we found, from personal experience, it is super frustrating that there is a large barrier for investments in early-stage startups. These startups required angel investing in order to make the desired impact. However, this level of funding is not available for a normal person that is just excited to invest in a new startup and wants to see this startup succeed. Marketplaces such as Kickstarter allow startups to crowdfund but do not give the crowd a stake in the company, they only provide the finished product. The investors are not part of the decision making of the company.
What it does
The CrowdWings platform allows the crowd to not only invest in a company but also to have a meaningful impact on the company development and growth through feedback and decision making. Our company acts as a large angel investor that buys a stake in the company, and investors get a pre-screened view of startups that will most likely have a high return on investment. This way, investors are most likely to profit while involved in the decision making of the company. They will receive updates on company progress continuously.
How I built it
CrowdWings is a Django web app hosted on Azure. Admins post startups to the page and uses are able to invest in individual startups using the PayPal API.
Challenges I ran into
- Convening others to post their ideas on our platform
- Hosting on a different environment on the cloud
- New Industry with limited information on equity crowdfunding and government regulation
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We were able to successfully integrate our complex system into a web app and host a live functional prototype!
What I learned
We learned about this new industry of crowdfunding equity. We also learned about UX design through multiple iterations of our interface (and Bananas!).
What's next for Crowd Wings
We will polish off the website from feedback during the demos. Then we plan to open CrowdWings up to a beta audience. Once we have a minimum viable product and real users we hope to obtain funding to quickly scale into this emerging industry.