Category Archives: Crowd Funding

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

Wyo. Sec of State unveils new crowdfunding platform – Wyoming Business Report

Thanks to changes in federal and state statutes, Wyoming residents will be able – as of July 1 – to make investments through crowdfunding options. Information released by Secretary of State Ed Murray’s office notes that crowd funding occurs when a business raises capital by seeking and receiving monetary investments by a large number of people.

The practice had not been available to investors until the Wyoming Legislature amended state securities statutes. Federal legislation was also changed a few years ago enabling individuals to invest in a non-publicly traded company if they were an “accredited investor” with $200,000 in hand or $300,000 in annual income or net worth over $1.0 million. Now, residents of Wyoming can invest in Wyoming businesses by joining others as investors.

The Secretary of State’s information notes “crowdfunding platforms serve as portals where contributors can view, research and fund projects in various sectors, including technology, manufacturing and more.” The office notes, “numerous crowdfunding platforms are active and raise millions of dollars for various projects.”

There are five basic forms of crowdfunding:

1.Donations are a philanthropic gift with no expectation of a return.

2. Rewards are contributions in exchange for a possible pre-order of a product or other premiums.

3,4 and 5 Lending, Equity and Royalty all involve capital repayment, an ownership in a business or a share of revenue earned in return for an investment.

There have already been various crowd-funding operations that help non-profits in Wyoming, including the Powell Economic Partnership that used part of a $100,000 in federal funding to kickstart local efforts.

Will Dinneen of the Secretary of State’s office said donation-based crowdfunding has been around for years in Wyoming and across the U.S. “WIN is different as it allows for the offer and sale of financial securities through crowd funding. Instead of receiving a gift or a possible tax deduction for a contribution, under WIN and other equity based models an investor would receive ownership shares in a business.” Only Wyoming based companies and Wyoming investors can participate in WIN authorized efforts.

Wyoming statutes were changed in 2016 when Secretary of State Ed Murray noted that securities-based crowd funding would be incorporated into modernization of the Wyoming Securities Act. The agency included in proposed legislative changes WIN, the acronym for Wyoming Invests Now. The Cowboy State joined 36 other states in allowing crowd funding as a method individuals can use to invest in companies in Wyoming.

Once a business entity is registered with the Secretary of State’s office they can initiate a crowd-funding model, which allows for equity or debt-based forms of securities or a combination of both. In return, investors are eligible to see a financial return on their money. Murray’s information released earlier in June notes that “WIN opens new opportunities for potential adult investors.”

Secretary Murray said, “WIN will open the door to community investors and allow them the opportunity to evaluate a good business idea, invest [their money] and seek a return on that investment.” There are still risks with WIN investments, as there are with any participation in buying stocks, mutual funds or a variety of other products. Kelly Janes is director of the Secretary of State’s Compliance Division. In an interview with AARPs Wyoming Newsletter she said “crowd funding is an exciting opportunity to raise capital but we want to caution investors to do their homework and contact our office to check the legitimacy of any investment offering.”

The Secretary of State’s office in Cheyenne can be reached at 307/777-7370 or atcompliance@wyo.gov.

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Wyo. Sec of State unveils new crowdfunding platform – Wyoming Business Report

Wyo. Sect’y of State unveils new crowdfunding platform – Wyoming Business Report

Thanks to changes in federal and state statutes, Wyoming residents will be able – as of July 1 – to make investments through crowdfunding options. Information released by Secretary of State Ed Murray’s office notes that crowd funding occurs when a business raises capital by seeking and receiving monetary investments by a large number of people.

The practice had not been available to investors until the Wyoming Legislature amended state securities statutes. Federal legislation was also changed a few years ago enabling individuals to invest in a non-publicly traded company if they were an “accredited investor” with $200,000 in hand or $300,000 in annual income or net worth over $1.0 million. Now, residents of Wyoming can invest in Wyoming businesses by joining others as investors.

The Secretary of State’s information notes “crowdfunding platforms serve as portals where contributors can view, research and fund projects in various sectors, including technology, manufacturing and more.” The office notes, “numerous crowdfunding platforms are active and raise millions of dollars for various projects.”

There are five basic forms of crowdfunding:

1.Donations are a philanthropic gift with no expectation of a return.

2. Rewards are contributions in exchange for a possible pre-order of a product or other premiums.

3,4 and 5 Lending, Equity and Royalty all involve capital repayment, an ownership in a business or a share of revenue earned in return for an investment.

