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Innovative financing alternatives: Crowdfunding and Crowdlending

08/10/2013 (dd/mm/yyyy) | Barcelona


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Innovative financing alternatives: Crowdfunding and Crowdlending
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Presentation used by Ramón Saltor (only for members)
Presentation used by Carles Escolano (only for members)
Presentation used by Valentí Acconcia (only for members)


On 8th October, the Alumni Entrepreneurship hosted a session entitled "Crowdfunding and Crowdlending: Innovative Alternatives to Financing". 

Crowdfunding is the collective financing of projects via online platforms. Agustí Pla (Lic&MBA 79), President of Alumni Entrepreneurship, welcomed and introduced the invited speakers: Jordi Vinaixa (MBA 91), Lecturer in the Department of Strategy and General Management and Academic Director of the ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute and Alumni Entrepreneurship; Valentí Acconcia (Lic&MBA 02), CEO of Projeggt; Carles Escolano, co-founder of Arborius; Ramón Saltor, director of the Crowd Angel; and Raimon Roger, CEO of Alerta Phone.

Mr. Vinaixa, the first speaker, framed both trends – crowdfunding and crowdlending – as examples of crowdsourcing: ways to democratise support for projects. After defining crowdfunding as having to do with money and crowdlending as having to do with loans, he discussed the current status of the Internet: "In today’s environment, individuals are able to create value and deliver it to whomever they want".

Mr. Vinaixa then give the floor to Mr. Acconcia, who began his remarks by discussing the origins of crowdsourcing, which he traced back to the development of the Internet. According to Mr. Acconcia, the concept of crowdsourcing first appeared in 2001. However, it became a true global trend in 2007 with the launch of KickStarter. Mr. Acconcia expanded on the classic concept of the "three Fs of financing" – friends, family and fools – by adding a fourth F: fans. Crowdfunding, he explained, opens up the financing process to strangers who are interested in consuming the product in question. 

Because the investor is no longer an investor but rather a patron, Mr. Acconcia argued that transparency is crucial. "Crowdfunding is a validation of a simple idea", he concluded. "The customer is no longer king; he is a patron".

The next speaker focused on a different model of crowdsourcing – specifically, crowdlending. Mr. Escolano, co-founder of Arborius, explained that crowdlending is a way of loaning money. Through his company, individuals can invest in small and medium-sized companies. In 2012, in the midst of the credit crunch, Mr. Escolano had the idea to create a different sort of platform for a new type of investor: those who want to know every detail of the project they invest in. By setting the minimum investment at €20, Arborius opened the door to small investors who would otherwise be unable to participate. 

Mr. Saltor, the third speaker, began by describing his first experience with crowdfunding, which took place in London and was underwhelming. By founding the Crowd Angel, Mr. Saltor aimed to create a platform that would facilitate investment in start-ups that did not have easy access to conventional forms of financing. Mr. Saltor echoed Mr. Escalono’s description of today’s new investors: "When you make it possible for them to invest in small amounts, you seduce them into doing so". Of the 51 investors who participated in the company, 26 had never before invested in a start-up. "This is the great achievement of crowdfunding", declared Mr. Saltor.

Mr. Roger, the last speaker, shared a unique point of view: that of a crowdsourcing customer. In late 2012, his company, Alerta Phone, was seeking alternative sources of financing because the conventional sources seemed to have dried up. Their decision to contact the Crowd Angel was a turning point: since then, the company has been able to grow. Various small investors have contributed to the project not just capital but also experience and knowledge. "It’s a very rewarding experience", he concluded. "It’s easier to gain access to funding, and you also get the benefit of experience at no extra cost".





is a means of collectively raising funds to finance business projects through an online platform. It is seen as an alternative to the conventional financing systems available to entrepreneurs.

At an upcoming session on 8th October, we will be presenting the various crowdfunding platforms available today.

7.00-7.05 pm: Welcome address. By Agustí Pla (Lic&MBA ‘79), President of Alumni Entrepreneurship


Crowdfunding: How this New Financing System Can Help Your Company." By Jordi Vinaixa (MBA ‘91), Lecturer in the Department of Strategy and General Management at ESADE, Academic Director of the ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute and of Alumni Entrepreneurship

Ramón Saltor, Director of The Crowd Angel, the first online crowdfunding platform that allows professional investment in the selection of innovative tech start-ups. The platform has raised more than €920k for its various projects.

Raimon Roger: “The Case of a Successful Entrepreneurial Project". Raimon Roger, CEO of Alerta Phone, a global network of local smartphone and tablet repair companies that make house calls all over the world. Alerta Phone offers 360º service in the smartphone and tablet repair market and cross-sells accessories, spare parts and used devices.

Carles Escolano: “The Crowdlending Financing Model". Carles Escolano, co-founder of Arboribus, a platform that allows individuals to invest directly in small and medium-sized enterprises that have a proven track record of several years. The Arboribus method also provides these SMEs with an alternative to traditional bank-based financing.

Valentí Acconcia (Lic&MBA 02), CEO of Projeggt, a reward-based crowdfunding platform where users incubate their ideas by creating, validating and upgrading them. Idea creators offer rewards in exchange for the funds they need to carry out or upgrade their ideas.

8.25-8.30 pm: Question time

8.30 pm: Closing address and networking

For further information
T. 935 530 217

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