Sponsorist has been featured on CNNMoney’s “Innovative financing for small business owners” feature as one of five companies that has raised funding in unconventional ways. I used crowdfunding site Peerbackers.com to raise money for the beta development of the site. Read the entry below or click here to read the entire article.
Owner: Rosston Meyer
Location: Lake Worth, Fla.I was about six months into developing Sponsorist.com, an online marketplace where businesses can buy and sell sponsorships from one another, when I realized I needed about $10,000 to get beyond the beta version. I tried talking to my local bank but because I didn’t have any sales, it wasn’t willing to help. Then I remembered meeting members of Peerbackers.com at a tech event a year earlier. So last summer, I began to put together a pitch including how I planned to grow and brand Sponsorist.com. Peerbackers is a lot like Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site where you post your project and, in turn, friends and complete strangers can contribute money to help you grow your business. So I posted information about Sponsorist and started to spread the word through e-mail and Twitter to anyone I could think of. Peerbackers.com posted my project details on its homepage, which attracted even more traffic. Eventually, a total of 15 people agreed to back my site — two of which I had never even met — helping me raise $2,500, a quarter of my goal, in just eight weeks. I’m sure I annoyed a bunch of people by asking them for money but crowdfunding really worked for me. I was able to pay a developer to add just enough functionality to create a beta version. In return, Peerbackers.com took a 5% cut of the money I raised, and I sent my project backers T-shirts as thank-yous.