Meet the best, highly engaging, surveys creation for mobile-first websites. Features AI Technology, ChatBots and insights.
Create and share highly engaging, mobile-first surveys that offer a chat-like experience. Best Feedback Chatbot for your website and to share with others. Collect Feedback Easily Get valuable information from the website visitors with a much engaging chat-like website feedback surveys. You can obtain both qualitative and quantitative insights from them, understand who they are, what they are thinking about you, and what they are expecting from you.Read More
We Want you to be part of the Crowdfunding Community.
GLOBAL COMMUNITY FOR CROWDFUNDERS Know your Backers, Know what you pledged, and be connected together/ We are excited to announce that the first real Social Media Crowdfunding Platform is now available for everyone and everything to do with Crowdfunding. Locodor is FREEfor everyone to join. Connect with Superbackers, Influencers, Curated Companies, and much much more!!!! Join Us on the path for transparency and creation in Crowdfunding. Create an account HERE Upload your current campaign from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc. HERERead More
Fresh off the Press: Four Top Reasons to Use Social Crowdfunding to Launch your Business
Press Relese regarding www.locodor.com In the age of social media, there are countless possibilities to harness the potential of digitally connecting with people to launch a business. Traditionally, if you have an idea for a product and you are looking to raise funds, you’ll need to go to a bank for capital. Nowadays, you can source funds through social media channels and crowdfunding sites. But even if crowdfunding is popular, it doesn’t always mean that every attempt is successful. Many start-ups end up failing because they lack the following three key points to success: 1. Your product has potential. 2. You use an established crowd sourcing site like Locodor.com with complete resources. 3. You have money to invest in advertisements. By definition, crowdfunding means using an extensive network of people to raise funds. Here is why it is an effective way to launch a new product. Immediate access to a marketplace to attract customers There is not just one crowdfunding site you can use to raise funds for your product. There are many out there with a host of potential customers for your product. Another benefit of using a crowdfunding site is that the platform will also help promote your business. Since you are already connected to thousands of users, there is also a high chance that these users will share your product with their friends on other social media channels. Customer feedback helps improve your product Before launching your product to a mass market, you can use a crowdfunding site to get valuable feedback from your target customers. Many businesses which have used crowdfunding to gain success used data gathered from the site to improve the product and meet the needs of their target market. Minimize risks and raise revenue margins One excellent feature of using a crowdfunding site to promote a product is that you can pre-sell your item within a period of 30 to 60 days. When you have confirmed a large volume of orders, you can get discounted prices from the manufacturer which means you will have higher profit. This model also reduces your risk because pre-selling means you don’t have to work too hard to meet a set inventory. Once you have a product prototype and a solid marketing plan, you can set things in motion through a crowdfunding site. You are in a better position to get more prominent business deals Success on a crowdfunding site opens doors to many possibilities. Upon proving that there is a high demand for your product, you will have better chances of closing large deals with suppliers and manufacturers. You can also close deals with retailers and get a license or patent for your product much faster. Some businesses that began through crowdfunding sites also had success in selling their company to potential investors. In many ways, opening doors through crowdfunding gives you more flexibility to make decisions for your company and choose the direction you wish to go in. Whether you plan on selling your business after gaining success, or branching out to other ventures, crowdfunding is always an excellent starting point. Article Source: www.fooyoh.com Read More
Getting Started with Locodor: Interactions
Interactions On your crowdfunding journey, you will interact with many different people, including your friends, your team, and most importantly, your customers. Here’s how we do things at Locodor. Your Team Have you employed people with the right skills to create a good product, such as graphic designers, social media marketers, advertisers, etc? Do you work well together? Customer Feedback Ask your customers for feedback, in the form of surveys, or just ask them a couple quick questions to know if you’re on the right track. Do they have complaints or suggestions? Always know what the customer wants. Team Feedback Get feedback from your team members as well. Ask your team if the product needs improvement in any way, such as design, marketing, etc. If your team members have suggestions, don’t hesitate to implement their ideas in your product. Feedback from any and all sources is very important. Working together is important. Collaborate with your team to ensure success. Testing your Product Do you have a product prototype? If so, ask family and friends to test it out and get their opinions on it. Make changes if needed. This blog post is part of a series on how to get started with Locodor, including hosting your crowdfunding campaign, collaborating with others, and making sure you’re doing everything you need to be successful. Happy reading!Read More
Locodor Crowdfunding Contest Announcement
Hey guys, I am excited to announce that Locodor will soon be hosting a crowdfunding contest. The winner of the contest will receive $20,000 in funds for their campaign! At the moment, the contest is not yet live, but you'll be notified once it is. The rules are simple: Each user receives 1,000,000 Locodor Credits that they can use to support others' campaigns, and others will support your campaign as well. Don't use your credits to support your own campaign, because if everyone were to do that, there would be no winner. Instead, get your friends and family to fund your idea! The contest will go on for 60 days, and at the end, the winner will be announced. Whoever wins the contest will receive 20,000 dollars in funding and will get their campaign published to multiple crowdfunding sites for more exposure. Need help? Contact a Locodor Project Manager for assistance. We'll gladly help you out. Those are the basic rules for the contest, but they may change at any time. I'm just posting this to let everyone know that big things are up ahead! Will you be the one to win $20,000? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Together, we can succeed - with Locodor.Read More
Social Crowdfunding, Explained
What exactly is a social crowdfunding platform? You may have heard this term a lot recently, as crowdfunding is becoming more and more popular. What is social crowdfunding? A social crowdfunding platform is essentially a crowdfunding network, combined with aspects of a social media site -- like Facebook or Twitter. Crowdfunders can create campaigns and share their thoughts with other like-minded individuals. By letting users collaborate with each other, the advantages are clear. Entrepreneurs can share their project and discuss it with potential backers, and no one is left out of the picture. If everyone is connected, it makes it easier for people to work together and share ideas. Social crowdfunding is the next big thing that will bring people together, consumers and crowdfunders alike. And Locodor is one of the world's first social crowdfunding sites. That's right -- and you can be a part of the most exciting crowdfunding platform of today! Signing up is easy, just create an account and move forward from there. We look forward to having you with us at Locodor!Read More
How To Get Started With Locodor