There have already been various crowd-funding operations that help non-profits in Wyoming, including the Powell Economic Partnership that used part of a $100,000 in federal funding to kickstart local efforts.

Will Dinneen of the Secretary of State’s office said donation-based crowdfunding has been around for years in Wyoming and across the U.S. “WIN is different as it allows for the offer and sale of financial securities through crowd funding. Instead of receiving a gift or a possible tax deduction for a contribution, under WIN and other equity based models an investor would receive ownership shares in a business.” Only Wyoming based companies and Wyoming investors can participate in WIN authorized efforts.

Wyoming statutes were changed in 2016 when Secretary of State Ed Murray noted that securities-based crowd funding would be incorporated into modernization of the Wyoming Securities Act. The agency included in proposed legislative changes WIN, the acronym for Wyoming Invests Now. The Cowboy State joined 36 other states in allowing crowd funding as a method individuals can use to invest in companies in Wyoming.

Once a business entity is registered with the Secretary of State’s office they can initiate a crowd-funding model, which allows for equity or debt-based forms of securities or a combination of both. In return, investors are eligible to see a financial return on their money. Murray’s information released earlier in June notes that “WIN opens new opportunities for potential adult investors.”

Secretary Murray said, “WIN will open the door to community investors and allow them the opportunity to evaluate a good business idea, invest [their money] and seek a return on that investment.” There are still risks with WIN investments, as there are with any participation in buying stocks, mutual funds or a variety of other products. Kelly Janes is director of the Secretary of State’s Compliance Division. In an interview with AARPs Wyoming Newsletter she said “crowd funding is an exciting opportunity to raise capital but we want to caution investors to do their homework and contact our office to check the legitimacy of any investment offering.”

The Secretary of State’s office in Cheyenne can be reached at 307/777-7370 or atcompliance@wyo.gov.

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Wyo. Sect’y of State unveils new crowdfunding platform – Wyoming Business Report

Where is the crowd-funding for the destitute? – News24

2017-06-09 15:02

Maxine Becket

If there’s one thing about South Africans, it’s our ability to come together when disaster strikes.

This week saw the devastation of homes and lives in the Western Cape by gale force winds, fires and rain, causing flooding in some areas.

It didn’t take long for South Africans to start crowd funding for the families affected by the fires in Knysna, offer their homes and start Facebook groups to help find people who went missing in the chaos. These acts are to be admired and it probably made things a little easier for those who lost their homes to the fires.

But the efforts are slightly skewed.

Where was the crowd funding or private sector to offer time, money or blankets to our brothers and sisters in Mfuleni or Lavender Hill, who just hours before the fires in Knysna, also lost everything?

It must be difficult watching your every possession go up in flames, trying to salvage what you can. Imagine that happening twice.

Our people in Imizamo Yethu don’t have to. They rebuilt their lives after a fire ravaged through the informal settlement just two months ago and now they have to do it again after powerful winds swept through the area, taking with it anything in its path.

Where are the offers for accommodation for these people? They are the destitute folk who don’t have resources to provide for themselves. These are our people in Imizamo Yethu, Mfuleni and Khayelitsha – already dirt poor yet no drop off point for groceries has been arranged for them, after the little they had is gone.

Where do we suppose they will go after everything has settled? They do not have insurance to cover them. They do not have a lifeline.

They are destitute. Destitute.

Of course, our hearts go out to those who lost their homes to the brutal fires in Knysna, it’s a tragedy and it’s sad. Maybe we can’t compare the severity of the fires to the storm in Cape Town or the devastation suffered. We can’t help everyone. But we do know that some are more “destitute” than others and while some are able to get into their cars and drive to a new beginning others are trying to figure out how they are going to start over, for a third time.

– Maxine Becket is a content producer at News24.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

* Only comments that contribute to a constructive debate will be approved by moderators.

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Where is the crowd-funding for the destitute? – News24

Florida education news: #HB7069, teacher diversity, crowd funding and more – Tampabay.com (blog)

#HB7069:Backroom dealing over the Florida Legislature’s proposed education budget and conforming bill caught even lawmakers offguard. Education advocates continue to call for a veto of HB 7069 despite Gov. Rick Scott’s insistence on higher per-student funding as part of the agreement. St. Johns County school district leaders worry that provisions for “schools of hope” in the bill will diminish support for traditional public schools, the St. Augustine Record reports. More on “schools of hope” from TC Palm. A special session begins Wednesday, Florida Politics reports.

