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How Does a New Crowdfunding Site Gain Attention? Hire Donald Trump or Offer Free Publicity Support

Photo of Bryce J. Renninger By Bryce J. Renninger | Indiewire May 10, 2013 at 4:17PM

It's clear there are a few leaders in the crowdfunding space for film productions. Kickstarter is the standard, but many filmmakers, especially those unsure they'll be able to make their goal, opt for IndieGoGo. Seed&Spark recently tried to enter the space by providing a platform where lending (services, locations, etc.) as well as crowdfunding could occur.
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Donald Trump's Best Friend Is Always ... Donald Trump

It's clear there are a few leaders in the crowdfunding space for film productions.  Kickstarter is the standard, but many filmmakers, especially those unsure they'll be able to make their goal, opt for IndieGoGo.  Seed&Spark recently tried to enter the space by providing a platform where lending (services, locations, etc.) as well as crowdfunding could occur.

Earlier this week, crowdfunder FundAnything hosted their official launch after a few months in beta, a media stunt with none other than Donald Trump.  As Gawker's Leah Beckmann reports, the event, hosted at the Trump Tower, included a giveaway of Trump's dough in three suitcases to three deserving projects, shifted to a series of $5,000 checks written by the mogul, and ended with an as-much-as-you-can-grab cash giveaway.

According to a press release from FundAnything, Trump will continue to donate to campaigns every week.

The site, the brainchild of Learning Annex founder Bill Zanker, seems to lack many active profiles, especially in the film and video category.  Currently we can't find any active film and video projects using the site's category navigation; a few projects from the site's beta run are still in the site's archives.  Among the active campaigns, the site's call for people to "fund anything" is being taken up mainly by people looking for health care and charity work.

CrowdIt
CrowdIt

In the middle of the country comes another crowdfunding site.  CrowdIt is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, and is affiliated with incubator labs and other offices at the University of Missouri.  CrowdIt is attempting to distinguish itself by not only providing a platform for crowdfunding but also putting projects in touch with advisors in addition to appropriate funders (when the JOBS Act mess is figured out, these will be angel investors).

READ MORE: 5 Things You Need to Know about the JOBS ACT and Equity Crowdfunding

To sweeten the pot, CrowdIt is offering a few different incentives.  The most funded project that is submitted by June 1, 2013 (the site and the first set of projects will launch June 4) will receive an extra $10,000 from the site.  The site, claiming they're a representative of the "new American Dream," gave one local filmmaking company, Brutal Brothers Films, a chance to use the site without CrowdIt taking a cut as a contest for local filmmakers. Finally, the site announced that the first 64 projects to launch on the site will receive free publicity from the site in its national press announcements.

In conversation with Indiewire, CrowdIt co-founder and CEO Jason Graf claimed that CrowdIt was hoping to be able to access the nation's network of project incubators in its attempt to connect entrepreneurs with the appropriate local experts.

So far, FundAnything is unproven as a resource for filmmakers, and though CrowdIt hasn't launched, it seems a good fit for technology companies over film production companies (though Graf did tell Indiewire that production companies and individual projects will both be able to take advantage of the site's platform for funding and networking).

Only time will tell if these two companies, especially in light of the impending implementation of the JOBS Act, will shake up the seemingly stable crowdfunding industry.

This article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit: Technology, Filmmaker Toolkit: Crowdfunding, Donald Trump, Kickstarter , Indiegogo , Crowdfunding





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