A big advantage of Locodor is that it's super easy to get started with our platform. Anyone can simply create an account and instantly start posting campaigns. Here are the basic steps you'll need to take in order to join our crowdfunding community: Create a profile From the homepage, just click "Sign Up" to create a profile on our site. Fill in the required information and you're set! Start a project Again, on our homepage, just click the orange "Start a Project" button so you can post your first campaign. It's that easy. What else? Now that you've signed up for Locodor and created your first project, you can check out everything else that we have to offer! Social Community You can join our social community and see what other users are up to. Click on the "Social Community" tab on the homepage, in the top right corner, and you will be able to collaborate with other professionals on our site. Blog Locodor has a great blog that provides updates about what's happening in the world of crowdfunding. Under the "Social Community" tab on the homepage, you'll find "Our Blog." Discover Crowdfunding You can view all our site's campaigns by clicking on the "Discover Crowdfunding" tab on the homepage. Once you're there, you can view campaigns by other users and get some inspiration! What are you waiting for? Now that you've read this handy guide on how to get started with us, all that's left is to get started. Need help? Connect with us on our social media accounts -- we have Facebook, Twitter, and even more. Check out the homepage for more details. Happy crowdfunding! Read More
5 Tips To Help Your Facebook Ads Succeed
Having trouble with your Facebook ads? Not enough outreach? Whatever the case, at Locodor we are here to help you succeed. Here are 5 useful tips for you to get the most out of your ad campaign on Facebook, courtesy of bufferapp.com. 1. Think about who you’re targeting With Facebook advertising, it’s not so much about reaching the most people as it is reaching the right people. Sure, big numbers look awesome on your reports, but you need to reach people who are open to discovering your content, curious about your business and receptive to your message. And that’s probably fewer people than you think. When it comes to targeting and reaching your audience with a super-relevant message, you need to understand: What platforms your audiences use? What types of language they use and how do they communicate? What types of content they engage with most often? More often than not, you can find the answers to these questions through data and research. 2. Tell a great story Stories are an integral part of human communication. And storytelling — whether in-person, through the written word, or social media — plays an important role in building connections with others. When you’re planning on creating Facebook Ads, stories are essential to capture the interest of your target customers. Take Refinery 29, an independent fashion and lifestyle website, for example. The brand generated two different Facebook ad campaigns, both aimed at bringing in new subscribers to their website. The first campaign featured some eye-catching creative and a clear call-to-action to subscribe. Whereas the second ad set guided the viewer through a simple narrative including an introduction to the brand, an article from the brand, and then a call-to-action to subscribe. Ads for both campaigns were served in News Feed to lookalike audiences. Here’s a glimpse at how the ads looked: Campaign #1 (creative + call-to-action): Campaign #2 (with narrative): The results were fascinating: Among those who were exposed to the sequenced, narrative-focused ads compared with those who were exposed to the non-sequenced ads, there was an 87% increase in people visiting the landing page There was a 56% increase in subscription rates among people who were exposed to the sequenced ads compared with those who were exposed to the non-sequenced ads When you’re planning your Facebook campaigns, think about how you can create a narrative and tell stories within your ads in order to build a stronger connection with your target audience. 3. Monitor performance and adjust in real-time Social media has changed the world of advertising a great deal. Back 10-15 years ago, if you ran an advert on TV, radio or even online, you didn’t really have any idea how it was being received in real time. Now, social media enables you to monitor your ad performance from the moment you set the campaign live. It might be tempting to set your ad campaigns live and then come back to check performance once each campaign is completed. But by doing this, you’re missing out on massive opportunities to enhance the performance of each of your ads. Monitoring your Facebook Ads campaigns in real-time enables you to know whether or not your ads are resonating with people and allows you to make adjustments as you go along. For example: If your clicks are slightly lower than expected, it could be worth optimizing your call-to-action. If your engagement isn’t where you want it to be, you could create a new ad set with updated creative. If your reach is too low, try updating your audience targeting parameters. You can make the following edits to your ads without creating an entirely new campaign: Change your audience Change your budget & schedule Change your optimization & delivery choices Change your placements Change your ad creative 4. Track the right metrics for your business Before you start thinking about launching any Facebook Ads campaign, I would encourage you to think clearly about how you will measure the performance of your ads. For example, are metrics like brand awareness and email subscribers your #1 focus, or maybe you’re focused fully on driving leads. In our State of Social 2018 report, we found that most marketers (42 percent) measure the success of their ads by how much engagement they receive, with leads (17 percent) and sales (15 percent) being the second and third most common measures of ROI: Having a clear measurement of success in mind before you kick off any advertising campaign will help you to understand the performance of your ads and make any needed adjustments to ensure you’re delivering maximum value for your business. 5. Think long-term The important thing with Facebook (or any kind of advertising or marketing) is to have a long-term strategy behind your actions. Let’s say you create an ad set targeting engagement. Awesome! But what’s the long-term plan here? How will you turn this initial engagement into something more tangible for your business? For example, if you’re running a health and fitness business that sells online exercise programs, you might run a video ad showcasing a simple home workout. This ad would be aimed at engagement and getting as many people to view, like and share your video as possible. But instead of being the first and final piece of the jigsaw, this could act as a starting point to get new prospects into your funnel. Using the Facebook pixel, you could then create a custom audience for people that have watched more than 10 percent of the video. Then, you could run an ad towards those people for a class schedule that’s hosted on your website or a trial of your exercise program. So even engagement campaigns can fit into your long-term strategy. Here’s a simplified look at that campaign might look: Ad Set 1: A video ad showing a simple home workout for people in our audience who are interested in fitness Ad Set 2: A carousel ad looking to drive clicks to our website and increase brand awareness amongst people who watched 10 percent of the video in Ad Set 1 Ad Set 3: A conversion focused ad aiming to get people who clicked the link in the previous ad to become customers of our fitness company You should also consider your customer lifetime value (LTV) before jumping into ads. LTV is the amount of revenue you generate from your average customer in their lifespan with your company. If you’re selling subscriptions to an online tool at $30 per month and your average customer stays for 12 months your LTV would be $360. A general rule is that you should aim to acquire customers for no more than one-third of your LTV. So with an LTV of $360, you might want to set your customer acquisition budget at $120 per new customer. These tips are particularly useful for crowdfunders who are running ads on Facebook for their campaign. It isn't easy knowing how to promote your ads, but with the right knowledge, you can turn a decent ad into something special that attracts much more attention. How have these tips helped you? Let us know in the comments! (Source: https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-advertising-tips)Read More
