How Motif helped two 11-year-olds beat Ivy League MBAs in an investing contest

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Kickstarter and the Democratization Of Asking For Money

Several friends of mine have created Kickstarter to raise funds for their projects, and I have support them either by spreading the word and/or donating money. I have also consulted an artist who needed help with promotion for their Kickstarter. Recently celebrities like Zach Braff and Spike Lee have done so in order to fund films they want to make. They look to their fan base instead studios for support.

I am not sure if it is good for people who have the means and wealth to do a  Kickstarter. People may judge, but it has led to the democratization of crowdfunding.  Before Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo, raising money used to relegated to charitable nonprofits or for companies going public seeking capital.

The current rise in crowdfunding for business has yielded concerns about the accounting treatment of those funds. Is it a gift? Is it income?  It is unearned revenue?! Kickstarter used a reward based model of crowdfunding, where  the backer receives a form of reward which may be of little value, and can even be akin to a donation. However, the backers cannot deduct the donation unless the Kickstarter is created by a nonprofit with a (501)c3 status.

Recently I moved from Brooklyn to Atlanta, and I updated my setting on Kickstarter.  Curious about the local Atlantans who have projects on Kickstarters, I found five of interest. I love perusing the projects so now I know about some of the creative people who live near me.

Fimovate Day 2

Today I spoke with the founders of Credit Sesame, Impulse Save, Bolstr, Manilla, Tuition.io, Banno, Mortgage Harmony and eToro.

There are less personal financial management products than in previous years. I wish there were more small business/entrepreneur products that manage cash flow, do invoicing, and or profit/loss optimization. Bolstr looks like a killer app for small business crowdfunding.

Finovera

Finovera is a dashboard for personal finance. In particular, Finovera aggregates bills and facilitate on time bill payment. It sounds like an upgraded Manila, or a Tripit for bills. It also provides a way for users to store photos of important documents like passports and birth certificates which is something you can do with Evernote. I like the goal of Finovera but it seems that having too many capabilities can be overwhelming to users especially in the personal finance management space. The opposite is true when it comes to small business accounting/financial. The more functions that are available to a busy entrepreneurs in one solution, the better.

PreCash Presents Flip Money

Today at Finovate PreCash presented Flip Money. Flip Money is a mobile check deposit app where people can cash checks immediately and do free bill payments. Bill payments are expedited without fees. You don’t need a bank account. This is a great mobile app for the underbanked. The Flip Money app will first launch on Android.

Finovate

Finovate is happening today and tomorrow in New York. I have a press pass, and will be reporting on the financial tech startups and companies who will be presenting new apps and/or updating features of their websites.

Finovate is like TechCrunch Disrupt but it is focused on financial innovation. It’s a bit more buttoned-up than other tech demo events, but it’s important because these companies make money. Follow the hashtag #finovate to know what people are buzzing about. I have yet to finish my first cup of coffee so bear with me!