2,527 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Every now and then I like to highlight some of the more outstanding and interesting projects that rely on crowdsourcing. This week I found three cases of organizations and projects working in industries we might consider to be more traditional that are now embracing crowdsourcing as a primary means to an end.
UK fuel supply company Universal Fuels bypassed the conventional means of raising capital from a bank to expand its operations and instead turned to crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to raise £100,000 to help expand its exporting reach and buy road tankers to cut transport costs.
“There are a large number of reasons why crowdfunding is a better route for an investment size of this amount for a consumer facing business," says company founder Oliver Morgan. "One, you don’t just get investors - you get loyal customers and cheerleaders. Two, you don’t have one or two very large investors breathing down your neck. Three, having 100 shareholders/customers can make the difference when entering a new market to give you some level of instant scale. And you get your own personal focus group to get opinions from and try new products out on. Not forgetting 100 heads are better than one.”
The Motion Picture Association of America is something of a Hollywood institution, but it's rarely been accused of being forward-thinking--you're more likely to hear a word like "antiquated" used to describe the MPAA. FilmRev is a Dallas startup that proposes circumventing the MPAA and the Hollywood structure completely by setting up a new means of marketing and distributing independent films.
FilmRev hopes to replace closed-door meetings with the big Hollywood players and the conventional marketing and multiplex movie-going infrastructure with social media, crowdfunding and online distribution. It's an ambitious project to usurp the foundation of Hollywood, and if all goes according to plan, we'll see a few pilot films produced and distributed through the new system by this summer.
Crowdsourcing is a better fit for the military and Veteran's Affairs world than one might initially think. After all, an all volunteer army is the oldest form of crowdsourcing.
TopCoder and its competitive community of digital creators has been honored by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs for its "Badges for Vets" competition. The project was a challenge to create digital badges that could help veterans translate the skills they learned while in military service into civilian jobs.
"Our goal is to put our proven system of identifying, recognizing and accounting for technical skills to work for our returning veterans," says Rob Hughes, President and COO of TopCoder, Inc.
TopCoder has been awarded $25,000 to help implement and support full development of the winning concept and prototype.
- Eric Mack is a contributing editor for Crowdsourcing.org. He also currently contributes to CNET. In the past, his work has been featured by NPR, Wired, the New York Times and other outlets. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter and Google+. Also be sure to follow Crowdsourcing.org on Twitter.