Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Squawk'r speakers come in a variety of colors, but they all pack a punch when it comes to the tunes. Photo courtesy of the Squawk'r campaign page

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.

SQUAWK’R BLUETOOTH RUBBER DUCK SPEAKERS

How many WNC scenes can you spot in the Squawk’r campaign video by Peppermint Media Group? A Hendersonville-based team of tech-gurus proudly announces the arrival of their portable (and adorable) bluetooth-compatible music solution, Squawk’r. The two-inch speaker is lightweight, works with several music sourcing options (including most popular music apps), holds a charge for three hours, and provides the perfect water-resistant accompaniment for shower singers worldwide. But don’t be fooled by the cutesy exterior — this little bird packs a punch when it’s time for the tunes. The Squawk’r team aims to raise $22,000 by Oct. 15, to cover manufacturing, web development, marketing, product design and packaging expenses. A portion of funds will be donated to Feeding America if the team achieves their larger stretch goals.

EPICS — EDUCATING PEOPLE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE (TEEN EDITION)

Sometimes a $5 latte comes with a free cookie sample. Other times it comes with the wrong kind of milk, incorrect change and rolling eyes. Jungo Java owner Jamie Tanner of Hendersonville has set out to end the apathy that plagues many service-oriented businesses by developing an engaging online training program that introduces teens to the tenets of top-notch customer service. EPICS (Educating People in Customer Service) will cover various topics (greeting customers, handling mistakes, keeping busy without texting, learning product lines, etc.) using short video lessons that conclude with a quiz and a printable certificate of completion. Tanner aims to raise $12,000 by Sept. 28, to fund her project.

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and  should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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