7 Tips For A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
How do you make your crowdfunding campaign stand out from the rest? This is an issue that many crowdfunders may struggle with - being unique in the world of crowdfunding. I've put together a checklist, inspired by Forbes, for any crowdfunder who wants to maximize their success. Who you are Before you describe your product and what you're trying to sell to the consumer, you'll want to add a personal touch. Introduce yourself and your team, so your potential customers will get a sense of who you are. Then, you can let them know what you're selling and what you're raising money for. Let the reader know the dates of your campaign and how they can get involved. Title and description The first thing the viewer will see on your campaign page is the title, and description. Make sure to have an eye-catching title that keeps the consumer interested in your campaign. Your description should be as short as possible, without leaving out too many details about your product. Include buzzwords that keep the user hooked. Your story What's the background story behind your product? The consumer will want to know why you started your crowdfunding campaign and why you're selling what you're selling. Instill a sense of trust between you and the consumer - include details about your personal life and make your story relatable. For example, describe who you are; maybe write a bit about your family and the difficulties you've had so far on your crowdfunding journey. The user will find this relatable and will be more likely to become a backer of your campaign. Facts and data No one is interested in a product that claims to do something that it can't. However, if you have the facts to back up your claims, the consumer will not have to worry about false evidence or misleading statistics. If you take the time early on to verify and establish your product's authenticity, you won't have to worry about any issues in the future. Formatting Your campaign should be easy to read and have good formatting. Use different styles of text (bold, italic) and different fonts. Include images and videos of your product. Simplicity Be direct and to the point when advertising your product. Don't drag out your story; the user will soon get bored and lose interest. If you get to the point early on, the user will already know everything they need to know, and they will take an interest in what you're selling. Project timeline After backing your campaign, the consumer will want to know when their product will arrive. Let them know immediately when you'll be shipping their pre-order, so they won't be constantly worried about when it will arrive. Just include a simple timeline at the end of your campaign page to affirm that you're honest about shipping and delivery. What else? Now it's up to you to decide what else your campaign is missing, if anything. This checklist will provide you with what you need to get started. Of course, if you want the best for you and your campaign, you'll want to use Locodor for anything crowdfunding-related. Locodor is your best friend in the world of crowdfunding -- from collaborating with other entrepreneurs, to creating unique and outstanding campaigns, to your eventual rise to the top as a leader in the crowdfunding industry. (inspired by "Seven Tips For Writing A Compelling Crowdfunding Pitch" on Forbes - https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/08/30/seven-tips-for-writing-a-compelling-crowdfunding-pitch/#2f3e5aa71e48)Read More
The Hottest New Tech Products of the Future
Today, technology has become integrated into just about everything. Most of our society is heavily influenced by technology, and consumers are always on the lookout for the newest gadgets and devices. And almost everyone we know has a smartphone and other tech that makes their lives easier. In fact, even aspects of our home lives are being taken over by new developments such as home security systems, smart fridges and TVs, and even smart dishwashers. Here are some of the newest upcoming products that will be hitting the market in the near future. 1. Samsung Modular TV Samsung showed off their new 146-inch TV at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, called The Wall. Users will be able to alter the size and even shape of the TV screen. The TV will blend in with the background of the wall that it's installed on. 2. Phillips SmartSleep Headset The new headband announced by Phillips promises to improve your sleep. The headband emits tonal frequencies which are supposed to improve your sleep cycle. 3. Beosound Shape This wireless speaker system delivers high-quality sound, but what's unique about it is the shape and design of the speaker setup. The speaker system can be controlled with your smartphone as well. 4. Tailor-Made Steamer Throw out your old clothes iron or hand-held steamer, because the Tailor-Made Steamer can steam your clothes faster and with barely any effort. The Steamer guarantees wrinkle and odor-free clothes in only 20 seconds. Not only that, but the Steamer is made from high-quality materials such as aluminum and polycarbonate. The clothes steamer also claims it's 20 times faster than a conventional iron or handheld steamer. This is definitely something you'll want to have in your home once it's released. 5. June Intelligent Oven This countertop oven is pricey, but it allows you to really enhance your cooking experience. The oven features Wi-Fi connectivity, a camera, and artificial intelligence which apparently allows you to weigh and monitor your food with barely any user input. The June Oven may not be for the average consumer, but professional and aspiring chefs may want to use this for their dishes. These are only a few of the upcoming gadgets that have been announced this year, but we can already see how much technology is influencing our lives. I wonder what kind of stuff we'll see next year?Read More
How do I become a successful crowdfunder?
Many of you might be asking yourselves this exact question - "How do I become a successful crowdfunder?" Well, it's easier than you think. Crowdfunding is all about strategy, and if you have the right strategy, you're on the right path to success. The problem is, how do you develop a crowdfunding strategy that works for you? Even more experienced crowdfunders may develop weak business plans that lead them to failure. But at LOCODOR, failure isn't an option. Our team has designed and perfected a crowdfunding strategy template that anyone - beginner or expert - can use. Better yet, this template is available to download at absolutely no cost. Here is an example of a crowdfunding strategy checklist, from Forbes: Do Your Research Design your product prototype, and research other (similar) campaigns before you start yours. Use The Right Tools And Services Create ads and connect with potential buyers using crowdfunding tools such as Kickbooster, to promote your campaign. Take Advantage Of Facebook Ads And Social Media Attract subscribers to your campaign using Facebook ads, and send them monthly emails informing them of new updates to your campaign. Create a strong social media presence - make sure to frequently post on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Prepare Your Media Pack Create images showing your product being used in real life, to relate to potential customers. Create Reward Tiers With reward tiers, you can create special offers that will be available to backers of your campaign. Highlight perks such as free shipping and two-for-one deals. (source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2017/08/21/the-ultimate-pre-launch-crowdfunding-checklist/#6011b9ba7542) Just click the link at the end of this blog post to view or download the template - you won't regret it. Happy crowdfunding! CROWDFUNDING STRATEGY TEMPLATE - LOCODORRead More
How to shine above the rest in your campaign!
