Big Ideas: “A crowdfunding platform with built-in backers”with CEO Bernardo Pereira

Ambition is good; humility is far better. We are but dust and ashes. Here one day and gone the next so we should all bend the knee and ask for wisdom daily. Hopefully, we would have left this world a bit better off than we found it. As a part of my series about “Ideas That […]

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Ambition is good; humility is far better. We are but dust and ashes. Here one day and gone the next so we should all bend the knee and ask for wisdom daily. Hopefully, we would have left this world a bit better off than we found it.

As a part of my series about “Ideas That Can Change The World In The Next Few Years.” I had the pleasure of interviewing Bernardo Pereira, Founder and CEO of Crowdfunding Bum, LLC. Bernardo, a solo entrepreneur and visionary, founded the Crowdfunding Bum, a crowdfunding platform in April 2016. The inspiration came when Bernardo identified an overlooked funding resource for crowdfunders — the Campaigners- and developed an entire crowdfunding platform around this new source.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

In late 2015, I was running errands. I had just dropped off my wife at the pharmacy, and while parking my car, I overheard two gentlemen leaving a convenience store and discussing Kickstarter. One friend was trying to convince the other to try and seek funding from Kickstarter. The passion and intensity of his argument struck me. Later that evening, I researched Kickstarter and the trending phenomenon known as crowdfunding.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Maybe not the most interesting, more like a red-face story. After researching Kickstarter, I knew crowdfunding was going to be big, and I wanted to be part of this trend. I didn’t know exactly how, but I knew I should secure a domain name before all the good names were taken. So after about an hour and a half of domain taking attempts, I entered the search query Bingo! A keyword rich domain. (Little did I know at the time that many consider the word Bum to refer to a persons’ rear end and not a Panhandler. Go figure.)

Can you tell us about your “ Idea That Can Change The World”?

We have developed a mechanism in our crowdfunding platform that automatically funds our clients’ campaigns. Yes, the only crowdfunding platform of its kind with built-in backers.

This low tech, but powerful business model has the potential of solving the number one impediment campaigners face today: donation momentum.

Here’s how it works:

When a new member creates a campaign on our platform, they will be prompted to select an existing member that will receive 3% of all funds raised. In turn, the Campaigner can now potentially receive 3% of unsolicited funding seeds from subsequent new members. Our approach is to give our clients the opportunity to become both a donor and a recipient without incurring out of pocket cost.

How do you think this will change the world?

We know crowdfunding will change the world, but promoting a campaign and getting heard has become increasingly more difficult. You’re pretty much required to become a social media expert or influencer to rise above the noise and get funded.

Most startup founders and innovators are trying to get the crowd’s attention but failing miserably.

The current solution is to hire a crowdfunding agency, but that would set you back about $50,000 or upwards of $100,000. If you have that kind of money laying around, why are you seeking the crowd?

We feel we have a better, more elegant solution that will level the playing field.

Keeping “ Black Mirror “ and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?

Because crowdfunding is built on trust, it’s ripe for fraud. We believe our crowdfunding platform addresses this issue by requiring campaigners to pay-it-forward by donating a small percentage of what they have raised to a community member’s campaign. We reason that no self-respecting scammer would donate, it’s not in their nature.

Furthermore, Crowdfunding Bum has recently implemented a “backers reward receipt policy.” More on this topic can be found in our terms of use or FAQ page of our website.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?

More like a pivot point than a tipping point. The prior Crowdfunding Bum concept to donate first before a campaign could go live failed to garner much interest. It was not because the campaign creators didn’t want to do the right thing or benefit from being on the receiving end of those funds, but it was too much to ask for at the onset of the campaign process, sort of like equity crowdfunding. So I tweaked my website donation model by requiring the 3% mandatory donation post rather than pre-campaign. Hence, no out of pocket cost for the campaigner.

What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?

Campaigns! Currently, we only have a handful of campaigns, but with the help of media journalists such as yourself and your readership that can begin to change. Creating a project is easy, and if you already have an active campaign on another platform, you could simply create a sister campaign on our platform. Too busy? No problem! We know how busy startup entrepreneurs are and we want to help. We offer free campaign pitch setup and write up via our expert writers!

Moreover, we’re seeking corporate sponsors and additional sources of funding so that we can provide more staff and tools for our crowdfunding platform, and conduct more outreach that inspires others to start new crowdfunding campaigns and increase their chances of success.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? ​(Please share a story or example for each.)

Birthing an idea will at times:
1. Consume you: You must prepare yourself for many long and sleepless nights.
2. Break your heart: Things will not turn out as you planned. You could get ripped off without the financial resources to recover quickly.
3. Isolate you from your loved ones: Those closest to you may feel that your so-called obsession has driven them away. 
4. Make you doubt yourself: Is it even worth it? No one seems to care. Will this ever take off?
5. Neglect your spiritual obligations: Your time is stretched so thin that at times you forget to pray and fall asleep.

The future of work is a common theme. What can one do to “future proof” their career?

Dare to think outside the box.

Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?

Mark 8:36

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul?”

Ambition is good; humility is far better. We are but dust and ashes. Here one day and gone the next so we should all bend the knee and ask for wisdom daily. Hopefully, we would have left this world a bit better off than we found it.

Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might see this if we tag them 🙂

This ain’t no typical cookie-cutter crowdfunding platform. There’s meat on these bones. Visit our LinkedIn page where you can download our pitch decks, income projection, SWOT analysis, etc.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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