FreshDirect Food Projects Raise Over $30,000 on RocketHub

Awesome brands are embracing crowdfunding on RocketHub. FreshDirect, an innovative grocery delivery company, partnered with RocketHub to launch The Next Big Food Thing. The initiative asked entrepreneurs to submit projects that improve food and farming. The projects that launched via the partnership come from a number of categories, including: food preparation accessories, new food products, innovative beverages, farming developments, and much more. In addition to total funds collected via crowdfunding, FreshDirect will provide additional support to selected projects. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000, as well as a chance to partner with FreshDirect; two runners-up will get $2,500. The funding phase of The Next Big Food Thing ends tomorrow, and over $30,000 has already been fundraised! The winners will be announced in early 2014. - The RocketHub Team

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  • December 16, 2013

Death Metal Angola: Crowdfunding the Resilience Tour

Death Metal Angola is a feature documentary which premiered at the beginning of the year at the prestigious Rotterdam International Film Festival and has since screened in nearly 40 top festivals world-wide, winning awards and getting great press. It tells the story of Sonia Ferreira - a war survivor, lover of rock music, and mother to 55 orphans - as she and her partner, the Death Metal musician Wilker Flores, launch Angola’s first-ever national rock concert. Their dream is to help their country recover from decades of war, through the power of music and their love for one another. When I was in Angola working on the film, I was struck by how much both Angola and the people in the film reminded me of the city where I grew up - Detroit, and the people I grew up with. The tenacity, resilience, humor and heart were the same. A couple of months ago Death Metal Angola teamed up with the Fulbright Association to see if we could leverage the international success of the film to get it out to a broad audience in the States. The first question Fulbright asked me is why I wanted to do this, and without hesitation I told them I wanted to bring this story home to my friends and family and neighbors in Detroit. The folks in Angola had something to teach us. If they could overcome the tremendous adversity and hardships they have faced and bounce back from the brink, then so can we. I believe that their story will ignite the same drive and life-force in the powerful and resilient people I grew up with. Based on this conversation we came up with the DMA RESILIENCE TOUR - a series of screenings, town hall discussions and concerts in towns across the country that have been hit hard by economic and natural disaster. We will use the inspiring story at the heart of Death Metal Angola to trigger conversations about resilience here at home. All it takes for a big change to happen are a few true believers … and the resilience and grit we already have. While running the RocketHub campaign DEATH METAL ANGOLA had its DOC NYC premiere and what followed from that was some incredible press coverage. The film has been dubbed “raucously crowd pleasing” by the Hollywood Reporter, a “cult classic in the making” by the Huffington Post, featured in the Daily Beast and dozens of other publications around the world. The film was shortlisted as “one of the top ten to look out for in 2014” by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and TIME magazine. To amplify this great press coverage, we have been tapping into networks that have been supporting the film from the beginning. These alliances have been key - with Loudwire, The Black Rock Coalition and the Fulbright Association. What has been important for us has been constantly creating new materials, videos, photos, and events that our partners have been able to use and take part in - for example, the vimeo channel we created and the fundraising screenings we are doing this week in various cities around the US. We have been constantly looking to expand our network and alliances. Like with you! We’ve got a week left and count on you! With your support, we can share stories of resilience and inspire communities across the US! Crowdfunding is time-consuming and tough. Before launching your campaign make sure you have a big social network in place or partners who have access to such networks. Don’t stop spreading the word and trying to expand your partners. Be creative and adapt to how the campaign develops. Be bold and sassy. - Jeremy Xido, Josephine Dorado, Maria Stanisheva, and DMA Team

