It is very likely as we are close to the end of 2012 that this year was the year of crowdfunding. For those who are not familiar with the concept of crowdfunding: it is a collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowdfunding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup company funding, movie or free software development, and scientific research. Crowdfunding can also refer to the funding of a company by selling small amounts of equity (aka equity based crowdfunding) to many investors.
At a glance, you might ask, who would give his money for someonelse's project or how much you can collect this way?
According to Crowdsourcing.org in 2011, 1.5 billion USD was raised by different crowdfunding platforms. The two leading continents are North America and Western Europe. Funds raised grew at a 63% CAGR of the past 3 years, primarily driven by donation based and lending based crowdfunding.
As it is getting harder to get loans/capital in traditional way, crowdfunding is gaining momentum. This why I believe equity based crowdfunding (the supporters get in exchange shares of ownership/equity in the company) and reward based crowdfunding (the supporters get tangible products, services in exchange of their financial support; e.g. annual golf course membership for x years) can be viable solutions to many small and mid-sized golf courses. In case of equity based crowdfunding in the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission should lift the current limits on private-equity investments and let companies sell stakes to crowds of investors online.
Crowdfunding platforms are expected to double their total funding volume in 2012 to = cca. 2,806 million USD. Reward based and equity based crowdfunding platforms are expected to grow this year by 300%.
Here are some smaller crowdfunding projects from the golf industry:
- Help your PGA or any other golf player: http://www.involvedfan.com/golf/. Josh Creel (Cheyenne, Wyoming) and George Zolotas (Florida) are looking for some help.
- The Mobile Golfer - they want to develop a golf mobile application: http://www.hackerscentralonline.com/mobile-golfer.
- Golden Gate Park DGC
- Club Catcher - they have already raised 4,189 USD. They are looking for 185,000 USD.