Today Crowd funding is a global phenomenon. In last couple of years we have seen big and small projects successfully launched globally having funded by the masses. Even projects by Bangladeshi companies/organizations raised fund on crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMen. Last year Urban Launchpad, a Bangladeshi Company, launched a campaign on Kickstarter under the title New Market Goods that raised around $21374 to make responsibly produced Popover shirts. But launching a project from Bangladesh on many of those platforms is difficult since it requires US residency and there are issues with payment and inbound and outbound remittance. At the same time, it is not relevant to many of our local campaigns.
Projekt.co a local startup aims to tap into this market and bring crowd funding to Bangladesh. Launched in early march the startup aims to empower ideas and help creative community, entrepreneurs and makers of all sorts to make their ideas happen.
Lack of money is often a problem. Not having enough money is a big obstacle in starting a project, implementing an idea or even turning a prototype into product. Often it becomes difficult for a single person to fund a whole project but what if a group of people who are interested and passionate about the said project come forward to fund a small amount each to make the project happen. It can be an art book, it can be a Smartphone, it can be a book, it can be a social cause, or it can be a movie or short film. Together we win and small bit from each becomes big when we put all contribution together. Crowd funding does that for a project.
It call upon passionate contributors to make a small contribution in exchange of a reward, which varies based on project, to make a new idea, book, initiative, campaign happen. The perks for a contributor are many. She gets early access to exciting products and projects and she often gets chance to become part of something that is new, exciting and impactful.
There is a need for crowd funding platform in Bangladesh. We have problems, small and big, of various ranges. Many people have solutions, ideas to solve those problems as well. But money often stands still on the way to make those ideas happen. Crow funding can help in making those ideas and projects happen.
We have a culture of giving in Bangladesh. More often than not, people are willing to become part of good works and promote things that are innovative and interesting. Due to lack of platforms people often can’t help each other in their journey of making things happen. Crowd funding will open this new door and enable people to be a part of something they want to be a part of and at the same it will empower creative folks, makers, and entrepreneurs to make their initiative happen.
Founded by Waiz Rahim, projekt.co aims to empower creative community, artists, and entrepreneurs to make their ideas happen. Waiz has been working on the idea for almost a year now and believes this can change Dhaka’s making scene. Once asked how he got the idea, Waiz zoomed back to his experience of working on a Kickstarter campaign years back. “I came to know about crowd funding back in 2013 when I worked on a campaign along with one of my friends, says Waiz, and it was a great experience for me. I thought what if I could start something similar in Bangladesh that would support local community”. That’s how the idea of Projekt.co started.
Projekt.co, now open to all, started with a project by OBHOYARONNO BANGLADESH which is raising fund for Dhaka Community and street dog welfare program. Right after the launch the startup has received quite good response from the community. Waiz is expecting to attract critical early adopters to make few initial campaigns successful. “We want to see how initial few campaigns go, says Waiz, and there are few big and exciting campaigns coming up soon. For now my goal is to fine tune the platform and make the platform user friendly and also to get few projects done”.
Being a single founder and non-technical guy himself, last few months has been quite a journey for Waiz. He had to look after almost every part of the business. “It is really hard to make a technology company happen without a technical co-founder but I could not find one so far, says Waiz, right now I’m looking for few hands to help me out. Since this is an early stage startup, there are perks of working at Projekt.co.”
For now, few critical success factors for Projekt.co are : bagging few initial successes, making payment mechanism simple and easier for people to contribute and to attract early adopter masses. “Payment has become a real challenge for us so far, says Waiz, there is no simple mechanism for it so far. We have enabled bKash payment and also working on to enable an international payment process. I have been in conversation with Payza North America for last couple of months and I’m hopeful and also working on few exciting alternatives.”
We are living in an exciting time. If you have an idea, you are the most powerful person in the room and you have everything to make it happen. Projekt.co aims to democratize the power of making and give it to anyone who has an idea. If you have an idea, go and create a project and make it happen. This is your time to take action.
This is just the start for team Projekt.co, there is more to it. “I think we are just testing the water now, says Waiz, but I want to go deep. In coming days we will go to people, universities and communities to take this movement forward.”
This is going to be a difficult journey for Waiz since the idea of crowd funding is new to Bangladesh and also we don’t have a supportive payment mechanism in place. However, the future of crowd funding in Bangladesh is huge. Given the context and population, there is need for platforms that will enable masses to make good ideas happen. This will not only empower individuals with good ideas and projects but will also help companies and non-profits to launch and execute ambitious projects. However, we must be patient and give it time to grow.