Localised Crowdfunding in Taipei. The Future of Finance?

Crowdfinancing will probably explode at some point this decade.

Best place to start this in Asia? I reckon HK or Taiwan.

I’m not rly interested in doing it myself, I have too many other things to do this summer.

But if anyone’s interested in solving the practical problems associated with Crowdfunding in Taipei, it’s worth a discussion.

I hope to do this in Mexico City one day.

You could run a local meta-portal through Indiegogo. Start up costs would be minimal… Maybe a few thousand dollars, excluding legal fees.

You just need a decent office in a cool part of town.

Any ideas?

Taiwan already has a good crowdfunding website akin to Kickstarter.

Western Internet trends tend to take a few years to catch on in Taiwan. Few people had Facebook when I got here in 2008, for example, and basically nobody had heard of Twitter. Online shopping wasn’t as popular as it is now, either.

On top of that, Taiwanese people tend to be conservative with business decisions, preferring stable, low-paying jobs to things like venture capital. If you wanted crowdfunding to succeed, you’d need to convince people that you’re not a swindler and they aren’t wasting their money – that may be a harder sell than you expect.

I think what it ultimately comes down to is what kind of product or service or organization you’re hoping to crowdsource. That will be what makes or breaks the possibility.

What’s it called?

There is also a lot of capital floating about in families and existing business people and people are reluctant to show too much of their plans before launch. I have seen dozens of examples of shareholders and employees arguing , splitting and forming competing companies. The business culture is really different here.

Overall I don’t see as much traction happening but the younger generation might get into it, I see it as valuable in terms of building buzz and street cred with hobbyists and niche markets.

Some excellent points here that I’ll save and think about.

Cheers for the feedback all…

What’s it called?[/quote]
flyingv.cc/

e27.co/2013/02/02/crowdfunding-i … -has-come/

flyingv.cc/

Flying V looks cool. I can’t read enough Chinese to see if lots of people are reaching their goals.

The main point is taking it off the net is establishing a street presence. That might go some way to providing accountability and trust.

Hmm, at least a few people are 50 per cent there.

Sad the press doesn’t get behind this more.

The Taipei post is OK, but it reads like they’re just typing up press releases from Western Media agencies half the time.

[quote=“headhonchoII”]There is also a lot of capital floating about in families and existing business people and people are reluctant to show too much of their plans before launch. I have seen dozens of examples of shareholders and employees arguing , splitting and forming competing companies. The business culture is really different here.

Overall I don’t see as much traction happening but the younger generation might get into it, I see it as valuable in terms of building buzz and street cred with hobbyists and niche markets.[/quote]

Competing companies is fine for the marketplace so no worries. It happens a lot in the west too.

Buzz and Street cred with hobbyists and street markets?

That’s what I was thinking. Have a platform that fundraises in the lower than 25,000NT range. Investors would have no huge capital worries.

Help out students with cool ideas, city allotment farmers, rural people who want to retool a small farm, food stall owners, artists, musicians, microbrewers, T-Shirt designers, small scale eco-projects etc. These are the people that make a city.

Leave the venture capital and tech crowd to their own games.

I’d prefer to make 4 per cent off 20 small projects than one big one.

As you gained trust and coverage you could gradually raise the upper limit.

Most of the big crowdfunding failures have come come from high profile million dollar raisers who couldn’t deliver what they promised.

Keep it small and cool.

[quote=“Hokwongwei”]Western Internet trends tend to take a few years to catch on in Taiwan. Few people had Facebook when I got here in 2008, for example, and basically nobody had heard of Twitter. Online shopping wasn’t as popular as it is now, either.

On top of that, Taiwanese people tend to be conservative with business decisions, preferring stable, low-paying jobs to things like venture capital. If you wanted crowdfunding to succeed, you’d need to convince people that you’re not a swindler and they aren’t wasting their money – that may be a harder sell than you expect.

I think what it ultimately comes down to is what kind of product or service or organization you’re hoping to crowdsource. That will be what makes or breaks the possibility.
[/quote]

Taiwan is slow to catch on to things + conservative. It has its +ve and -ve sides. They’re also slow to catch onto rampant crime, epidemic drug abuse, junk food and widespread dishonesty.

You could gain trust by having your photo and name high profile, teaming up with a respected local, making sure everyone had a photo, ID etc uploaded, keeping a presence in the high street…

The ‘convincing’ ultimately comes down to the fundraisers on your site. Are the students and artists going to deliver what they promised? My 20 month experience of these people tells me they place a high value on keeping their word. Maybe you guys have some horror stories, but I rate TW over most of Asia, the US and Europe.

