Supporting you to equity crowdfunding success on Europe's leading platforms
It all began with two men sat at a kitchen table. Marek Belski and Alan Davis were talking about various potential ideas for businesses, when the topic turned to Kickstarter. “Having both used the site, we understood the power of crowdfunding,” says Alan, “but could also see that users, including us, were frustrated by the lack of accountability. Too often, the product they received didn’t turn out the way it had been described during the funding phase. We wanted to develop a platform that still capitalized on the crowdfunding, but offered a more accountable process.”
Their answer was weBounty, an innovative, new crowdfunding platform. On weBounty, funds are used as a reward (or ‘bounty’) rather than as proactive financing. If you want something done, you can post your bounty on the site as a reward for someone to carry out the task. If other users support your idea, they can pledge add to the reward to help it climb higher and higher. When somebody completes a bounty, they receive the money pledged once they have provided sufficient evidence to the backers.
Marek and Alan first met at a gaming company in 2009. After a year there, they both went in separate directions. Whilst Alan worked at Wimdu before spending three years at Yelp, Marek learned more about the world of startups at Course Hero. “Working at Course Hero was the most informative experience I had about building a business and being an entrepreneur,” says Marek. “Beyond developing the products, I helped in scaling the team as it doubled in size year after year. I also learned how decisions needed to be made in order to make sure we were working on the right features. Our work was validated by roughly 100% growth year after year for the almost 4 years I was there”.
Both men have drawn on their experiences in building weBounty. Starting with the logo, Marek and Alan then worked on making their ideas and ambitions more concrete. From there, Marek got to work on coding, whilst Alan worked on the supporting systems. Marek says, “Now I have a one track mind to build weBounty into a successful product, using all the experience and connections I have to get us there”. With one of the top trending squares on IdeaSquares and a Kickstarter set to launch soon, weBounty is set to grow quickly during 2015.
Reflecting on their experiences, the two men have learned a lot. They both agree that hiring the right people is essential. “Building the right team is more critical than building the right product the first to nth time around,” says Marek. “Having the energy and the people that can pivot when necessary is crucial. A strong company culture will hold people together longer than anything else in my experience”. Meanwhile, Alan recommends that budding entrepreneurs read widely to help them to avoid mistakes. “Not just articles, but legitimate books. Lots of them”, he says. “Don’t take any one book as the answer to everything. They are all just perspectives, but they can save you from making a ton of mistakes”.