Crowdfunding is a lot more than simply raising capital

Anastasia Emmanuel of Indiegogo came to Slush and spoke at the launch of a new Finnish crowdfunding handbook published by Tekes and Team Finland Future Watch service.

“Crowdfunding does help to solve the access to capital problem, but it does not replace other forms of capital,” she explains. “Crowdfunding works in tandem with banks, venture capitalists or grants.”

 Already crowdfunding is moving away from only being a method for small entrepreneurs to raise capital. It is also becoming a marketing platform and a way to build an audience.

 “In the future I can see big companies using crowdfunding,” Emmanuel says.

“It will be part of the go-to-market process. But the little guy shouldn’t worry about being overlooked: if GE runs a campaign and brings a lot of eyeballs to the platform it will help the whole ecosystem.”

Crowdfunding for Finns

 “The biggest problem I see is execution,” Emmanuel continues. “Before a campaign you have to first build an audience and get people excited. Finnish startups are a bit better about this because of the small, close-knit community.”

She also praises Finnish design, showing off a Misfit activity tracker on her wrist. Misfit recently ran a campaign on Indiegogo which raised almost 850,000 USD: “I wouldn’t wear just any activity tracker, but I’m wearing this one because it is a beautiful product,” she says. “Designers are a key element in a business and a campaign.”

Emmanuel is impressed with the Finnish startup community and Tekes’ place in it.

 “I love Tekes,” she says. “They are an innovative, forward-thinking government organisation which gets to fund some really cool stuff!”

Tips for a great campaign

For those people who are considering a crowdfunding campaign Emmanuel offers a three-point plan: 1) prepare, 2) pitch and 3) be proactive.

“The best campaigns prepare for three to six months and build a community,” she says. “The pitch has to be perfect. You have twenty seconds to capture the imagination. Tell a great story, use graphics and don’t waste space.

“Finally, be proactive. When the campaign starts your work starts all over again. Give lots of updates, use social media to get attention, survey your contributors – after all, they are your potential evangelists – and use email. Email to qualified groups is the most effective marketing campaign.”


Watch Anastasia's presentation at the event


Text: David J. Cord

Eeva Landowski