What happens when you combine an accelerator programme with a crowdfunding site? We are about to find out with the beta launch of Crowdtivate by StarHub that took place yesterday at the 2014 Crowdsourcing Week Global conference in Singapore.
Crowdtivate is an open platform for entrepreneurs and artists to obtain financial contributions from supporters around the region via a funding system in return for specific rewards. Projects must be related to arts, books, films, technology or assistive technology.
Crucially, it doesn’t end there. Crowdtivate intends to provide mentoring to create successful campaigns, with options for support in business incubation and regional outreach for startups. Regional outreach is especially important for hardware firms in Asia, as startups involved in that space need help to work together with manufacturers and create distribution channels in the region.
Pak Lum Mock, CTO, StarHub, gave a candid assessment about the nature of telcos, “As telcos, we are dinosaurs… we don’t have the deep pockets like Facebook to throw billions of dollars at WhatsApp. If we have a platform to encourage people to put their ideas on, and if enough people vote for the idea, then the idea can probably be good for us.”
While it may be true that StarHub is a dinosaur, it is a dinosaur with much more resources than existing crowdfunding sites. Hence, the telco can afford to throw its weight around in the region until more company-backed crowdfunding sites arrive. This arrangement benefits StarHub in the long-term as successfully funded startups will no doubt have to contribute to the telco in an equitable way, either in revenue or shares.
Crowdtivate is co-managed by StarHub and its partner Crowdonomic, crowd-powered technology solutions and strategic advisory firm based in Singapore. Crowdtivate will be open in May 2014 to supporters and backers to browse, view and fund projects they are interested in. Interested parties can visit can request for an invitation code to enter the platform.