Three local businesses want ‘community support’ to fund projects
• New local online funding site helps entrepreneurs get started
Three local entrepreneurs want to grow support for their dreams. Each believes that with community support, they can garner the necessary dollars in fewer than 60 days, while keeping their businesses local.
Kryptonite Bar owner Chris Wachowiak’s latest venture, Entre Funding, gives entrepreneurs access to donor dollars to fund ideas through an easy-to-navigate online experience. The business-minded locals have added their projects to the crowd-source funding site, run through www.entrefunding.com, within the last 48 hours.
Using the all-or-nothing model, Nick Jupin of Designated Drivers of Illinois wants to set himself “apart from other transportation services that may only offer traditional transit services.” Kate Sullivan of Kate’s Pie Shop would like to focus on “old-school pie, baked fresh every day with local ingredients” at a local storefront or retail space in downtown Rockford. James Papke is for giving everyone a voice with a product he already has in stock and calls, “The Big Mouth,” a 32-inch-by-22-inch dry erase board meant for a variety of bulk-free, on-the-go uses.
“We really want this,” Sullivan said. “People always say, ‘We want you here.’ Well, let’s go. Let’s get started.”
The businesses have fewer than 60 days to reach respective goals of raising $2,000, $10,000 and $3,000, with supporters’ events being tied in to St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities at Kryptonite Bar, 308 W. State St., No. 110, in Rockford. The weekend will include a “pie night,” and the local business owners will be featured on a float alongside Wachowiak during the March 16 parade in efforts to raise awareness.
Laptops for on-site donations will be available at Kryptonite for immediate giving during the festivities. Karaoke and a DJ will be on site during one of the evenings as well.
“We want to be more than drivers, we want to educate,” said Jupin of Designated Drivers of Illinois. “We’re trying to raise at least $2,000 to get our nonprofit status. We (currently) operate primarily through sponsorships and can only accept in-kind donations.”
Donors and entrepreneurs alike create profiles, entrepreneurs entice dollars to be pledged to their ideas, and donors can give via PayPal at the support level of their choice. Participants are encouraged to offer unique perks for support and fully embrace social media tools to market themselves and their ideas. Each of the three has listed various “thank-yous” supporters will receive for their investment, from rides to baking sessions and product giveaways.
“There needed to be something for those of us already fighting the good fight, those that have the fortitude to come up with ideas and fund them in a nontraditional way,” Wachowiak said. “Give donors something creative and fun in return for their [support], and let them be a part of your dream.”
Should a project not meet its deadline for fund-raising, donors’ dollars are not charged, and the project is voided. EntreFunding launched softly in October. For more information, visit www.EntreFunding.com.
“It’s a win for everybody,” Sullivan said of EntreFunding.
From the March 6-12, 2013, issue
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