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Online investment just got more specific.
The newest feature of female-entrepreneur-focused e-commerce site Plum Alley: a crowdfunding service specifically designed to support projects launched by women.
Given that the main site is all about spotlighting, advising, and connecting female innovators, Plum Alley Fund makes a lot of sense: Great ideas take significant investment. But because, unlike other crowdfunding platforms, it’s connected to an existing retailer, founder and CEO Deborah Jackson sees it as a way to gauge the potential of a theoretical product: “The beauty of this is you can actually test it in the market,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “In a way, it de-risks the business.”
The businesses themselves, unsurprisingly, are targeted at the female demographic. Right now, for example, you can put money behind VROU, a multivitamin drink for women, or SWSI: Smart Women. Smart Ideas., a reality show about women innovators; the producers are asking for $25,000 to film the pilot. The countdowns and usual range of donation incentives are all there, from T-shirts to a round of golf with LPGA star Natalie Gulbis.
The idea of a crowdfunding site that caters to only a specific sort of campaign is shrewd enough—the Internet does tend to take a killer concept and branch out with it—but perhaps even more intriguing is the invention of a closely curated crowdfunding site, one in which you’re not likely to find projects as lame as these, or bad enough to inspire this.
Photo by Batter Job/Flickr
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'