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  • December 11, 2013

Flagship Romance Crowdfunds Path to Sustainability

The main inspiration for us is the desire to become a self-sustainable music duo, making music for people who appreciate the art of it, and being able to make a living doing so in this confusing time for the music industry. We’ve both been signed to record labels, and know what NOT to do. The question we had to answer for ourselves was, “How can we approach this completely differently, and still have our integrity?” The two of us have been asked to be on shows like The Voice, and don’t want to compromise by going that route. We want to make the music that we love – the music that our fans love – and be able to use our musical platform to better the world. By having the opportunity to create a campaign on RocketHub, we feel that we really have the chance to be able to fulfill this desire. Our experience has been quite a roller-coaster ride, so far! The day we launched our campaign, we had an influx of our supporters posting on Facebook, tweeting, texting us in excitement, and more! At the same time, we discovered that a group of musicians from our hometown were outraged about the fact that we’re not only asking to raise enough money to fund the recording of our album. The fact that we want to actually DO something with this new endeavor was incomprehensible to some. This is the way we look at it… Record labels no longer develop artists, or put faith in them. Who has faith in us? Our fans, friends, and families. Why not allow them to help fund our career (which makes them happily engaged and active participants), and in return, they receive our album, and other perks we offer? We’re thankful that our supporters feel the same way we do, and have contributed nearly 50% of our goal while we still have over two weeks left on our campaign! Definitely absorb all of the info in RocketHub’s Crowdfunding School. What won us over to RocketHub, vs. other crowdfunding sites, was their attitude on how to succeed. Before reading this info we thought we were prepared, but realized that there was a lot of work to do, and a lot of emotional preparation to take (i.e. the lulls are normal!). You will get back what you put into it, so be ready to devote tons of time and energy to your project’s campaign. Look at it like it’s your second job. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and know that if you’re confident in your project, others will be, too! This blog post is an incredible tool for learning how to ask for what you want. - Flagship Romance

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  • December 5, 2013

The 5 Best Crowdfunding Prezis

Prezi has partnered with RocketHub to bring zooming presentations to the crowdfunding world, and we launched the Fuel for Ideas Challenge to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to get crowdfunding for their ideas. To enter the Challenge, project leaders had to create a prezi explaining their RocketHub projects. We have selected the five most promising projects, which range from smartphone-powered water purifiers to hands-free shoes designed to make life easier for disabled children, to become Fuel for Ideas Finalists. Take a look at the best crowdfunding projects that are using Prezi to share their ideas and change the world. Purifyy—Safer Water Anywhere More people in the world today have mobile phones than have access to safe drinking water. Purifyy, a water purification device powered by a smartphone, is designed to change this fact. The compact, UV light can kill up to 99.99% of the harmful microorganisms found in unsanitary water. The Purifyy team is determined to make their technology cost-effective for people in need—and their crowdfunding campaign is the first step towards this goal. StepinGo Shoes When his son couldn’t bend over to tie his own shoes on account of a back brace, Steve Kaufman was determined to find a solution. After countless prototypes and over five years of refinement, the StepinGo shoe was born. These hands-free shoes provide independence for individuals who may have had to rely on a caregiver for assistance in the past. The StepinGo team hopes to open a shoe factory in New York City to manufacture their product and provide employment for people with disabilities, and supporting their project will help them bring this idea to life. Cozzee: Coffee and a Cause Cozzee is a coffee company dedicated to solving some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. The company helps its customers have a positive impact by donating all of the profits it makes selling premium coffee to causes of their choosing. From Food & Farming to Shelter & Stability, Cozzee customers can support a variety of causes with their caffeine habits. Support their project to receive some amazing rewards and the fuzzy feeling that comes along with giving money to a worthy cause. PAL: Portable Academic Lapdesks for Rural Schools The Portable Academic Lapdesk, or PAL, is a simple solution to an enormous problem—it’s a single piece of plastic that has been adorned with illustrations of the solar system and the basic Roman alphabet and that can be used in schools that don’t have the resources to provide their students with desks. To students whose classrooms consist of nothing more than a dirt floor the PAL is a valuable, multipurpose work surface and visual textbook. The PAL project hopes to manufacture lapdesks and donate them to communities in need; supporting this project will facilitate that goal. Massive Open Online Courses for Russian Students Increasing availability of online educational resources has begun to transform education across the world, but many students are still unaware of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) that are available to them. World Wide Student, a group of Russian Fulbright Alumni, seeks to raise awareness of MOOC resources amongst Russian students. World Wide Student also hopes to translate many of the top English-language MOOC materials into Russian and provide a support network for self-educating students in Russia—supporting World Wide Student will facilitate the growth of a forward-thinking self-education system in Russia. You can find all of these projects on the Fuel for Ideas Challenge page on RocketHub—they will be running through December 15. At the end of their funding period, we will be selecting one Finalist to receive $1000 towards his or her project goal and a one-on-one consultation with our CEO, Peter Arvai, who knows a thing or two about bringing ideas to life. Guest Post by Prezi, with Permission from Prezi

