Published on September 18th, 2012 | by Ivan Widjaya0
How to Get Funding for Your Location Independent Startup: Crowdfunding
Many digital nomads today travel the world backpacking while funding their travel by typically being a freelancer – blogging, web designing, copywriting and so on. While those can truly be a great way to earn money in location independent manner, many treat them as a job, not a proper business.
Most of the time, the biggest obstacle of turning your interest into a proper business is funding. Indeed, you need funding to build a well-run business – hire staffs (can be freelancers or full-time staffs, depending on your strategy,) build client-base, build supplier-base, do paperworks, bookkeeping, and so on.
The principle of start small (read: bootstrapping) as a solopreneur can work, but when you have reached certain level, you might need to start thinking about outsourcing and making things work like a proper business: Run things out within a system.
Now there are some ways you can consider in getting your virtual startup funded – no matter wherever you are, but the most practical way is via crowdfunding.
Sure, borrowing from friends and family is possible, but it’s not practical, especially when your family is in Orlando, Florida, US and you are in Cairo, Egypt. From a lending institution? Even more impractical – you need an address, some paperworks and so on.
The best way for you is, again, via crowdfunding.
“Crowd funding or crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding or hyper funding) describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.” Crowdfunding wiki, Wikipedia
Crowdfunding sites are typically not requiring you to be present at certain locations – everything can be done online: You post your startup project and start receiving funding from those interested in your idea.
Of course, you are not guaranteed to succeed in getting funds, but when you are reaching out to the right audience with the right pitches, your changes for success can be enhanced.
Okay – let’s get down to business, shall we?
Which crowdfunding site to join?
There are many crowdfunding sites you can join and post your project. However, depending on your type of startup, your chance for getting funded is bigger if you post on the right crowdfunding site.
Let’s take Kickstarter, for example. It is a well-known crowdfunding platform for everything technology and creative works. So, to get funding, your location independent startup should offer some kind of products and/or services: Documentary films, online games, gadgets, artwork, etc.
Are you a nomadic product designer, film maker and writer? If so, you can find great success with Kickstarter.
GoFundMe is an online fundraising site that lets you post funding requests. Unlike Kickstarter, GoFundMe projects can be personal interests (i.e. help paying medical bills), social interests (i.e. help launch a housing for stray dogs), and so on. However, business and startup-based projects also find GoFundMe a home, especially if yours are interest-based – i.e. fund your travel, fund your pet sitting startup, or fund you music band.
Are you starting up a travel blog as a business, social entrepreneurship endeavor (i.e. promoting local village’s artwork) and so on, GoFundMe is the right platform for you.
There are some other crowdfunding sites, but those two are the most popular ones – so you’d better start browsing and see whether they can help you launch your virtual startup.
Virtual or location independent business requires you to take a certain approach to make it work. Most often than not, you need to utilize mobile – and cloud computing – technology more to leverage your “limitation” (location independent!) With your head office can be in any part of the world, you are becoming dependent on Internet.
With that being said, be sure that wherever you travel to, you have a reliable Internet access. If you like to travel to the middle of nowhere, be sure to have satellite Internet equipment with you. The bottom line, again, you need to make sure you have the things you need for your location independent business to run smoothly.
Image from Tech.co