City’s crowdfunding initiative set to fuel dreams - The New Indian Express

City’s crowdfunding initiative set to fuel dreams

Published: 29th July 2014 08:02 AM

Last Updated: 29th July 2014 08:02 AM

BANGALORE: An idea that germinated within the walls of an MBA classroom resulted in the setting up of Bangalore's own crowd-funding platform, Fundmydream, in October 2013. Twenty-year-old Rohith Subramanian, founder and CEO of Fundmydream, and his friends Debashis Chakravartti and Nisshtha Khattar set up the venture together.  Instead of doing an internship for their MBA, they wanted to do something on their own.

The crowdfunding platform is currently hosting a movie project that has managed to raise `1 lakh in the first 16 days of its campaign. My Son is Gay is an independent feature film, directed and written by director Lokesh. The movie stars Anupama Kumar, Nakshatra Bagwe, and Sharath in lead roles. My Son is Gay, an emotional film about a mother who is unable to come to terms with her son's sexuality, has another 74 days to go to complete a `4 lakh target.

In February 2014, the Fundmydream team launched their beta version for a larger audience. Six months down the line, City Express catches up with Rohith Subramanian to learn more about this crowdfunding platform.

"When the beta version was launched, we first decided to run an NGO project. We soon realised that crowd-funding is not probably the best method to raise funds for an NGO, as the takeaway for the general public is minimal. We soon shifted the model, so as to allow only creative projects (like movies, plays, dance troupes, musicians). So a film like My Son is Gay is more likely to do well on a crowdfunding platform. The audience can connect to the film because of their direct involvement with it," says Rohith, who has also co-founded the NGO Unity for Youth, which works for under privileged children of Bangalore.

Rohith asserts that though crowdfunding has developed a very good culture abroad, in India it is yet to take off completely. "There are very few projects that have been completely crowdfunded in India, when compared to the countries in the West. The reason I wanted to start off this platform was because a lot of my friends were very talented and had it in them to go the distance, but didn't have the necessary funds to support their ideas," he says.

The team helps campaigners through every step of the crowdfunding process. "Apart from the film, we have 10 other projects that will be hosted on the website by August 2014," informs Rohith.

There are in most cases, two kinds of funding models for crowdfunding platforms: the All or Nothing model, and The Keep it All Model. "For the All or Nothing model, the campaigner has to reach the full target amount within the specified number of days to receive all the funds. If you fail to achieve your full target amount, all the money will be given back to the contributors. Whereas, in the Keep It All model, even if you don’t reach your full target amount, you still get the funds and you can go ahead with your project with the money you have raised. We follow the Keep it All model," he explains.

The advantage, according to Rohith, of putting up one's project on a crowdfunding platform is that the campaigner gets to retain full creative control over his project, unlike projects that are backed by producers who impose their own restrictions.

The team now hopes to take the platform abroad as well, but first would like to develop a strong base in India.

To fund 'My Son is Gay' or to kickstart your own project on Fundmydream visit www.fundmydream.in

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