The project “CrowdStream – Crowdfunding to stream innovation” aims at improving the effectiveness of public/private business support for innovative enterprises to access qualitative alternative financing.
Why was this deemed a crucial objective for the Danube Region by project partners and the DTP alike? The rise of crowdfunding as an innovative financing tool over the past decade is a result of the on-going digitalisation of processes and communication in our society, with easy access to high-speed internet and digital devices. Moreover crowdfunding (CF) has recently been moved to the forefront in the discussion on access to finance for innovative start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
This is a result of the economic crisis and the associated market failures of the incumbent financial services industry, which provides financing to SMEs. Europeans save their money, rather than assume risk by investing it in small enterprises and they admire established institutions, rather than the entrepreneurs who built them. According to statistics, some 30% of SMEs face liquidity problems and only 30% of SMEs access bank credit at any given time. Plus the availability of bank loans for SMEs has declined by 23% over recent years, while collateral requirements have increased by 34% and interest rates by 54%.
Still, SMEs are the main contributors to job creation and represent some 67% of all jobs in Europe. This drastic lack of funding for SMEs has a visible impact on Europe’s economy and has become a major barrier for driving the energy transition with a broader involvement of local energy stakeholders forward. It is the key reason why we are currently witnessing a lively discussion on crowdfunding, which involves political actors of the highest level, but above all also founders, entrepreneurs, visionaries, and social innovators.
To support the challenging goal of improving the support for the access to alternative financing, CrowdStream brings together a partnership of public and private actors very much experienced in the fields of crowdfunding, start-up financing and innovation support. Pilot actions will enable the partnership to test the framework conditions for the implementation of crowdfunding models for regional innovation support.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and of alternative finance. In 2015, it was estimated that worldwide over US$34 billion were raised this way.
Today, crowdfunding is one of the most promising tools to enable economic growth, job creation, and innovation. Crowdfunding is one of the most viable means of funding new ideas, small businesses and jobs across Europe. It is a highly democratic tool that is posed to have a disruptive impact on community, start-up and consumer finance by allowing value creation on many levels, not just financial. Many crowd initiatives already concentrate on innovative start-ups and the project partners use CrowdStream to support Danube area regions to boost the already existing movement as an economic driver for the Danube Region.
Crowdfunding can be a win-win situation for several actors. It provides for an alternative method of financing which can be attractive where borrowers struggle to qualify for full financing from traditional sources, such as banks. Crowd investors on the other hand can invest directly into innovative projects that have not previously been available to retail investors. At the same time the risk for investors and project promoters can be higher through the crowdfunding process. Therefore one of CrowdStream´s overall aims is the development of trans-national quality criteria for Crowdfunding Platforms.
The CrowdStream project will initiate a change in the financing market. Due to quality labelling and capacity building activities there will be a major shift from donation based to equity based crowdfunding.
The main project result will be an improved cooperation between business-support-organisations and enterprises to guarantee a qualitative access to crowdfunding
Therefore CrowdStream will develop with the proper frame to establish crowdfunding as an enabler for the implementation of regional innovative projects by:
- Developing joint quality criteria for all kinds of crowdfunding platforms
- Identifying the legal framework for cross border crowdfunding
- stimulating the collaboration of relevant actors (crowdfunding platforms, regions, regional innovation agencies, public innovation funds, creative industry, media-universities, business incubators, businesses (especially SMEs), social media and the financial industries)
- Providing trainings on CF for the public/private sector
- raising awareness about CF as alternative financing tool in providing relevant information
- Initiating roadmapping process to roll-out innovative financing solutions for innovation in the DANUBE region
- acting as multiplier/disseminator.
- Start date
- End date
- Budget in Euro
- Overall: 1649950
- ERDF Contribution: 1178578,11
- IPA Contribution: 223879,37
- ENI Contribution: 0
- Call number
- Call 1
- Innovative and socially responsible Danube region
- Specific objective
- Improve framework conditions for innovation
|Agency for European Intergration and Economic Development||Lead firstname.lastname@example.org||Austria|
|South Bohemian Agency for Support to Innovative Enterprising||ERDF email@example.com||Czech Republic|
|ConPlusUltra Ltd.||ERDF firstname.lastname@example.org||Austria|
|Pannon Business Network Association||ERDF email@example.com||Hungary|
|DEVELOPMENT AGENCY ZAGREB - TPZ Ltd.||ERDF firstname.lastname@example.org||Croatia|
A second training session on crowdfunding gathered about twenty representatives of different social enterprises, SMEs, start-ups as well as motivated private persons in Hollabrunn, in the Lower Austrian LEADER region Weinviertel-Manhartsberg, on...
A transnational “Danube Crowd Day” was organized by the Austrian project partners of CrowdStream in Wiener Neustadt (Austria) on Tuesday, September 6th, 2018. This interactive networking event brought together project partners, crowdfunding...
The Agency for European Integration and Economic Development and ConPlusUltra Ltd, Austrian partners in the Interreg project CrowdStream, are happy to welcome interested stakeholders at the Danube Crowd Day in the Technology and Research Center...
Training session for micro-regional target groups with focus on Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship The CrowdStream training session gathered 22 interested participants from the Austrian micro-region of Hollabrunn (Lower Austria) in order to...
CrowdStream project partners recently developed “Regional Visions” on alternative financing (Crowdfunding/CF) for setting long-term goals in addressing challenges in their regions. Most regions envision the establishment of regional...