Fraunhofer Institute for
Systems and Innovation Research ISI
Crowdfunding and other forms of informal micro-financing in project and innovation financing
The project investigates the possibilities of applying a new, informal form of early-stage financing for creative or social projects, for which increasingly grass-root micro-financing, so-called crowdfunding (CF), is being utilized, especially in the ICT-related and creative professions, but also in the field of social projects.
Knowledge about the financing mode crowdfunding (CF) is scant in Germany. These knowledge gaps are to be closed and it should also be examined to what extent new application fields of CF can be opened up for innovation financing and promotion. For instance, the early-stage financing of innovative start-ups often have notorious gaps ("early-stage gap"), which could at least be partially bridged by CF in some cases, as in e.g. sustainable or ecological projects.
Ultimately, CF deals with mobilizing informal private capital on a micro scale (from a few hundred up to several thousand euros per "donor"). CF uses the enthusiasm and generous willingness to donate of communities in the social networks in Web 2.0 to assist projects which would otherwise not find finance.
Examples for typical CF projects are: pilot projects for renewable energy, development aid projects, innovative start-ups in creative professions, innovative service ideas in the social or health care areas, innovative technology start-ups, which are still too risky for banks and VC funds, innovative cultural, school or pupils' projects, research projects, which are not advertised anywhere but are important, book projects on current issues which do not yet have a lobby in politics and industry.
Hemer, J./Schneider, U./Dornbusch, F./Frey, S. unter Mitarbeit von Dütschke, E./Bradke, C. (2011): Crowdfunding und andere Formen informeller Mikrofinanzierung in der Projekt- und Innovationsfin