5 of our favourite female-founded crowdfunding campaigns
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5 of our favourite female-founded crowdfunding campaigns

This is the second post in our crowdfunding series from Hannah Forbes. Be sure to check out her last article, How to carry out a successful crowdfunding marketing campaign.

Female-founded campaigns are 32% more successful than male-led campaigns and yet, female entrepreneurs face an endemic of barriers when it comes to seeking funding (PwC, 2017). For example, men in the US start their businesses with, on average, nearly twice as much capital as women (H. Forbes, 2018). Crowdfunding, however, seems to be tipping the scales, with many exciting female-founded projects taking advantage of the model. See our top five below.

1. Emma Cohen, Final Straw

Emma Cohen is the co-founder of Final Straw; the world’s first collapsible and reusable straw. On 18th April 2018, Final Straw launched on Kickstarter and raised an amazing $1,894,878. In the US alone they use enough plastic straws every day to circle the earth 2.5 times. FinalStraw is reusable, comes with an attached cleaning device and fits in a keyring meaning you never have to use another single-use straw again.

About Emma: Emma has a Masters in Environmental Management and Sustainability from Harvard. Prior to launching the Final Straw campaign, she worked at Los Almos National Laboratories in the Pollution Prevention Department.

What can I learn from this campaign?

This campaign has one of the clearest, simplest campaign stories I’ve seen. The problem is outlined, the product is presented and overall there’s a constant message of “obviously this is the best solution”. This refined message, made the product an easy sell and the campaign a great success.

See the Final Straw Kickstarter campaign here.

2. Emily Brooke, Beryl

Emily, the founder of Beryl (formerly Blaze), is currently live on Kickstarter with her third bike light “Laserlight Core”.  The key feature of Laserlight core (and Emily’s first campaign, Blaze light) is the projection of a bright green cycling symbol in the driver blind spot. The Laserlight Core uses patented laser technology, and the projection is proven to make you up to 32% more visible. All three of Emily’s campaigns have overfunded and her live campaign as already 200% funded with 19 days still left.

About Emily: Emily studied Product Design at The University of Brighton and Laserlight was the product of her final year project. Through this she enrolled on an entrepreneurship programme funded by Santander before using Kickstarter in 2012 to grow her business. She has since secured funding from Richard Branson and her lights are installed in several bike rental schemes across the world.

What can I learn from this campaign?

Having created and successfully funded three campaigns, Emily Brooke is an involved and trusted member of the Kickstarter community. This is one characteristic of this business that definitely boosts campaign performance. You can also become a valued member of this community by contributing to forums and backing other campaigns.

See the Laserlight Core Kickstarter campaign here.

3. Fatima Dicko, Jetpack

Fatima is the Founder and CEO of Jetpack who, in October 2017, raised $250,865 on equity crowdfunding site Republic. Jetpack is a university campus delivery system that allows students to access products such as energy boosters, toiletries and study materials within minutes of ordering. Their “last mile” delivery system works by stocking student sellers with their products in a backpack (or Jetpack). The average delivery time is 7 minutes and they have partnered with popular student suppliers such as GoCubes Chewable Coffee, Sambazon Energy, and more.

About Fatima: Fatima studied Chemical Engineering at Columbia before working at P&G as the youngest Senior Engineer on an upstream innovation team developing new to the world products. She is currently at the Stanford Business School where the beta version of Jetpack was first launched.

What can I learn from this campaign?

The Jetpack campaign was so powerful because it demonstrated the product’s positive impact on several different types of consumers. The campaign first demonstrated the current student demand for Jetpack, then the supplier demand for Jetpack and then it demonstrated how their underlying logistics model could attract billions of new consumers across industries. It’s really important to show not only current demand but a predicted trajectory of growing demand for your project.

See Jetpack’s Republic Campaign here.

4. Yosha Gupta, Meraki Bags

Yosha Gupta is the Founder of Meraki which is a brand to promote Indian folk arts by using technology to create beautiful products. In 2017 Meraki ran a crowdfunding campaign over 3 months to help build an art school for girls in a village in India. Artists individually hand paint each of the high-quality leather bags that Meraki offer and each bag is one-of-a-kind, telling a unique story associated with the art.

About Yosha: As well as being the Founder of Meraki, Yosha is also a Financial Inclusion Consultant with the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group and has worked across the world on digitisation and payments in Agricultural and SME value chains. She is also the Founder and CEO of another successful company LafaLafa which is a leading coupon and cashback website.

What can I learn from this campaign?

The success of this campaign is a result of a well-told and compelling story. The project description is arranged to succinctly demonstrate the social purpose of the project and the community benefits of every purchase. Arranging the project description to emphasise the USP of your product is vital to campaign success.

See Meraki Bag’s campaign here.

5. Julie KronstrØm, Mate

Julie Kronstrom is the Co-founder of MATE. MATE has created the world’s most affordable, fully-loaded, folding e-bike. On the 29th September, MATE X their newest model closed on IndieGoGo with a staggering $13,019,067. This makes MATE X the best-performing IndieGoGo campaign ever! This is MATE’s second crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, the first of which raised a still impressive $6m. MATE is an example of an organisation that has successfully integrated crowdfunding as part of their long-term development plan – and they know how to do it well!

About Julie: Julie founded MATE two and a half years ago with her brother Christian. They have a mission to change the way we see eBikes and get the world to ride more bikes. As well as MATE, Julie is the owner of ROCKnWOOL which was founded in 2015, focusing on sourcing and development of high-quality consumer products & brands within fashion, beauty and tech.

What can I learn from this campaign?

The MATE campaigns were great examples of how to engage your network before a campaign. They focused on building a large community of loyal customers and fans before launching and by doing so they were able to raise incredibly large sums in a short amount of time. To crowdfund successfully you must put a large amount of effort into building and engaging your network.

See the MATE X IndieGoGo campaign here.

Want to learn more? Have a project you want to crowdfund?

The Funding Crowd has expertise on crowdfunding built from years of research in the crowdfunding industry. We can help you create amazing campaigns like the ones above; don’t hesitate to get in touch!