Crowdfunding is a financial model in which several people (the "crowd") jointly finance an idea or project (the "funding").
How does it work?
The starter introduces their idea through videos, images, and text; sets the funding goal and time frame; and decides on rewards for the supporters. Anyone who wants to help make the idea a reality is free to support a project. Supporters can pick a reward, the finished product for instance, or support the project with a free amount.
Crowdfunding with Startnext follows the "all-or-nothing" principle: The starter receives the money only if the funding goal is reached; if not, the contributions are returned to the supporters.
Fees will only incur if your project is successfully funded. If it isn't, you will not have to pay anything.
Finlane GmbH (former Startnext Network GmbH) is our long-standing partner for payment and verification services. Finlane accounts for the verification of all project starters and is your contact for questions regarding payment on Startnext. Curious? Find more information on Finlane here.
If a project violates the law (e.g. copyright, trademark law, personal rights) or our guidelines, your can report an abuse. You'll find a "Report Abuse" button on every project page, which you can use to let us know about any violations.
As a registered user, you can:
You don't need to register to support a project.
Be sure to check your spam folder! If you still can’t find it, you can request another activation email here.
If you registered via social media log in, you will receive an email without an activation link. This means you can log in with your Facebook or google+ account.
To change your e-mail address, please log in and go to your profile settings. Click the "Change email" link and then follow the instructions.
You can subscribe or unsubscribe our newsletter in your profile settings under "notifications".
On your profile, click "Settings" and then go to "Privacy settings" and check "I don't want to be found in search engines and be visible only to registered users." Your profile will no longer show up in any search engine results.
Please note may take a few days before your profile is completely hidden from search engines.
Go to your profile settings, scroll down, and click the "Delete profile" link. Your profile will be deleted and you will no longer receive messages from the site. Please note that this action cannot be undone.
It may be that you cannot delete your profile for the following reasons:
To contact the starter with any questions, feedback, or requests, you can:
You can send messages via our messaging system. How?
Please note it is not yet possible to attach files to a message.
You'll find an overview of your messages in your profile.
Once you are logged in, go to your profile settings and then to "notifications". There, you can set your email notification preferences for how often you’d like to be notified when you receive a new message. You have the following options:
Please note if you deactivate the email notifications, you won't be informed when a starter or another user messages you.
You are receiving these messages because you are a fan of the project and thereby subscribed to its blog. If you prefer not to receive any more messages, simply end your fan status. To do so, visit the project page and click "You are a fan".
There are several ways for you to message your supporters and fans:
After logging in, visit the project page, where you will find a button labeled "Become a fan".
As a fan, you'll receive new blog posts via email and won't miss any news.
Yes. Just check "I would like to hide my name on the public list of supporters" during the support process. Your name will still be visible to the starter, but will not be listed publicly on the project page. In order to send you your reward, the starter will have access to your email address and, if necessary, your delivery address.
In order for starters to send you a reward, you must provide your:
During the support process, you may have the option of entering a billing address. If not, ask the starter if they can send you an invoice.
The invoice will be sent by the project starter with the rewards.
Starters are not permitted to send donation receipts unless the project is not-for-profit, in which case they must issue a donation receipt. If you have provided your shipping address, you will receive a donation receipt from the starter if you have supported a not-for-profit project that is successfully funded.
Please note donation receipts cannot be issued for a regular support with reward.
To contact the starter with any questions, feedback, or requests:
Notes regarding the payment methods:
Notes regarding the payment providers:
That depends on the chosen payment method:
Your money will be returned to your bank account within 14 business days.
If you used direct debit or a credit card to support the project, please note that no money will be deducted from your account at all unless the project is funded successfully.
For foreign supporters: We receive the transaction (e.g. British Pound or Swiss franc) in Euro. This figure in Euro will be refunded through our payment provider Secupay. It will be converted to your currency according to the exchange rate of your bank.
It may take 2 to 5 business days for the money to transfer to the account. Once we receive the money, you will appear as a supporter.
Yes, you may cancel anytime during the funding phase. You will find the function in your profile in the section "Supports".
If you have not yet activated your profile, you'll find in your confirmation email a link to your support details which include a cancellation link.
Yes. If the project is successfully funded, you can download an invoice from your profile by clicking on "Supports".
For expected delivery times, check the reward descriptions on the project page. After the project has been successfully funded, you'll also find news about the project and information about the rewards on the project site’s blog.
If you have questions about a reward, contact the starter through the messaging system, via email, or by posting a public message on their project’s wall.
During the funding phase: click the "Supports" button on your profile page or click "Support details" in the payment confirmation message that you received from us. From there, you can make any necessary changes.
After the funding phase: If you need to change your support details or shipping address after the funding phase has ended, please contact the starter directly.
In the draft phase, you edit your project page step by step. The draft is not public and you can change any information until the beginning of the funding phase.
You'll find the interface to edit your project page in the left side-bar. The four numbers stand for the different phases of your crowdfunding campaign. Here, you can: describe the project, specify the funding goal, timeline, and rewards, add images and a pitch video. You can also create blog posts for the project page and track your statistics. Finally, by clicking on the contact button, you'll access the direct chat with your project advisor.
If your target group is international, you can add an English project page. Simply use the language switch in the left side-bar and replace the texts. Please make sure you don't open the project page in multiple tabs, as content would then get overwritten.
Yes, but only one person from the team can create the project page and become the starter, and thus the administrator and owner of the project.
The starter can list other team members by clicking "Team" in the interface and adding their profiles. The team members are visible on the project site.