By keeping it grassroots and cute you avoid a lot of trust problems.

I doubt anyone would want to skip out on the island or their hometown for 25,000NT, or even 100K.

On the fundraising side 25K could mean 50 people throwing in 500NT apiece.

Compare the minor issues here in TW with setting up in Shanghai or the mainland. There you have no real ID’s, trace-ability or legal infrastructure.

I heard so many rip-off stories in HK and Shenzhen.

Other than the rewards, you don’t get anything in return for supporting a crowdfunding project. So not really sure what point you are making.

Related to what you might be talking about: back in the 80s and 90s it was common for groups to pool money for investment. Each person would contribute the same amount each month, and each month a different person could borrow the whole lot. Too many people ran off to China so the schemes lost popularity.

Crowd funding was pretty much invented by Chinese, in that case they were families and whole villages.
Why would anybody need 25k or 100k for crowd investing in a project in Taiwan, people will just give you that in one go, loads of wealthy people here.

If you put an idea in public here be prepared for it to be done before you have done it yourself, unless its a crap idea :slight_smile:.

That’s called a 標會. Wiki has an English page for this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotating_S … ssociation

But I’m too lazy to read it and see if it’s right.

Now back to work (on a Sunday)

double post. deleted

Crowd funding was pretty much invented by Chinese, in that case they were families and whole villages.

— Yup its not a new thing. The net just makes it formal and easier.

Why would anybody need 25k or 100k for crowd investing in a project in Taiwan, people will just give you that in one go, loads of wealthy people here.

— Sure, but crowdfunding it makes it easier. At the 25k to 100k level you can get a lot done. Plus with one investor you have to deal with dilution and control issues.

If you put an idea in public here be prepared for it to be done before you have done it yourself, unless its a crap idea :slight_smile:.

— All my ideas are crap. There’s the safety valve.

— There’s a grey area where you can do presales of prototypes and albums. So there can be tangible rewards.
— Some governments are opening up the investment sector and making crowdinvesting easier. See the JOBS act in the US.
— Crowdinvesting is on the way over the next few years.

— I’m sure there’s a lot of dodgy stuff going on, and tons of mistrust. I guess my point is it’s not worth running off to China for 25-100K. Having your photo, name and business on the website pitch makes it a lot harder to mess around like that. Last I heard, Kickstarter had very few people who didn’t deliver.

This is not really a get rich quick scam, just an interesting financial tool for the future.

Maybe it is easy to get investment here, but its not like the streets are paved with gold. A platform at the micro-level would help a lot of people I’ve met.

I’m just turning over ideas. Thanks for bringing up a lot of the hidden pitfalls.

— There’s a grey area where you can do presales of prototypes and albums. So there can be tangible rewards. [/quote]

True. There was a Kickstarter project that sold T-shirts and raised US$50,000 I think.

[quote]
— I’m sure there’s a lot of dodgy stuff going on, and tons of mistrust. I guess my point is it’s not worth running off to China for 25-100K. Having your photo, name and business on the website pitch makes it a lot harder to mess around like that. Last I heard, Kickstarter had very few people who didn’t deliver.[/quote]

It’s too much work to bother unless you are legitimate. I’m in the process of doing a trailer now. It’s hard.

No problem.

I’m working on some business areas now. There’s no way Id post it to kickstarter because I would just get ripped off at this stage and the money is too small to be publicizing your business strategy openly. Well I could look at it for some side project I guess if it was useful in getting some potential foreign customers or network on board. Also maybe for a project I wouldn’t bother with otherwise, but I also heard of people getting sued by US investors for not delivering on their promises.

18 months after the OP, crowdfunding is doing very well in Taiwan:

https://www.flyingv.cc/

NOTE: It was doing OK back in summer 2013, but ppl are raising a lot more cash right now.

It’s interesting to see just how mainstream this has become since your first post. I’ve supported a number of projects both cultural and mechanical. The latest was a brilliant coffee hand grinder. And this is one reason crowdfunding is taking off: because designers/innovators are offering really cool stuff to supporters at a big discount on what it will cost when they retail it.

For cultural projects I usually ask “Do I want to see this made?” and “How likely will it be made without private support?” If they are offering something cool then all the better.

There was a good podcast on the link between kickstarter and Shenzhen on Theory Of Everything.