How does it work?
All they have to do is film a short video explaining: what they want to do, howmuch they need in order to do it, and what they're offering in return. You mightoffer two tickets to your show for a £50 pledge and in this way pay for yourupfront costs by pre-selling tickets, months in advance. If the project sells enoughof these 'perks' and hits its funding target, then all the backers are charged at thesame time and the project goes ahead. If the project fails to hit its target, no-onegets or pays anything. It's a simple, risk-free way of testing ideas and putting theaudience at the centre of the creative process.
Where did the idea come from and how difficult was it to get off the ground?
I can't claim credit for the idea. A site in the US called Kickstarter blazed the trail.I read about them in the paper and thought, the UK needs something like that. Thearts funding crisis was just beginning so people were clamouring for some goodnews. I'd say it took three months from first having the idea to launching the site.I'd been wanting to start a business for a long time and this one came up so I justwent for it. My boss at the time was sympathetic as he is an entrepreneur himself.My previous ideas/business plans always required too much capital to be realistic.The nice thing about starting an internet business is that you can get a product outthere for relatively little cash. Of course, getting it out there is one thing, making itbig is quite another! I'm definitely still working out the second bit.
Who are your biggest competitors?
Since I launched, there have been lots of competitors: some are doing well, somenot. The market for crowdfunding is still very young, however. I see my market as:the music industry, the film industry, the theatre industry etc. so, we've barelyscratched the surface.
What are your greatest challenges?
My greatest challenges so far have been maintaining a site that people expect to beas functional as Amazon, even though I've been doing it off a shoe string in my