A crowdfunding platform seeks to help raise money for entrepreneurs in northeast Wyoming

A crowdfunding initiative for the five counties of Northeast Wyoming aims to provide various initiatives with access to funding to boost various ventures.

The local crowd is a nationwide crowdfunding platform that hosts numerous companies raising money. That NEW mass The initiative “is a collaboration of regional economic development organizations working together to improve access to capital for both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors throughout Northeast Wyoming,” according to a press release.

“The NEW Crowd initiative is designed to bring people in Northeast Wyoming together who have projects to raise capital,” said Curtis Burdette, vice president of Energy Capital Economic Development at Gillette. “Whether it’s nonprofit or for-profit, entrepreneurs or nonprofits can use this for specific projects to raise a specific amount of money and set that goal.”

Currently, the dollar amount is limited to the offer, which ranges from $1,000 to $10,000. The initiative received its funding earlier this year and has been working to get a foothold.

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“It doesn’t make much of a difference for most companies, though [for] a small idea or a project or a nonprofit, $1,000 to $10,000 can make a big difference,” he said.

Access to capital has always been an important factor in launching various startups.

“We get a lot of people coming in and it does SBDC [Small Business Development Center]. And they say, “Hey, what are the small business grants?” Almost zero, so there’s no free money out there for companies that have an idea,” Burdette said.

The idea of ​​implementing a local fundraising service is not new. But Burdette is excited about this initiative, which replaces the Northeast Wyoming Economic Development Corporation, which recently lost funding to serve the five northeastern counties.

“When we saw an opportunity to pursue this funding, which came from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center network, which came out of a few federal dollars, as part of the Wyoming Community Navigator program, we said this is a great opportunity to support entrepreneurs help and to help bring our communities together,” he said.

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Only about $3,000 has been spent so far out of $4,500 paid for software and training from Local Crowd totaling $25,000. Another $1,500 will be used next year for marketing and other related expenses.

So far, the initiative hasn’t campaigned, though he said two units each in Crook County and Sheridan counties have expressed interest. Any company that raises money is responsible for meeting goals related to what the money is being raised for.

“It works the same way as Kickstarter or Indiegogo or GoFundMe,” Burdette said. “They’re putting their bank account straight into the Right Through stripes. The Local Crowd uses Stripe as a financial partner. And so they will register directly with Stripe in the backend so that when they collect donations they go directly to the projects.”

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Incentive money is also paid out from the grant, aimed at attracting potential companies to join. Those who do can receive up to $200 as a thank you. The goal now is for two institutions in each district to register to collect donations through the initiative. While the NEW Crowd is still working to get off the ground, there are many opportunities for future growth and expansion for various initiatives that may wish to come on board. Burdette envisions the initiative fitting into the broader spectrum of economic development initiatives aimed at improving communities.

“I think you have to have the full range [of initiatives and funding sources],” he said. “And we really miss that.”

Other crowdfunding initiatives involved in The Local Crowd in Wyoming include TLC Laramie and ahead Kasper.

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