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My Unabashed Pitch for Attending SuperCrowd23
The 2-Day Virtual Event Catalyzes Action—Not Just Talk
SuperCrowd23 is a two-day virtual conference with over 100 people on the program, discussing every aspect of impact crowdfunding—that is, impact investing via crowdfunding. But this event isn’t about the talk; it’s about the action!
The action is the connection you’ll make with the other people who are there. It is about making investments. I mean, actually making investments. We’re not just talking about making investments. We’ll be making investments.
So, you say you have no money to invest. That’s no excuse. We are literally giving away money at SuperCrowd23, so you may get a chance to invest our money for your own account in one of the companies that pitch at the event.
Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur interested in raising money. Not only is SuperCrowd23 a place to learn more about raising money, including from lots of people who have done it via crowdfunding (and otherwise), but also you’ll have a chance to meet investors. We’ll have formal and informal networking time.
What Is Impact Investing?
Many people are vaguely familiar with the term impact investing but wouldn’t know how to explain it to someone else. Let me take a moment to put a finer point on this. If you’re going to do it, you’ll want to know what it is.
Impact investing is generally defined as making financial investments with normal financial terms and expected returns made with the express intent to drive a benefit to the community, society or the planet. Think of it as philanthropy with a financial return.
Have you ever given $100 to a nonprofit? Most readers of Superpowers for Good regularly do so. Impact investing via crowdfunding allows you to make high-impact investments with as little as $100.
There are three broad categories of impact you can have via crowdfunding:
Local community impact: When you invest in a business or building project in your town, you are helping that move forward, revitalizing your neighborhood.
Social and environmental impact: When you invest in a business that developing a technology that will improve global health, reduce carbon emissions or that helps reduce poverty, as with affordable housing, you are directly addressing a social or environmental problem with your money.
Diverse founders: When you invest in a founder that doesn’t look like the classic venture capital raising entrepreneur—a white man—you are supporting someone whose access to capital may be limited by often unintended social constructs. Veterans are deservingly targeted by some impact investors.
Each of these is a bit different. Recently, the company that hosts the investment crowdfunding campaign for The Super Crowd, Inc., a public benefit corporation, Crowdfund Main Street, hosted a campaign that hit all three areas—a genuine trifecta!
Pink Bench Distilling raised $172,000 for a local distillery in Troy, Montana, in bear country. Check box one. The spirits would be produced with local fruit that the bears would otherwise harvest in backyards, putting people and bears in troubling situations. Check box two. The founders were women. Check box three. Trifecta.
Not every deal will check all the boxes, but many of the offerings on crowdfunding sites will check at least one. Heck, can anyone explain to me how a business wouldn’t be local somewhere?
At SuperCrowd23, you’ll learn more about how to make smart investments with both impact and financial returns. You’ll also have the opportunity to see entrepreneurs pitch, make judgments for yourself, and make investments on the spot—no obligation, just opportunity!
How to Approach Impact Crowdfunding
Here are three different ways to approach impact crowdfunding:
Think of it as a hobby. Many people spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year on a hobby. About 50 million people in the US own a bicycle. Around 25 million golf. Approximately 10 million ski. On a similar budget—or starting with much less—you can make crowdfund investing for impact a hobby. One key difference: the money you spend on this hobby could earn a nice financial return.
Approach it as you do philanthropy. You likely give money to nonprofits already. I don’t suggest you stop. Instead, you may wish to look for ways that small impact investments can complement your philanthropy, expanding your impact. Over time, you’ll learn how to invest to have impact and a financial return.
Treat it strictly as investing. Some people, often those with more resources, will come at impact investing from a strict investment point of view, carefully measuring risk, impact results and financial returns, with the same scrutiny they apply to their other investments. If you’re going to put five or ten percent of your money to work via crowdfunding, be prepared to take it seriously.
There is no right or wrong way to think about crowdfunding. I confess, I think of my crowdfund investing with all three hats on, but primarily as a hobby. The money I invest for retirement is separate. People with lots of experience, sometimes move a portion of their retirement accounts into self-directed vehicles that allow for making crowdfund investments. You do you!
Join us for SuperCrowd23 to learn more about investing via crowdfunding. It can be fun, impactful and financially rewarding.
How to Raise Money Via Impact Crowdfunding
The fundamental premise of raising money via crowdfunding is to use your tribe or community. There is growing evidence, however, that a clear mission or purpose complements community.
Things that tend to be more successful than others in the crowdfunding arena include consumer products, products that are easy to understand (at least what they do and how they are used, if not how to make them), and projects with purpose.
All else equal, a product that is climate-friendly will do better than one that isn’t. Entrepreneurs are learning to lean into and articulate their community and social impacts as part of their pitch.
Attend SuperCrowd23 to learn more about how to optimize your pitch for impact crowdfunding.
How to Get Free Tickets to SuperCrowd23
We have a very limited number of free SuperCrowd23 tickets available for Superpowers for Good readers. We’ll give them away here on a first-come, first-served basis.
Check out the amazing content we’ll feature:
Note, too, that we’ll record the conference, so you can catch up on the sessions you miss because life gets in the way. This also means that if your calendar is already full, you should register to be sure you get access to all the recordings! Register now to get your free ticket.