TEACHER DIVERSITY: The Pinellas County school district aims to increase its ratio of black teachers.

CROWD FUNDING:South Florida teachers turn to online fundraising sources to help pay for some basic classroom items, as well as some extras, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

BUDGET CUTS: Marion County school district leaders look for $10 million in spending reductions that have limited classroom effect, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

SUMMER SLIDE:Polk County educators offer ideas to keep kids learning over the summer, the Ledger reports.

COST OF LIVING:Gov. Rick Scott vetoes funding to study teacher cost-of-living disparities, the Miami Herald reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS:Clay County School Board members give new superintendent Addison Davis positive marks after six months on the job, the Florida Times-Union reports.

SCHEDULING:All Lee County middle schools will run on the same block schedules in the fall, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

LETTERHEAD: Sarasota High School gets a new address after renovations relocate its entrance, the Herald-Tribune reports.

PERSONALIZED LEARNING: A lab school in Gainesville dives into personalized learning for its students, Redefined reports.

READING LESSONS: Sarasota County schools rely on Direct Instruction to teach children to read, the Herald-Tribune reports.

NEW LAW:Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law HB 293, mandating a study of high-performing middle school reading and math programs in other states. The study has a budget of $50,000.

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Florida education news: #HB7069, teacher diversity, crowd funding and more – Tampabay.com (blog)

BBB Has Advice Before You Contribute To A Crowd Funding Site – Newstalkkgvo

There are over 2,000 Crowd Funding sites on the internet, and the Better Business Bureau has been busy fielding complaints from individuals who have contributed online.

BBB spokesman Dan Buchta said contributors are complaining that they are not receiving what they were promised from the recipient of their Crowd Funding contribution.

People make an investment of $50 or $100 dollars, hoping to receive something in return, Buchta began. However, they go online to check the status of the project and find that theyre giving to a campaign thats really just helping to fund someones lifestyle, and that money is just going into someones pocket.

Buchta said the BBB advises potential contributors to take certain steps to protect themselves.

Look for current and ongoing updates, Buchta said. Make sure they have a presence on Linked In or Facebook. Read the fine print before you donate to make sure you are fully informed about the project. Check court documents to ensure the organization or individuals dont have a criminal record, and also, dont just assume that your contribution will be tax deductible.

While there are some charities that are funded through these Crowd Funding sites, a lot of them are just business projects and the money youre giving is not tax deductible, he said. Youre basically just making a business investment.

Buchta encourages a visit to the BBB website for more tips, or call 406-303-3296.

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BBB Has Advice Before You Contribute To A Crowd Funding Site – Newstalkkgvo

Catapooolt all set to Catapult Crowdfunding in India with an Asian Record – Bizztor (press release) (blog)

Are we all ready to witness the biggest day of the crowdfunding in India? Catapooolt through their initative The Economic Times Catapooolt Changemakers Season 2 is making an attempt to create an Asian Record by launching crowdfunding campaigns of around 35 Startups.

Its a first of its kind initiative in the country with 30+ innovative leaders,50+ startup ecosystem,800+ investors and mentors,1 million+ Indians to crowdfund with an amount of 1 Million USD+ assured crowdfunding.

The competition plunged into their journey through CATAPOOOLT ROADSHOW on first stage travelling to 8 different cities followed by a unique Startup Pitch and LIVE crowdfunding series giving an opportunity to early stage disruptive startup ideas and for all those interested in supporting the next big ideas, to come together and catapooolt to growth! Each Roadshow was spearheaded by a panel discussion by leading startup investors and ecosystem partners on the local startup challenges and growth hacks.

Looks exciting???

This is just the initial hustle, a much bigger picture is yet to come

The Economic Times Catapooolt Changemakers Season 2 is hosting Round 2 which will see winners of 1st round holding opportunity to be given a representative target of Rs 75,000 to be raised via crowd funding as a qualification.

All campaigns will be provided Crowd Funding Coaches and mentors which includes Sudeep Singh-Country Head Start-up Grind, Nitin Bajaj- Country Head f6s, Bhavesh Kothari- Co-Founder Mentorpreneur, Shraddha Patil-Co-Founder Mentorpreneur, Rohit Sardana-Head of BWDisrupt, Shivam Ahuja-Head of Delhi Start-ups, Aprna Mishra-Founder CEO Club Cafebiz,Abhinav Tandon- Co creator at Gurukul.

