Crowdfunding Insights

Hello Everyone,

I haven’t posted in the Coworking group for quite a while but I have frequented the topics as often as possible and whatever I’ve read has ALWAYS been helpful. My friend and I have recently started a coworking space in Brampton in August of this year. Being the first coworking space in Brampton, our expectations were exceeded with the amount of traction we were gaining in our local community. Events were happening, people were slowly signing up…things were good. However, down the line our landlord became very unsettled with coworking and what it entailed. We hoped that after seeing the publicity we were getting his building and after talking to community stakeholders he might understand what coworking is and its benefits but that wasn’t the case. We received a formal cease and desist about a month ago and still don’t know what we did wrong. The lease stated “general coworking” , rent was always paid and none of the terms of the agreement were broken. Fast forward, our community is left waiting for us to move into our new space. We’re back to the coffee shops lol.

To help with paying for the transition and to ensure that this doesn’t happen again we’re going to be crowdfunding. We’re going to be using Indiegogo as well. What I wanted to find out was if anyone here has been involved with crowdfunding or has done crowdfunding themselves? What tips/advice/guidance could you provide to ensuring a successful campaign? What types of perks should we offer? and Where should we be focusing our efforts?

Any info would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Some landlords don’t get it. The first place we looked at took 3 months of negotiation and the guy was throwing all sorts of weird stuff at us like being worried people would sleep on the couches. He wanted us to make sure the place was empty by 8 every night. We walked away and it was the right move. You might have grounds to push back, but you might not want to.

It really sucks that it’s going down like this, but a crisis can really rally and forge a community. Now that you have been open for a few months, have some good stories, and an identity, it will be easier to find the next space and they will understand what you are doing so you can avoid this sort of thing.

It might not seem like it right now, but you are in a really good position.

···

Jacob

On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM, Harman Grewal [email protected] wrote:

Hello Everyone,

I haven’t posted in the Coworking group for quite a while but I have frequented the topics as often as possible and whatever I’ve read has ALWAYS been helpful. My friend and I have recently started a coworking space in Brampton in August of this year. Being the first coworking space in Brampton, our expectations were exceeded with the amount of traction we were gaining in our local community. Events were happening, people were slowly signing up…things were good. However, down the line our landlord became very unsettled with coworking and what it entailed. We hoped that after seeing the publicity we were getting his building and after talking to community stakeholders he might understand what coworking is and its benefits but that wasn’t the case. We received a formal cease and desist about a month ago and still don’t know what we did wrong. The lease stated “general coworking” , rent was always paid and none of the terms of the agreement were broken. Fast forward, our community is left waiting for us to move into our new space. We’re back to the coffee shops lol.

To help with paying for the transition and to ensure that this doesn’t happen again we’re going to be crowdfunding. We’re going to be using Indiegogo as well. What I wanted to find out was if anyone here has been involved with crowdfunding or has done crowdfunding themselves? What tips/advice/guidance could you provide to ensuring a successful campaign? What types of perks should we offer? and Where should we be focusing our efforts?

Any info would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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I agree with Jacob. You dodged a bullet.

How much does your community know about the situation? I’d be asking them what makes sense for rewards, not us!

Pre-selling membership is one of the best things you can do (3-6 months of prepaid membership can really help build a warchest). But what else do they care about?

It’s easy to overthink crowdfunding in terms of “rewards”, and even cripple your fund by needing to “pay out” those rewards in complicated, costly ways that take you away from your main community focus. Instead, tune in closer to what your community cares about and like Jacob said, use this shitbag landlord’s move as a rallying cry to bring people together.

While not a kickstarter-style crowdfunding effort, I can share how each time we’ve needed money beyond our savings for growth we’ve turned to our community rather than a traditional bank financing. In each case, we had members offer us loans (amounts ranged from $8k-$30k).