How to shine above the rest in your campaign ! Are you a backer ? Are you a campaigner ? Do you passionately believe in your campaign ? If you are , then the opportunity to grow a product and brand through crowdfunding is here ! Our social media and crowdfunding platform Locodor is a unique opportunity to tap into minds of your customers and to iterate on your product ! It is very important that you receive feedback and you quickly adapt to it ! This will result in significant boosts in support. The larger the initial audience, the better your chance of creating a buzz and start trending on Day 1 of your campaign. Your organization WILL NOT succeed in crowdfunding if you have not built up a strong audience. We repeat! Your organization WILL NOT succeed in crowdfunding if you have not built up a strong audience. Most importantly , here at Locodor, you'll be able to: • Raise funds without giving away equity in your business • Test the market viability before investing too much time and money • Get valuable feedback and validation of your products or services • Leverage the power of social media and word-of-mouth marketing • Build a community of enthusiastic fans • Connect with successful business people to receive mentoring • Use our unique dashboard to manage your campaign • Give back to the Next Chapter community by sharing your experiences and advice. Our goal is 100% funding success, so we'll offer you mentoring, education and support to help you create, manage and market your campaign ! Our mission is to help you grow your business and become more successful by networking with the right people.Read More
Indiegogo Says It’s Raised Close To $1.5 Billion For Crowdfunding Projects
Indiegogo’s narrowing focus on establishing and growing businesses, rather than supporting a broad range of artistic and personal projects, is paying off, CEO David Mandelbrot tells Fast Company . The company expects this month to cross the $1.5 billion mark in funds raised for users since its founding in 2008. Crowdfunding Campaigns is the best way for startups to raise money these days. The company expects this month to cross the $1.5 billion mark in funds raised for users since its founding in 2008. Annual revenue jumped 50% from 2016 to 2017. Annual revenue jumped 50% from 2016 to 2017, he says, although the privately held company has yet to report a profit. The slightly younger Kickstarter has raised about $3.2 billion for successful projects since 2009, and it’s been profitable since 2010. Mandelbrot hints that Indiegogo could be in the black as early as 2019, noting that it hasn’t taken any investment in over four years. “We don’t need to raise funds at least through the end of this year, if ever,” he says. “In other words, I anticipate us getting profitable before our current cash expires.” Indiegogo and Kickstarter dominate rewards-based crowdfunding, says University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School assistant professor Venkat Kuppuswamy. Yet the platforms are on divergent paths. In 2012, concerned that it was becoming a de facto ecommerce site, Kickstarter published a blog post titled “Kickstarter Is Not A Store.” In 2017, Indiegogo opened an online store, called Indiegogo Product Marketplace, where makers of successfully funded products can continue selling. (Amazon has assumed this role for Kickstarter merch.) Indiegogo InDemand “We’re still an open platform where people can raise money for a variety of things,” says Mandelbrot. “Where we’ve invested, where we’ve truly innovated, has been with building solutions for entrepreneurs that are looking to build large businesses.” Or for already large businesses. Indiegogo has run new-product campaigns with 36 “enterprise partners”—giants including Hasbro, Mattel, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Sony, and Unilver. “Instead of using a focus group, why not roll [a product] out to a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign and see what the demand is for it,” says Kuppuswamy. Bose, for instance, used the platform to launch its Noise-masking Sleepbuds. Related: Here’s How Kickstarter Plans To Make Sure It’s Not Just A Gadget Marketplace Indiegogo also courts Chinese companies, which now account for 23% of its crowdfunding campaign business. “Most of the successful [Chinese] entrepreneurs on Indiegogo are already successful companies in China,” says Mandelbrot, “but they’re using Indiegogo to reach a new audience.” Indiegogo has hired six people fluent in Mandarin and English to help Chinese clients develop promotional campaigns with the lingo and style for an American audience. Mandelbrot especially boasts about helping smaller entrepreneurs scale up. In late 2017, Indiegogo launched its Concierge program, which provides staff assistance to projects that have raised $500,000 or more. “The more money that is raised by an entrepreneur, the more challenging it is for that entrepreneur to ultimately deliver,” says Mandelbrot. “It’s harder to manufacture for a large number of backers.” Concierge connects entrepreneurs with companies like Arrow for product design assistance (a partnership that began in 2016) and Ingram Micro for order fulfillment. (Kickstarter’s Hardware Studio, launched in 2017, provides similar support.) “[Indiegogo] are trying to scaffold the process of doing most of the work in launching businesses, helping you beyond the crowdfunding campaign to connect you with suppliers, handle social media, and thus become a partner in launching businesses,” says Professor Ethan Mollick of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. The focus on long-term businesses funding takes Indiegogo back to its roots. “The three founders originally planned to create a platform to enable investing in companies,” says Mandelbrot, who joined in 2013. U.S. law didn’t permit so-called equity crowdfunding, offering shares to small investors, until 2015. And the practice is yet to take off, says Mollick. But Indiegogo is pursuing its original goal by expanding the crowdfunding model. Its InDemand program allows companies that have already met their goal, on Indiegogo or even rival platforms, to raise additional crowdfunding to continue their growth. Crowdfunding is “no-strings-attached capital for the most part,” says Kuppuswamy. “You’re not giving equity away. So if you’re an entrepreneur, why wouldn’t you come back to raise more money?” This story has been updated. You Have To See This Country Club For Race Car Drivers Autobahn Country Club in Joliet IL, doesn’t have putting greens and tennis courts, it has racetracks. I stopped by to take a $250,000 McLaren for a spin. You Have To See This Country Club For Race Car Drivers Aaron Traywick, the 28-year-old founder of biotech startup Ascendance Biomedical, was found floating face down in a sensory deprivation tank in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, reports the Daily Mail. While police are still investigating his death, they say no foul play is suspected so far. Traywick was something of a maverick in the biotech circle, who once injected himself on Facebook Live with his company’s herpes drug in an attempt to speed up FDA approval. The tank Traywick was found in was housed in a spa that offers meditation flotation therapy where a person lies in a shallow, sensory-free pool that is heated to their body temperature. Matter of fact, they’ve tripled in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2004 to 2016, 640,000 cases of illness were reported during the period, with 2016 seeing 96,075 cases alone. Diseases from the three creatures are a major cause of sickness and death worldwide, so it is worrying they are increasing in the U.S.Among the data reported, the most common mosquito-borne viruses were West Nile, dengue, and Zika; the most common tick-borne diseases in the U.S. were Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis; and the most common flea-borne disease was the plague (though this was rare). As to why the U.S. is seeing an increase in tick, flea, and mosquito-borne diseases, the CDC says it’s likely due to three factors: It has been discovered that ticks and mosquitos carry new germs that were previously unknown, so its easier to identify where a person’s illness originated from. The insects are moving into new areas of the country. Overseas travel is more common than ever, and a person could be infected outside the U.S. and then bring the disease back home with them. Source: Indiegogo Says It’s Raised Close To $1.5 Billion For Projects, And will soon produce profits. by - Sean CaptainRead More
Why In the World Do People Still Use Outdated Technology?
