MonsoonFund brings crowdfunding platform to Tucson startups
Tucson startups now have a crowdfunding platform to call their own. MonsoonFund helps small businesses in the city raise early stage funding while giving the added opportunity to expand their network of supporters.
It was created by the team at Startup Tucson, a premiere entrepreneurship development organization. Chairman and Founder Justin Williams said their platform can be seen as a first-step for early-stage companies who are looking to eventually take their campaigns to larger platforms like Kickstarter.
“I think a lot of people make the mistake of going to Kickstarter thinking ‘Because I’m putting something on Kickstarter, that means the world is going to start paying me.’”
He explained that these larger platforms tend to aggregate a company’s already established network so it can be a problem for those who don’t have much of a network to begin with.
And that’s how Tucson’s supportive entrepreneurial scene is being put to use through MonsoonFund.
“It serves the purpose of raising seed funding for costs…but it can also raise their local profile among a community that has invested interest in their success because their success benefits the community,” Williams said of the exposure to early-stage startups.
When asked what were some of the biggest obstacles facing Tucson startups, Williams said that the problem is two-fold: finding talent and raising money.
“These two things are interrelated. You need the skills, and you need the funding to hire the skill,” he said.
“If you’re lucky you can pair up early, and we’ve got programs around pairing people with ideas and talents to help build them, but this is just another tool in that kit,” he said of MonsoonFund.
At the moment, MonsoonFund is not taking any profit from campaigns but is considering monetization options down the road.
“Our goal isn’t to turn this into a tremendous profit center as it is to build a resource for the community. We may look over time at strategies that allow us to generate enough proceed especially on projects that hit a certain threshold,” Williams said.
There are currently 12 active campaigns on the site with varying pledged goals reaching up to $2,000. One company, BOOMA, which provides a community for readers and book mappers, has already reached their $750 goal with 15 days left to go.
Startup Tucson is committed to creating a robust community for the city, covering a wide variety of needs for entrepreneurs, talent and businesses. They organize educational events like hackathons and workshops along with networking events like Startup Drinks and Co-Founder Speed Dating.
MonsoonFund is currently in a beta launch, and the team is working on version two of the software platform.
To read more AZ Tech Beat coverage about Startup Tucson click here.
Graphics provided by Justin Williams