Crowdfunder and Crowdcube have brought together two types of crowdfunding to help entrepreneurs turn brilliant ideas into reality. By taking startup businesses through a two-stage fundraising campaign, these sister crowdfunding platforms have enabled individuals to establish a steady client base through rewards-crowdfunding before using equity crowdfunding to take the business to the next level.
This article originally appeared on Crowdfunder.
Welcome to a new business model that’s innovative, sustainable and spreading like wild fire. Let’s show you how it works.
UBREW has recently run two phenomenally successful crowdfunding campaigns, the first rewards-based, and the second equity-based. These are two types of campaigns, which, when stitched together strategically, can offer an emerging business everything it needs to get off the ground.
The founders of UBREW, Matt and Wilf, had done their research and come up with a diamond business idea. They recognised a niche market that hadn’t yet been tapped into – the collaborative, community-centered brewing of craft beer.
Through crowdfunding they hoped to raise enough capital to pay their lease, buy fermenting vessels, amongst all sorts of brewing kit, and market their business. And they pondered; “Should we cut straight to sourcing large investors, or would it be better to warm up the market gently with lower value backers, folk that might become our customers?”
Crowdcube and Crowdfunder helped them put together a two-stage plan.
Stage one – rewards-based crowdfunding
UBREW launched a 42-day campaign with Crowdfunder. The aim was to raise enough money for the basics of the business – fermenting vessels, bottling equipment, microbrewery kits, and, of course, those essential top-of-the-range hops.
In return for donations of £25 – £360, they offered a range of rewards ranging from a beer tasting with friends to a twelve-month membership, as well as brewing courses and a team-building brew up. All backer would receive branded items and reduced price membership in advance of the business going live, a nice touch to make supporters feel valued.
Over the six-week campaign, UBREW gathered together over 80 backers, all of whom circulated news and progress on this innovative business amongst their circles. Word was out. And founders Matt and Wilf had validation that their business idea was a trusted one – they had a real customer base, customers with money behind them.
UBREW’s rewards-based crowdfunding campaign target was £3,750, a sum that was blinded by the £12,050 they achieved.
Stage two – equity-based crowdfunding
UBREW’s initial crowdfunding campaign illustrated support for the business, however the money raised wasn’t enough for the business to build strong foundations for the growth they anticipated. The next step was to look for investors.
Welcome to equity-based crowdfunding….With the advice of Crowdcube, the crafty brewers set a target of £75,000 for the campaign, to be raised over 56 days. In return they were prepared to give away a 10% share in their business, a particularly small percentage made possible by the strong support they’d gathered in their rewards-based campaign.
Investments ranged from £100 to £10,000, with any investment over £5,000 including company voting rights. Again, UBREW smashed their target, raising £112,500, through the endorsement of over 130 investors.
“Launching a business based on our passion for craft beer and home-brewing was a huge risk, and we never imagined we’d be able to test the market before finding enough money to make the business real,” says UBREW’s co-founder Wilf.
“The rewards campaign gave us the craft beer market’s seal of approval, and our equity campaign provided us with the money we needed to make our idea happen.
“Now we have over 200 financial backers and £125,000 worth of investment. We know we’ve started our business in the best possible way. Maxing out the opportunities crowdfunding offers made UBREW a reality.”
Phil Geraghty, MD of Crowdfunder said: “Combining reward and equity based crowdfunding models provides a fantastic opportunity for businesses to validate their ideas and build a team of advocates. ”With a successful reward based crowdfund in their back pocket entrepreneurs can take a more compelling argument forward to investors who are interested in an equity stake. Business owners will also benefit from being able to retain more equity for themselves by raising as much as possible in the reward round.”
Darren Westlake, co-founder of Crowdcube, finished up by commenting: “We know that if a business has been successful with rewards-based crowdfunding, that the chances of success for an equity crowdfund at Crowdcube are higher. This is why we regularly work with the team at Crowdfunder, often suggesting that for very early stage companies a rewards-campaign is a great precursor to a larger equity-based crowdfunding round.”
Supported in both campaigns by Andrew Hadfield, Director at Mavin Communications and Business Development Director at UBREW: “By starting with our existing community and offering them the chance to ‘own their own brewery’ we knew that we were appealing with primarily their hearts but offering equity for their heads.
“However, we quickly realized that this approach was only going to get us to the 30-40% mark of reaching our equity goal. So we would regularly email all those people who had checked out our page as well as targeting a variety of angels, management consultants and financial gurus. They are now part of our senior advisory counsel – further strengthening UBREW’s credentials for future funding rounds.”
Photo: UBREW via Facebook
How to be More eco-Responsible in 2018
Nowadays, more and more people are talking about being more eco-responsible. There is a constant growth of information regarding the importance of being aware of ecological issues and the methods of using eco-friendly necessities on daily basis.
Have you been considering becoming more eco-responsible after the New Year? If so, here are some useful tips that could help you make the difference in the following year:
1. Energy – produce it, save it
If you’re building a house or planning to expand your living space, think before deciding on the final square footage. Maybe you don’t really need that much space. Unnecessary square footage will force you to spend more building materials, but it will also result in having to use extra heating, air-conditioning, and electricity in it.
It’s even better if you seek professional help to reduce energy consumption. An energy audit can provide you some great piece of advice on how to save on your energy bills.
While buying appliances such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher, make sure they have “Energy Star” label on, as it means they are energy-efficient.
Regarding the production of energy, you can power your home with renewable energy. The most common way is to install rooftop solar panels. They can be used for producing electricity, as well as heat for the house. If powering the whole home is a big step for you, try with solar oven then – they trap the sunlight in order to heat food! Solar air conditioning is another interesting thing to try out – instead of providing you with heat, it cools your house!
