2,532 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Editor's Note: Occassionally, we ask the people behind crowdsourcing platforms and other initiatives to share their stories with us. We posed the following questions to James Beshara of Crowdtilt about its platform that allows "any group to fund anything." Shortly after this interview, Crowdtilt announced last week that it had raised $2.1 million in a seed round of funding, sending the graduate of the Y Combinator incubator off to a running start.
I previously built a crowdfunding platform called Dvelo.org while working in South Africa that helped communities in the developing world raise funds online. After I returned to the US, I felt like the same platform could be used by all nonprofits and charitable organizations. So I started building out a second crowdfunding platform, and I called it Crowdtilt.com. The idea was that existing sites like Kickstarter were great for artistic projects, but left a big gap for people raising money for a church rec center or a large community project. I wanted to fill that void with Crowdtilt.
Within the first few weeks of launching a basic version of it, I kept seeing groups of friends using it for smaller, private use cases like group gifts and pooling money for fantasy football and tailgates. The site continued to grow around those use cases so much so that after bringing on my insanely talented co-founder Khaled Hussein, we decided that before we launched the site to the public, we'd rebuild it the way our users were already using it; a site for "any group to fund anything."
At that point, we were able to choose our favorite elements from the various crowdfunding platforms out there and provide them to groups of friends instead. So rather than a $40,000 documentary, your group of friends can throw up a campaign for a $1,400 party-bus to Napa Valley or a $4,000 vacation house rental in Tahoe. And no one's credit card is charged unless the event happens.
I did while looking for available domain names. It was between Grouptilt and Crowdtilt. And as we saw campaigns grow in size over time, it just seemed logical to keep the name "Crowd" over "Group."
Instead of larger, public projects, you can fund smaller, private campaigns on Crowdtilt. Most fundraising platforms are for the crowd, and our site and service is for your crowd.
My favorite to date was a campaign for a $700 house party to watch the movie Point Break. We've had some pretty big house party campaigns of a couple thousand dollars, but this was one of the first where I said to myself, "Wow, you wouldn't be able to raise $700 for a movie-watching party any other way -- You could try to collect money with PayPal or cash as people came to the party, but the difference is that with Crowdtilt, the group makes the experience happen together." It's not one person trying to "charge" their friends for an experience or event.
Haha, well we felt like social media channels were an excellent way of communicating the culture of the company you are interacting with online, and showing the music a company listens to was a great way to show our users the kind of company we are... I'm pretty obsessed with music.
We want Crowdtilt to continue to help groups do more. Whether it's an awesome bachelorette party or a community pothole project, we want to keep unleashing this trapped power between groups and payments.