Crowdfunding event looks to draw crowd and take stock

It seems you can’t throw a brick these days without hitting someone who’s got something they’re trying to crowdfund. Well put your wallet in your front pocket because a throng of wannabe-crowdfunded-CEOs are about to overrun Auckland.

INITIATE, a one day event dedicated entirely to the crowdfunding phenomenon is scheduled to hit Auckland on the 27th of March 2015.

A quick look at the stats and it makes sense: More than $30M has been raised via crowdfunding in New Zealand to date, with half of that money raised in the past 12 months alone. Over $4 million of that has been raised through equity crowdfunding and the first one of those was only launched six months ago.

“Crowdfunding is attracting a huge amount of interest because it opens up huge opportunities, not only for dynamic entrepreneurs but also for people who want to make a difference by supporting projects and causes,” says event co-organizer Kat Jenkins. “The INITIATE Summit is a time to take stock of this phenomenon.”

Jenkins says the summit will look at how crowdfunding works and how it’s being used for business, sporting ventures and social causes, and will take stock of the emerging areas of equity crowdfunding and peer to peer lending.

Scheduled panelists for the one day event include:

• Josh Daniell of equity platform Snowball Effect, which has raised $3.5M in equity for companies since it launched last year.

• Will Stewart, equity crowdfunding champion at PledgeMe, New Zealand’s only crowdfunding platform that caters to both equity and rewards-based campaigns.

• Duncan Goss, Head of Institutional Funding at Auckland firm, Harmoney, New Zealand’s first peer-to-peer crowd-lending platform.

• Lynne Le Gros, General Manager of the Spark Foundation who runs Givealittle, which supports cause based funding and has raised over $20M to date.

• Simon Bowden, Executive Director of the Arts Foundation, who run Boosted, which raises funds for the arts.

The event takes place in Auckland on the 27th of March 2015.