Hello everyone! I want to start by saying that we have successfully launched our crowdfunding campaign and it has been going very well so far, we have already obtained 2.547 euros! But this is only the beginning and we still have a long way to go, so we invite everyone to collaborate with our project! (Click here to help us!)
As many of you may already know, getting funds is extremely complicated, especially when regarding independent science projects. So even when we had the support of our university and the CRG, we needed other ways to get financed. Finding sponsors is extremely difficult, more so if you have not gone into this path before. When we started this blog we both wanted to share with you our experience in this road to iGEM and be useful to other future iGEM teams, so they could learn from our experience. Here you have a couple of pieces of advice on funding:
- If you are a new team (being the first ever has to have some inconveniences) plan your sponsoring strategy in advance. Businesses usually close their sponsoring budget a year in advance, so be fast. As soon as you are able to present a solid proposal start looking for and getting in touch with your list of possible collaborators. Don’t wait too long or you may find that even when they want to help you, they won’t be able to.
- Create a sponsorship brochure and spend some extra time on creating a good website (Do not wait for the teams wikis). Looking professional is extremely valuable and anything you can do to seem so will be greatly rewarding.
- When writing emails try to personalize them as much as you are able to. Show the company why you want to collaborate with them and always state what you can do for them. It is recommendable that what you ask for in your first email is the opportunity to better explain your project to them.
- Have a spokesperson, someone which always gives the presentations or another one that always gets in touch with the media or sponsors. Giving the impression of having a solid team behind your project is key.
However, getting sponsors is not your only option and increasingly many iGEM teams are starting crowdfunding campaigns. In most of the cases, as it is ours, this is not only about money. We firmly believe in our project and creating a community of people around it, which is as passionate with your idea as you are, and being able to feel their support and share your journey with them, is a great experience. We want to get people involved with us and make them feel like this is also a part theirs. Crowdfunding is something that really suited us, since we also knew that we had a great support network around us that wanted to help. As before, some tips about crowdfunding:
- Look for the platform that suits your project the best, a more known platform doesn’t mean the best platform for you. We chose Goteo because we loved the kind of projects they hosted in their platform and the philosophy they have. We explored different options and thought this could be the perfect match. Since then, we have been proven right, they were extremely helpful and gave us personalized attention, reviewing our campaign in detail and giving us incredible insights
- Regarding the rewards, do things you would like to receive, but also be thoughtful. Prepare a precise budget where you take everything into account, keep it close to your overall project budget. Every last euro should be justified!
- Have a diffusion campaign planned in advance. Try to contact as many media platforms as possible. Have something prepared and be persistent, don’t stop even when it seems like you have gotten traction, the campaign is long and you should be present all throughout.
We will keep you posted with our campaign and its advancements, and hopefully bring you soon some more tips for other steps this iGEM experience of ours!