well, travel included,” she said.

So far she’s been pledged two $500 house concerts in Queenstown and Te Awamutu.

“We set up in your living room, or backyard, and create a beautiful ambience.”

She’s offering a host of other rewards, and if she doesn’t reach her target by July 6, people don’t pay on their pledges.

“I’m nervous, but hopeful,” Arrowsmith said.

She’s already got a generous pledge from an American family, who drove 321 kms (200 miles) from Minnesota to Wyoming to hear her show in the United States.

“People are basically pre-ordering now, buying my album to support its creation.”

The money will cover production, mastering, pressing vinyls, CDs and marketing.

Arrowsmith describes this as her “most honest work yet” themes of home-sickness, loss, painful growth and hope in dim places. Cities emerge “like dark forests” for the first time, but as always there’s a

strong reflection of nature.

Slow Train Creekwas written in a log cabin in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado during her American tour last year.

Most of the nine new songs were recorded in a ‘pop-up studio’ created in a Colac Bay bach where Arrowsmith and her Arrowtown producers, Tom Lynch and Steve Roberts, were holed up making music for several

weeks late last year.

“I think recording in that bach at Colac Bay has had a massive influence on the album,” she said.

“It feels like you’re sitting there next to the fire with me. The intimacy is cool.”

She’s trying to build on that in the final stages being recorded at renowned Lyttelton music studio, The Sitting Room,where she’s working with producer Ben Edwards, who’s recorded with Marlon Williams, Julia Jacklin and The Eastern.

Arrowsmith may have been born in Sante Fe, New Mexico, but it’s the mountains of her beloved Wakatipu where she grew up, that have inspired the album.

“I’d just moved to Auckland 18 months ago when I started writing the album. I literally wrote the first song, Farewell,as we were driving out of the Kawarau Gorge, saying ‘goodbye’ to my home and all those nostalgic memories,” she said.

“When I returned to Auckland from my South Island tour last year, and drove into that southern motorway, I felt really disappointed.”

Soon after she and husband, Mike, moved to Christchurch.

“Auckland isn’t a bad place, but I’m just a South Island girl at heart. I miss the people, the mountains, family and friends.”

To donate search ‘Holly Arrowsmith’ on http://www.kickstarter.com

-Stuff

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Arrowtown musician Holly Arrowsmith crowd funding new album – The Southland Times

Ex-Googler Lina Gantar launches crowd funding agency in Manchester – Manchester Evening News

Ex-Googler Lina Gantar has launched a new crowd funding agency to help tech firms secure the money they need to scale up.

Nuuk, which has been created with partner Luka Cvikl and is based at Accelerate Spaces on Princess Street, Manchester, has already helped secure over $13m for 40 start-up businesses including Ossic X and Orbitkey.

As regular visitors to Google HQ in Dublin, Lina, 28, is a go-to market strategist, and Luka, 29, is a digital marketing expert and are set to play a major part in furthering Manchesters position as the tech innovation capital of the UK.

Both originally from Slovenia, the tech-savvy pair who first launched Nuuk in Dublin in 2015, relocated to Manchester where thet have grown their team to six members.

The company, which is aiming to target turnover of 500,000 for 2018, are also looking for new recruits.

Lina, said: Latest figures show that crowdfunding is a $34.4bn industry, which is expected to surpass venture capitalism by 1.8 this year. However, not all applicants are successful and theres a real skill to being selected – its vital to seek expert support to ensure success.

Nuuk works with companies all over the world, helping them secure the funding they need to launch and scale up. We specialise in tech, fashion and design industries but are open to using our experience to support a variety of businesses into action.

With their sights set on a 350,000 turnover for 2017, Lina and Luka are well on track to exceed their target.

Luka said: Weve purposefully formed quite a niche offering as the popularity of crowdfunding grows so too does the demand for dedicated, expert support to attain it.

Additionally, we see a big increase in the demand for go-to-market strategy, which is what crowdfunding essentially is, so we can apply our crowdfunding expertise to other industries as well.

Were meeting new clients all the time and our roster is rapidly expanding, so were feeling really positive about our future in Manchester.

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Ex-Googler Lina Gantar launches crowd funding agency in Manchester – Manchester Evening News

Crowd funding could be used to buy the long-vacant Bell Building downtown – Wyoming Tribune

CHEYENNE Steve Borin, a Cheyenne businessman and developer, is looking into using crowd funding as a way to buy a vacant building in downtown Cheyenne.

Borin informally presented his idea Tuesday to the City of Cheyennes Fight the Blight Committee.

His concept would help bring the vacant Bell Building at 1605 Central Ave. back to useful life or ultimately tear it down and use the space for other purposes.

Crowd funding is a process where people donate money online for a specific purpose.

Everybody who gives money to the crowd fund would then be interested in the downtown, Borin said. He stressed that he still is working out the kinks in his plan, but first the City of Cheyenne could use some of its grant money from the Environmental Protection Agencys brown field project to pay for cleaning up asbestos at the old building.

Once thats done, the public could buy the building through crowd funding. Anyone could contribute to the cost of the 18,869-square-foot building in downtown Cheyenne.

Developers could bid their proposals for renovation or redevelopment on the publicly owned building to the City of Cheyenne, he said. The city would select the developer and work could begin.

Personally, Borin likes the idea of creating a public meeting space there.

Thats a realistic approach. We do the crowd funding to get it to the point where somebody could bid on it and then rehab the building in a logical fashion, he said.

If the idea works, it can be used again with other vacant buildings in downtown Cheyenne.

It appears to me that its time that we cant lean on any particular public entity, he said, like the city or the Downtown Development Authority/Main Street.

Borin renovated an old building on 17th Street and turned its upper floors into five lofts.

I know it can be done, he said. It will take a lot of participating from everybody and a lot of out-of-the-box thinking.

The project would need to raise between $300,000 and $400,000.

The four-story Bell Building at 1605 Central Ave. has been vacant since 2004, according to Patrick Graham, a real estate agent who is listing the property for $425,000.

The earthen-colored building was constructed in 1913 and once was used as a car dealership, Graham said. He has seen a photograph of the building where six large floor-to-ceiling glass windows accent the second and third floors instead of the small windows located there now. Parked behind the windows are automobiles.

The building itself has huge I-beams inside, and structurally it is a pretty sound building, Graham said. But theres water damage and buckled floors, he said.

Speaking from a personal standpoint, Graham said the building can be saved, but he represents his clients first.

He said hes not sure how Borins plan would work, and that it has pros and cons.

Borin said his idea can improve downtown.

You take an unused property and make it bloom again, he said.

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Crowd funding could be used to buy the long-vacant Bell Building downtown – Wyoming Tribune