Is crowdfunding the new tech bubble? Or just a good old-fashioned junk bond?

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Is crowdfunding the new tech bubble? Or just a good old-fashioned junk bond?

Investors, by definition, want a return on their money. If crowdfunding truly expands beyond the hobbyist market, it will only be because a consistent percentage of issuers actually create incredible value for their shareholders. But how likely is that to happen?
On average, about 80 per cent of business startups fail. Even successful companies have a success rate of about 15 per cent on new product ideas. More often than not, new business initiatives just don’t work out the way that we want them to.
Crowdfunding is an exciting new wrinkle in innovation funding. But it won’t change the rules of the marketplace: investors expect value for their money. Nothing comes free. The more expectations you create, the more your crowds will expect you to deliver. You’re the custodian of the hopes and dreams and expectations of people whose motivations you don’t know. You have an obligation to keep them in the loop – and can only hope to keep them happy.

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via theglobeandmail.com

Philanthropy for Hackers

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Philanthropy for Hackers

They are intensely idealistic, so as they begin to confront the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems. No one knows exactly how much money is stored within these largely antiquated institutions, which are the tax-exempt vehicles of private foundations and endowments. An additional $300 billion a year is given to private foundations and public charities, which offer little in the way of transparency or accountability. While philanthropists like to talk about impact, they seldom have the tools to measure it. The techno-utopianism of hackers has already transformed our lives. But the greatest contribution that hackers make to society may be yet to come—if we are willing to retain the intellectual and creative spirit that got us this far.

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via wsj.com

How You Can Earn 3% By Helping A Woman In Ethiopia Buy A Cow

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How You Can Earn 3% By Helping A Woman In Ethiopia Buy A Cow

Instead of blithely investing in stocks and bonds on the one hand and then donating money you’ll never see again to good causes on the other, merge the two ideas. Invest in communities and social entrepreneurs to create positive change in the world and earn a return while you’re at it. An impact investor might help a woman in Ethiopia buy a cow, an entrepreneur make portable breast cancer screening devices or a woman in Illinois create local jobs by expanding her daycare center. Then, the idea is, you’d get your money back and then some.

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via forbes.com

How One Ex Corporate Executive is Tackling the Major Problem of Food Waste

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How One Ex Corporate Executive is Tackling the Major Problem of Food Waste

Tessa Cook is a co-founder of new food exchange startup OLIO, an app that allows people to share excess food and tackle the increasingly troubling issue of food waste. Once the MD of Ecommerce at Dyson, Tessa was moving country. She describes dashing wildly around Geneva, trying to find a way she could offload all of her uneaten food without throwing it away. Remembering how she could not bear the thought of throwing away perfectly edible food, Tessa was inspired to create an app that would enable people to swap their surplus food and make a real dent in the food waste issue.

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via simpleweb.co.uk

More M&A in Philanthrophy: GoFundMe Founders to Reap a Fortune in Buyout

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More M&A in Philanthrophy: GoFundMe Founders to Reap a Fortune in Buyout

GoFundMe is profitable and has made roughly $60 million in total revenue over the five years since the site launched. Its members now raise about $100 million in donations per month. “I think we can become the giving layer of the Internet,” Solomon said. “In North America alone, nonprofits are a $300 billion-a-year industry. There’s a lot of fat in there. If we do our jobs well, we can remove friction as it relates to giving.” The deal, which is expected to close within two weeks, will value the San Diego company at around $600 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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via blogs.wsj.com