Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Maine Grains launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign today. We are very excited.
I find Kickstarter fascinating. For those who haven’t checked it out yet, Kickstarter is an online platform where everyday citizens with creative projects can raise money. Kickstarter has helped people make films, teach animal husbandry and butchery, design and build new iPhone docs, record albums, start bakeries, and much more.
Here’s the way it works: project organizers define a specific “project” and a target fundraising goal using a short video; modest contributions are pledged by online “backers” (usually around $25) to support a specific project; if the funding goal is met with enough citizen pledges by a certain deadline, backers receive a reward and the organizer receives the money to proceed with the project.
Since its creation a couple of years ago, Kickstarter has moved millions of dollars to creative entrepreneurs, artists, farmers, musicians, designers, and film makers.
It has spawned a new form of raising capital, called “crowd-funding”, an alternative to large bank loans and foundation grants.
Here’s what seems so interesting: these are not loans, or investments. There is no collateral. If Kickstarter projects are fully funded, backers will never see their money again. And, there is no guarantee that the projects will even succeed.
So, why do people give money to friends, peers, fans and ordinary people they don’t even know?
Maybe it is for the rewards; a t-shirt, a CD, one of the first items off the production line. Maybe people give to play a small part in making a dream come true; to not just buy something, but be a part of creating it. And maybe, giving is just a way to fuel a community of hopeful change-makers in dark economic times.
Whatever the reason for the rise in ‘crowd-funding’, it’s a heartwarming look at how technology can bring us all closer together while at the same time building better businesses and a better world.
Posted by Amber Lambke, Michael Scholz at 9:03 PM
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Check out the mention of Skowhegan in this month's Smithsonian Magazine! Click here to read the full article.
Posted by Amber Lambke, Michael Scholz at 9:00 AM
Monday, November 28, 2011
For those of you following the movement toward more regional grain economies, here are two great new articles.
Edible Manhattan features a number of Skowhegan's Kneading Conference alumni, and has renowned chef, Dan Barber, starting to talk about local grains:
“It all comes down to grain,” says chef Dan Barber. “Yes, because it’s delicious—a whole world of flavor that’s been ignored for the past 50 years—but also because it’s a critical missing link in any community’s ability to feed itself.”
In September, I attended the first ever west coast Kneading Conference led by Dr. Stephen Jones. Here's a great piece in the Smithsonian that mentions our pioneering mill project in Skowhegan, and others around the country.
Posted by Amber Lambke, Michael Scholz at 4:19 PM
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Last week, I had the honor of presenting in the Entrepreneurs Showcase at the National Slow Money gathering in San Francisco, CA. The conference brought together 750 people from foundations, banks, farm and food businesses, academia, the world of finance, (you name it!) to learn from each other. Inspired by the vision of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing As If Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered, published in 2009, the Slow Money Alliance is bringing people together around a new conversation about money that is too fast, about finance that is disconnected from people and place, about how we can begin fixing our economy from the ground up... starting with food.
Read here, a piece published in greenbiz.com about the conference:
Posted by Amber Lambke, Michael Scholz at 9:43 AM
Investments made at the Somerset Grist Mill were recently leveraged by the Town of Skowhegan to secure a $400,000 grant that will improve the walkways and and green space to the municipal parking area next door. Thanks to the Communities for Maine's Future grant program, the Town of Skowhegan, and Main Street Skowhegan for their work to secure dollars for this much needed improvement!
Posted by Amber Lambke, Michael Scholz at 9:35 AM