Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The truth about women entrepreneurs and crowdfunding

Last July, Stefanie Mnayarji of Boston took a line of breathable silk support-wear she’d developed to Kickstarter, aiming to raise $10,000 for her first production run. Within 16 days, her company, Luxxie Boston, had not only exceeded its goal by 220 percent but had also won scads of media attention and, ultimately, a loyal cult following of women who buy its slips and camisoles in every color and evangelize about them to their friends.

“It really caught fire,” Mnayarji says. The campaign gave Luxxie enough buzz that continuing sales should finance the company’s growth for the next two to three years. After that, when Mnayarji and her husband and cofounder, MIT research scientist Michael Gordon, are ready to take Luxxie to the next level and “make it a household name,” they plan to use crowdfunding again. This time it will be on an equity platform like CircleUp or AngelList, where accredited investors give larger amounts in exchange for an ownership stake in the company. “It’s a great way to democratize the venture-capital process,” Mnayarji says.

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