Project Powerup puts itself under the hammer

New crowdfunding platform Project Powerup, designed to help budding entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground, has opted for an unusual inaugural project to fund – itself.


As reported by StartupSmart in July, young Sydney entrepreneur Ryan Wardell is launching Project Powerup to aid start-ups seeking funding of up to $25,000.


The site works by allowing start-ups to post their pitches for funding on the site. Interested contributors then pledge money to the project, with no money changing hands unless the target has been hit. No equity is given up for the money.


Wardell originally planned to fully roll out the website once he had 20 start-ups signed up to the concept.


However, he has put the Project Powerup idea itself up to be scrutinised by cashed-up users. Wardell is seeking $2,500 to develop the site further.


“We want to finish off the site, so we’re selling an invite to be one of the first start-ups on the site,” he says.


“People that contribute won’t be getting free listings, but they will get priority and have a prominent space on the homepage.”


“We have 11 people signed up already. We will be able to finish the site with $2,500 – anything beyond that will enable us to do extra stuff. We want to bring in an incentivised sharing model and a messaging system.”


Wardell says his plan B has allowed him to discover flaws in the site that he wouldn’t have otherwise found.


“With any start-up, you’ve got to prove the concept, and this is doing that,” he says. “It lets others use the site and test it. We found bugs that we wouldn’t have known about by doing this.”


Meanwhile, independent news and commentary website New Matila admits that it will have to close next year unless its own crowdsourced funding model provides it with the cash to continue.


Crowdsourced donations previously saved New Matilda from closure last year, but the site says that it needs to increase its number of ongoing supporters from 150 to 1,500 by the end of September, or face closure.


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