Asking Questions: American Express OPEN Forum Networking Session


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What better way to learn new techniques or get valuable advice than to ask someone with first-hand experience?

American Express OPEN Forum is an advice-sharing platform built for entrepreneurs. The focus is on unlocking the collective knowledge of entrepreneurs and growth-minded business owners by creating a community where they can come together and share their experiences. It allows anyone with a LinkedIn profile to seek advice on a number of different topics, see what works for others, and share what works for them — all for free. During our CROWDFUNDx event held on July 17, attendees were able to speak with some major thought leaders from the day in a networking session, presented by American Express OPEN Forum.

At the event, attendees were given the opportunity to ask speakers questions pertaining to community, entrepreneurship, investment, and platforms in a one-to-one format. We sat in on a session with Jonathan Sandlund and Amy Cortese at the community table, as well as a session with Alejandro Cremades and Mike Norman at the platform table. The questions asked can be applied to many businesses and situations, so this is your chance to learn from what others were bold enough to ask.

Jonathan Sandlund & Amy Cortese on Community
Q: How do we get people to our site? What advice do you have about driving the right kind of traffic and interest?
A: Go to all your friends and family and do pre-advertising; so the day you go live, they’re investing. Nobody wants to be the first to invest.

Q: What do you think about the Title II Regs?
A: My hope is let’s get on the road with Title II, but if it does not lead to a workable Title II, its not changing things.

Q: What’s your idea of community?
A: My idea of community is how do you restore the bonds where people are investing in something that they at least feel good about.

Alejandro Cremades & Mike Norman on Platforms
Q: What is the ideal video pitch length on crowdfunding platforms?
A: We’ve found that 90-second elevator pitch videos seem to be the right balance.

Q: How do you drive people to invest in your company through a crowdfunding platform?
A: Fundraising takes a lot of effort, and user acquisition is difficult. It’s all about traction with the first and second degree connections; people who really connect with what you do. The donation side is very social media driven. On the equity side, this has not been the case. However, Title II will likely be implemented in September and will lower the restrictions for the equity side. People will then have a chance to do things like convert Facebook “Likes” and Twitter Shares into investment dollars.

These Q & A’s all provide valuable information to entrepreneurs on how to better their companies. Being able to ask questions to someone who has been in the same place and found an effective method is priceless. By hearing from experts like Alejandro Cremades and Mike Norman on topics such as useful platforms for crowdfunding, other entrepreneurs are able to bypass trial and error, and instead make direct use of efficient platforms.

Even though CROWDFUNDxNYC is over, we don’t want the conversations and collaborations to end. Join us on American Express OPEN Forum to continue the conversation, share advice, and make smart decisions. Join here.

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