Here's what the startup community needs: another crowdfunding site. This one has Donald Trump's name on it. FundAnything is the newest crowdfunding platform to hit the Internet, and it's backed by "The Donald" himself (I'll wait while you all sigh with skepticism).
To be fair, any way for startups to gain funding is beneficial -- especially since sites like Kickstarter have so many qualification restrictions. It seems as though Trump has confused Crowdfunding with a reality TV show, though.
WIN, WIN, WIN!
Trump's new site boldly states (literally): "I'm Giving Away Money!" Let's visit that phrase for a moment. Trump is giving away money, even though this is a "crowdfunding" site." Crowdfunding as in, you know, funding from the crowd and not from one person.
Each week, Trump will pick one worthy startup that he will personally back. The general population can back any FundAnything startup too, but the real loot goes to Trump's weekly winner(s). FundAnything also lets startups keep any cash that they earn, whether or not a project reaches its funding goal.
A Simple PR Stunt?
Two things are blatantly clear here. The first is that Trump wants to cash in on the crowdfunding craze. The second is that Trump will gain a good deal of PR from giving away money to new startups. When Trump hands his weekly pick a wad of money, the headlines will read something like this: "Trump Supports Another Worthy Startup!" Heck, some press outlets might even bill the man as being (gasp) a humanitarian. That's the angle that Trump played during a recent FundAnything publicity stunt, anyway.
Taking place at Trump Tower yesterday, Trump handed out suitcases full of cash to some startups. Most of those startups were hit by some kind of devastating disaster (like Hurricane Sandy). Trump has this to say: "People's lives have been destroyed by this economy and they feel hopeless...I'm taking a stand, and am putting my money where my mouth is to help get people back on their feet."
I'll let you decide whether FundAnything is a platform for startups or another way for Trump to gain publicity.
Getting Your Campaign on FundAnything
When it comes down to it, though, startups need cash. Even if that cash comes from the new "Trump Lottery." So, how do you get your startup on FundAnything? Like the name of the platform suggests, FundAnything is for anyone and anything -- no matter what you are trying to raise money for, you can set up a FundAnything campaign.
There are a few rules that you'll have to read through first, and it's always a good idea to see what other people are setting up (there are some campaigns on the site already). Otherwise, it's pretty straight shooting.
Just head to the FundAnything site, try to ignore Trump's massive smiling head floating at the top of the page, and set up your campaign. Who knows, you might just win the Trump lottery of the week, or gain some funding that you actually get to keep.