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

Crowdfunding Quikiks - Innovative and Helpful Hands-Free Shoes

The inspiration came from my son’s inability to put his own shoes on because he was in a big torso brace to help prevent the progression of his scoliosis (curvature of the spine). I had to put on his sneakers each day and eventually thought it would be nice if there were special shoes that he could just step into and have them automatically fasten without the need to bend over or use his hands. Having such shoes would unburden me, as the caregiver, from the task and at the same time give my son the independence to care for himself. Shoes like this did not exist and I figured that I was not the only one in this situation, so it might be a good idea to create some. However, the backstory to this backstory is that the reason I came up with the idea at the particular time that I did was because of an entrepreneurship show on TV called the Big Idea hosted by Donny Deutsch. At the end of one show, he walked over to the camera, shook his finger and said, “I want you to go to bed tonight and think about a problem you face every day and think of an idea to solve it.” And that’s what I did. I went to bed after that and within 20 minutes I had an idea on how to solve the “hands-free shoe problem”. The next day I started working on a prototype. That was six years ago. The crowdfunding experience has certainly been a liberating and exciting one -to finally put my project “out there” after years in development! The whole crowdfunding platform I find to be very empowering because the “price of admission” is so low that it makes it accessible for almost anyone to put their project out there and try to make it a reality. From an entrepreneurial standpoint, the platform can serve as a litmus test to gauge market demand and (hopefully) raise capital to fund production without giving away equity in our business -which is nothing short of awesome! The real trick is getting the eyeballs of the people that may want what you have to your campaign site. My supporters have enthusiastically wished me the best of luck with my new venture and think it is a great project, however, this has not translated into as much monetary support as I was hoping for. I am still trying to figure that one out… Think far out in terms of planning to launch your campaign. Give yourself plenty of time to build and nurture your network so you can spread the word about your campaign more effectively when the time comes. Be realistic about what it will actually take to commercialize your product, not only in terms of funding, but also by lining up your suppliers and manufacturers ahead of time so as to reduce the time gap between the end of the campaign and delivery of the finished goods. - Steve Kaufman, Father, Inventor and Entrepreneur, Avid Sailor, President of the Board - Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Crowdfunder

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  • October 18, 2013

Stray - Feature Film Funding on RocketHub

After graduating film school together, Sam and I had it in our minds that we wanted to find a story that we would co-direct as our debut feature film. Little did we know how long that process would actually take. We moved to the northern California countryside then to New York City, working a variety of odd jobs over a period of five years. One of those very odd jobs was grunt work backstage in the New York fashion scene. It was there, hauling tables and picking up used hair extensions, that we met Beckett. Over the next two years the three of us became good friends and Beckett shared with us his fascinating life story. We decided to interview him in hopes of making a documentary but after just one meeting we knew that this was the story we wanted to use as the basis for our feature film. Beckett is the son of Barney Rosset, a renowned book publisher who was the first American to publish the works of Samuel Beckett and many authors of the Beat Generation. However due to a broken family and drug abuse, Beckett spent most of his life homeless on the streets of New York surviving as a thief. His story is one of contradiction, tragedy and hope and explores a subject that has always resonated deeply throughout our work; it is a story of people, love and family. The response from our friends, family and broader community has been extremely positive both in terms of direct monetary contribution and also with brainstorming new approaches to funding, helping find new and broader audiences and in some cases even offering professional services to help the project come to fruition. Crowdfunding is an interesting experience because inherently there are so many questions and unknowns at the outset but the very process requires that you publicly push your project as much as possible despite that, which can certainly lead to a feeling of vulnerability. Will we reach our goal? If so, how? What will people think of the project and how will they respond after being asked to support us? We are still learning the answer to some of these questions but so far sharing this project, which we know so well and care about so deeply, has been exciting and the enthusiastic response of our peers immensely motivating. For success, start by reading anything you can find about crowdfunding strategy (RocketHub’s Success School is a great place to begin). The more planning you can take care of before you launch the better and research will help you get organized and develop goals and an achievable plan. Next, make a giant list of everyone you know, and I do mean everyone. Divide that list into people who will help you get started right away no matter what, people that might be willing to share your project to large groups of their own, and then everyone else (who you can follow up with after you’ve developed some legitimacy and momentum). Determining the appropriate way to contact each group is important but for us we have found that individual contact rather than bulk messages is more effective and that phone calls and emails are better than social media (though social media is great for spreading the word that the project is happening and is also a good way to keep people posted without being too pushy). Now that our campaign has cleared the 33% mark we are reaching out to various forms of media and larger organizations. This has been largely improvised but some success has come from targeting groups that have thematic or subject matter overlaps with our project. For example, since our project involves Samuel Beckett and Barney Rosset, we approached The Strand Bookstore in New York and they agreed to tweet our project link. Mainly it seems it’s all about trying and trying and every once in a while something connects and you have support from a brand new source. After you have exhausted all of your resources it is probably time to start going back through all the lists and see what has work and what hasn’t and then start a new pass. Being creative and flexible is definitely part of it, I’m guessing we still have some big lessons ahead of us still! - Nick Hartanto and Sam Roden, Filmmakers, Crowdfunders, Innovators