That's a very good question when you ask it... Have you ever seen anyone moving around in horse-drawn carriages nowadays? Neither have we! In fact, what you see around is convenience and speed. So we've been asking ourselves lately, why do people still use outdated ironing devices like handheld irons or steamers? Or a 100 years old steamer technology like this one? Because they're used to it! Fair enough, isn't it? On the flip side, big companies are not willing to update the technology as long as people are buying it. Moreover, their contractors who produce it for them, will not be happy if they change their 'good old ways'. And the price is... well, not corresponding to the technology which has been used for years. So, introducing the unique Tailor Made Steamer is not only about breaking the good old ways, it's also about revolutionizing the industry! Compared to the old above-mentioned steamer, Tailor Made Steamer makes your clothes wrinkle-free in just 20 seconds, and the Basic model is more than half the price of a regular steamer! Want to go for a Pro model which is fully hands-free, with touchscreen, dedicated phone app and smart heat adjustment technology? It's still cheaper than the above-mentioned outdated steamer! Are you a boutique owner who wants to use Tailor Made Steamer more frequently than once or twice a day? Go for the Industrial model which is a beast of a machine! Guess what? You need to pay only $17 more for the Industrial model, compared to the regular device mentioned above. Bold? YES. Revolutionary? Definitely! Support us here to get your brand new Tailor Made Steamer!Read More
The Fastest Way to Find New Customers to gain initial traction
Article by: BRAD SUGARS credit: Entrepreneur.com Tap into your customer base by piggybacking on established businesses with similar target markets. … If you’re a startup, the fastest way to get the cash registers ringing is a little-used method that involves forming “host-beneficiary” relationships with established businesses that … Some years ago, I overheard a debate between two friends about the name of a startup business. “It’s a good name,” said one friend to the other, “but I’m not sure it’s the best name.” You could say the same thing about the techniques typically used to attract customers to a new business. Traditional strategies like networking and mailings will do the job, but they won’t do the best job. If you’re a startup, the fastest way to get the cash registers ringing is a little-used method that involves forming “host-beneficiary” relationships with established businesses that cater to a target audience similar to yours. Then you promote yourself to their database with a special offer presented as a gift from the older business. The beauty of this arrangement is that the startup (the beneficiary) can instantly reach large numbers of highly qualified prospects with the tacit endorsement of the established business (the host). The host is willing to participate because it’s a way to reward loyal customers without incurring any costs. The rookie gains new customers, while the veteran gains goodwill. Women’s Clothing and BMWs One startup that successfully used this technique was a high-end women’s clothing boutique. The store arranged to give a free silk kimono to every female customer of a local BMW dealership who brought in a letter sent by the dealership offering the gown as a gift for their past patronage. The kimono had to be picked up at the boutique. More than 600 women responded, picking up $100 kimonos that cost the store just $16 apiece. Those 600 women spent an average of $400 on other merchandise during their initial visit. Do the math, and you’ll see that the startup spent $9,600 to generate some $240,000 in sales–and, not incidentally, to begin building its own clientele. Six Steps to Success Host-beneficiary marketing is actually a simple and relatively inexpensive process that will deliver solid results if you follow a few basic rules: 1. Precisely define your target audience. “Women 35 to 55” might be a start, but it’s not enough. Create a detailed profile of your target customer. The more segments you can identify, the more potential hosts you can approach. The women’s clothing boutique that marketed to BMW owners, for example, determined that their likely customers drove certain types of cars, patronized a certain class of hair salon, belonged to a health club, and were likely to play bridge. A birdseed store might come up with a list that includes consumers who shop at outdoor equipment outfitters or are affiliated with local conservation groups. 2. Identify local businesses that serve the same market segments.That way, you can not only bring people in the door for your initial offer, but also increase the likelihood that they’ll return to give you repeat business. For a cigar store, logical host partners might include better men’s clothiers, upscale shoe stores, luxury car dealerships and country clubs. And don’t forget non-commercial organizations like Rotary or Kiwanis. 3. Develop a clear offer for each prospective partner. Come up with a free or deeply discounted product or service that has a high perceived value for the consumer with a low dollar cost for you. One new computer support business offered a voucher worth two free hours of computer repair to the small business clients of a local accountant. A jewelry store offered free jewelry cleaning to clients of a hair salon. A marketing consultant offered a free seminar on how to run sales to one local newspaper’s advertisers. A framing shop offered free photo framing to a photographic supply store’s top 200 customers. 4. Pitch the plan, highlighting the benefits to the host business.Emphasize that it’s a way for the established business to reward their customers at no expense and with virtually no effort. It’s also a way to reach out to customers without overtly trying to make a new sale. 5. Supply a letter for the host’s use. Providing a draft “offer” letter that can be sent to the host’s customers on the host’s letterhead will help put the plan into motion quickly. It will also show the partner how easy it will be for him to participate. Some businesses will allow the letter to be inserted into their monthly invoices or newsletters at no cost to you. Others will charge or require that you pay for a separate mailing. It’s a small price to pay for access to the host business’ customer base. 6. Develop a strategy to convert redeemers to repeat customers. This, after all, is your long-term goal. For the women’s boutique that gave away a kimono, the strategy was to encourage browsing and lure shoppers into dressing rooms to try the merchandise. For one new bakery that gave away a chocolate éclair, the approach was to hand out a buy-five-get-one-free VIP card with the free pastry. Whatever the specific plan, the host-beneficiary method is the single most effective way to quickly attract a critical mass of qualified customers to a new business. Instead of beating the bushes for customers with individual referrals or scattershot ads, you can tap into a targeted group of consumers en masse to jumpstart sales. Best of all, you’re piggybacking on the success of another entrepreneur who has spent years building a solid customer base. In many ways, this eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel. For a startup facing so many other challenges, it’s just smart businessRead More
