HUNDREDS of crowdfunding campaigns are launched worldwide every day – how does a kid from the bush manage to stand out from the crowd?
That’s one problem two Tamworth-based entrepreneurs are trying to solve with their new regional crowdfunding website.
Matthew Sweeney and Derek Tink have launched my.regional.community, “to connect people who want to see change in regional Australia with those people who can make that change happen”.
“As far as we’re aware, there are no dedicated websites where people in a town can focus on ideas in their town,” Mr Sweeney said.
Those ideas could be for a product, business or service, but the website could also be used to crowdfund expenses such as an budding sports star’s travel to a representative match.
Mr Tink said: “Our local ideas for our local community tend to get lost when competing in Sydney with hundreds of thousands of others.”
“The notion is really about this region – our communities and ideas that could be supported, and assisted to get up and running.”
The project draws on both men’s expertise: Mr Sweeney is a chartered accountant and business consultant, with a background in corporate finance and investment banking.
Mr Tink is the region’s Business Connect business adviser, which puts him close up with hundreds of start-ups and their challenges.
“I have a passion for regional development and supporting our entrepreneurs here in this region,” he said.
“So we just put our melons together and came up with this.”
The website is not intended to raise capital, but is based on donations, votes and rewards.
People can donate “simply because they believe in the cause” or in exchange for a reward such as a copy of an album once it’s recorded, free entry to an event, or a discount on a service once it’s launched.
Some campaigns will ask for votes, which Mr Tink said was a valuable way to test the market.
Another aspect of the site is that the pair will “act as the eyes and ears on it”, obtaining evidence from campaigners on their reasons for crowdfunding, and ensuring the money goes where it should.
“It’s got to be for the purposes of helping another person, or employment-generating for the region, or allow someone to represent the region,” Mr Sweeney said.
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