There are 2 new restaurants launching in College Hill –could they thrive through crowdfunding?

There’s a newish crowdfunding platform for local crowdfunding in rural America: The Local Crowd, founded by Diane Wolverton & Kim Vincent (pictured).

This rewards-based platform has expended from its Wyoming roots to 15 rural communities in 13 states. It’s conducted 35 campaigns raising a total of $150,000. There’s probably a lot more to come.

Why don’t we use the same method to build local businesses here in the Tri-State, especially in modest neighborhoods?

Revolution Rotisserie restaurant in OTR is a good local example of success. Nick Pesola ran a rewards campaign on Kickstarter in 2014(?), offering meals and other treats to folks who backed his launch. My family bought 4 opening-weekend meals, had a great time at the restaurant, and got to meet Nick. I’ve been back often since then (it’s a great place ot carry out from and picnic in Washington Park).

But Nick Pesola had been running the business out of a scooter in Findlay Market for a few years, so he had a following of loyal customers who backed the campaign.

For a new business without customers to back it, it’s very hard to succeed at crowdfunding; most local businesses don’t. One problem is that the local press, from the Enquirer and Business Courier to Soapbox, do not publicize these campaigns, even though this is the one type of startup financing they could actually help.

Can our local communities support local urban and suburban campaigns, the way The Local Crowd’s backers do in rural campaigns?

For more about The Local Crowd, read this article in the Locavesting newsletter: