Each year the 3 Day Startup Global Roundup conference brings students, entrepreneurs, and investors together from across six continents for a weekend of panels, networking, keynotes, and workshops. Our goal for the Global Roundup is to deliver the world’s best early-stage startup conference at a price that early-stage entrepreneurs can afford. For our attendees traveling to Austin, TX from miles and oceans away we realize that travel expenditures can add up quickly, often making your journey to Austin’s Center of Gravity for entrepreneurship a little more challenging. However, we also know entrepreneurs love a good challenge and all of us at 3 Day Startup want to support you in your journey to Austin. That’s why this year we’re encouraging you to get creative and try your hand at crowdfunding your way to the 2018 Global Roundup conference!
Starting a crowdfunding campaign may seem daunting. You may be nervous to ask for help, or you may just not know where to start. However, crowdfunding is a great way to build confidence in yourself and others investing in you.
3 Day Startup alum Tony Tan from Melbourne, Australia wanted to attend the 3DS Global Roundup in 2017, but he didn’t have the funds to get from Australia to Austin, so he crowdfunded his trip. He put together a video to tell you about his experience crowdfunding his way to the 2017 Global Roundup conference. Watch Tony tell you about his experience crowdfunding his way to Global Roundup and how fellow alumni can recreate his success:
According to Tony:
Step 1: Figure out how much you need to ask for
Will you be using any of your own money? How much do flights cost from your city? Will you be staying more days than just the actual conference?
These are important questions that you will want to ask yourself before setting up your campaign. You want to have a rationale for your numbers and that the amount you need will be reasonable for the network that you have.
Take the time to map this out and think about the different directions your campaign could take. Maybe even make a list of people in your network who you think are likely to donate and how much your average donation might be. This work will help you set reasonable goals and put you on the path to a successful campaign.
Step 2: Take time to inform your audience of your goals, what 3 Day Startup is, and how this opportunity can help you take your next step.
If the people you will be targeting with your crowdfunding campaign aren’t familiar with 3DS as an organization or the Global Roundup, you have to allot time in your process to familiarize them. The people who I was targeting weren’t all familiar with the program, but none of them were strangers so I felt comfortable telling them my story and getting them involved.
You want them to feel connected to you, what you’re doing and what your goals are. I spent a lot of time talking about the need that I had for this kind of experience. I needed to bring people on that journey with me and get them as excited as I was about this opportunity.
This is just for the period where I was laying the groundwork and not actually having an active campaign, but it’s an incredibly important part of the process and I would have spent more time in this stage if I were going to do it all over again.
Step 3: Design your campaign
After you get people excited, you actually have to follow through on the campaign and make it as clear and compelling as possible.
There are also a lot of options for which site or platform you will use for your campaign. I used youcaring.com because setting up a campaign on that platform didn’t have any additional fees. But there are many other sites that may be good options for your specific country, like gofundme, IndieGoGo, and Crowdrise. So do your research on what seems like the best fit for you.
I had allotted a week and a half of actual crowdfunding and campaigning after two weeks of laying my groundwork. But longer is better. Try to determine how much you could actually be able to get, realistically and make sure that you take into consideration the capacity of your network.
While you’re campaigning, be sure you are continuously connecting with your network, spreading your message, and giving updates. For some students it might be a big deal to ask them for money, so talk a lot about why you want to go and your need for going. Talk about what you are trying to raise, the amount you have left.
Step 4: Show gratitude and keep them involved
I found that finding some way to thank all of my supporters really went a long way, and it was something that they really appreciated. So I did a small event after I had successfully completed my campaign to show them my gratitude.
I also filmed my time at Global Roundup and incorporated it into a video that I shared with my network and my supporters. This showed everyone what I accomplished, what my experience like, that I could follow through on the promises I made them, and that my experience was really worth it.
It was important to me to bring those supporters with me on my journey at every stage of this campaign so that they felt connected and I could show them the steps I was taking. It made me proud of my accomplishments and showed them that their support isn’t something I like lightly or for granted.
Crowdfunding is exciting, fun and empowering. If you’re up for the challenge here are 3 tips from the 3DS team to get you started:
- Say Yes, Get Excited, Be Confident: Stop telling yourself you can’t do it. You can. Let the excitement lead you and motivate you. We guarantee that if you are excited, people around you will feel your energy and be excited too. Make your values, mission, and goals known. What do you hope to gain by attending 3DS Global Roundup? Who do you hope to connect with? How will this impact your trajectory into the entrepreneurship world? People will be investing in you throughout your crowdfunding campaign, so stay confident and believe in yourself.
- Start Planning Early: Running your crowdfunding campaign takes time and energy. Don’t wait until the last minute to start your campaign. Begin your research and planning early so that you can make a game plan.
- Keep us Posted: Share your story with us and we’ll give you a shoutout on our social media pages!
Throughout the month we’ll be sharing #TonyTips so that you can learn how to crowdfund your way to Global Roundup 2018! Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on the action. We can’t wait to hear all about your journey to the Capital Factory in July!