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  • December 3, 2013

Telling Her Story, Skating to Success

Raised in Saratoga Springs, New York, Farrell began speedskating when she was 6. “I’ve always loved going fast,” she says. As she got older, her commitment to the sport intensified. Her little sister, Colleen, remembers Farrell getting up at 5 a.m. to train. While Colleen watched TV after school, Farrell would keep her company while furiously pedaling on an exercise bike. At age 12, Farrell was the third-fastest short-track speedskater in the country for her age. By 15, she had real prospects for one day making the national team. - Marie Claire Magazine I returned to Speedskating because I truly love skating. I knew money would be an obstacle, but I didn’t let it squash my dreams. RocketHub is allowing me to train for my goals, while raising the funds to do so! My supporters love the RocketHub site. I’ve gotten positive feedback on having pictures and a video. The ease to navigate, share, and fund on the site have helped to make my campaign a growing success! For success, follow the tutorial provided by RocketHub. Make realistic goals and maintain daily site activity. - Bridie Farrell, Speed Skater, Crowdfunder, Advocate

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  • November 27, 2013

One Rivet - A Blue Angel Rises in Miami

I wanted to create a monument for all those a part of 9/11. I feel that it changed the lives of so many people, myself included. It was a humbling moment. That experience of awe and helplessness that I witnessed in New York City on that day, I wanted to capture. “Monument” might be the wrong word because that day was monumental in feeling, but everything was torn down. One thing I took from that experience is that nothing is fixed— buildings, architecture, sculpture, people— are all quite fragile. It is pretty inspiring to stand behind your project and say it matters on the level of common human experience, and find people emerging to come and support you and your work. Friends and strangers. I think everyone had a 9/11 moment. Everyone personally related to the cultural shift of such a major event. Gosh, for crowdfunding success I would suggest to find a project that is attempting to rebuild and re-create for a greater good, with sincerity and heart. I’m Filipina, so to me my heart is going out to the people who got struck by the recent typhoon. We all are “struck down” in some form or another, and then it’s our job to rebuild and create something from that moment. It’s a collective rebuilding, and that’s why the crowdfunding campaigns can be so profound. - Michelle Lopez and One Rivet Team, Artist, Crowdfunding Inspiration

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  • November 20, 2013

Ximo - Crowdfunding a Food Based Solution

With customers and distributors in all states RocketHub gave us the ability to introduce a new delivery system, letting our clients try the product first and giving us a gauge as to expected sales and customer excitement — also giving us the opportunity, the exposure, and marketing to introduce new people to our product and our company. RocketHub has lent us additional credibility, something new and exciting and innovative for our distributors to show their customers — exposure to new clients while showing innovation utilizing RocketHub’s technology. Our distributors are excited and thrilled about the opportunity of gaining new customers and further exposing our product line. RocketHub has provided XimoRocks a platform to further our mission of creating a food based solution to an overweight unhealthy America while utilizing our food based product. For crowdfunding success, read through the entire RocketHub site there is some fantastic and really helpful information on getting you started and understanding the whole process. Try thinking outside the box. Take your time and don’t rush your project. Crowdfunding is something new and not everyone understands the potential and marketing exposure it can mean for any size business. We are super excited to be a part of the RocketHub family and excited for the opportunity. - Melissa Edwards, General Manager, XimoRocks