In ALL cases, we signed a promissory note that said that we would begin paying back the loan at a minimum monthly payment starting 1 year from the loan date (our conservative projections helped make sure that wasn’t an over-promise.

But most interestingly was when we talked about what they wanted in return. Doing some basic math using standard interest rates of a loan in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, the interest earned would be pretty negligible. While we could bake that into our payback, we instead offered a conversation with that member, asking “Here’s what you’d earn in interest over the payback period. Is there something of similar value to you that we can provide instead of adding interest to our payments?”

In all cases we agreed to 0% interest, and focused on something that was personally valuable to them. All of our supporters were community members who had already gotten some value from being a part of the community (their business had grown, they’d learned new skills, etc) so they saw growing Indy Hall as a way to perpetuate that value and “pay it forward”.

It also helps that I’ve been willing to put some of my own money in at times on essentially the same terms. Anything you’d ask of them, ask yourself, is that something YOU would do?

-Alex

···

Jacob

On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM, Harman Grewal [email protected] wrote:

Hello Everyone,

I haven’t posted in the Coworking group for quite a while but I have frequented the topics as often as possible and whatever I’ve read has ALWAYS been helpful. My friend and I have recently started a coworking space in Brampton in August of this year. Being the first coworking space in Brampton, our expectations were exceeded with the amount of traction we were gaining in our local community. Events were happening, people were slowly signing up…things were good. However, down the line our landlord became very unsettled with coworking and what it entailed. We hoped that after seeing the publicity we were getting his building and after talking to community stakeholders he might understand what coworking is and its benefits but that wasn’t the case. We received a formal cease and desist about a month ago and still don’t know what we did wrong. The lease stated “general coworking” , rent was always paid and none of the terms of the agreement were broken. Fast forward, our community is left waiting for us to move into our new space. We’re back to the coffee shops lol.

To help with paying for the transition and to ensure that this doesn’t happen again we’re going to be crowdfunding. We’re going to be using Indiegogo as well. What I wanted to find out was if anyone here has been involved with crowdfunding or has done crowdfunding themselves? What tips/advice/guidance could you provide to ensuring a successful campaign? What types of perks should we offer? and Where should we be focusing our efforts?

Any info would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Thank you Jacob and Alex,

I agree that this is a blessing in disguise and to use the landlords actions as a rallying cry. We have told our community what the situation is and everyone has agreed to help out the best way they can and still stay committed to the move. After reading your thoughts I have immediately sent a message to our members asking what they think would be some good perks.

Moreover, I love the idea of a loan that’s paid back in full with interest (with an option of in-kind service). I’m sure there would be individuals in our community interested in this.

···

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 11:53:14 AM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

I agree with Jacob. You dodged a bullet.

How much does your community know about the situation? I’d be asking them what makes sense for rewards, not us!

Pre-selling membership is one of the best things you can do (3-6 months of prepaid membership can really help build a warchest). But what else do they care about?

It’s easy to overthink crowdfunding in terms of “rewards”, and even cripple your fund by needing to “pay out” those rewards in complicated, costly ways that take you away from your main community focus. Instead, tune in closer to what your community cares about and like Jacob said, use this shitbag landlord’s move as a rallying cry to bring people together.

While not a kickstarter-style crowdfunding effort, I can share how each time we’ve needed money beyond our savings for growth we’ve turned to our community rather than a traditional bank financing. In each case, we had members offer us loans (amounts ranged from $8k-$30k).

In ALL cases, we signed a promissory note that said that we would begin paying back the loan at a minimum monthly payment starting 1 year from the loan date (our conservative projections helped make sure that wasn’t an over-promise.

But most interestingly was when we talked about what they wanted in return. Doing some basic math using standard interest rates of a loan in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, the interest earned would be pretty negligible. While we could bake that into our payback, we instead offered a conversation with that member, asking “Here’s what you’d earn in interest over the payback period. Is there something of similar value to you that we can provide instead of adding interest to our payments?”

