Ruby Lerner: Preparing Artists for a D.I.Y.W.O. World

What do Futurefarmers, Pamela Z, Vijay Iyer, Miranda July, Golan Levin, Rebecca Solnit, Elizabeth Streb, Basil Twist, and the Yes Men all have in common? They’ve all received grants from Creative Capital. Founded in 1999, Creative Capital is a pioneering arts organization that funds (and nurtures) artists based on a 360-degree model inspired by the best practices of the venture capital community.The idea is that artists don’t just need money, they also need counseling, connections, community, and career development. Creative Capital grantees don’t just get a check, they get a partner, and in many ways, a mentor.

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by Jocelyn K. Glei
What do Futurefarmers, Pamela Z, Vijay Iyer, Miranda July, Golan Levin, Rebecca Solnit, Elizabeth Streb, Basil Twist, and the Yes Men all have in common? They’ve all received grants from Creative Capital. Founded in 1999, Creative Capital is a pioneering arts organization that funds (and nurtures) artists based on a 360-degree model inspired by the best practices of the venture capital community.The idea is that artists don’t just need money, they also need counseling, connections, community, and career development. Creative Capital grantees don’t just get a check, they get a partner, and in many ways, a mentor. Leer más “Ruby Lerner: Preparing Artists for a D.I.Y.W.O. World”

How to Crowdfund your Startup

Before discussing the pros and cons of Crowdfunding I should explain a little about how the process actually works. The most important thing to considering when Crowdfunding your venture is that this isn’t like taking investment. The process can take many forms, and just like taking investment, won’t be right for everyone. That said, here’s the most common model being used by everyone from startups and non-profits to artists, musicians and filmmakers…

An individual or organisation states that they need X amount of money to fund their venture. This venture can be anything, from a cupcake shop to an independent feature film; and the amount of money can be a small part or all of the total cost of the venture. The individual or organisation then uses their existing networks to leverage the crowd, that’s you, to donate money to their venture in return for a reward.


In November 2009, my business partner and I successfully Crowdfunded a business designed to provide independent filmmakers with an alternative method of film distribution, OpenIndie. The result of our month-long campaign was over $12,400 to bootstrap our company, a good amount of press interest and a built-in audience and user base for our site.

What is Crowdfunding?

Before discussing the pros and cons of Crowdfunding I should explain a little about how the process actually works. The most important thing to considering when Crowdfunding your venture is that this isn’t like taking investment. The process can take many forms, and just like taking investment, won’t be right for everyone. That said, here’s the most common model being used by everyone from startups and non-profits to artists, musicians and filmmakers…

An individual or organisation states that they need X amount of money to fund their venture. This venture can be anything, from a cupcake shop to an independent feature film; and the amount of money can be a small part or all of the total cost of the venture. The individual or organisation then uses their existing networks to leverage the crowd, that’s you, to donate money to their venture in return for a reward.

Often this reward is directly related to the venture being funding, so it could be a batch of cupcakes or a credit at the end of someone’s film; but equally it could simply be a very small thank you for your contribution. I recently came across someone who successfully crowdfunded enough money to pay for the hull of her ship that she needed to circumnavigate the globe.

In return for a small contribution she promised a postcard from a random location on her travels delivered to your door. As you can see, this isn’t investment in the traditional sense, in fact rule number one of Crowdfunding is that you don’t offer a percentage of your venture as a reward. Rather this process is something akin to patronage by a different name. However, there is an important difference between Crowdfunding and patronage that I will explain using the example of my own experience.

Pre-Selling your Product to Fund your Business Leer más “How to Crowdfund your Startup”