If you like Disney with your Google—and love a company with a great sense of humor—check out LOVELAND Technologies, a Detroit-based startup that demos at Funded by Night this week. They create crowdfunding and social mapping systems, and rely on their unique brand and culture to mix real and virtual, fun and serious, story and software.
LOVELAND’s signature starting project is LOVELAND micro real estate, an innovative program that allows people to “inchvest” in real and virtual land in Detroit for $1 per square inch. This project creates “microhoods” that can be accessed over the “inchernet” or visited in person, with a percentage of inch sales supporting other projects in Detroit. Founder Jerry Paffendorf reports that this tiny laboratory has produced significant (and surprising) discoveries about how to scale up the fundraising, social ownership, and mapping platform to city-size.
The LOVELAND team has also developed two other products: Living in the Map: Detroit, which provides interactive city data and crowdfunded jobs, and LoveTax, which makes it easy to make and receive subscription payments. They have also developed 2 entertainment fundraising projects, Buy a Frame and Buy Watts, both of which crowdsource money to support Detroit-related projects.