Real Business Funding, our first ever event to illuminate the best sources of funding for your business, is only two months away. Meet the entrepreneurs, investors, and experts who will help us shed light on the finance market…
Today’s featured speaker is:
Crowdfunding: a new way of doing things
Banks are never keen to lend money to a business that is just an idea. But without money, how to get a great idea off the ground? Together with co-founder Luke Lang, Darren Westlake found a way around that barrier. Watching Dragons’ Den reminded the Crowdcube founder that high net worth individuals have all of the power, and he wished he had enough capital to invest in those start-ups himself.
The penny just dropped: maybe other people were, like himself, at home watching Dragons’ Den and really wanting to help one of those businesses to succeed? If we could all join together to pool smaller amounts of money… This could bypass the need for a few, wealthy individuals to back a venture.
Darren and Luke soon founded Crowdcube, the first crowdfunding website to offer people equity in exchange for their investment. Since launching in February 2011, Crowdcube has raised over £4.8m in 34 deals and has over 28,000 registered investors. The target investor is “anyone with a little bit of disposable income” and a typical investment would be around £50 – thanks to the collaborative power of the internet, this has been the launchpad for businesses the likes of GetSiteTracked and BrewDog.
Prior to Crowdcube Darren founded and exited two businesses in the field of Voice over IP.
Crowdcube is now growing its UK operation, and developing partnerships with those organisations that are already working with start-ups and small businesses. Further down the line they are even moving the focus to international growth.
Darren Westlake will be speaking at Real Business Funding, the free conference to illuminate the new, more plural funding environment for growing SMEs. Join us on March 15, 2013, at the British Library, and join the discussion on Twitter at #unleashingfinance.
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