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  • November 14, 2013

New York, London, And Dickens’ Christmas Carol In Between

Two years ago a small group of New York City actors banded together to create a touching and unique variation of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic “A Christmas Carol.” Today, we find ourselves embarking on an exciting new adventure. Well, it is Dickens so there is a lot we could say. He was such a great human being and prolific writer. He was also a true humanitarian. We wanted to create a show that shared the story between New York and London. The actual story born in the streets of London and New York has the artifacts of the actual original Carol at the Morgan Library and New York Public library. More than that, neither London or New York has an annual running Carol in the center of each city that is enduring. We are excited to create a cultural exchange between these tow great cities that includes education and philanthropy… We are the First American Theatre artists ever invited to perform the Carol at the Charles Dickens Museum of London and other various locations in London that are dear to Dickens and where he first performed the Carol himself. It would all be for charity and a cultural exchange. So our RocketHub campaign is us getting over that little pond to do some good work with a great story. We love RocketHub and feel so blessed to be collaborating with you all. I feel crowdfunding is abut story telling and your great storytellers. The experience feels like being pioneers on an epic journey of getting the story out there. once they know it, our supporters love it. Getting the word out this year has been our biggest challenge. Some folks were not able to really with the campaign and with this journey, it is all about getting word out to the tribes. There is a huge love for Dickens and the Carol and our show is really special. It is not just a show, it is a cultural and philanthropic project with education and free tickets for shelters and such so we feel sure that if more people knew about the invitation to London from the Dickens family, we would have even more support. Everyone has a dream and a great project so the fact that folks have supported ours is a blessing. And we are grateful for what we have raised. It literally makes the show possible this year. Have a great committed team before you start, listen to your heart and own compass and make it a work of art. It isnlt abot raising money only, it is about sharing your story with as many people as possible. The team is key. And the story is the heart. - Laurie Strickland and the Christmas Carol Team

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  • November 12, 2013

Cozzee - A Socially Conscious Way to Drink Amazing Coffee

Cozzee™, a hybrid word for coffee and a cause, is the new, socially conscious way to drink amazing coffee. We sell premium coffee online from the best coffee producing regions of the world and allow our customers to impact the world by giving away all of the profits from their purchase (that’s right, all) to a cause that they choose. We like to think we’re the perfect blend (pun intended) of smart business and a passion for helping people.  The inspiration behind this project and our business in general is the need that exists. There are a lot of hurting people in the world and we wanted to do something about that and be a part of their solution. We also wanted to involve others in that solution as well, but we wanted to do it in a way that made sense for them and didn’t force them to change their daily routine. So, we figured that people love drink coffee, so let’s leverage coffee to make a difference in the world. It’s been a great and challenging experience thus far. The great piece about this experience has been seeing the market response to what it is that were doing; the pats on the back, the feedback, people saying that ‘hey, you’re really doing a great thing’ and ‘we see how this model can be very successful in the marketplace and really can help a lot of people’. The challenge has been of course trying to get outside of our circles to let individuals know about what it is that were doing. We’re going to implement some things to help overcome that challenge but it has been a very enlightening experience overall and were looking forward to seeing what the last days of this campaign have to hold for us. The best crowdfunding advice that I think we could give would be to really focus on getting outside of your network through various PR activities prior to your campaign starting. The more awareness outside of your circle you can have prior to the campaign the better you’re going to be when you launch as far as gaining traction, gaining momentum etc. The other bit of advice would be to develop a good strategy and continue to work your systems. Spend at least an hour or two hours every single day depending on what your campaign goals are so that you can see the results and fruits of your labor. If you execute effectively on those two things you can have a lot of campaign success. - Johnny McRae and Cozzee Team

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  • November 6, 2013

Washington Square Winds Take the Stage - Crowdfunding a New Album

The composers themselves were our biggest inspiration. Our mission as an ensemble is to expand the quintet repertoire by collaborating with composers of our generation, and that is exactly what we are doing by recording our first CD. We feel there is no better way to promote new music than to record it for the entire world to hear, generations to come. We are honored that RocketHub considers us pioneers! It has been quite a challenge rounding up support, but it has been worthwhile. It’s incredible to see how many people share our love of contemporary classical music, and now we want to record the best CD possible to reward everyone’s efforts. The more passionate you are about your project, the more you will inspire passion about your project in other people, which will hopefully lead to support. Luckily for us, we love our work with Washington Square Winds and have a close relationship to the composers, and we believe this excitement shines through in our project. Also, there’s a lot more planning that must go into a crowdfunding project than most people think. Every detail must be thought out, from creating a timeline, to designing exciting promotional materials, to sending your thank you letters. - Washington Square Winds, New York-based Woodwind Quintet, Woodwind Crowdfunding Pioneers

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  • October 30, 2013