Connecting Women with Commerce,
Funding & Experts
CROWDFUNDING FOR WOMEN
Deborah Buresh Jackson, Founder and CEO, Plum Alley
Kathryn Moos, Founder and CEO, VROU
C ROWD F U N D I N G
E X PE RTS
CO M M E R C E
• Basics: What is crowdfunding? (equity and reward-
• Benefits for women who raise money
• Benefits for women who give money
• Case study with woman entrepreneur, Kathryn
What is Crowdfunding?
• Going to the public or the crowd and asking them
to give you money for your idea or project
• Power of the internet - easily connect with your
friends, family, and supporters
• It is efficient, low cost, and relatively easy compared
to the “old” way
Three Types of Crowdfunding
with everyone else
rewards instead of
Equity Crowdfunding with Accredited
Women give a piece of ownership in their company for money
Similar to angel or VC investing only done on the internet with documents
and info—generally not in person
Can raise money for revenue making businesses not ideas or projects
Handful of sites that are new: Angel list, Circle Up – have to be qualified
accredited investors to invest—high net worth individuals who document
that they have a net worth over $1 million or other tests and the financial
means to lose the money if investment fails
Have to decide if your company is in a position to do this—lots of people
looking on-line at your company and evaluating
Remember less than 10% of start-ups succeed so highly risky
Equity Crowdfunding with other than
Jobs Act 2012 passed legislation passed to spur economy and jobs.
The long standing rules about who can invest were liberalized anyone who makes over $100,000 can invest in companies for a piece
of equity ownership.
In the news a lot but regulations for how it will work just coming out
from SEC in bits and pieces. Not yet final regulations. Stay tuned.
Right now Plum Alley does not offer equity crowdfunding but we may
at some point in the future.
Is Equity Crowdfunding from nonaccredited Investors a good idea or bad idea?
Most people are not in a position
for early stage companies.
to loose their money. The
documents and information
Opens up new sources of money
Gives many people a way to
prepared for potential investors is
benefit from upside if a company
not standard and investors need
some protection to make sure they
have complete and proper
information to invest.
Reward based crowdfunding: What
Plum Alley fund offers
Reward based - people who give money get a prize or a gift for their
contribution. It is not charity.
What can the prize be?
depends on the type of project but can be something big or
depends on how much you give
examples are a water bottle with a logo, a private dinner with a
movie star, a product before it is available anywhere else
Why do people give money on crowdfunding?
They know the person
They can give small or large amounts
They want the product
They want the reward
They want to see the project exist or happen
It makes them feel good
It is powerful and changes the world
It will make the world better
They are part of a bigger movement
What types of things can be
funded on Plum Alley?
Pretty much anything
Cultural projects such as art, theatre, dance
New foods or beverages
A social movement or cause
Orders for new items to test market acceptance –like clothing or
How does crowdfunding on Plum
• Determine if right for you or your
• Is your extended network large
• Do you care enough?
• Can you devote the time needed
for 2 months or more?
Steps for a crowdfunding campaign on Plum
Determine how much
money to raise
Make a budget and
network and decide
the best way to
Plan event, plan
Assemble your handful of
friends to help you - they
will be honored
Keep up the visibility and
ask directly for people to
What helps a campaign on Plum Alley succeed
team or a company—it is harder alone
tap into every network you have even your high school friends
find your champions and funders and get them to do more—tell
everyone they helped you and thank them
develop a near term social media plan and outreach help
passion, courage and tenacity are necessary ingredients
hire experts to help with your campaign
plan long enough time for your campaign to progress
be conservative in the amount you raise and push to over fund
Why do I personally like crowdfunding?
It makes dreams come true
A little money goes a long way to jump starting your idea or business
It builds a community from day one
People like to help—here is an easy way
Women don’t have the same access to capital and this is one way to
tap a crowd—think of what the Obama campaign taught us: all those
college kids giving $5 adds up.
This is disruptive—it is a way to change the flow of money in our
society and it empowers everyone to participate
You can test your product and minimize the risk to you and future
What if you don’t have a project? How can you
participate on Plum Alley fund?
Case Study: Kathryn Moos of VROU
Transforming and simplifying the way women get nutrients
Where we are
• First Product: Multivitamin Drink + Antioxidants + Electrolytes
providing women with 13 essential vitamins
Launched May 2013 - Available in select Whole Foods locations
Why Plum Alley?
Women helping women
Aligning strong women-focused companies have staying
Opportunity to get brand in front of many eyes while
Engage and excite community and personal networks
Help support demand
Advice for other project creators: Preparation is key!
• Create a compelling narrative surrounding your idea
• Put yourself in the shoes of somebody who knows
nothing about your brand and is being exposed to
the idea for the very first time...what moves them?
• Commitment to the campaign
• Crowdfunding is a huge time commitment and a
lot of hard work.
Strategic outreach starts BEFORE your campaign
Give your personal network (friends and family) a heads up that you
are going to launch a campaign, and tell them to be ready to act as
soon as you go live
Early traction is important
Compile lists of bloggers and media contacts that have had a
previous experience writing about your industry / crowdfunding
Develop unique story angles for editors
Plans post Plum Alley
• Schedule and prepare for second production run so
we can send out the rewards to our wonderful
• Put pieces in place to broaden distribution
• Whole Foods and other retail accounts
• Online (if we meet our stretch goal on Plum
Why a crowdfunding site catering
The exact same reason that women pay and join
organizations like 85 Broads - 25,000 strong world wide,
and the same reason there were 7,000 paying women at
the PA Conference for Women. Women want their space
and they want to share inspiration and resources. That is
what these organizations and conferences do. That is also
what Plum Alley does. It provides inspiration and resources
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SUPPORT VROU’S CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN