ONE SPARK

Entrepreneur Shares Crowdfunding Strategies

SnapGoods CEO Ron J. Williams talks about the 'transaction of ideas'

Ron J. Williams addresses One Spark crowd at the Terry Theater.
Kara Pound
Ron J. Williams addresses One Spark crowd at the Terry Theater.
Kara Pound
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When Fast Company names you one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” (2012), people tend to listen when you talk. So is the case of Ron J. Williams, a Manhattan-based entrepreneur who spoke Thursday afternoon at the Terry Theater as part of One Spark’s Speaker Series.

As CEO and co-founder of Knodes, a tool for finding people in your network who care about a shared cause, and of SnapGoods, a site that helps people to rent and borrow hardware and equipment, Williams brought real world expertise to his speech titled, “How could crowdfunding be any easier?”

“Crowdfunding is the future, but not without you,” Williams addressed the three-dozen-or-so audience members. “The truth of the matter is that we’re all super connected. Did you know that $319 million went through Kickstarter last year?”

According to Forbes, crowdfunding is, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” Crowdfunding is the reason creators from all over the world have descended upon Jacksonville to showcase their ideas and projects.

It’s also the reason Williams is totally pumped to be on stage. “It [crowdfunding] is about way more than the money,” he said. “It’s not just the transaction of dollars, but the transaction of ideas.”

In order to create and execute a successful crowdfunding venture, Williams said you should first find your inner circle and share your idea or ideas with them. This could be family members or close friends – anyone you trust. Next, find your audience. Williams called this “your tribe.” These are the individuals you can rely on for emotional and/or financial support.

“These people support you not just because they know you, but because they’re interested in your content,” he explained.

Once you’ve communicated effectively with your inner circle and tribe, it’s time to take your message to the community. While addressing the community, always remember to be accountable and transparent. Let people know exactly what it is that they’re agreeing to support.

Williams’ speech lasted just 20 minutes. The content was clear and succinct. Crowdfunding is about getting people together who want to create. This can be done on any number of levels. For the Jacksonville community, this is being done through One Spark.

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