2011 was the year that crowdfunding came of age, with Kickstarter leading the way, along with IndieGoGo and others, presenting an appealing idea: support an innovative new product, service, creative project, or cause, and in return get a reward depending on your level of money pledged. Though the models vary, they each provide effective incentive to get even the shiest of self promoters to get out there connecting with the world, creatively building awareness about what it is they’re up to.
In doing so, many entrepreneurs discover that their initial asks were modest, with outpourings of support offering a clear indication that they are on the path to solving a market need.
2012 sees the arrival of a compelling mix of crowdfunding and people’s desire to support local businesses with Lucky Ant. Being a local independent business owner has its rewards and satisfaction, but it also comes with many challenges, most of which cost money. With Lucky Ant, businesses will now have a platform to reach out to their customers, current and would-be, directly appealing to them for what they need, such as funds for trademarking and building improvements, while offering them compelling reward for having done so.
Not only does the business get its immediate needs met, it also stands to gain increased loyalty from its customers, increased business when people enjoy and share about their pledge reward, and, due to Lucky Ant’s practice of focusing on a single business a week, an uncluttered promotional spotlight.
Lucky Ant is one to watch in 2012 given its mix of support for local businesses with the increasingly mainstream practice of incentivized crowdfunding. The company is currently based in New York City, with plans to expand.
Readers: Check out how Lucky Ant works below, and let us know your thoughts on crowdfunding, the viability of Lucky Ant, and other crowdfunding/local business support initiatives that we should know about.
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.