I'm a Serial Backer - Here's Why!
Guest blog by serial backer Cara Pleym
I’m a young skint student with a passion for entrepreneurship. I stumbled across Bloom VC, and I was immediately drawn to the name because it was unique and interesting.
The concept of crowd funding was something I was vaguely aware of, but knew little about. I started looking at the ‘About’ section and was pleased to see a direct, honest explanation of what Bloom was about and what they were trying to do. It was so refreshing; very different to the never ending mission statements, and dry company facts which I am accustomed to.
Excited by the idea that anyone could help a business start-up or build a community project, I started looking at the projects available.
The first project which pulled me in was Polly’s, the founder of Cake Cetera, because she was only asking for a small amount of money and some of it was already promised, so clearly there was interest. The personal story and ambition sold me; how could I not support someone who was trying so hard and had created a positive future from a very negative event?
It’s strange now to think that while I might count pennies for a sandwich at lunch, I was more than happy to promise £50 to a business I had only just heard about. However Polly was very grateful and engaged with me throughout the project and kept me updated after her project closed successfully. I found this continued interaction was the real reason why I went on to support further projects – these were real businesses with real people trying to make their vision a reality, and I was a part of it.
I then browsed the site regularly, hoping to find that same connection with another project. I did, but not straight away. I had seen a project which was only looking for £450 for a camera; however I have no interest in photography so I passed it by. The tag ‘design’ kept nagging at me though, and out of pure curiosity I decided to take a proper look at the project. Oddly enough, it wasn’t what the project was trying to do, but who was trying to do it, that convinced me I should promise my money. I immediately connected with the project owner for being a student, who was also involved in not one but two business ventures, and I admired her honesty in what she wanted to achieve, and that she didn’t have her whole business mapped out yet.
Bloom VC continues to showcase projects that I am interested in, and despite my lack of funds (partly due to my promises!) I still support them by telling people about them in person and on Facebook and Twitter.
The reason I do this is because I feel I am part of a community now, and whether or not I can personally make a promise, I sincerely want them to succeed. However I will promise money when I have a spare quid, because every little is helping someone achieve their goal.
And the rewards? Merely an afterthought to my decision.