MELINDA MOORE, CEO of Moore Media Ventures, has been a pioneer at the cutting edge of trends for the past fifteen years, working as a tech entrepreneur to help turn micro movements into macro trends, and helping others along the way.
In 2010, Moore and co-founder Justine Lassoff built LovingEco, a fashion and natural beauty site for conscious consumers, which Paul Mitchell founder John Paul DeJoria purchased within eighteen months of its launch.
Moore is also an advisor to Lassoff’s latest company LOVE GOODLY, which offers a subscription-based curated box of natural products, the most recent box curated by Alicia Silverstone to benefit Farm Sanctuary which is available now.
In 2012, Moore and Lassoff built the invite-only Tuesdaynights to inspire female entrepreneurs, founders, and executives to connect, collaborate, and give back to local causes by hosting events with distinguished speakers every other month.
Since 2013, Moore has worked on over 100 crowdfunding campaigns, both as CEO of Moore Media Ventures, as well as CMO of leading equity crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder. Some of the more notable large-scale equity crowdfunding and marketing campaigns include launching Yao Ming Family Wines (now the largest distributor of Napa Valley Wines in China), payment company Digitzs, producer Quincy Jones’s Playground Sessions, and most recently iConsumer, the cash rebate shopping site that offers consumers shares in the company as part of its loyalty program.
After years of legislative wrangling, the JOBS Act has paved the way for entrepreneurs to raise funds not just from accredited investors, but from everyday people as well. Analysts are predicting equity crowdfunding to unlock $50 billion of available capital by the year 2020. And as the world ramps up to embrace equity crowdfunding as a new way to raise growth capital, Moore is applying her years of entrepreneurial and marketing experience in the space into her new book, How to Raise Money: The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding which is available on Amazon Kindle direct publishing.
Moore learned while working earlier in the VC space with Sandy Climan at Entertainment Media Ventures that entrepreneurs, “Have a 1 in 2000 chance of being venture backed — you have a better chance of getting into Harvard than being venture backed! — and if you are a minority or women, you have an even harder chance. I wrote How to Raise Money: The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding to help people. I believe we’re in an era of idea abundance, ideas that can impact the world in positive ways.”
Says Moore, “Being an entrepreneur, I know how challenging it is to raise money. Many people have amazing ideas that should be funded, so I have embraced the power of alternative finance or crowdfunding to help people raise capital. There are great challenges [to raising money] within VC and traditional banks, but now you have the ability to bring your story, your idea to the world, and allow people who are also passionate about what you do to invest and help bring your idea to life.”
The book, which focuses on both reward and equity-based crowdfunding, lays out the mechanics around making a decision for a crowdfunding campaign and helps readers understand how to run a successful campaign. It also includes a valuable list of resources for entrepreneurs, which includes the leading equity and rewards platforms, marketing agencies, lawyers, crowdfunding news sources, and more.
“There’s a lot of information out there, but it’s spread across so many places (blogs, crowdfunding platforms, news sites, etc.) — I was getting a lot of the same questions regarding crowdfunding and knew that education is critically important to move the industry forward,” so Moore uses the book as the ultimate guide to explain rewards and equity crowdfunding, and how to build and execute a successful campaign.
As we talk further of the process, Moore stresses that as an entrepreneur, “You need to have a strong vision and mission, and it should solve a real problem in the marketplace, then ideally you have some business traction — the product or service you have is tested, and people want your product or service.”
In addition to vision, a mission, and traction, Moore notes being able to tell a good story draws support. “Storytelling is critically important for entrepreneurs — you need to quickly be able to tell a why you created this, the backstory, why you’re the best CEO or founder to execute this vision and to powerfully connect with people at an emotional level so that people want to back your company.”
And more than anything, entrepreneurs must have a solid plan in place to get investor distribution for their campaign in order to achieve a successful raise. “A lot of entrepreneurs have this Field of Dreams phenomenon [if you build it they will come], like, ‘Okay, we’re are going to put up a profile on AngelList or Indiegogo, and then investors are just going to automatically flock to my idea because it’s so hot and the greatest idea ever.’ That’s one of the biggest mistakes people make — they just put up their campaign and think that investors are going to flock without building an integrated marketing plan or understanding the psychology of the crowd.
“That may have worked in the movie Field of Dreams, but it does not work in crowdfunding. It takes months of preparation; you have to have mailing lists, or qualified fans that you are driving to a specific deal page where they can learn more and invest.” Moore continues, “Your deal is either gaining traction and it is hot or not. It’s very hard to generate interest in a deal that has no traction. It’s critically important to have a solid plan in place before you hit the GO button. You need to get about 33% of your raise in the first couple days to that others are attracted to the heat of your campaign and join in.”
“That takes planning including paid campaigns on multiple channels, ads on Facebook, influencer programs, blog outreach, PR, even TV appearances, the whole shebang — a fully integrated marketing campaign.”
In addition to insights from key figures in the space, including Darren Marble (CEO, CrowdfundX), Ryan Feit (CEO, SeedInvest), Ron Miller (CEO, StartEngine) the head of technology at Indiegogo, and Sam Guzik and Georgia Quinn (two of the top securities lawyers, well-versed on all the details of the JOBS Act and equity crowdfunding), the book also includes a resource guide that lists all the leading platforms, marketing and PR firms, lawyers, and auditors, with email addresses, to help readers connect with top names in the industry.
How to Raise Money: The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding, written by Melinda Moore, edited by Lori Kozlowski, with graphics by Erin Grover from Blak Box Group, is out now; you can purchase it here.