Though it’s a tough time to own a small business, allegiances to local communities
have never been stronger. Lucky Ant wants to garner the power of localized crowdsourcing to empower people to invest in their own neighborhoods
. Every week, the organization alerts its members to a new potential project in their respective locale. Anyone can chip in, but, like with Kickstarter, the money is collected only if the initiative reaches its pledge goal. Those who contribute receive perks and rewards from the business they support, making them resident VIPs. Currently available to New Yorkers
only, Lucky Ant is expected to crawl into more cities soon.
A startup’s biggest challenge can be engaging a mass audience, but with a social media power player behind it, that may be less of a hurdle. Wahooly, which has been described as a combination of Klout
and Kickstarter, offers social media influencers equity in startups
in exchange for their authentic promotion. After choosing which startups they want to support, members can monitor the success of their marketing efforts on the site. It’s a win-win for both parties, as the startup receives long-term brand advocacy and the promoter earns stake in a company they believe in. (Too bad Wahooly didn’t launch simultaneously with Twitter.)
How did an OWS commercial make it from YouTube
? Through LoudSauce, a program that crowdsources media buys
as opposed to projects. LoudSauce’s aspiration is to transform advertising from a medium that promotes consumption to one that fuels civic participation through its pioneering social ad buying market. The general premise is that niche communities will be able to see ads for brands and causes they believe in via TV, billboards and more. In addition to the OWS ad, a number of other zealously supported cause-based efforts, such as The Story of Stuff
, have benefitted from the platform.