Q&A with Valentí Acconcia

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In order to help our community to use crowdfunding to build a better Africa we have decided to interview people from all over the globe about Crowdfunding and running a successful campaign. We will be posting more regular content both here on our blog as well as on YouTube.

Today’s interviewee is Valentí Acconcia a Crowdfunding Consultant at https://vanacco.com based in Barcelona, Spain.

Can you give us a brief background about yourself and how you got into the crowdfunding arena?
I started back in 2011 founding the fourth crowdfunding platform to be launched in Spain, named Projeggt. Three years after I focused entirely on crowdfunding consultancy. I’ve been worked with nearly 200 projects and collected 1,250,000 euros.

How long did you prepare before launching your campaign? How long do you suggest a person plans before running a campaign? Explain
I’ve advised my clients to launch pre-campaigns with duration between three months and a year. It depends on the amount you want to collect and also the communication strategy you have. For instance if you want to collect 5,000 euros and you estimate an average contribution of 40 euros you will need to motivate 125 backers to contribute before launching your campaign.

How did you decide on the amount to raise?
The main rule to follow here is to control your costs and fix a goal depending on its costs. You must take into consideration costs such as reward production, reward delivery, taxes, fees and much more.

What would you say was the most important aspect that makes your campaigns a success?
To built a good communication strategy before launching. Maybe you have a community big enough to reach your goal but if don’t you must wait and make your community grow. Another golden rule (one of my 20 golden rules of crowdfunding in fact) is to reach the 30% of your goal in the first 7 days or less.

What are some of the mistakes that you made with your campaigns?
The biggest mistake is to launch your campaign before you’re ready, assuming the platform will do the work for you. Don’t underestimate how hard crowdfunding is! You must work hard prototyping your product, communicating your campaign before launching it and, of course, calculating all the costs of the campaign.

Why is it important for African consumers to understand what crowdfunding is?
Because crowdfunding is the best way to empower people and the startup ecosystem of any country. With crowdfunding the whole Africa will be supporting good ideas of African entrepreneurs. And with this empowerment we will see amazing African projects in the following years. I’m completely sure about that!

What role should crowdfunding play in the African startup eco-system?
First of all it should be a way to validate products into the market. It is the most important function of crowdfunding (specially reward-based crowdfunding). Then both equity-based and lending-based crowdfunding will make those validated projects grow faster and reducing risks to the max.

What would you see as the most challenging aspect of crowdfunding particularly in Africa? 

Regulation is always a challenging aspect for all countries in relation to crowdfunding. Here in Spain we have an special regulation for equity and lending-based crowdfunding. Another important aspect is to make crowdfunding well known for the population and create a trustful platform ecosystem.

What role do you think the African diaspora should play in the success of crowdfunding initiatives on the continent?

First of all the communication of the projects is always crucial for success. I think the African diaspora should help both projects and platforms to communicate and spread the word in the whole Africa.

Share an internet resource you love, like Evernote, with our community
I love using Kicktraq to analyse Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns.

If you could recommend one book to our community, what would it be?
The Crowdfunding Bible by Scott Steinberg.

What impact do you believe crowdfunding will make in the next 10 years particularly in Africa?

It will be the way we raise funds for any project and also the normal way to validate those projects. We will crowdfund as naturally as we sell today.

Would you like to share any new projects that you’re working on?
Soon we will launch a crowdfunding campaign to make scalps sprout. It’s called Vytrus Hair and we’re on pre-campaign now.

If people wanted to learn more about what you’re doing where can they reach you?
At vanacco.com and also daily on my social networks profiles as Twitter or Facebook.

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About Author

I am an energetic and creative individual. Who believes in the power of the crowd to have a positive effect in Africa. I thrive on knowledge and look for new opportunities to learn as often as I can. I ensure to ask the right questions to understand all aspects of operations and believe in learning from those with experience. Even though I am young in years I feel that I have a great deal of wisdom, both personally and professionally, and have the ability to share this with others. On a more personal note when I have free time I enjoy creating digital art, searching the web and designing buildings and homes.

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