Business owners use the crowdfunding website to create a project that needs funded. They set a fundraising goal and then tap their existing social networks and customer base for contributions. Projects stay on the site for up to 120 days, and at the end of the specified time period, the business receives a check for the funds raised. Fundingcharleston.com keeps 10% of the money raised.
Company founder John Osborne spent a decade in the finance industry. In his work as a commercial banker, he witnessed a shift in the industry and the challenges facing entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses. On the flip side, he knew as an investment adviser it was difficult to find local opportunities in which people could invest. There was a desire among investors to diversify their money beyond the traditional stock market.
“I knew there had to be a mechanism in which local entrepreneurs could fund their business growth and investors could invest in local businesses,”
Osborne likens the concept of fundincharleston.com to an old-fashioned barn raising in which friends, family and neighbors joined together to help a fellow farmer build a barn. “It’s taking that concept and applying it to your entire social network so they can chip in and help fund a new project or venture in your business,” he said.
Fundingcharleston.com already has several projects posted on the site, many of which are raising a significant amount of their funding goals. Projects include:
• Funding a deck at The Orange Spot Coffeehouse’
• Helping Bottles 'n Brushes purchase and outfit a Brush Bus to take its painting classes mobile.
• Funding the launch of HEAR App, a mobile app that provides listings of nearby live music.
• Helping London Cut Cigars in Mount Pleasant raise money to mass produce 1,000 tubes for its bourbon-aged cigars.
The idea behind fundingcharleston.com – and crowdfunding in general – is that it’s much easier to raise a little bit of money from a lot of people than to identify one large funding source. Plus, it allows existing customers and supporters to get behind a project right in their own backyards.
“Using a local platform like fundingcharleston.com helps businesses reach more people with a higher probability of giving,” Osborne said.
Launched in 2013 by Charleston financial expert John Osborne, fundingcharleston.com connects growing Charleston area companies with capital needed to fuel their growth. Fundingcharleston.com brings to a local level the concept of crowdfunding, a collective cooperation by people who network and contribute their money to support an initiative, project, or business. For more information, visit fundingcharleston.com (http://projects.fundingcharleston.com/