Both crowdfunding and women in tech were hot topics for the startup scene in 2013. From Sheryl Sandberg’s controversial book Lean In to the JOBS Act making crowdfunding easier and more effective, those two topics unquestionably ruled the internet last year.
For this week’s Pick of the Crowd, I’m excited to introduce you all to a site that combines both of those trends in one place. It’s called Plum Alley and it’s a crowdfunding site that focuses specifically on women entrepreneurs and women-run businesses.
First, let’s talk design.
As a tech writer, I spend a lot of time looking at websites and since starting this weekly column, I’ve spent even more on crowdfunding sites. While both Kickstarter and Indiegogo can feel overwhelming with their masses and masses of projects, Plum Alley reminds me of Fundable, which is another smaller-scale crowdfunding site that I especially love.
What I mean by that is Plum Alley (and Fundable) has taken a cozier, more curated approach to crowdfunding. Plum Alley uses tiles to highlight their projects, making them easy to scroll through and get a good overview and their focus on a few projects instead of the whole spectrum makes the whole experience much easier to digest.
While it might seem counterintuitive at first glance, the fact that Plum Alley has just twelve projects – eight of which have already met their funding goals – is definitely a competitive advantage when compared with the larger crowdfunding sites. The smaller number means that any visitor to the site can get a really clear idea of what each project is about, in less than ten minutes.
Supporting women entrepreneurs across the board.
Plum Alley is there for women-run companies if they’re just getting started but they’re also happy to help those who are already established through their on-site store. With a choice of products ranging from home and garden to accessories to stuff for your pets, consumers know for certain that their purchases are going to directly benefit an independent female entrepreneur.
Another great resource Plum Alley provides is a growing database of women investors and they’ll soon be offering a Digital Map of Female Founders so entrepreneurs can see exactly where these ladies are located. Basically, they’ve got you covered from idea through ideation all the way through iteration.
For women, by women.
The founder and CEO of Plum Alley is Deborah Buresh Jackson, a serial entrepreneur who has spent the past 21 years raising capital for public and private market clients. She’s also the co-founder of the Women Innovate Mobile Accelerator and has been recognized for her work in Mashable, Fast Company, and Forbes, to name just a few.
Her team is made up of awesome women who do everything from coding to marketing to innovation.
They’ve dedicated their time, skills, and efforts to helping other women entrepreneurs succeed. If you’re interested in doing the same, head on over to Plum Alley and check out the projects currently seeking funding or browse their shop for something nice to help you through the post-holiday blues.