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Kickstarter Sets Off $7 Million Stampede for a Watch Not Yet Made

But he couldn’t even get a foot in the door, let alone secure any money for what he called the Pebble watch. So he turned to Kickstarter, a site where ordinary people back creative projects. Backers could pledge $99 and were promised a Pebble watch in return. Less than two hours after the project went up on the site, Mr. Migicovsky and his partners hit their goal of $100,000. “By that night, we were at $600,000,” said Mr. As of Friday afternoon, nearly 50,000 people had pledged close to $7 million — and there is still two weeks left before the fund-raising window closes. Pebble is the latest — and by far the largest — example of how Kickstarter, a scrappy start-up sprouted in the New York living room of its founders three years ago, is transforming the way people build businesses. The large amount of money that Pebble has raised — equivalent to what a young company would get in a second round of venture capital financing — also signifies a coming of age for Kickstarter. Mr. Mr. Mr. Related:  CrowdfundingNew Busyness

2011: The Stats » The Kickstarter Blog 2011 was a year of milestones. In April we celebrated our second birthday by announcing $50 million in pledges. In July we reached 10,000 successfully funded projects. And in October we reached $100 million in pledges and had our one millionth backer. Let’s look at some statistics for 2011: Launched Projects: 27,086 Successful Projects: 11,836 Dollars Pledged: $99,344,382Rewards Selected: 1,150,461 Total Visitors: 30,590,342 Project Success Rate: 46% Here’s 2010: Launched Projects: 11,130 Successful Projects: 3,910 Dollars Pledged: $27,638,318 Rewards Selected: 322,526 Total Visitors: 8,294,183 Project Success Rate: 43% Total pledges were just shy of $100 million in 2011. How do those dollars and projects break down by category? The most popular rewards of 2011 were the Cosmonaut (variable price, 5,623 backers) and the Coffee Joulies ($40, 4,246 backers). The mobile game Zombies, Run! It wasn’t just projects registering big numbers. *A Kickstarter employee

A Free Beginner's Guide to the Sharing Economy For over two years, Shareable has explored the new sharing economy in its many forms: how individuals, families, communities, entrepreneurs, businesses, designers, coders, and countless more are building resilience through collaboration and sharing. In that time, we've amassed a considerable library of how-to share guides, and researched and documented how these shifts are transforming the economy, technology, and civil society. Still, those new to the sharing lifestyle may wonder where to start. It's one of the first things we learn as kids: How to share.But this practice usually fades as we become adults. The guide, available as a free PDF download, offers four Action Ideas to help communities tap into their shared assets and resources. Organize a Community SwapFocusing on clothing swaps Lend LocallyFocusing on tool libraries Share Time, Labor, and SkillsFocusing on time banks Set up a Co-opFocusing on solar co-ops Download the New Dream Community Action Kit Guide to Sharing (pdf)

Peer Lending Grows as Small Biz Option NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- When John Good, owner of the Bubbles Galore Car Wash in Davison, Mich., went to his local bank last year to get a $16,000 loan to expand into the self-serve dog washing business, he was denied. First Place Bank, a subsidiary of First Place Financial in Warren, Ohio, already held the note for Good's original $500,000 Small Business Administration start-up loan, but the bank required massive documentation and fees -- requirements Good felt were too costly, time consuming and frankly, annoying, given the amount. "The amount of money we were requesting didn't merit the amount of work and back-end costs," Good says. That's when Good heard about peer-to-peer lending. Peer lending is not necessarily new, but there are a growing number of business borrowers turning to them -- in part because, as interest rates remain near record lows, investors are looking for options that will make decent returns.

Obama Signs Bill to Ease Investing in Start-Ups Mr. Obama, surrounded by a bipartisan tableau of lawmakers and entrepreneurs, said the bill known as the JOBS Act, for Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups, was a “potential game changer” for fledgling businesses in need of financing. Among other things, it would allow them to raise small sums from investors via the Internet. “For the first time, ordinary Americans will be able to go online and invest in entrepreneurs that they believe in,” Mr. New businesses generate almost every new job in the United States, Mr. The bill-signing set the stage for Friday’s release of the monthly employment report by the Labor Department, which has become an important political barometer for the presidential election. “Our economy has begun to turn a corner,” the president said, “but we’ve still got a long way to go. Responding to critics who say the law will open the door to investor fraud, the president insisted that these Web sites would be closely monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ease of doing business index The ease of doing business index is an index created by the World Bank.[1] Higher rankings indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights. Empirical research funded by the World Bank to justify their work show that the effect of improving these regulations on economic growth is strong.[2] "Empirical research is needed to establish the optimal level of business regulation—for example, what the duration of court procedures should be and what the optimal degree of social protection is. The indicators compiled in the Doing Business project allow such research to take place. Methodology[edit] The index is based on the study of laws and regulations, with the input and verification by more than 9,600 government officials, lawyers, business consultants, accountants and other professionals in 185 economies who routinely advise on or administer legal and regulatory requirements. Research and influence[edit] Doing business 2013[edit]

Waiting for Copernicus: On the Slow-Death of Neoliberalism It’s happening in Buenos Aires. It’s happening in Paris and in Athens. It’s even happening at the World Bank headquarters. The global economy is finally shifting away from the model that prevailed for the last three decades. Europeans are rejecting austerity. Maybe that long-heralded “end of the Washington consensus” is finally upon us. After the near-collapse of the global financial system four years ago, obituary writers rushed to proclaim the death of the prevailing economic philosophy known as neo-liberalism. It was a tempting conclusion. Wall Street’s continued irrational exuberance, its lavishing of bonuses on its elite, and its pushback against even the most modest of regulations all suggest that the old Ptolemaic system – with Wall Street and the Washington Consensus still at the center of the universe – had not yet given way to a Copernican revolution that displaces these powerful institutions from their privileged position. Nowhere is that clearer than in Europe.