The mentor guidance will be on deck improvement and how to raise funds via crowdfunding, how to market their product, how to strategise alliance and how to channelize their product. The reward based crowdfunding campaigns on Catapooolt will help them in Market Buzz, Idea Validation and gain new customers.

The startups would be given an opportunity to raise funds on their disruptive ideas from 19th may till next one month and weekly announcement of winners in this one month will be made to keep the spirits high of each startup by providing special advantages. The competition is also in process of making an Asian book of record for having maximum number on campaigns uploaded on a single day. To emphasise round 2 qualified startups will see many advantages, mentioned in brief below-

* Media Buzz

* Marketing

* Idea validation

* Mentor support

* Crowdfunding coach

* Marketing & Takeoff: Guides and webinars

* Special advantage to weekly winners

Post successful completion on raising their successfully targeted goals on round 2,top 15 startups get an opportunity to reach the final stage

Round 3 will have Top15 startup pitch to over 30 serious investors for equity investment. The event will also be graced by A-List Celebrity, Relevant Government Officials, Prominent International Speakers and others.

The top 15 startups who make it round3 will be given a special F6s Alpha Card, any founders of member companies that have graduated from top accelerator programs, or have raised funding automatically qualify for Alpha membership. The program is invite-only and there is no membership fee.

What are the benefits of Alpha membership?

Alpha members get exclusive elevated benefits from partners that are unavailable to the broader F6S community. Only Alpha members are able to access and view these benefits. Additionally, Alpha members get access to exclusive invite-only startup event.

What is the membership card used for?

Members show their cards for priority access to startup events, free entry to co-working spaces around the world, and to redeem certain member benefits. With benefit partners, they can forge mutually beneficial partnerships with leading companies that provide services which are relevant to the startup ecosystem and the needs of our members businesses.

So now you know successful crowdfunding campaigns are not an accident. Surely you need to have a start with the idea but apart from a good idea for a product or service you also need: a great video pitch introducing the product, photos and videos of the product, good branding, customer service system, great perks or updates, a prototype, the price estimate,market planning,community building,media mileage and strategy to penetrate into the market.But above all, you need to present yourself as a professional company in order to instil confidence in your potential.

So if you wish to be the next big change, come join us at Catapooolt Changemakers by witnessing and contributing in being a part of the next big revolution.A new chapter is going to be inscribed, stand a chance to be a part of it. Our country has been preaching the concept of Digital India for quite long now,its high time we put into practise the concept and start contributing to the change.

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Catapooolt all set to Catapult Crowdfunding in India with an Asian Record – Bizztor (press release) (blog)

Should you invest in Bitcoins, crowd funding, P2P lending? – Economic Times

After dabbling in traditional investment avenues like stocks, fixed deposits, gold, mutual funds and real estate, some investors are venturing into more adventurous territorydigital currency, crowdfunding and P2P fundingto make their wealth grow.

While the returns have been satisfactory in many cases, others have lost money too. We look at the pros and cons of some alternative investing avenues.

Bit by bit There are a little over 15 million bitcoins in circulation today and no more than 21 million will be mined ever, making the virtual currency attractive to investors. The rising demand for and lack of supply of have pushed up the price of bitcoins from $16 per coin in 2013 to $1,700 today.

Sensing the potential of bitcoins as an investment, Bengaluru-based Ashrith Govind, 23, started investing Rs 5,000 a month in the cryptocurrency three years ago. Encouraged by the returns30% annually he is now investing Rs 30,000 a month.

Ashrith Govind, 23, Bengaluru His alternative investment: Started investing Rs 5,000 a month in bitcoins in 2014. Now invests up to Rs 30,000 a month.

However, an investor in bitcoins has to be ready to face extreme volatility. In 2015, Govind lost Rs 1.5 lakh when price of bitcoins dropped significantly. One bad trading day can mean a loss of Rs 12,000 for him.

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and Co-Founder of online platform Unocoin says, There is a financial risk in investing in bitcoins. Like in equity markets, investors tend to buy when prices are up and sell at lows. Then there is a technology risk too which can render bitcoins virtually worthless in future.

More importantly, the legality of bitcoins is in question in India. Warning against the use of bitcoins, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal stated in Parliament that, The absence of counter parties in usage of virtual currencies including bitcoins, for illicit and illegal activities in anonymous/pseudonymous systems could subject users to unintentional breaches of anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism laws.