Team members can:
Yes. However for the internal verification we need the official data.
Once your project is in the starting phase, it is visible to everyone. If you would like to obtain protection for your idea, please familiarize yourself with copyright, patent, or trademark laws. For example, some inventors or developers apply for a patent to protect their idea before beginning their crowdfunding campaign.
Project starters can use the starting phase the project link to friends and ask for their feedback.
How to use the starting phase
The feedback from friends or colleagues can help the starter to test their communication and project presentation, in order to be at their very best when moving on to the funding phase. Because the starter is still free to edit or rework the overall presentation of the project during this phase, this feedback can be taken into account in order to make improvements.
If you're well prepared, you can ask your project advisor to skip the starting phase and move to the funding phase right away.
If you share your project on Facebook, it is possible that incorrect data have been stored in a cache by Facebook. This happens when you share a project that hasn’t yet been activated on Startnext, or you have made changes to your project since sharing it on Facebook. If this is the case, Facebook is not able to access the correct data.
You can delete the incorrect information on Facebook by visiting this link and entering your project page’s link. You can then display or update the current information that is being shared.
Please note that your project must be publicly visible on Startnext in order for this to work.
The project widget is a preview of your project with a picture, brief description, and the current funding status. Anyone who clicks on the widget is directed to your Startnext project page.
You can find all the information about the widget by clicking on the "embed" symbol (staple) in the header area of your project page. You'll also find details on how to embed the support button only.
Every day, our communication team comes across countless fascinating new projects. From these, we select a colorful assortment of projects representing all categories.
We present the featured projects in our channels (social media, newsletter, blog), they rotate on our homepage, and appear as recommendations on successfully funded projects.
These are the criteria for being featured:
Check out our current recommendations here!
You can download your supporters' data after the successful funding of your project. A list containing their information (name, email address, delivery address, reward) will be available to you under "Supports". You can export your supporters’ shipping information into an Excel list.
Tip: To ensure that all of your supporter information is up to date and that all of the payments are valid, download the list only after all your funding sum has been paid out.
For mac users: Older versions of Excel may not correctly display some characters. Other software will display it correctly. You can either download the latest Excel version or use alternative software such as Numbers by Apple or OpenOffice.
In the starting phase: You may cancel your project at any time. Please inform your fans about the reasons for your decision.
In the funding phase: A project can be canceled in justified cases only; contact your project advisor for more information.
After a successful funding phase: If, for some unexpected reasons, you can't implement a project, we can offer to transfer the supports back. Our service provider Finlane will process the refunds and charge an extra 4% of the funding sum.
Yes, but this is only possible for unsuccessful projects. For supporters of successful projects it is important that they can still find the campaign.
You can find the setting in the interface on your project page under "Visibility". You have the option to unlist your project page from search engine results and the project list on Startnext. It will then be visible only to logged in startnext users via the direct link.
With Startnext, starters decides for themselves how much commission they would like to give us. This commission helps us fund our platform, our daily work and the individual project advising especially. We chose the model of a voluntary commission because we believe everyone can estimate the value of a provided service on their own.
Defining the voluntary commission
You can define the voluntary commission in your project interface under "funding goal" until the beginning of the funding phase. Many starters ask what an adequate amount is. According to our model, this decision is completely up to you. We can nevertheless say that we receive an average of 3%, which is why the preset is 3%. The average on other crowdfunding platforms is between 4 and 6%.
While the commission is voluntary, a successful crowdfunding campaign comes with fixed external transaction fees. The payments are fully processed by our service provider Finlane and charged with 4% of the funding sum. As project starter, you'll find an exemplary calculation in your project interface of how high the fees will be if your project is successfully funded.
In order for you to be able to collect funds, we are legally obligated to verify your identity and account information. The verification process takes between 7 and 14 days; be sure to begin this process as soon as possible if you would like to start a project quickly.
On your project page, select "Verification”; there, you must indicate whether you would like to be verified as an individual or as a corporation. A list of the documents necessary to complete the verification process will then be displayed.
Congratulations! These are the next steps:
You will receive an invoice from Startnext for the transaction fees and your voluntary commission. You can download it on your project page via "Supports > Funding Stats".
In some rare cases, payments don't go through. This may happen in the following cases:
Tip: If a supporters payment is still pending, we recommend waiting until it has been confirmed before sending them a reward.
You can view the pending payments in your project interface under
"Supports > List of supporters". Use the filter "Pending". Those supports will also be marked with an exclamation point in the list of supporters.
Congratulations! If you have a commitment from a patron or sponsor, convince them to pay their support directly through Startnext. If for some reason that isn’t possible, discuss with your project advisor whether it’s possible to incorporate their support into your project.
Please send the following information to your project advisor:
We will look over this information and discuss with you how we can make the promotion visible within your crowdfunding project. Using the partner fields on your project page, you can display a list of your sponsors, patrons, or other partners.
A partner page can be used by corporations, foundations, funding agencies, universities, cities, and clubs to support creative projects on Startnext, give advice, curate ideas, and create contests.
Page Pro and Premium: If you'd like the curation to also be visible on the project page, simply check the box "Request approval". The starter then receives the curation request via email and can approve or decline.
Starters are informed of new curation requests via email. The curation requests are also listed in the interface of their project page under "Network" and "Curation of Pages". Project starters can choose to approve or decline a curation request.
Page owners will be informed of new curation requests via email. The curation requests are also listed in the interface of their partner page under "Projects > Curated". Partner page owners can choose to approve or decline a curation request. The project starter will be informed of the decision via email.