Students taking the Financing the Entrepreneurial Enterprise course at the LACDC are about to take the first step raising money for their businesses. Courtesy photo
By Mandy Marksteiner
Students taking the Financing the Entrepreneurial Enterprise course at the LACDC are about to take the first step raising money for their businesses; launching crowdfunding campaigns.
The crowdfunding campaigns will support a diverse group of new business start-ups. They include Los Alamos Atomic Play, Gag Gifts for Dads, a Triathlon training center with an endless pool, a video that will educate adoptees and their families, Biodidact (a science literacy company), Boozehound Labs, a lactation consultant, coldswitching (a bilingual education company), a company that makes USB splitting devices and a documentary about the metric system called More than a Mile Behind.
Nicholas Seet, founder of the Los Alamos Venture Accelerator (LAVA), teaches the class. Last year his class raised more than $12,000 to fund three projects. Two of those projects used the Main Street Crowd (https://mainstreetcrowd.com/los-alamos-chamber/) platform.
President & COO Marshall Neel of Main Street Crowd defined crowdfunding this way: “It’s a collection of funds through small contributions from many parties to finance larger projects … If it has value in the community you should be able to contribute to it.”
During a presentation Sept. 25, Neel explained how the features of Main Street Crowd make it easier to get communities to work together to finance a project. One of the disadvantages to other crowdfunding platforms is that you have to bring the people. Main Street Crowd recognizes the human networks in a community and brings those groups together, which makes it easier to promote the projects.
Using Main Street Crowd, project managers can as the local chamber of commerce to promote your project and set up matching pledge challenges with businesses. Nancy Partridge runs the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Main Street Clowd, and can help Los Alamos businesses and organizations promote their own projects.
Their 90 percent rule makes it easier for project managers to reach their funding goal: If they reach 90 percent of the amount they want to raise, they get another week. Another feature makes it possible for project managers to accept checks, and still have it go toward their goal.
“This is a great way to get these exciting projects off the bench-top and into reality,” Seet said. “Small donations and support from the local community can make a big difference for an aspiring startup founder.”
To get updates and information about these campaigns, and news about entrepreneurship in Los Alamos, sign up for the LAVA email list at www.lava.guru.