Crowdfunding a Software Competition

Funding the scholarship prizes for a software competition is difficult. I learned this the hard way. Most companies do not appreciate the value of software competition, nor the worthiness of scholarships. Or perhaps they just don’t recognize you as a legitimate organization (you’re small potatoes). Maybe they’re already overly committed to other altruistic endeavours. Quite possibly, the companies are struggling in a weakened economy and are not feeling generous. Whatever the reason, I found that squeezing money from them was harder than squeezing blood from a stone.

So I decided to try my hand at crowdfunding, a recent global phenomenon. Kickstarter is the most popular crowdfunding site and was my choice to begin. (Kickstarter projects have a 44 per cent success rate, compared to Indiegogo’s 9 per cent rate.)

One of the key things I learned about crowdfunding is that you must provide an engaging video for potential backers to watch. This is the best way to visually capture your audience’s attention. To this end, I used the (free) service at Wideo.co. Rather like Twitter and its 140-character limit, it’s fun trying to fit your video message within the 44-second video length limit.

Another important consideration is whether you have sufficient street creds to pull off the project. My background, as shown here, demonstrates that I can deliver on ambitious altruistic endeavours.

The Smalltalk Renaissance Program, and the Canadian Smalltalk Competition to which this Kickstarter campaign applies, are an experiment in digital branding for a programming language. It makes heavy use of social media and crowdfunding as marketing tools.

So, without further ado, check out my Kickstarter campaign and let me know what you think…

my Kickstarter campaign

You can view all my “wideos” here.

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