Crowdfunding has quickly become one of the most fun, engaging, and useful ways startups and new businesses raise money. Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and New Orleans’ own FundDat have been used to fund a multitude of projects from video games to feature-length films to clothing lines. The importance of developing a successful crowdfunding campaign goes beyond the ability to raise much-needed cash. Crowdfunding offers startups the ability to establish personal connections with their customers and allows customers to directly contribute to the development of the company. It’s community-building at its finest. Crowdfunding also affords a business the opportunity to receive feedback from customers before its product is finalized, which can be even more valuable than the money raised during the campaign.
So, why did 52businesses recently launch a FundDat crowdfunding campaign? Because we take pride in working out of the coolest office (by far) in the continental United States: Bob. Bob, which stands for the Business Operations Bus, is a retrofitted “52businesses-blue” school bus born in the 1980’s. He’s complete with ample workspace including tables and benches, bunk beds (though we sleep rarely), a shower and toilet, a sundeck up above, and, of course, a full bar. Bob has quickly taken on a very real persona and he is arguably the most important member of the 52businesses team–Bob is where the magic behind each new business will happen. We’ve received incredible offers from companies and individuals looking to help us restore Bob and increase his safety rating, and we’d love to be able to provide them resources and materials. In all of Bob’s bluish glory, we want to make him an even more aesthetically-pleasing member of the 52businesses team. We want young professionals throwing their resumes through Bob’s windows with hopes of working in the most unique workplace in the world. We want to lead the trend in mobile kickass workplaces. And we are going to do this through crowdfunding.
Along with the opportunity to raise funding for Bob, we’re even more excited by the ability to build real relationships with 52businesses supporters. As a community centered around the initiative to document and prove the accessibility of entrepreneurship, 52businesses looks forward to building very real relationships with our backers who share this vision. If this 1 1/2 weeks is any indication of what the 52 Businesses team has in store, we have a fun trip ahead. We hope that you come along for the ride!