Funding Circle, a Kickstarter for SMBs, Picks Up $16M From Index, Union Square Ventures Some great news for small business owners, and perhaps a sign of more crowdsourced funding coming to the U.S.: the UK-based Funding Circle — a kind of Kickstarter for lending to smaller enterprises — has just announced that it has raised a $16 million round to further build up its business of enabling non-bank lending to small enterprises. The investment included participation from existing investor Index Ventures as well as new investor Union Square Ventures — a sign of how Funding Circle may have its sights set on taking advantage of new crowdfunding laws and expanding to the U.S. This Series B round takes the total raised by Funding Circle to $21 million. Funding Circle has made some impressive strides since launching in the UK 18 months ago: it’s facilitated lending to 670 small businesses in the UK, with funds totaling £28 million ($45 million), representing annual growth of over 400 percent.

JOBS Act: Why are Democrats suddenly raising red flags? The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS) had everything going for it. It garnered more than 400 votes in the House of Representatives last week. It had the backing of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and was fast-tracked onto the Senate calendar by majority leader Harry Reid. President Obama, he of the veto pen, publicly expressed his support. Skip to next paragraph Subscribe Today to the Monitor Click Here for your FREE 30 DAYS ofThe Christian Science MonitorWeekly Digital Edition And, of course, it had a politically bulletproof acronym: After all, who could vote against jobs? But after a group of Democratic senators – and the Securities and Exchange Commission – scrutinized the bill, its race to the president’s desk has been impeded. Democrats ultimately want the JOBS Act to pass, they insist, but they're looking for assurances that investors will be protected, especially those financing new businesses using social media and the Internet, or "crowdfunding." Sens.

Ryan Morris, 28-Year-Old Activist Investor Ryan Morris spent a week steeling himself for the showdown. Then 27 years old, he was in his first campaign as an activist investor, trying to wrest control of a small company named InfuSystem (INFU), which provides and services pumps used in chemotherapy. In the meeting, Morris would confront InfuSystem’s chairman and vice chairman, two men in their 40s, and tell them that as a shareholder, he thought the company was heading in the wrong direction. Morris is competitive—his high school rowing teammates nicknamed him “Cyborg,” and he took a semester off college to race as a semi-pro cyclist—but face-to-face confrontation wasn’t something he relished. “I like the thrill of the hunt, but not the kill,” he says. To prepare, Morris outlined questions, guessed potential responses, and tried to anticipate what tense “pregnant moments” could arrive. The company, with just $47 million in revenue, was spending too much money, and in the wrong places. He still wanted to be an investor, though.

German voters must break the Merkel mindset that got them into this | Robin Wells Sometimes, just sometimes, economics and politics are like physics – one can recognize immutable forces. One of those times is now, as Greece is inexorably pushed out of the euro. It took no particular talent to have seen this coming, just the recognition that it has always been a fantasy to believe that the Greeks would democratically choose to destroy their economy for the better part of a decade in order to pay foreign creditors. The fact is that Greece never was a suitable member of the eurozone. That the Greek economy was extremely inefficient, that corruption was rife, that the government budgets were perpetually out of control, and that the official statistics were not to be believed were widely known. But, as in many marriages, Greece's entry into the euro was a triumph of sentimentality and wilful blindness over realism. What accounts for this? By doing this, the German elites set a trap for themselves with their own voters from which they cannot easily escape.

Stats total dollars pledged to Kickstarter projects Successfully funded projects This page is automatically updated at least once a day with the raw data behind Kickstarter. Metrics include funding success rates, amount pledged, and the performance of successfully and unsuccessfully funded projects. Statistics are available for the site overall as well as each of the 15 project categories. Check out our blog for more on Kickstarter’s data. Successfully Funded Projects Most successfully funded projects raise less than $10,000, but a growing number have reached six and even seven figures. Unsuccessfully Funded Projects Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing in more ways than one.

A Proposal to Allow Small Private Companies to Get Investors Online The Obama administration, not surprisingly considering its own success in gathering small donations during his campaign for the presidency, is supporting crowdfunding, a financing model that relies on collecting small sums of money from many people over the Internet. Crowdfunding has the sort of populist, common-sense appeal that resonates with free-market libertarians and champions of the working class. By marrying online social networks with finance, this model offers a more democratic model of finance, in which individuals can directly fund other individuals or businesses that they deem worthy, without going through a bank or Wall Street middleman. It’s the sort of person-to-person (or P2P, in industry jargon) funding that characterized financial transactions for millennia, before our mediated, securitized financial system took hold. But let’s be clear: this is philanthropy. The Securities and Exchange Commission has been considering proposals to ease restrictions on crowdfunding.

Forward Vision: Financial Markets That Promote Long-Term Value | BSR at 20 Report: Accelerating Progress Despite the lessons of the financial crisis, markets remain focused on the same short-term thinking that helped create the problem in the first place. Shares in U.S. publicly traded companies are held for an average of seven months, down from seven years two generations ago. Alcatel- Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen described this phenomenon to us: “Winners and losers are measured sometimes in a matter of weeks and months.” Even pension fund managers, whose overall charge is to steward assets over decades rather than quarters, are subject to near- term performance pressures that cause them to “churn” increasing portions of their portfolios. Further exacerbating the problem is the ever-shortening length of CEO tenure, which has been cut in half, from eight years to four, in the past two decades. As a result, even good ideas don’t receive the investments they need if they don’t promise adequate short-term returns. Measuring the Right Things Turning Financial Innovation into Long-Term Benefit

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