2. Don’t be just another tourist
Think about the environment, as well your own enjoyment – try not to travel too far, as most forms of transport contribute to the climate change. Choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport that you can, as well as environmentally friendly accommodation. If you can go to a destination that is being recommended as an eco-travel destination – even better! Interesting countries such as Zambia, Vietnam or Nicaragua are among these destinations that are famous for its sustainability efforts.
3. Let your beauty be also eco-friendly
We all want to look beautiful. Unfortunately, sometimes (or very often) it comes with a price. Cruelty-free cosmetics are making its way on the world market but be careful with the labels – just because it says a product hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t mean that some of the product’s ingredients haven’t been tested on some poor animal.
To be sure which companies definitely stay away from the cruel testing on animals, check PETA Bunny list of cosmetic companies just to make sure which ones are truly and completely cruelty-free.
It’s also important if a brand uses toxic ingredients. Brands such as Tata Harper Skincare or Dr Bronner’s use only organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging, as well as being cruelty-free. Of course, this list is longer, so you’ll have to do some online research.
4. Know thy recycling
People often make mistakes while wanting to do something good for the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, paper coffee cups and shredded paper cannot be recycled in your curb for many reasons, so don’t throw them into recycling bins. The same applies to pizza boxes, household glass, ceramics, and pottery – whether they are contaminated by grease or difficult to recycle, they just can’t go through the usual recycling process.
People usually forget to do is to rinse plastic and metal containers – they always have some residue, so be thorough. Also, bottle caps are allowed, too, so don’t separate them from the bottles. However, yard waste isn’t recyclable, so any yard waste or junk you are unsure of – just contact rubbish removal services instead of piling it up in public containers or in your own yard.
5. Fashion can be both eco-friendly and cool
Believe it or not, there are actually places where you can buy clothes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, as well as ethical. And they look cool, too! Companies like Everlane are very transparent about where their clothes are manufactured and how the price is set. PACT is another great company that uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for their clothing, while simultaneously using renewable energy factories. Soko is a company that uses natural and recycled materials in making their clothes and jewelry.
All in all
The truth is – being eco-responsible can be done in many ways. There are tons of small things we could change when it comes to our habits that would make a positive influence on the environment. The point is to start doing research on things that can be done by every person and it can start with the only thing that person has the control of – their own household.
Top 5 Changes You can Make in Your Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
In a world, where war rages and global warming threatens our very existence, the inhabitants of earth need to be extra vigilant in their efforts to go green. This includes reducing your carbon footprint on the earth and leading a more sustainable life.
Many homeowners feel perplexed by all of the options available to reduce their carbon footprint. They may even feel (falsely) that making their household more green will fail to make that much of a difference in the fight to save our planet.
Even a single home going green has a massive impact on the environment. We can win this battle on home at a time. If you’re interested in accepting the challenge of making your household a green home, read on below for a few of the top changes you can make in your life to reduce your carbon footprint. We all stand to benefit from making the earth safer for future generations – and your wallet won’t complain when you start to see the savings in annual energy costs.
Switch From Dirty Energy to Clean Solar
The ION Solar reviews tell it all–solar is the best way to go. Whether your goal is to slash your energy bills, or to reduce your carbon footprint, the sun is a fantastic source of renewable energy.
It’s important to get past the hype from solar installers. Instead, listen to the plethora of impartial customer reviews that mention everything from a $20 energy bill, to the incredible feeling of knowing that you are doing your part by going green and minimizing harmful emissions in to our atmosphere.
The average investment is $15,000 to $30,000 for installation and purchase of solar panels. Optional battery power packs can help provide consistent power during both night and day. And many government agencies provide federal, state or local grants to help offset upfront investments in clean energy.
Depending on which installed you choose, your household may qualify for low-interest or zero interest loans to cover the up-front cost of your installation. And the loan payments are usually less than your current monthly power bill.
It really is a win-win, as home buyers are looking for homes that feature this technology – meaning solar power installation improves the resale value of your property.
And there are a number of additional home modifications that can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. A programmable thermostat can better manage energy consumption from home cooling and heating systems while you’re away from home. And weather stripping your doors can help keep cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter.
Of course, energy conservation starts at home. And this includes setting a powerful example for your kids. Teach your children how to close windows, strategically keep doors open or closed based on airflow, and encourage them to leave the thermostat alone – opting for adding or removing layers of clothing instead.
Unplug Appliances and Shut Off Electronics
Unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use, such as the toaster and the coffee maker, has more of an impact than you might think. Set your TVs and stereos on sleep timers, instead of letting them run around the clock. The cumulative impact of wasteful electronic device usage is horrible for our environment – putting unnecessary strain on our electrical grid.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by recycling. You are already throwing this stuff away anyway, right? It doesn’t take much more effort to just put recyclables in a separate container to be recycled, now does it?
Oh, and did I mention that you can earn money for recycling? Yes! Many cities and towns have recycling centers that will purchase your clean plastic and glass bottles for reuse.
Minimize Your Water Usage
Water is one of the easiest things to forget about when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Preserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Shorten your shower by a few minutes and turn down the heat on that water heater. You’ll be surprised at how much lower your water bill and your energy bill will be.
Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love?
These are just a few of the top ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and start living a greener lifestyle. And we aren’t factoring in all of the advantages that we’ll reap from public investments in a smarter energy grid.
From decreasing your water usage, to switching to solar for your home’s energy needs, you will feel good at the end of the day knowing you are doing your part to save the future of this planet for generations to come!
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