Blue, the color of the sky which you had always known, is slowly being engulfed by a gravitating blackness. “I have talent”, you shout. A ray of light passes through but is nonetheless usurped by the dark light. Tentacles bear above the ground and try to strangle you. You panic. It then hits you and you shout again, “I have Passion.” A beam of light shines through and blackness seems to withdraw. The suffocating grip loosens. But just when you thought it all ended, the shining starts to flicker before finally ceasing to exist. You lose all hope. “All I lacked was the green paper,” you mumble and just when you were on the verge of losing all hope, a warrior on his galloping horse advances towards you. His armor radiates a blazing flare that swallows the blackness. He then sways his sword hacking off the tentacles. “Who are you?” you inquire with gratitude. The man simply lifts his helmet and all you see is “Crowdfunding” inscribed on a faceless head.
Okay, okay! I agree that was a very dramatic introduction. But the sense of relief that it brings in those helped souls could as well be compared to the situation above. After all, you have Talent and Passion, a rare combo but it’s unfair that you are held back by the materialistic go of the world. That’s where Crowdfunding kicks in as a warrior on his galloping horse advancing towards you with his…ahem… okay, moving forward.
What is crowd funding you may ask?
Many of you must’ve heard about the crowd funding from our very own Efficycle team, Thunderbolt 4.0 managed by The Lakshya Foundation. The team successfully raised a whopping Rs.75,000 from alumnus and faculties, automobile enthusiasts and well-wishers. Crowdfunding is basically an ideal and optimistic approach where general public holds the power to help you realize your funding goals. Whether it is for launching a product or just going to your dream vacation spot, it’s on as long as you have supporters to support you (pause) financially.
The concept has been around and actually, quite popular for some time now. Crowdfunding campaigns powered by websites like ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘Indiegogo’ have given wings to a lot of innovative products such as Pebble Time (garnering $20,338,986 on Kickstarter) and code.org (collecting $5,022,041 on idiegogo). Wishberry.in, ketto.org and impactguru.com are few of the local alternatives.
University Crowdfunding, however, is a bit different from conventional Crowdfunding in the sense, depending on the situation, one may or may not have to provide the backers some perks such as beta versions of their product, equity or even post-purchase services. All the student has to do is to submit a detailed proposal specifying how they are going to utilize the funds and Bam! Your crowdfunding campaign is good to go! The regular donors generally include enthusiastic alumnus, faculty and even some of the students and acquaintances. Such campaigns help you publicize and gain visibility for your work. Moreover, the local crowd can relate to and understand the projects more easily compared to the general audience.
Being directly involved with such extensive campaigning has other perks too. It helps you to get acquainted with and figure out marketing tactics and improves your networking skills. But as a student, one has the responsibility to be transparent about the good use of the money as well as provide regular updates on the progress of your projects. To avoid misuse of campaigns, most university-based crowd funding will have a designated standard for screening in case of numerous projects. Also, a detailed MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) will have to be signed by the campaigners (students requiring the funds) to show a mutual understanding between the team arranging and the team requesting the campaign.
So guys if the funds are all the hindrance that is stopping you from achieving your dreams, give it a try. The Lakshya Foundation’s website has awesome crowdfunding portal that has helped many of our seniors before. The portal is on its way to revamp itself for an even better experience.
Stay tuned for Crowdfunding 2.0 by The Lakshya Foundation with a lot more features and reach to make the running of the campaign easier and effective. May the crowd always be in your favor!
Akhil Nambiar and Gaurab Manandhar