My goodness, so much help and support coming my way just today.
Ouafa is a SWEETHEART. I love her. I love love love love LOVE her. She passed my email on to a few people in the Aarhus school for me to get in touch with. She also answered my questions thoughtfully and gave me some good ideas. (Who knew there was a DANISH oil palm plantation here??)
Soren from the Danish fundraising organization replied – their organization actually works with NGOs rather than individuals, so they didn’t really have an answer. However, they did invite me to their offices (nearby KaosPilot’s, apparently) if I make it to Aarhus and want to work with development. They’ll make a great contact.
Mark, the guy I talked to in Aarhus, also gave a good reply. He suggested I get in touch with Jytte, who used to be the Aarhus principal and (I think, if I’m remembering the right person) now heads the Stockholm school. Apparently Jytte has a friend that could help me with funding, but I’d be the first person to actually ask for help so I might be given a tough task. Or something. It’s all very mysterious and Mission: Impossible ish. Sounds interesting, but I hope the task isn’t something so dangerous!!
Kasper, the current team leader, wrote back telling me about what some of his students did. Apparently they weren’t too successful with grants and fundraising, so the more common ways are through loans, work, and parents. This concerns me. Parents are DEFINITELY out; they told me that if I want to do anything besides uni I’ll have to pay for it myself. (There are also a lot of control issues but I won’t get into that.) I’ve been raised never to borrow money, so loans make me uncomfortable (particularly interest rates!!). As for work – no part-time job I can get, save for nude modelling (uh, no), will make me enough money in a short time to cover fees. It’s definitely a viable support, but I can’t just DEPEND on work.
David Madie from Startup Company also suggested a job, since a lot of companies would like to hire KaosPilots. I’m looking into some freelancing opportunities right now, but I need to figure out a job where a few gigs can pay me a fair bit to live on. Public speaking apparently can be rather lucrative, but how do I break into the industry?
Stian, whom we met from a Hospitality Club request, has been extra supportive of my journey. He suggested two ideas: a pitch page to explain what I’m trying to do (I have this on my About page, but I can definitely rework it), and a YouTube video which is basically my pitch in video. Funny idea; I can definitely come up with something.
I’m quite touched by the outpouring of support, really. People are really backing me up here. This is awesome. I hope I don’t let anyone down.
This next few days I am at the GK3 conference as a media volunteer for the Young Social Entrepreneurship Initiative Forum. They’ve just launched YSEIPLedge.org (or .com?) where youths can put up projects and find funding. Maybe I can post my KaosPilots thing there. I did sneak in a hand-written note in the display material. There was a Funding panel today, with tips and LOTS of passionate questions about how to get funding as a young social entrepreneur. I asked about my situation, and got these answers:
- A venture capitalist: Why don’t you look on the Internet? My goodness, most useless answer ever. Hello Madam, you are asking this of a woman who has been online since 1995. If I could have found SOMETHING online, why am I asking a GROUP OF POTENTIAL FUNDERS for other ideas?
- A banker: Whatever I do, I need to be a very good salesman. Since I’m not an NGO or a business, I am essentially selling the “worthiness of my soul”, and I need to make sure I can market that. Good advice, wish I could have heard more.
The discussion nearly got very heated at some points – people were really strong-minded about their experiences. I’m quite happy about that.
We did some sessions with BrainStore today. A Swiss company whose job is just to come up with ideas. BEST BUSINESS EVER. I also got confirmation for my talent in idea generation, which was pretty empowering. Now if only I could actually come up with ideas to fund my KaosPilots journey. Or pay them CHF 10/RM 30 to do it for me, ahaha. I’m looking into working as a freelancer with them, and I’ll definitely ask them for funding. Most perfect company ever, come on.
Sorry for the lack of links. I’m exhausted; today was good but a LONG day. Hopefully I’ll be this lucky for the rest of the year and then some! 🙂