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  • October 15, 2013

Strikeloader - New Paintball Innovation Comes to Life via Crowdfunding

As active paintball players, we faced the perennial problem of frequent and inconvenient reload cycles during a game. Initial concepts and ideas were translated into early mockups and then, over time, hundreds of test models and prototyping variations. Our main inspiration was the famous Minigun-scene with the backpack magazine in the movie ‘Predator’. This fantasy has now been transformed into the most exciting technological innovation the paintball community has ever witnessed. Crowdfunding on RocketHub has been a thoroughly engaging and engrossing experience! The players are awesome; providing tons of ideas and well wishes with respect to our achievement of a finalized design prior to our first mass production run. I must say that we really had a difficult time with the R&D, as paintballs are a unique form of projectile that easily deform or break when propelled at high velocity. It almost drove us to the wall - our nerves and from a financial standpoint. You definitely need resilience and persistence. I call it the ‘pitbull’-gene. To gain crowdfunding success: Do your homework before you launch your campaign and be well prepared. Do a great PR and Viral marketing campaign and dont just rely on the crowd funding platform to attract customers. Have a backup investor in case you dont reach your goal. Know your market! Asses true market demand before commencing a campaign. - The Strikeloader Team

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  • October 10, 2013

Prezi & RocketHub Will Help You Fuel Your Ideas

You already use Prezi to share your ideas—now you can use Prezi to fund them. We’ve teamed up with RocketHub to make it just a little bit easier to turn your dreams into reality. Even the most innovative ideas are powerless without the people that believe in them. We created Prezi to help people express themselves and share their thoughts more effectively, because we know that it takes a village to bring an idea to life. The folks at RocketHub feel the same way; as one of the leading crowdfunding platforms on the web, RocketHub is focused on helping individuals connect with a community that can give them the resources they need to make amazing things happen. Prezi & RocketHub—A Match Made in Heaven We are thrilled to announce that RocketHub is the first platform of its kind to integrate Prezi into the crowdfunding equation. With a simple click, you can now embed prezis on your RocketHub project page, making it easier than ever to impress and engage with the potential funders who have the power to send your ideas into action. To celebrate this coming together, we have partnered with RocketHub to launch the Fuel For Ideas Challenge, a unique opportunity to use Prezi to crowdfund your ideas. What is the Fuel for Ideas Challenge? The Fuel For Ideas Challenge is open to anyone with a groundbreaking idea that they want to see turned into a reality. Maybe you have been working on a new battery design that will store energy more efficiently, or maybe you have always wanted to start your own small business selling pies. Whatever your dream, now is your chance to make it a reality. All you have to do is make a prezi describing your idea and why it should get funded, and submit it as part of a RocketHub project through the Fuel For Ideas Challenge portal. What will I win? The five projects whose prezis get the most “likes” on Prezi.com will become Fuel for Ideas Finalists, and we are going to set up our Finalists for crowdfunding success. The Finalists will not only receive a special one-on-one consultation with a Prezi designer to polish their prezis but also be featured on Prezi.com and in RocketHub’s newsletter—exposing their projects to millions of potential funders! Oh, and one lucky Finalist—deemed by a panel of Prezi judges to have the most creative and unique project—will win $1,000 towards his or her goal and an exclusive opportunity to talk with our CEO, Peter Arvai. He will be happy to give you advice on how to use all that funding to bring your project to life. We’re excited to see all the amazing things our communities come up with. So what are you waiting for? Get started making your prezi and creating your project today, and let us help you fuel your ideas! Guest Post by Prezi Team, with Permission from Prezi

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  • October 4, 2013

FreshDirect Joins Forces with RocketHub In Search of the “Next Big Food Thing”

RocketHub is excited to announce a brand new initiative with FreshDirect to help awesome food-related projects raised funds and receive support. Here is the official release: LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. / NEW YORK, N.Y. - October 2, 2013 – Popular online grocer FreshDirect and top crowdfunding company RocketHub, today announced a call for entries for the “Next Big Food Thing” challenge. Entrepreneurs with innovative food-related ideas— from food products to kitchen gadgets, from farming advancements to food businesses, and everything in between—are encouraged to submit their projects. Finalists will be announced in November and will crowdfund for their idea via RocketHub.com. A winner will be selected by a panel of judges based on a number of factors, including money raised, funder engagement and overall quality of idea. The entrant with the winning idea will receive $10,000 to fund their venture and the chance to partner with FreshDirect. Two runners-up will receive $2,500 each to fund their businesses. Judges for the “Next Big Food Thing” include Geoff Bartakovics, Tasting Table CEO, Natasha Case, Coolhaus CEO, Sarah Copeland, Real Simple Food Director, John Craven, BevNet Founder and David McInerney, FreshDirect Co-Founder. “I’m constantly wowed by the incredible new ventures I hear about; ideas that can improve the way we grow, prepare and provide food, and ultimately change the way we eat,” said David McInerney. “We’re excited to support and spread the word about the newest and greatest small food businesses out there as they strive to take their ideas to the next level.” “RocketHub is excited to team up with FreshDirect to power the “Next Big Food Thing,” said Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub. This partnership will leverage the massive power of crowdfunding to incubate innovative food endeavors.” To submit a project, visit www.freshdirect.com/nbft The deadline to enter a project is October 31, 2013. —- About FreshDirect FreshDirect is a leading online grocer in the U.S., delivering premium quality fresh-from-the-farm foods and brand-name groceries to customers in the greater New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware metro areas and greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. With a more than 2,500-member workforce that is still growing, FreshDirect places an emphasis on nutritious, delicious meals and convenient services that allow customers more time to live healthy lives. FreshDirect aspires to be a valued corporate partner in all communities in which it serves. For more information, visit www.freshdirect.com. Follow FreshDirect on Twitter: @freshdirect and on Facebook: facebook.com/FreshDirect About RocketHub RocketHub is a top crowdfunding company that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, and social leaders raise millions of dollars. RocketHub is a brand-friendly crowdfunding platform that delivers powerful pathways for success to its users.

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  • October 2, 2013