Taking the Capitol Hill Crowdfund to the next level: making the neighborhood better

__ "A Capitol Hill Tool Library? We’d invest in that."

__ “A Capitol Hill Tool Library? We’d invest in that.”

For a few weeks now, CHS has featured Capitol Hill-related projects seeking funding via “crowdsourcing” services like Kickstarter. You can check out our Capitol Hill Crowdfund here. The Atlantic points us to Chicago where the city has rolled out an experiment in social funding that goes to an even deeper neighborhood level:

Maybe, though, there is a less glamorous role for Kickstarter, and sites like it, to play in cities, not necessarily funding high-tech park architecture or the latest pop-up fad… but simply supporting small businesses and programs that create jobs. The city of Chicago this week is attempting this idea, rolling out a curated Kickstarter site called Seed Chicago for 11 (for now) neighborhood-based small businesses and community organizations in need of money.

“These are not the typical sort of new product offerings that many Kickstarter opportunities are,” says Julia Stasch, one of the co-chairs of the neighborhood and place-based strategy within Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs. “It’s not ‘I have a great design for a something.’ These are projects and businesses whose goal is their own growth, but whose residual benefit is greater vitality in a place.”

Sign CHS up. We love supporting individual ventures. Expanding the idea to provide a pool of small project funding that is more dynamic and faster to react than the existing grant processes seems like a must-do.

“The whole concept is premised on the bet that these potential investors exist, that people will want to hand over cash on Kickstarter for reasons that go beyond having the inside track on a new tech product or art installation,” the Atlantic writes. Improving the neighborhood, small project by project, seems like a desirable ROI.

Source: Capitol Hill Seattle Blog – jseattle


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