Business planning, Funding, Growth, Legal

iPledg rolls out record $1.2 million crowdfunding campaign

Michelle Hammond /

An events management and marketing company has launched Australia’s largest ever crowdfunding campaign, attempting to raise $1.2 million on iPledg.

 

Business Marketing Events (BME) specialises in creating events that foster business networking.

 

Led by Leo Petrik and his business partner Alan Rowe, BME is hoping to expand beyond Australia into South East Asia, Europe and the Americas.

 

In order to do this, it has turned to local crowdfunding platform iPledg, launching a campaign with an ambitious funding target of $1.2 million.

 

The company is hoping to raise this amount by December 23.

 

“Businesses are going broke, and many of them are going to the wall globally,” the company said in its campaign.

 

“We believe that by helping all these businesses, we can remedy this situation… With your help, we are going to set up an international global franchise to connect businesses around the world.”

 

“Your pledges will go to setting up the international structure that will allow us to launch the system around the world in a very short space of time.”

 

“If we don’t meet our target of $1.2 million in 90 days, we do not get a penny.”

 

iPledg, founded by Andy Tompkins and Bryan Vadas, launched in January, promising to offer funding opportunities to the creative and charitable industries as well as start-ups.

 

However, it faces competition from rival players such as Pozible, which has established a strong foothold in the creative industries.

 

But according to Vadas, iPledg’s broad-based approach is one of its strengths.

 

“I think where we differentiate is we’re very broad-based. Some of the others centre around the charitable space or the creative space,” Vadas told StartupSmart.

 

“We’re the only ones doing a broad-based approach, which is driving traffic to the site, and hopefully the beneficiaries of that are the project creators.”

 

“We can also do the social media campaign on behalf of the creator… to get things moving if they want it.”

 

iPledg has also cultivated a comprehensive blog, posting regular tips and advice.

 

In its latest post, it makes special mention of BME, claiming it is the largest project ever listed on an Australian crowdfunding platform

 

“The bigger the project, the more work must be done to engage a broader audience. Promotion must start even before the campaign begins,” iPledg wrote.

 

“Rallying support is key to ensuring the campaign jumps out of the blocks, rather than taking time to warm up after the campaign has begun, thus losing time during the campaign timeframe.”

 

“It is essential that the project gets early traction to catch the attention of ‘the crowd’ and to have potential pledgers emulate the first followers.”

 

From there, success comes down to the quality of the project description, iPledg said.

 

“How well the rewards engage the crowd, and how well the video captures the attention and the passion of the crowd in a couple of minutes,” it said.

 

“How quickly it can gain traction, how often it is promoted, and how successfully it engages with the crowd remains to be seen.”

 

“If the message can be delivered to a large audience regularly, and they can be moved to engage, large projects can be successful, as we have already seen in the USA where earlier this year a campaign hit $1 million for the first time.”

 

“Since that one there have been others, culminating in a successfully funded campaign of $10.2 million.”

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