December 6, 2013
Josh Lucas, Jason Philips, and Tim Palko are creating ecosystems. Not the kind that you studied in elementary life science classes, but rather ecosystems that surround crowdfunding in order to get projects funded more often and to greater degrees.
Their platform, Crowdasaurus, builds white-label crowdfunding communities to highlight these projects where they can best be seen by the public. Crowdasaurus partners your project specifically with big companies, organizations, and nonprofits looking to get involved within their communities.
From there, these big-time partners can leverage the power of their already large social networks to get you the exposure you deserve, which ultimately leads to more funding. These relationships fostered by Crowdasaurus also provide the institutions an opportunity to engage potential new customers as the crowdfunding project goes through its normal cycle.
Crowdfunding might be one of the most popular mediums of fundraising these days, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfectly efficient. We were able to talk with Lucas about how Crowdasaurus is providing a fresh look at the booming industry.
Tech Cocktail: This is a pretty interesting twist on your normal crowdfunding platform. Where did you get the idea for Crowdasaurus?
Josh Lucas: Our [Lucas, Philips, Palko] collective genius and our pivot. Previously we had focused on the distribution of political ads, but as election season wound down we needed to find alternative sources of revenue.
We realized that every bit of content ever created on the Internet has been turned into digital marketing content. Why couldn’t that apply to crowdfunding?
Tech Cocktail: Who are some of the big-time partners you are working with?
Lucas: Currently the Pittsburgh Foundation, WQED – a local PBS affiliate, and C-Leveled – a regional incubator – are testing our value on a number of regional crowdfunding projects.
Tech Cocktail: And what value do you see in these regional markets?
Lucas: Well we have built a broad and generic crowdfunding platform, and we believe that regional markets can best support the many crowdfunding projects. To that end, we focus on building relationships between project creators in a particular region, and institutions that have a stake in seeing value in their success.
Tech Cocktail: Does that tie into your marketing approach at all?
Lucas: Yes, we’re marketing regionally and working closely with beta testing customers to refine our model before we scale. We are pretty well known because of our involvement in Alpha Lab and our charity work we perform out of our coworking space.
Tech Cocktail: Do you find any immediate benefit to housing Crowdasaurus in Pittsburgh?
Lucas: The cost of doing business is low, the community will fall on its sword for you, there is rich talent, and the blue-collar work ethic left over from our recent industrial past is inspiring. We love it.
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