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How to support local companies before they even launch

Crowdfunding has taken the business world by storm, starting with charitable giving, and expanding to American startup funding, but some people want to keep their dollars in their own city. Now, this startup maps out Kickstarter projects according to city, with more detailed data to come.

support local business

support local business

Keeping your money in your hometown

Whenever you purchase something, you’re showing your support with the almighty dollar. And there’s been a big movement for the last few years to buy locally in order to support your local economy and community rather than national or international purchases. This includes supporting up-and-coming businesses in your neighborhood.

But sometimes, it can be difficult to find these local businesses or products because it usually requires those companies to spend a lot of time and money in marketing and advertising. And, let’s be honest, some new companies don’t have the funding to do so until later down the road. However, now there’s a middle ground.

Taking the Kickstarter phenomenon local

If you’ve been involved in the professional world for any number of years recently, chances are you’ve heard of Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a site that provides new businesses or those with new product ideas the opportunity to get funding from the public, usually those who are interested in the industry or those who want to use the product in the future. Kickstarter is about supporting causes or industries that you’re passionate about. It’s about giving a person or a group of people a chance at making their professional dreams come true.

However, Kickstarter’s site can be limited if you’re looking to support only local companies or products. While you can search for a general location, Kickstarter will pull any projects that are close, even if they’re outside your specified city limits. That’s where ThingsWeStart comes into the picture.

Keeping it local with ThingsWeStart

ThingsWeStart gathers the Kickstarter data and categorizes projects by location and industry. So, if you’re interested in supporting dance studios in Phoenix, Arizona you can set those specifications. ThingsWeStart will only compile a list of those within the Phoenix city limits and exclude any results from neighboring cities, like Mesa or Scottsdale. You can also set up an alert system to let you know when a project involving food in Los Angeles or something dealing with technology in Denver has been posted. That way, you’ll be able to stay on top of your preferred industry or project. ThingsWeStart takes the legwork out of finding worthy, relevant, and local projects to help fund.

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ThingsWeStart, by way of Kickstarter, provides you with a way to get involved in your community by supporting companies that haven’t yet launched, and only in industries that you’re interested in. This ultimately benefits those companies that don’t have a large public outreach as some of their competitors do. ThingsWeStart basically levels the playing field for businesses looking for funding, no matter which industry they’re classified in. Browse ThingsWeStart’s site and find a valuable project or idea to invest in. And when it’s time for you to create a project, know that you have useful sites and a dedicated community behind you the entire way.

Written By

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Texasdmh

    September 12, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Charlene –
    I hadn’t heard of that company; glad to know about it.  Another I had heard of is
    I don’t know a whole lot about them other than it is a stand-alone tool that is not a part of Kickstarter.  The way I understand it, once a certain number of people are interested in it starting in a particular town then they’ll launch it there.  I know some folks in Austin who have been discussing it.
    This one seems to be focused not only on local, but in getting the people who donate in the doors of the company to receive their rewards.  Cool concept.

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