What is Alberta BoostR?
Alberta BoostR is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform from ATB Financial designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Alberta. Through Alberta BoostR, businesses can raise money, test ideas, and gain exposure and market insights from the “crowd” in exchange for a reward—a product, service, or fun/unique experience. We’re taking a different approach by offering entrepreneurs not only a crowdfunding platform through BoostR but also:
- A team of supportive advisors entrepreneurs can reach out to before, during and after their crowdfunding journey.
- Coaching and guidance through monthly Crowdfunding 101 workshops in Calgary and Edmonton.
- Opportunities for exposure through pitch events and ATB’s marketing channels.
- Helpful resources for entrepreneurs (psssst! Even if you’re not crowdfunding you can tap into these!)
BoostR is ideal for businesses of all stages—from startup to well established—whether you’re looking to launch or reach the next level of growth.
We believe in entrepreneurs and recognize the immense value small business provides to our province. We’re here to support your goals.
Ready to take the leap? If you are a business owner interested in using Alberta BoostR, take the first step in launching your campaign now.
Want to fund local businesses, ideas and talent that make a difference in your community, the province and—dare we say—the world? Check out live campaigns on BoostR.
Who can use Alberta BoostR to raise money?
Alberta BoostR is a niche portal, which means only Alberta based businesses can launch a crowdfunding campaign on BoostR. We focus on bolstering the businesses that inject innovation, jobs, and energy into our local economy. However, anyone from around the globe can become a member of the BoostR “crowd” and support campaigns on BoostR.
Why would a business use Alberta BoostR?
It costs money for a business to grow. Some businesses don’t want to tie up their cash flow, pay loan or credit card interest rates, or they simply don’t fit traditional financial models. Alberta BoostR gives local business an alternative that puts them in control, and helps deepen their relationship with their community and customers. Through BoostR, business owners can raise funds to launch or support their business growth. They can also benefit from marketing their business on a broader platform. It’s also a great way to test out a new business idea before officially launching it.
Why would I support a local business on Alberta BoostR?
Local business is vital to any economy. Your support is not a loan or donation. It is a source of revenue the business needs to grow, in return for products, services, or experiences that are of value to you.
Who is behind Alberta BoostR?
Alberta BoostR is brought to you by ATB Financial. ATB provides support and expertise to create and maintain a crowdfunding platform for Alberta businesses. ATB’s team of experts also offers participating business owners advice beyond crowdfunding. ATB does not provide financial contributions to businesses using Alberta BoostR, nor does it make any guarantees about the businesses, campaign goals, or rewards. If you want to become a BoostR (support a campaign), make sure you review the business, its story, and campaign thoroughly before you contribute.
What browser should I use to access Alberta BoostR?
You’re good to go with Internet Explorer 9, Firefox (all versions), Chrome (all versions), and Safari. You may see some quirks with the site if you are using Internet Explorer 8 or earlier. If something isn’t looking the way it should, we want to know! Send us an email at email@example.com.
How can I contact you?
Even if you’re not sure yet about becoming BoostR or starting a campaign, we still encourage you to take a look at the site and let us know what you think! Your feedback is important—it will help us continue to evolve our crowdfunding platform to create the best experience we can.
How can I get my business on Alberta BoostR?
Get started by applying online through the BoostR platform. Apply Now!
How much does it cost?
Creating and running a campaign does not cost anything but your time and involvement. If you are successful in meeting your funding goal, our credit card processor (Stripe) does charge a transaction fee (2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction).Alberta BoostR also takes a percentage to help cover the cost of running the platform (1.1% for businesses banking with ATB Financial, 5.1% for businesses not banking with ATB Financial). The cost will be deducted from the money you receive. If you do not meet your fundraising goal, no fees are charged.
How much is the Stripe transaction fee?
Stripe charges a standard transaction fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per successful transaction. Learn more about Stripe’s fees here.
How will my business get the money?
Alberta BoostR uses a fixed or all-or-nothing funding model. Businesses that run campaigns through Alberta BoostR get the money they raised only if they reach their fundraising goal. If the business does not reach its goal, contributions are not processed.
Businesses receive their funds through Stripe credit card processing. If a campaign is successful, contributions are processed and money is transferred to the business 7 days after the campaign ends. Find out more about how Stripe transfers the funds here. Alberta BoostR does not store credit card information.
How much should I raise with my campaign?
Choose a goal that you can confidently meet and exceed. You have to meet your fundraising goal to receive any funding and exceeding your target will add a touch of brilliance to your campaign! Keep in mind you can always come back for another round of crowdfunding later.
As for the precise amount:
- Be straightforward about your actual costs—this is what you need to raise.
- There generally is a strong correlation between the size of your existing social network and how much you can raise through crowdfunding. Consider how many of your existing fans will contribute and how much they would be willing to pay. Be realistic.
- We suggest aiming for somewhere between $2,000 and $10,000.
- Still not sure? Contact our crowdfunding experts for advice firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long should my campaign run?
This can be tricky. You want your campaign to run long enough for you to get the BoostRs you need to reach your fundraising goal. But making a campaign too long could result in BoostRs not acting quickly (or not acting at all). The ideal campaign duration is 30-45 days. All campaigns will automatically expire after 45 days on the BoostR platform.
We highly recommend raising funds before you launch your campaign to the public. Campaigns that have some traction when they launch tend to have greater credibility and build momentum more quickly. Businesses launching on BoostR have the option to launch a “private” campaign for up to 7 days before launching to the public. Only people with a link to the campaign page will be able to see it. Ideally you would share that with your closest network of supporters—those people you are pretty sure will become BoostRs. Launching your campaign on a high note is critical to success. Campaigns that can raise at least 20% of their total funding goal within the first 1-2 weeks are 80% more likely to reach their funding goal.