Amazon is getting into the social media game - Amazon Spark
Amazon launches Spark, a social network for its shoppers Spark encourages users to tag images, stories and ideas about products they like -- with links, of course. The move comes at a time when retailers are competing more fiercely for content and consumers' cash. "Whether you're looking for inspiration for home décor or seeking advice for the best long-distance running shoes, Spark makes it easy to discover -- and shop -- stories and ideas from a community that likes what you like," Amazon said in an Read More
2018 is set to be a big year for crowdfunding in the UK as Crowd2Fund Plots Path To £1bn Valuation
2018 is set to be a big year for crowdfunding. The UK with mounting speculation that Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lending marketplace launched in 2010 is set to announce a £1bn stock market flotation in the next few weeks. In the meantime, however, loans-based crowdfunding platform Crowd2Fund has beaten its better-known peer out of the blocks this new year, unveiling its own £30m fund-raising, though not on the public markets. The platform believes it too can realistically target a £1bn valuation, which would make it only one of a handful of British FinTechs to have achieved this "unicorn" status. Crowd2Fund has already raised £1.5m from an initial offer limited to investors on its platform, having originally sought £1m from this audience. It is now targeting institutional investors with the offer of a further £8.5m of equity and then plans to return to the market for an additional £20m fund raise in a year’s time. A relative latecomer to the UK’s crowdfunding sector, having launched in 2014, Crowd2Fund has so far raised £15m of lending for more than 200 businesses. The platform has also won a reputation for innovation, having become one of the first companies to secure authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority – and opening up to a global investor base in 2016. It has also flirted with controversy, getting involved in a run-in with Funding Circle last year over the best business model for crowdfunding. Crowd2Fund claims to give investors much more choice about the individual investments they can back directly, and has suggested other platforms have moved away from the traditional ethos of the sector – a charge rejected by its peers. Chris Hancock, the founder and CEO of Crowd2Fund, said the industry was now moving quickly and that his platform needed to raise funding to underpin growth in the UK and internationally. The business plans to launch new operations in the US and South-East Asia, leveraging the UK FinTech sector's links with these regions. “The banking ecosystem is undergoing transformation and innovation like never before - what we have seen so far is only the beginning,” Hancock said. “We are planning to exit the company in 2022, with revenues of £34m and a valuation of at least £1bn; in order to reach this target Crowd2Fund would only need to capture 7.2 per cent of the UK market, excluding international activity.” The company pointed to projections suggesting that the UK market for funding businesses from peer-to-peer platforms could be worth £8.3bn a year by 2022, up from around £1.8bn today. Hancock said he believed Crowd2Fund could capture at least a third of that market with a stronger customer proposition than its rivals. Nevertheless, the company will have to accelerate rapidly if it is not to be eclipsed by these competitors. It currently lags market leaders such as Funding Circle and Ratesetter, which have longer track records and have raised more money for borrowers seeking finance on their platforms. Crowd2Fund said it planned an aggressive investment in automation and artificial intelligence that would reduce costs, alongside a renewed focus on user experience. It is targeting revenues of £11m by 2019, ahead of its plans for an exit in 2022 from a trade sale or IPO.Read More
'Don't Go Dark' Crowdfunding Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make and How to Avoid Them
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puq49YJN-Y4 Keep it Fresh and Dynamic: After posting your campaign, you can’t sit and wait for funding to come in -- you’ve got to be proactive. “Once you are done posting your campaign and launching it, you need to keep it fresh and dynamic,” Rubin advises. Be Proactive & Network: Very important from the get-go to pinpoint exactly who will be funding your idea and the type of people it will attract, then target them. If people already support your idea before launch, you’ll attract more backers through word of mouth. On day one, you should have a following and know who will back your crowdfunding campaign. Keep Engaging with People: Many campaigners make the mistake of not continuing to update their backers and oftentimes “go dark.” Read More
From Backers to Buyers: How Crowdfunding Helped Me Launch a Product the Traditional Way
START YOUR PROJECT TODAY![/caption] Nearly four years after my first crowdfunding campaign, I’m finally ready to launch a product the old-fashioned way. Going from collecting backers to making the entire investment up front was a big, but exciting, leap; for the first time, my customers can buy a product the moment it launches. The training wheels are officially off. I couldn’t have done it without the power of Crowdfunding. Here’s what I did on the platform before making the jump. 1. I created a brand identity. Launching a bike lock and a travel backpack attracted certain types of backers. By engaging with them and asking them questions, I learned what attracted them to the products. Today, I know I’m making products for people who are similar to me -- constantly on the move, often strapped for time and comfortable multitasking -- which helps me design new products I know my customers will use and love. Related: The Ultimate Pre-Launch Crowdfunding Checklist – a quick marketing guide 2. I developed an engaged audience. My email newsletter currently has more than 30,000 subscribers, most of whom found me through through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Going into the watch launch, I knew I already had a group of people who were familiar with my brand and liked my aesthetic. I’ve been in contact with many of them since 2013, back when they took a meaningful gamble on my first product. At this point, they’re more than just customers -- they’re my community. Related: 10 Tips to Make Your Crowdfunding Campaign a Success 3. I learned the importance of press coverage. That sounds rudimentary, but when I launched the bike lock, I didn’t fully understand that online articles and mentions can make or break a campaign. Major media coverage often has a global ripple effect, leading to more backers in the U.S. but also in Germany, Singapore, Japan and other parts other world (which, in turn, generates