Crowdfunding workshops Friday at Colorado Mountain College | SteamboatToday.com
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Crowdfunding workshops Friday at Colorado Mountain College

Claire Mestepey and Julie Whitecotton
business-crowdfunding

If you go:

What: Understanding Crowdfunding

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30

Where: Academic Center, rooms SB 213 and 216 at Colorado Mountain College, 1275 Crawford Ave.

Cost: $20, includes lunch. Register by calling 970-870-4491 or email rrudasics@colorad...

— When local duo Julie Whitecotton and Claire Mestepey set out on an entrepreneurial venture to make adult coloring books, they knew it would be necessary to get startup funds to pay for the expensive bulk printing costs.

Rather than turn to a bank for a loan, the two logged into Kickstarter, an Internet crowdfunding platform that pools money from “backers” to help startups fund their ideas.

As of Thursday, the group had collected $1,425 from 21 pledges to use toward the creation of their first two Love of Coloring books. The women hope to have $4,000 in the bank by Nov. 14.



Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter have grown in popularity over the past decade, funding new business or product ideas, pooling money for hospital bills or sick pets or even connecting investors to developers who promise modest returns using real estate investment platforms.

Websites including Kickstarter, GoFundMe, IndieGoGo and more than 1,000 others raised $16.2 billion in 2014 alone, according to Massolution, a crowdfunding research firm. The group expects the industry to more than double this year, potentially raising $34 billion by the end of 2015.



“Crowdfunding is the game changer these days for small startups and businesses that are just not bank-ready,” said Rita Crompton, an entrepreneur who runs Denver-based FleCusa, which helps businesses enter the marketplace and grown nationally.

Cromton and her husband, Ray Burrasca, founder of Colorado Crowdfunding, will give presentations from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at Colorado Mountain College as part of an event called “Understanding Crowdfunding, Raising Money through a Community of Small Investors.”

Crompton’s talk will focus on perk-based projects such as Whitecotton’s and Mestepey’s, which promise coloring pages, books or sets of books for donors based on the amount given. The projects are oriented toward creative arts, charitable events and product presales.

Burrasca will focus on equity-based crowdfunding and the new possibilities for raising capital as an emerging business.

Burrasca said startups growing too fast or otherwise ineligible or unattractive to banks can raise capital through online platforms easier than ever before.

“I’ll talk about a path of going from literally zero to being in business,” Burrasca said. “There’s really these incredible resources that have been built over the last several years that are starting to fill in where there were gaps.”

Burrasca said now is a great time for a committed entrepreneur to gain backing from investors without having to seek approval from a formal financial institution.

“There are resources out there. If they have a good idea, and they are truly an entrepreneur, there are opportunities out there that have never been there before,” Burrasca said.

Reservations are required for the talks, which offer limited seating. Cost is $20 and includes lunch and refreshments.

To register, call 970-870-4491 or email rrudasics@coloradomtn.edu.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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