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Monday, 30 July 2012

Open Innovation Project to Sponsor Somerset Business Awards

Businesses form the county of Somerset will be competing in this year's Somerset Business Awards. The awards organised by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce recognizes the success of local businesses who have shown extensive profitability, growth and innovation. Businesses compete for a variety of awards sponsored by local businesses and this year will the see the return of the Collaborative Innovation Award sponsored by the Open Innovation Project. 



The Somerset Business Awards is an annual event aimed at acknowledging the achievements of local businesses. The event, currently in its eighth year recognizes the successes of businesses across the country helping to raise their profile and encouraging the growth of local start-ups. There are numerous categories for the Awards and competing  businesses can enter as many categories as they like. The event is organised by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, a leading business support group for businesses and entrepreneurs within the county. The organisation works in partnership with other groups to help offer support and guidance to established and up & coming businesses within the county. 

With the advent of Web2.0 and crowdsourcing, businesses will be able to fight for recognition of their collaborative practices with the Collaborative Innovation Award. Sponsoring the award is the Open Innovation Project a partnership between Plymouth University, Somerset County Council and the Somerset Chamber of Commerce. The aim of the word is to recognize and promote the best practice and benefits of collaboration. The project is also aims to increase innovation level within the country hoping to improve Somerset economic prosperity.
We will be looking for two or more companies collaborating innovatively and demonstrating mutual benefits, including factors such as one or more of the firms introducing innovation to their business, a new or different way of working, an organisation with increased revenue or reduced costs thanks to collaboration, or a business that can provide evidence of where collaboration is a key part of how the organisation will operate in the future. - Roger Hall, Plymouth University
The Somerset Business Awards are open to any business type of any size. Applicants can submit to be considered for as many categories as they like. These include New Business of the Year, Energy Efficiency and Skills for Growth. Those applicants that are looking to enter for multiple categories will need to submit separate applications to meet the individual criteria. The awards will be presented at a black tie event to be held on 16th November 2012. For more information and to submit an application click here to visit the site.

Image Credits; Plastered T-Shirts

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Crowdfunding Helps with Community Affected by Aurora Shootings

After  hearing reports of the shootings at a cinema in Aurora Colorado, two local entrepreneurs set up a crowdfunding campaign for a relief fund. Roger Toennis and Alex Montoya approached chose the platform START.ac to help raise funds to help victims' families and survivors recover from a devastating attack that shocked a nation and the world. 


On Friday 20th July 2012 a gunman walked into Century Cinema in Aurora Colorado, during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The gunman opened fire killing 12 people and leaving 50 others seriously injured. Since then police arrested 24 year old James Holmes and has appeared in court accused of the shootings. As the authorities begin to build their case against Holmes and other begin the debate on revising gun control legislation, those affected try to come terms with aftermath. For Toennis and Montoya the crowdfunding campaign is one close to home since they are both residents with Montoya having been raise not far from the cinema where the shootings occurred. 

The Aurora Relief Fund aims to raise $20,000 within 60 days. The funds will be used to help with the cost of medical and travel expenses for survivors, as well as the cost of of building memorials. With the exception of processing fees, all funds raised will go to the community affected and START.ac will not be taking their usual percentage. 
"I am happy to help raise money for such a good cause. I hope that this effort helps the injured, and the families of those who were taken. Our team members were some of the project's first supporters." - Rod Turner, Co-founder and CEO START.ac
START.ac was launched in May 2012 with the goal of changing the face of crowdfunding by blending commercial projects with altruistic campaigns. The Aurora Relief Fund is part of the revolutionary changes START.ac looked to bring about. For more information and make a donation click here to visit the Aurora Relief Fund campaign page.

Image Credits; Beverly & Pack

Monday, 23 July 2012

Latest FundaGeek Portal Focuses on The Community

FundaGeek, the technology and scientific specialist crowdfunding platform has launched its latest portal this time helping fund community projects. The Community Support Funding Portal is aimed at helping projects that normally rely on government funding schemes securing much needed funding. Whether it be environmental programs, construction, or leisure and education, crowdfunding can serve as a viable alternative to government funding as well as a more effective means to generate much needed awareness.



The portal is open to a variety of community projects from whole communities, special groups and even individuals. Libraries and museums can use the portal as well as benevolent funds to help disaster victims and protest groups. The portal works like any other crowdfunding model with a call for funding being posted, with a funding target, offering rewards in exchange for donations. Like other portals within the FundaGeek  platform supporting non-profit altruistic projects, the Community Support Portal does not employ the all or nothing model, allowing projects to keep any funds raised at the end of the campaign. 

At a time when austerity measures are being imposed by local and national governments schools, colleges, educational resources and support organisations struggle to keep vital services afloat. FundaGeek's Community Support Portal offers another lifeline for to prosperity. For more information and to submit click here to visit the portal. 

Image Credits; Parker Yo

Monday, 16 July 2012

Crowdfunding Project Enables Supporters to be Published Writers

There are many considerations to a successful crowdfunding campaign, the most important being the quality of the rewards on offer. For his latest literary project, Canadian writer and film maker Daniel Perlimutter has launched Unwritten Masterpiece, in which the reward for making a donation invites supporters to get involved in writing the novel. Depending on the amount pledged, supporters can suggest an object to to be featured or even determine how the book ends. 
Third from left Daniel Perlmutter
Based in Toronto, Perlmutter is predominantly an independent film maker, his most prominent work being the 2010 feature-length comedy Peeperswhich he co-wrote. He has since co-founded Automatic Vaudeville, a film studio through which he has released a number of short film. Perlmutter was recently the recipient of the Governor-General’s mentorship award, pairing him with comedian and American Pie star Eugene Levy. The details of the novel for Unwritten Masterpiece are not known since much of the core elements of the book will be determined by the donating crowd. The project offers anyone who always aspired to publish instead of perish to make a contribution that could be stocked in bookshops and e-book sites. It is also a prime example of the collaborative nature of crowdsourcing, essentially allowing donors to be more than just a passive financial supporter.

"I think crowdsourcing is incredible. I think it makes so much sense being able to really cut out any middle man and just have a direct relationship between an audience and a creator. It’s a fantastic thing. - Daniel Perlmutter"

The campaign featuring on IndieGoGo is looking to raise $6,000 within 30 days to cover essential costs including hiring an editor & designer as well publishing and marketing expenses. Anyone who makes a donation can contribute to the novel depending on how much is pledged. For as little as $15 supporters can choose an object to be featured in the story but for those looking to have more of an influence (and with the money to spare) can donate $1,000 to determine how the story will end.

Other features that supporters can contribute to include, a key plot point, write a sentence, name a location or even the novel's title, although there are only a limited number of such rewards. Any contributions should not infringe copyright nor contain any derogatory and offensive material. For more information click here to visit the project's funding page.

Image Credit;
Canadian Film Centre