even more press coverage). I started actively reaching out to editors and reporters, learning (mostly through trial and error) the types of pitches that worked and the types of pitches that didn’t. A general rule of thumb: Pitch journalists who have covered products similar to yours. Don’t go in expecting to hear back from everybody (or you’ll be sorely disappointed). Instead, cast as wide a net as possible and be polite, always. Related: Indiegogo's Founder Shares 4 Tips to Get Your Crowdfunding Campaign Funded 4. I went through the manufacturing process. For both the bike lock and the travel backpack, I worked with manufacturers in China. This meant that when I started looking for a factory to make the watches, I was already familiar with general do’s and don’ts. I knew to start looking for leads on Alibaba to get a rough price idea. I also knew how to spot bad operators (if a manufacturer has one logo on his business card and another logo on “his” factory, run). Eventually, I settled on a manufacturing facility that also produces watches for a well-respected major brand, a indication of respectability and craftsmanship I wouldn’t have known to look for if I’d gone into the process blind. Related: Why Crowdfunding Leaves Other Growth Tactics in the Dust 5. I saw the forest for the trees. In the midst of a product launch, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget the bigger picture. After multiple crowdfunding campaigns, I’m able to take a step back and identify what worked and what didn’t. Timing played a huge role in the success of both campaigns. This time around, I kept our release date in mind from the beginning. Using Google trends, I knew that web searches for watches steadily climb in the months leading up to Christmas. I chose to launch in mid-November, in time to take advantage of the spike in watch-related searches, but not so early that the press generated from our launch wouldn’t coincide with the gift buying window that precedes the holidays. Overall, a lot of the steps are similar to launching a product via crowdfunding and a traditional launch. The biggest difference is that if you don’t already have an audience, launching via Kickstarter or Indiegogo can be a great idea if your product is a good fit and offers some sort of new tech or advantage over other products in the market. Crowdfunding has millions of visitors a month looking to invest in exciting new projects. If you launch your new project by yourself on your website or landing page, you will face a big challenge to get the same type of engaged audience that is already on many Crowdfunding platforms, such as, the social network crowdfunding platform called LOCODOR. not to mention the upfront investment. If you are able to launch via crowdfunding, it’s a great way to get backer feedback before production starts -- so you know you can perfect your product on the first launch. If you are investing upfront in purchasing thousands of units, it’s important that you are confident in your abilities to make a great product. Read More
Scientists Have Created New 3D-printed plastic objects that can Connect to Wi-Fi Without Any Electronics
https://youtu.be/gU6-o9SIkMQ Scientists Have Created Plastic Objects That Can Connect to Wi-Fi Without Any Electronics Holy crap, what? Scientists have developed new 3D-printed plastic objects that can hook up to Wi-Fi without the aid of any electronics or batteries, meaning household devices could get a lot smarter in the future without the need for any circuitry. If that's not blowing your mind just yet, think about this: the tech could be used to make a laundry bottle that orders a refill online as soon as it runs out, or a simple volume slider that connects to your speakers without any cabling or even a power source. So how is this possible? To achieve this, a team from the University of Washington built a system comprising a plastic switch, spring, gear, and antenna, which when activated with a press or other movement can absorb or reflect passing Wi-Fi signals in order to communicate. "Our goal was to create something that just comes out of your 3D printer at home and can send useful information to other devices," says one of the researchers, electrical engineer Vikram Iyer. "But the big challenge is how do you communicate wirelessly with Wi-Fi using only plastic? That's something that no one has been able to do before." (University of Washington) Core to the plastic mechanism is a conductive filament, made from plastic and copper and also 3D printed, which can intermittently connect and disconnect with a Wi-Fi antenna, changing the signal as it passes it on. So a 3D-printed plastic anemometer, for example, could measure wind speed because as it spins round more quickly, and the filament connects more often, the transmitted transitions get more frequent. A water flow meter would work in the same way. The scientists have been able to build similar mechanisms into switches, dials, and sliders – the movement generates the transitions and sends a simple signal over Wi-Fi, which could be to a smartphone or another device. The presence of the tooth on a gear, connecting with the filament, taps out the 1s and 0s needed for digital communication. A flow meter for a laundry bottle. (University of Washington) These kind of techniques are known as backscattering, or reflecting waves – which in this case are the Wi-Fi signals. The team was also able to adapt the filament to work with iron filings instead of copper, enabling the encoding of information into a 3D-printed object – almost like an invisible barcode that could be an identifier or instructions. "It looks like a regular 3D printed object but there's invisible information inside that can be read with your smartphone," says one of the team, Justin Chan. That's because just about every smartphone out there comes with a magnetometer to help work out where in the world it is based on the Earth's magnetic field. The same sensor is able to detect the pattern of 1s and 0s created by the iron filings and plastic. For now these 3D-printed gadgets are chunky and not yet ready for the masses, but in the future they could be adapted for all sorts of purposes – with so many gadgets in our homes now competing for Wi-Fi signal and electricity, it's a simpler approach to getting more devices connected to the web and each other. "This work is part of our long-term vision for democratising the creation of IoT-enabled objects that can communicate information seamlessly, everywhere and at anytime," write the scientists in their report. The research has yet to be peer-reviewed but you can read the paper here. The team has presented its work at the SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition in Asia, and has made a video showing off their creations which you can see below: Scientists Have Created Plastic Objects That Can Connect to Wi-Fi Without Any Electronics Source: Scientists Have Created Plastic Objects That Can Connect to Wi-Fi Without Any ElectronicsRead More
These Technologies Will Shape The Future. How AI, mixed-reality, cryptocurrencies, and autonomy will play out over the next 10 years.
