If you have a special project on your mind and don’t know how to finance it, today there is Ulule, the first crowdfunding platform that gives each creator a personal support service, as to facilitate the implementation of initiatives with a strong social impact. Despite the Italian market is still very fragmented, the French company has chosen Milan and Rome, and particularly for the latter case the headquarter of Talent Garden Poste Italiane, to carry out its mission: bring good ideas to life.
We had a chat with Tania Palmer, Operations Manager Italy at Ulule.
1. How is crowdfunding perceived in Italy? Which are the unique characteristics of this market?
At the end of 2015, Italy accounted for 10% of the European market of crowdfunding and among the various types of crowdfunding that currently exist (reward, equity, lending and donation) the model-based reward accounted for 13% of the domestic market (Starteed, 2016). In addition, the Italian market is particularly fragmented with different platforms, such as sectoral, generalist, national, regional, etc. Chronologically it is a market that may not qualify as the youngest (the first Italian crowdfunding platform, Production from Low, was created in 2005), but if we consider public awareness about crowdfunding, we can easily understand that we are dealing with a not particularly mature landscape.
2. How does Ulule exactly work?
Ulule is a generalist platform of reward-based crowdfunding. Born in Paris in 2010, Ulule is the only platform that proposes to every project’s creator a personalized support service so as to be followed step by step in the adventure of crowdfunding. We believe the tutoring process is essential for the development of a type of crowdfunding that is increasingly accountable and transparent. Moreover, thanks to it, Ulule is the platform with the highest success rate (of 68% for 2016).
In addition to tutoring, to create a trusted environment for both creators and supporters, Ulule applies a double validation system. Each project is analyzed by a crowdfunding expert before being allowed on the platform. After an initial analysis, when both the creator and the support feel ready, the online campaign is launched.
The acceptance of the projects is moreover based on two fundamental criteria: 1) the project must be suitable to reward-based crowdfunding (Ulule does not accept projects dedicated to lending or equity-based crowdfunding), 2) the project must serve the social interest (for example: opening a bakery in a neighborhood, publishing a book, etc.)
3. How is Ulule different from the other platforms?
Since its creation Ulule had the desire to create the first community of European crowdfunding, which is why the platform is available in 7 languages (Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, Portuguese, Dutch) with offices in Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, Rome, Milan and Montreale. This approach allows European and international creators to launch a campaign in their native language as to reach their community. In addition, a major component of the Ulule DNA is transparency, an indispensable aspect to create much confidence as possible towards crowdfunding. This is why we decided to make all our statistics open and accessible.
To conclude, in addition to personalized tutoring services offered to creators, we also propose workshops on crowdfunding which allow participants to understand the steps to follow to create and / or sustain a campaign.
4. Which are the most interesting projects developed so far in Italy?
As Operations Manager Italy I now personally supervised over 450 Italian projects, each one has a story to tell and share and I must point out that those which reach the highest figures are not necessarily the “most interesting.” That said, some of the most emblematic projects are: Bruti, a card game created by Gipi; Salvare Sammezzano, for the creation of an association dedicated to protecting and enhancing the castle; Afghanistan Missione Incompiuta, for printing the book on the 14 years of war by Nico Piro – journalist reporter at TG3; Come4org, to support the creation of a porn site where the proceeds are donated to charity; and finally, Cotto e Frullato, to allow the already known web series to make a film involving all frullomani.
5. Why did you decide to establish at Talent Garden?
The very nature of our business is based on collaboration and the creation / growth of new ideas, so it seemed natural at this stage of development on the Italian territory to be based in a coworking space as Talent Garden which allows us to discover and collaborate with many people.
6. What are the positive effects of sharing the office?
There are many, but what we perceive the most – especially being a small team here in Rome – is to feel part of a particularly challenging environment in which it is easier to create synergies and be increasingly contaminated by a common passion for innovation and all the challenges it entails.
7. Which are your goals for 2017?
To continue to give life to good ideas, as well as to raise awareness on crowdfunding through the organization of workshops in several Italian cities through the development of Ulule Academy. At the same time we wish to establish partnerships (financial and operational) with strong and important Italian companies to continue to propose to Ululiani, both creators and supporters, responsible and highly innovative crowdfunding approaches. In addition to this, the owl has many other great goals, but it would be unfair to disclose them all so early!