Financial advisers feel bitcoins as an asset class should ideally be avoided. Shree Parthasarathy, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India warns, The money invested in bitcoins, if at all, should form an insignificant part of your portfolio and you should be able to afford to lose all that money.

Lend and earn P2P platforms have brought lenders and borrowers closer. Technology allows easy credit to borrowers, while lenders earn high returns on idle funds. Chennai-based Jose Joseph, 45, has been lending on P2P platforms since 2015. On the Rs 1 lakh he has put in so far, he has earned an average return of 20%.

Jose Joseph, 45, Chennai His alternative investment: Started lending money on P2P platforms in 2015. Has invested Rs 1 lakh so far.

However, before lending you should study the borrowers profile carefully to compute the risks before making a lending decision. Rajat Gandhi, CEO and Founder of P2P lending firm, Faircent, says, Most P2P platforms provide details about borrowers. They are classified across risk buckets from low to very high and selection should depend on your expectations.

The biggest risk is that of defaults and P2P platforms not helping in collections. So, before you lend money ask about the platforms collection assistance policy.

As Bhavin Patel, CEO of P2P lending firm LenDen-Club says, P2P lending is still at its nascent stage. Its unclear what will happen to a P2P loan during a major downturn. Lenders need to be careful when the economy is slowing down.

Going with the crowd Crowdfunding has also found favour among those looking to invest in the startup space. Gurgaon-based Sandeep Aggarwal has invested in nine startups till now this way. Aggarwal says, I make it a point to understand the market and longevity of products and services the company is going to offer. I prefer to interact with the founders and core management team for better insights.

This mode of investing works best for those with a long time horizon of at least 5 years as probability of losses is high in the initial 2-3 years.

Sandeep Aggarwal, 44, Gurgaon His alternative investment: Has been investing in startups through crowdfunding since 2015. Has invested in nine startups so far.

Chaitanya V. Cotha, serial entrepreneur and investor cautions, Such investment comes with a lot of terms and investors own a very small stake. There are no rights for the investor and you dont really have a voice in decision making made by management.

According to Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Cofounder and President, Venture Catalysts, the common risk in investing through crowdfunding is the herd mentality among investors. The other risk is the product not seeing the light of the day because of operational challenges. Chances of fraud are also high. As Cotha says, Many so-called start-ups are in the market looking for a quick buck.

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Should you invest in Bitcoins, crowd funding, P2P lending? – Economic Times

Cork Foundation’s Live Crowd Funding event – The Avondhu Press (press release)

An innovative live Crowd Funding Event held by the Cork Foundation,raisedfunds for four Cork Social Enterprises recently.

The event consisted of a mix of potential donors and Cork business leaders, who were presented with a pitch by each of the four participating social enterprises, after which, many of the invited guests pledged their donations to the organisation they felt most connected with.

A selection criterion for all social enterprises for this fundraising activity was that they had to be supporting sustainable jobs and making life better for people living in Cork something that is vital for any Social Enterprise that the Cork Foundation supports.

After careful consideration four organisations were chosen; Helium Arts, the Field of Dreams, First Light and Shine Ireland.

Helium Arts is anational childrens arts and health organisation, which endeavours to bring art, creativity and play to children and teenagers in hospitals and healthcare settings across Ireland. They received 1,100 from donors on the night.

The largest donation of 3,931 was contributed to the Field of Dreams, an offshoot ofDown Syndrome Cork, which supports approximately 360 families across the Cork region.

First Light, offers support and information, and promotes research into the sudden, unexpected, often unexplained deaths of infants and young children. They received the generous donation of 1,387.

The final Social Enterprise to benefit was Shine, an organisation founded in 2011 and which has worked with hundreds of families of autistic children across Cork city and county to secure assessments, therapies, services and appropriate education for their children.

For further information on the work of the Cork Foundation and how to support their work please visitwww.corkfoundation.com.

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Cork Foundation’s Live Crowd Funding event – The Avondhu Press (press release)

Will crowdfunding get a synthetic biology win? – PLoS Blogs (blog)

From 2008 to 2014 the United States investedaround $820 million in synthetic biology research. About 0.07% as much money went to synthetic biology projects through crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or Experiment.com. Of those crowdfunded projects, the Kickstarter campaign called Glowing Plants was by far the most well-funded. Glowing Plants, like its name suggests, aimed to genetically engineer plants that could light up using the genes from fireflies. After a tenuous four years of alternative funding and backup plans, the goal of making a brightly glowing plant is officially shelved.The question is whether Glowing Plants will continue to be the high mark for crowding funding of synthetic biology or whether there are future successes out there.

