Monday, 23 June 2014

One Direction Member Helps Launch Crowdfunding Project for Local Football Club

Louis Tomlinson, member of boy band One Direction helped launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for Doncaster Rovers football club. The campaign was launched by Tomlinson on 19th June 2014, along with the club's former chairman and businessman John Ryan through the UK platform Crowdfunder looking to raise £2 million believed to be the largest UK crowdfunding campaign to date. Fans of the club and football supporters in general are being asked to pledge their financial support to help reach this ambitious target, which if successful will help with the club's growth and development.

In addition to being a member of one of the most successful UK music acts, Doncaster born Louis Tomlinson of One Direction is also an avid footballer, and plays for the Doncaster Rovers Reserves as a defender. In an effort to better support the club of his hometown Tomlinson has partnered with John Ryan the former club chairman to form the Tomlinson/Ryan trust. The goal of this to trust is to support and develop the club in helping realise its ambitions on the field to achieve Premiership League status,  develop its schools as well as youth and charity programmes, and grow the club's brand and supporter base. The campaign through Crowdfunder will use the money raised to help make all these dreams, plus many more, a reality. 
By setting up the Trust, launching the crowdfunding campaign with, and putting our own money in, we are making it clear to Doncaster Rovers supporters, and the general public, that we are planning to give the club the support and resources it needs. As its previous Chairman I am still totally committed to developing an exciting future for the club. The objectives of the trust provide a roadmap to make the club an even greater success. I am very pleased to join forces with Louis to make this happen. It’s an exciting moment for Doncaster RoversJohn Ryan
The Crowdfunder campaign, #FANSUNITED will use the funds raised to help the club achieve all its aims, to grow not only as a nationally recognised Premiership League club but also expand onto the global market. The trust has already pledged a six figure sum to show its commitment to the project and to encourage fans and supporters to pledge. In exchange, donors will receive rewards that include club merchandise and limited edition items as well as varied levels of club membership giving those who pledged a say in the running of the club. The crowdfunding campaign has 30 days to reach its funding targets so to learn more and make a donation click here to visit the Crowdfunder page.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Crowdsourced Service Provider Secures Second Round Funding For Expansion

Textmaster, a leading provider of professional crowdsourced services has announced securing €1 million in a second round of funding for expansion plans. The latest investors which include Alven Capital, eFounders, and Cédric Siré co founder of one the largest digital media groups, Webedia. These latest round of funds will be used to expand Textmaster further into the European and Asian markets.

Founded in 2011, Textmaster has grown into a platform providing professional services which include translation and content writing to proof reading, for a variety of business ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, including Google, in a variety of industries. These include e-commerce and manufacturing to communication and mobile app developers making up 5000 customers from over 50 countries. Textmaster helps its customer develop their online presence and grow internationally with services that are available through a wife range of formats including an API as well as integration with Microsoft office and Wordpress. 
This new round of funding will enable us to invest in our technology and pursue our international expansion in Germany and Asia. Our shareholders' support and the arrival of Cédric Siré allows us to continue our growth and prepare for a third round of funding before the end of the year. - Thibault Lougnon, CEO TextMaster
The three new investors include big names in Textmaster's key fields of investment, startup support and digital media. 
  • Alven Capital is an independent venture capital firm with an extensive portfolio of retail outlets, hoteliers and broadband providers. 
  • efounders is a startup studio that helps SMEs and SaaS startups develop their business ideas by acting as co-founders providing advice and resources. 
  • Cédric Siré is the co-founder of Webedia, one of Europe's largest digital media groups. Since launching in 2007 Webedia through its variety of news outlets has created a monetized digital business which in 2012 saw it's revenue increase by 80% to €20 million. 
The inclusion of Cédric Siré as an investor should particular be advantageous to Textmaster given that as co-founder of Webedia, Siré helped build a business to such a large scale in the highly competitive and unpredictable digital content market. The success of Webedia through these efforts caught the attention of Fimalac, an international investment group who recently purchased Webedia which will become part of a leading internation group in the fashion and entertainment media.

Image Credit; Simon Cunningham

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Crowdfunding Sustainable Energy Through The Power of Music.

Can the vast amount of energy generated from musical performances on some of the biggest stages be harnessed and used to create a sustainable form of electricity? This was the question asked by Sudha Kheterpal, percussionist with the world famous South London band Faithless The question led to the development of SPARK  a percussion instrument that converts energy into electricity. Leading the call the to "Shake Your Power" Sudha is looking to develop a full prototype to be distributed to countries with little or no sustainable power and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help make this happen. The campaign, which went live on 10th June 2014, is looking to raise £50,000 in 30 days.

Sudha Kheterpal has spent over 20 years as a percussionist, 15 of those years with the band Faithless, playing to packed out arenas all over the world. During that time, she has often wondered if the immense power and energy generated during those performances could be harnessed and put to good use. Sudha carried out extensive research into kinetic energy, which in physics refers to the energy built up through acceleration, or the energy of motion. Kinetic energy is maintained until there is a change in speed. Using this as a starting point Sudha then researched the various harnessing techniques to determine which was the best way to build and maintain kinetic energy and how that would transform into sustainable power. Working with designers and engineers, Sudha developed the first prototype for a musical instrument for harnessing that kinetic energy. 

SPARK is a percussion instrument, a prototype shaker that converts the energy from shaking into electricity. The device contains a magnet which moves through the centre of a copper coil, or solenoid. This induces a current of electricity and as the magnet slides through the coil repeatedly back and forth, it charges up a rechargeable battery. The energy produced by SPARK is then stored allowing it to be used at any point of the day or night.  It also has a USB port that will enable the user to plug in a light or charge up a mobile phone instantly or at a later time. If shaken for 12 minutes SPARK can produce and store enough energy to provide light for one hour. The initial prototypes were tested in parts of Kenya with little or no form of sustainable electricity and have proven successful in providing safe lighting through some of the more dangerous areas, particular for women and girls where rape is prevalent. They have also provided vital means for charging mobile phones to maintain important communications in rural areas for contact with family as well as obtaining essential medical, retail, and banking services.

The funds raised through Kickstarter will be used to develop the prototype into a finished product, manufacture and distribution, and development of assembly kits to enable users to build their own SPARK. In return, donors will receive a variety of rewards including personal acknowledgements, limited edition merchandise, invitation to an intimate performance by Faithless, percussion masterclass with Sudha and of course their very own SPARK prototype. The need for alternative renewable energy sources remains a vital one in the light of alarming increasing in the effects of climate change and SPARK provides yet another means to provide essential energy that is good for the people and the planet. Beyond that it can provide a greater sense of interdependence and uniting of people and communities, and connect people through the universal and uplifting power of music. Click here for more information and to make a donation.