The burgeoning crowdfunding industry is giving entrepreneurs more access to capital, but if spent foolishly, even unlimited amounts of money will not support a single successful business. Money paired with mentorship can turn ideas into growing businesses.
Springfield, Mo.-based CrowdIt, a crowdfunding portal which launches today, is building mentorship into its DNA. “To support success takes a lot more than just funding, or capital,” says co-founder and CEO Jason Graf. Many businesses fail, not for a lack of capital, but because the founder doesn’t have experience, Graf says. By combining crowdfunding with professional networking, CrowdIt wants to help more entrepreneurs launch startups and grow, says Graf.
As the crowdfunding industry has grown, so too has the number of platforms. In an increasingly competitive market, crowdfunding portals need to differentiate themselves. Interactive networking for entrepreneurs make CrowdIt different from many existing sites, says Graf.
CrowdIt joins several crowdfunding sites that combine funding with mentorship. For example, London-based portal Crowd Fund Magic offers networking with investors and mentors. New York City-based Pave.com allows young entrepreneurs to exchange funding from a group of backers for a portion of their future income for a period of time. backers donate time and expertise.