In 2013, Antony Evans got well overseven times his $65,000crowdfunding goal to engineer plants that light up. The pitchlaid out an ambitious plan for howthis fun glowing plant fit into the promise of synthetic biology. It was nothing like a technical grant proposal that a synthetic biology researcher usually submits for funding. It was selling the idea of a synthetic biology product that you could put on your desk. A fun novelty item thats more play than work. Unfortunately, technical hurdles exist even for playful ideas.

If you go back through Glowing Plants updates you can track the arc of theirambitions.

April 23, 2013: Glow Plants project launches on Kickstarter

April 30, 2013: How bright can we make our plants grow?

August 13, 2014: accepted by Y combinator! They got to present at the tech accelerators Demo Day and pitch investors.

April 10, 2015: Should we switch plant species

May 20, 2016: Help us build momentum on WeFunder! This platformed helped to raise another $250,000 for the project with donors buying small shares

August 3, 1016: 5 out of 6 genes successfully integrated into a plant

April 18, 2017: Stopping work on the Glowing Plant Contamination in the fragrant moss strains caused the team to downsize to still afford to get the planned shipments out. With the financial hit, their plan to put revenue toward the glowing plant research wasultimately halted. They conclude that that despite that failure the project can still leave a positive legacy in inspiring people to learn more about synthetic biology and its benefits and hopefully one day someone does finally make a Glowing Plant.

There has been plenty of media attention for both the initial hype of Glowing Plants and the eventual decline into unrealized ideas, but that doesnt mean there wont be other high profile uses of crowdfunding for synthetic biology.

Synthetic biology still makes it way onto a lot of the popular crowdfunding sites that have science:Kickstarter,Indiegogo,WeFunder andexperiment.com. Yet none of these campaigns have reacher the financial backing that Glowing Plants got. Typical synthetic biology crowdfunding is raising a few thousand dollars and is primarily supporting educational activities.

The most common kind of crowdfunding success involves the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition that gives student the chance to work on and present their own synthetic biology projects.Some successfullyfunded research projects include $3001 forDNA memory,$2500 fordetecting tuberculosis,$2189 for paper based pathogen detection, $1572 for detection of expired oxytocin medication,and $2120 for a high-school team studying crosstalk between neighboringgenes. Typical federal grants for synthetic biology research on the orders of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars over a few years.

Synthetic biology research is still expensive. For asynthetic biology product to be fundedand hit the market takes an enormous amount of money. While iGEM teams can count student learning itself as a victory, any crowdfunding that promises a deliverable product will be in trouble. For instance, experiment.com has a collection of iGEM projects being funded.

Glowing Plants creator, Antony Evans, wrote a piece on equity crowdfunding and explained why the inherent tension between promising rewards and the challenges and uncertainties of biological research makes Kickstarter a bad model for scientific research. He seesequity crowdfunding as a more powerful tool in the biotech space. This newly legal mechanism called title III equity crowdfunding allows early stage startups to raise money from any ordinary person in return for shares in the company.

But no crowdfunding mechanism brings along the advisory input one would expect from a traditionalinvestor. Good investors usually bring some expertise, guidance, or connections. Distributed funding is unlikely to bring that human capital. Even if some of your investors have those capabilities, none will have enough influence in the company to make an impact.

Synthetic biology will continue to get cheaper as DNA synthesis costs drop and the DIYBio community matures. That said, there are still many research projects that seem poorly suited for crowdfunding.

Ultimately, I think synthetic biology will get some victories in the crowdfunding arena. Its unlikely to be a cure for cancer or global warming, but hopefully theres a fun idea out there that can be made possible with small dollar backers and the power of biology.

See the appendix to the U.S. Trends in Synthetic Biology Research from the Wilson Center to calculate synthetic biology funding from 2008-2014.

Atlantic: Whatever Happened to the Glowing Plant Kickstarter?

MIT Tech Review: Why Kickstarters Glowing Plant Left Backers in the Dark

Synbiobeta: Review of RevBios Crowd Funding Campaign

Top Sites for Crowdfunding Scientific Research

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Will crowdfunding get a synthetic biology win? – PLoS Blogs (blog)