Can ATB Financial promote my campaign or guarantee its success?
No. ATB doesn’t get involved in any individual campaigns. Your campaign’s success is entirely dependent on your ability to share your story, make BoostRs feel confident in your campaign, and offer something people value enough to make a contribution. If your campaign is successful, ATB Financial may help to promote your success through our marketing channels and at pitch events.
How do I write a compelling campaign story?
Good question! Every business is different, so there are countless ways to write your campaign story. But here are some tips we hope will help get you started:
- Talk about why you started your business.
- Share your passion—show why you love being a business owner.
- Be specific and transparent in your fundraising goals. Explain why you need the amount you’re asking for, and exactly how you will put this money to good use.
- Include some photos or videos of your business and the project you are seeking funding for. A video is required for all campaigns on Alberta BoostR.
- Avoid generalities. You may offer “great service,” but your competitors probably say that too, so be more specific about your achievements and qualities.
- Keep it concise. Use simple language, be clear in your “pitch” and avoid rambling sentences.
- As much as possible, “show” don’t tell. Try to incorporate video footage or imagery to get your message across, rather than just talking to the camera for most of your video.
Do I need to have a video if I want to launch a campaign?
Yes, all campaigns on BoostR must have a video and some images. Don’t let that scare you! The video can be something you create on your iPhone. Focus on conveying a compelling message, injected with some passion and authenticity. We recommend you keep the video to 2 minutes max and try to focus on the story of your business. Introduce yourself as the entrepreneur and make an enticing pitch to people as to why they should contribute to your campaign. Tell everyone why the $ will be helpful and specifically how you’ll use it. In addition to simply talking into the camera, we suggest incorporating video footage or images relevant to your business. Consider adding music or a bit of humour to help set the right mood (positive/cheerful/inspirational) for the video.
How do I generate more support?
The primary source of BoostRs is people already in your network. They know you, your business, your employees, your industry or your community.
- If you have a social network (even just a small one), ask your contacts to share your story, not just support your campaign.
- If you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it’s time to dive in! Create accounts and follow your friends, family, and colleagues. Social media networks take time to build, but this is a great opportunity to get started.
- Tell your existing customers about your crowdfunding campaign face-to-face, and promote it in your physical location (if you have one).
- Get support from “traditional” networks—the local chamber of commerce, trade association, your accountant, banker, etc.
- Continue to update people on your progress throughout your campaign.
Consider updating your rewards to keep the story fresh.
How do I control my rewards?
You decide how many rewards of each type to offer, at what contribution level, and what restrictions to place on each. For example, if you are offering a T-shirt reward for $25, think about how many T-shirts you have or can have made and how much each costs you. Consider whether they must be picked up or you are willing to ship them. Finally, once supporters receive the shirt, will they feel like it was good value for their $25?
How you fulfill rewards will have an impact on your business and reputation. Consider staggered delivery (a voucher or coupon for product that can only be redeemed on particular days), or delayed delivery (T-shirts will be available for pickup 2 weeks after your campaign ends, giving you time to get them made).
Coming up with engaging rewards that are of value to your BoostRs is absolutely critical to your campaign’s success. Spend some time thinking through creative ways to design a diverse range of rewards that incorporate product, services or unique experiences for your BoostRs
Can I change my rewards?
Yes, absolutely! Adding and changing rewards can help keep your campaign fresh, and help you respond to what your community wants. As a campaign owner, you will have the ability to add or edit rewards throughout your campaign’s duration. You can also stop offering existing rewards, but once a BoostR has bought a reward you must fulfill it. Keep in mind though, too many rewards can be confusing.
Can I offer equity, profit sharing, or cash repayment as a reward?
No. Securities regulations do not allow anything that can be thought of as a security ownership in the business or its assets to be offered as a reward. Nor can a reward be similar to a loan repayment or cash.
Are there tax implications for my business?
A successful crowdfunding campaign creates revenue for your business similar to your normal operations. Be sure to talk to your accountant about how best to handle the revenue, deductions for expenses, and sales tax implications.
Is my credit card information and payment safe?
Yes, we use Stripe, a secure payment processor for all credit card information and payments. Alberta BoostR does not store credit card information or share it with the business you fund on BoostR.
When am I charged?
Only when a crowdfunding campaign ends and the business has reached its fundraising goal is your credit card charged. When you purchase a reward, your credit card is validated but not charged until the campaign reaches its funding goal. If a campaign does not reach its fundraising goal, BoostRs are not charged.
How do I get my reward?
Your account will list the rewards you have purchased, and the business will have a list of all the rewards they are required to fulfill. Expect to hear from them about receiving your reward, but remember some rewards have restrictions on when or how they are fulfilled. If you encounter any problems with your rewards, send us an email at email@example.com.
Is my reward guaranteed?
Rewards can only be redeemed for successful campaigns where your credit card is charged. Fulfilling rewards is the responsibility of the business that received the funding. Neither Alberta BoostR nor ATB Financial can guarantee fulfillment. We suggest you take the time to make an informed decision before supporting campaigns on any crowdfunding platform. Read the company’s story, check out the website or related links, and make sure you are comfortable with the business and its goals before you contribute.
Can I earn a profit from my support?
No. Rewards cannot be anything resembling a security–such as shares, equity, revenues, interest, or loans.
Can I contribute from another city or province?
Yes, absolutely! Please check with the business on whether or not the reward you are considering is available to you.
Can ATB help me choose which business to support?
No. Neither Alberta BoostR nor ATB Financial can endorse any individual campaigns, so you should do your research before you contribute to a campaign. Read the company’s story, check out the website or related links, and make sure you are comfortable with the business and its goals before you contribute.
I know a great business that should be on Alberta BoostR, what should I do?