PledgeMe - New Zealand's first crowdfunding platform
Anna Guenther is the Chief Bubble Blower / Co-Founder of PledgeMe, New Zealand’s first crowdfunding platform. She has worked for the New Zealand Government, MIT, and completed her Masters in Entrepreneurship with a focus on crowdfunding.
In her day job, she focusses on building the crowdfunding community in New Zealand - and is constantly amazed by the creative people she gets to play with. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship, English literature, and coffee. Half American, half kiwi, she has travelled around the world for work – but always comes back to call New Zealand home. PledgeMe is about to hit the $2million pledged milestone, with over 400 community and creative projects having successfully met their goals.
A dynamic entrepreneur on a mission
By Jim Dearsly
Anna Guenther (pictured here with her school friend Paula Gentle, currently President of Wellington Rotaract) not only has a master’s degree in entrepeneurship, she is an entrepreneur. This attractive young woman, oozing vitality and enthusiasm, spoke to the Rotary Club of Plimmerton on 22 October about her new business based on the Internet for assisting others to achieve their goals. With Anna as a driving force, it is easy to see why the business has made such a good start.
Eighteen months ago, she and a partner launched the PledgeMe web-based platform to help groups or individuals raise money for a defined purpose. It works like this. Suppose our club wanted to raise $20,000 to send a local choir to some world event. We would post that project on the PledgeMe web platform setting the financial target and a specified date by which it had to be met. We would then seek donors to pledge money to PledgeMe using their credit cards. By using the PledgeMe site we gain a wider coverage and can continue posting more and updated detail on that site to encourage more donors to pledge support, and donors have security about their credit card details. If the target is met or exceeded within the time frame, the pledges are cashed and PledgeMe takes a management fee of 5%. If the target is not met, all the pledges are cancelled and there is no charge for the service. It is all or nothing. The platform also adds visibility and transparency to pledgers, so they can see real-time how much has been raised and who has pledged. It's also easier to share project requirements, and ask for help.
Anna told us of many success stories and that virtually half of the projects listed made the grade. So far they have helped raise $2 million in funding from their start-up in early 2012. They hope that will rise to $100 million in five years.
Anna has found a niche in the service market and has created a modern business from it. We wish her every success.
Inlet Clean-up: Angus Langbein instructed those clean-up helpers to Register at Brown’s Bay at 10.30am on Sunday 10 November. The BBQ will be in Brown’s Bay Park from 12 noon.
Te Ara Piko: The tender for the contract to build the bridge over Ration Creek and the extension of the Pathway to the Pauatahanui Village is due to be signed next week, with construction commencing in January 2014 and completion towards the end of March 2014.
The Book Fair: Gwyn Akeroyd needs helpers to move gear from Shed 40 to Shed 33 on Saturday 26 October from 10am. Phone Gwyn: 234 7116
Melbourne Cup Night and Casino Evening: Allan Nichols will hold a training session for croupiers on the Thursday before the event of 5 November 2013.
RYPEN: Donna Gemaries informed /reminded us of the Rotary Youth Programme for Enrichment. It is a programme for 14 to 17 year old young people who possess qualities of decency, sincerity, persistence and application which deserves further development. It is organised in District 9940 by the Rotary Club of Taihape and held at the Kawhatau Outdoor Education Centre near Taihape. The programme aims to challenge all participants in situations that develop Confidence, Leadership, Team co-operation, Physical limits, Social skills and Bush craft. A recent participant sponsored by our Rotary Club was Susannah Williams. She attended last night’s meeting with her parents, Tim & Glenys, and Aotea College Principal Kate Gainsford, and Assistant Principal Brad Williamson. Brad introduced Susannah and she proceeded to give a very accomplished presentation about her RYPEN experience, where she learnt communication, team work and was taken out of her comfort zone to the extent she will now take opportunities that come her way.