Exclusive: Andreessen Horowitz analyst Benedict Evans explains how AI, mixed-reality, cryptocurrencies, and autonomy will play out over the next 10 years. Dominant companies always look invulnerable–until they’re very vulnerable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVYDkPidXrU In his presentation, Evans equates the evolution of new technologies to the way a skyscraper rises into the sky. In the beginning, he says, there’s a hole in the ground and very little visible activity. But one day you walk by and the building’s frame has gone up. Then there’s another long period with little obvious advancement until, one day, it’s finished. The analog for tech innovation is that the pit is when the technology doesn’t quite work; the frame going up is when the tech is still finding a product-market fit; and the building being done is when you’re “pouring…rocket fuel” on the tech’s market reach. And that’s how he sees the four areas he’s called out–with each at a different point along the evolution: autonomy “down in the muddy hold in the ground;” mixed-realty’s just the building’s frame going up; cryptocurrencies have the frame up, but the facade is still being worked on; and AI is the finished tower looking for tenants. S CURVES To Evans, the tech industry has a long history of cycles of what he calls “S curves,” or slow starts, rapid and steep growth, and slow maturation. Today’s S curve is one of the mobile internet, while the previous was the PC internet. In each case, as the curve matured, the question became less about the technology itself and more about what could be built on top of it. That’s where we are with the mobile internet, with things like ride-sharing, Instagram, Instacart, and other things we can do with our phones today. The thing is, though, when we get to that point in the curve, people always start to say the platform is dead, and “What have you done for me lately,” Evans argues. And these predictable evolutions and reactions belie the fact, he tells Fast Company, that “these things are not overnight revolutions. Yes, the iPhone launches and people can look at it and say this is amazing, but it has taken 10 years to get to the point that the majority of the population has got something like that….Most people think that you’ll have a fully autonomous…car in a 5-to-10-year view, but there’s a long time between the first such car being sold, and all cars that are sold being autonomous, and then a long time from all that to all cars on the road being autonomous.” “THE BLACK MONOLITH” In his presentation, Evans says that as the technology that’s the furthest along, AI is the easiest to talk about. He also says that calling it “AI” is probably unhelpful. “It feels like someone’s put the black monolith in the beginning of 2001 into the room,” Evans says, “and we’ve all turned into monkeys and we’re dancing around and screaming at it. We don’t actually know what it is.” Instead, it’s better to call the technology “machine learning”–as many people do–and to talk about how it’s at its core a technology that enables the discovery and leveraging of new patterns–things you want to know the answers to, or even things you didn’t know you don’t know–and about how it enables new forms of automation. The trick is to not fall for the idea that automation means wide-ranging capabilities. Rather, Evans says, the benefits of machine learning-driven automation are very specific new capabilities–and, more importantly, the opportunity to build many new companies around single-purpose verticals. As well, he says, automation gives a massive multiplier effect by being able to do the small tasks that thousands of people could do–like look for patterns in images. Done by one person, that’s not all that powerful. But done by thousands, it’s huge. What if, Evans asks, machine learning could be used to examine imagery of what everybody in a certain city was wearing over the last few months; What kind of traffic analysis could you do if you could always be automatically counting everyone who goes through a busy subway station. What new patterns, and thus, applications, could come out of that? CHANGING ENTIRE CITIES Although it’s the furthest from changing the world, Evans touts the broad possible impact of autonomy. When the day comes, he says, that cars, buses, and other vehicles no longer need drivers, it’ll be possible to completely re-imagine what those vehicles can be, and even better, re-imagine the world in which they move. If you don’t have drivers, you can probably have more cars on the roads. There will be almost no accidents as the vehicles move in tandem, always aware of each other, and that will mean different kinds of roads. That, in turn, can lead to all-new urban design–with no need to provide parking spaces, no congestion, dynamic road pricing, and a totally different dynamic around where people live, shop, eat, drink, and so on. It’s not easy to predict exactly where this will go, or what the opportunities are, Evans suggest, but they could be huge. But it’s important to think about the application you want to build and whether it’s necessary to think a decade in the future. “It depends on what timeline you’re operating on,” Evans says. “If you’re building public infrastructure or planning a city, then [thinking years ahead] absolutely needs to be something that figures into your thinking. If you are planning your TV schedule, you probably shouldn’t yet be thinking about what people will watch if they don’t have to look at the road.” MIXED-REALITY In its early stages, mixed-reality is Evans’s third area of massive opportunity–what happens if you wear a computer that can see? Today, he says, we’re in the stage of working prototypes, and a few early, early products–see Meta, or Microsoft’s Hololens, for example–but in general, there’s not much yet available. But the potential is there, clearly. Look at Magic Leap, which has raised nearly $1.9 billion dollars in funding for a headset few have seen, but which is said to have impressive power to place virtual things in our real world. Evans seems less interested in the idea of things like recipes that we can see hovering in front of our stoves while we cook, and more in the power of computers that are able to see, and interpret, what’s going on around us. For example, being able to tell you who someone you’re meeting is, where you last encountered them, and whether you should want to talk to them. Or to tell you instantly if a product you’re holding is available cheaper online. Or any number of other powerful tools that could evolve as the technology progresses. CRYPTO In his presentation, Evans says less about the future opportunities of cryptocurrencies than he does about the other four technologies. Still, he calls out their power in a couple of meaningful ways. First, he says, cryptocurrencies allow for the distributed storage of value without the need for a central authority–like the governments that manage traditional money. That’s important in a world where people are losing trust in such institutions and want more control over money without governmental intrusion. Second, he argues, the records that make up the cryptocurrencies can be programmed in ways that were never possible before, and used in all-new ways. Those opportunities, presumably, will materialize over time. In the meantime, Evans doesn’t foreclose on other technologies presenting major opportunities. Rather, he focuses on the four identified above because of the way they each leverage the idea of automation, and seem to evolve naturally from today’s still-extant S-curve technology, the mobile internet. The real opportunity, though, will lie in seeing what no one else sees hidden right there in plain sight in front of them. Something like Airbnb had never been thought of before, in spite of it not representing a huge technological advance. But until Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk came along, finding vacation rentals was far harder than it is today. “In 2007, we were thinking what might the smartphone be, and now we know and we’ve seen what can do on top” of it, Evans says. Now “we’re thinking what might an autonomous car be, what might machine learning be, what might mixed-reality be, and in 20 years’ time, we’ll know, and we’ll be building stuff on top of them.” Source: These Technologies Will Shape The Future, According To One of Silicon Valley’s Top VC FirmsRead More