In all cases we agreed to 0% interest, and focused on something that was personally valuable to them. All of our supporters were community members who had already gotten some value from being a part of the community (their business had grown, they’d learned new skills, etc) so they saw growing Indy Hall as a way to perpetuate that value and “pay it forward”.

It also helps that I’ve been willing to put some of my own money in at times on essentially the same terms. Anything you’d ask of them, ask yourself, is that something YOU would do?

-Alex

On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 11:39 AM, Jacob Sayles [email protected] wrote:

Some landlords don’t get it. The first place we looked at took 3 months of negotiation and the guy was throwing all sorts of weird stuff at us like being worried people would sleep on the couches. He wanted us to make sure the place was empty by 8 every night. We walked away and it was the right move. You might have grounds to push back, but you might not want to.

It really sucks that it’s going down like this, but a crisis can really rally and forge a community. Now that you have been open for a few months, have some good stories, and an identity, it will be easier to find the next space and they will understand what you are doing so you can avoid this sort of thing.

It might not seem like it right now, but you are in a really good position.

Jacob

On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM, Harman Grewal [email protected] wrote:

Hello Everyone,

I haven’t posted in the Coworking group for quite a while but I have frequented the topics as often as possible and whatever I’ve read has ALWAYS been helpful. My friend and I have recently started a coworking space in Brampton in August of this year. Being the first coworking space in Brampton, our expectations were exceeded with the amount of traction we were gaining in our local community. Events were happening, people were slowly signing up…things were good. However, down the line our landlord became very unsettled with coworking and what it entailed. We hoped that after seeing the publicity we were getting his building and after talking to community stakeholders he might understand what coworking is and its benefits but that wasn’t the case. We received a formal cease and desist about a month ago and still don’t know what we did wrong. The lease stated “general coworking” , rent was always paid and none of the terms of the agreement were broken. Fast forward, our community is left waiting for us to move into our new space. We’re back to the coffee shops lol.

To help with paying for the transition and to ensure that this doesn’t happen again we’re going to be crowdfunding. We’re going to be using Indiegogo as well. What I wanted to find out was if anyone here has been involved with crowdfunding or has done crowdfunding themselves? What tips/advice/guidance could you provide to ensuring a successful campaign? What types of perks should we offer? and Where should we be focusing our efforts?

Any info would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Hello again!

We’ve launched our crowdfunding campaign and I just wanted to post it here. Please let me know if there are any suggestions and if its not too much to ask could you please spread the word.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lab-b-coworking-a-new-home-for-our-community/x/5938413

Appreciate everything,

Harman Singh

···

On Monday, November 3, 2014 9:08:41 PM UTC-5, Harman Grewal wrote:

Hello Everyone,

I haven’t posted in the Coworking group for quite a while but I have frequented the topics as often as possible and whatever I’ve read has ALWAYS been helpful. My friend and I have recently started a coworking space in Brampton in August of this year. Being the first coworking space in Brampton, our expectations were exceeded with the amount of traction we were gaining in our local community. Events were happening, people were slowly signing up…things were good. However, down the line our landlord became very unsettled with coworking and what it entailed. We hoped that after seeing the publicity we were getting his building and after talking to community stakeholders he might understand what coworking is and its benefits but that wasn’t the case. We received a formal cease and desist about a month ago and still don’t know what we did wrong. The lease stated “general coworking” , rent was always paid and none of the terms of the agreement were broken. Fast forward, our community is left waiting for us to move into our new space. We’re back to the coffee shops lol.

To help with paying for the transition and to ensure that this doesn’t happen again we’re going to be crowdfunding. We’re going to be using Indiegogo as well. What I wanted to find out was if anyone here has been involved with crowdfunding or has done crowdfunding themselves? What tips/advice/guidance could you provide to ensuring a successful campaign? What types of perks should we offer? and Where should we be focusing our efforts?

Any info would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile: