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双语:9个聪明有趣的创业融资故事

2015-03-04    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语:9个聪明有趣的创业融资故事

没有钱是万万不能的,任何一家初创公司都对此深有体会。但并不是每一位创业者都能幸运地获得风投资本的垂青。一些创业者就独辟蹊径,构想出了另类且有趣的融资方式,最终实现了自己的创业梦想。

This post is in partnership with Entrepreneur. The article below was originally published at Entrepreneur.com.
本文为与《创业者》杂志的合作内容。下文最初发表于Entrepreneur.com网站。

双语阅读:

So you think your business idea is dead because you can’t find an investor? Most new entrepreneurs feel the same way.
找不到投资者时,你是否会觉得自己的商业构想无从实现?大多数创业新手都有同样的感受。

Through email exchanges with business owners and a few nonprofit founders, I found nine very clever funding stories from founders who made their projects flourish — renegade style.
通过与一些公司老板和非营利性机构创始人的电子邮件交流,我发现了九位非常聪明的创始人。他们通过另类的方式募集资金,最终让自己的项目取得了成功。

1. Seek international sponsorship.
1. 寻求国际赞助

When Adam Lyons was launching The Zebra, an Austin company offering a Kayak-type search engine for car insurance, he decided to look overseas to find an outfit that had already successfully developed same business model. He found U.K. billionaire Simon Nixon, who had made a fortune with Moneysupermarket.com.
The Zebra公司从事的业务与旅游搜索引擎服务商Kayak有些类似,只不过它提供的是汽车保险搜索引擎。当亚当•里昂在奥斯丁启动这家公司时,他决定从海外寻找一家运用相同业务模式,并且已经获得成功的公司。里昂最终联系上了英国亿万富翁西蒙•尼克松,后者凭借个人理财网站Moneysupermarket.com获得了大量财富。

Lyons offered to become his U.S. partner and Nixon accepted his proposal, Lyons asserts via email.
里昂向尼克松提出,自己想成为他的美国合作伙伴,尼克松接受这项提议。

“Not everyone may think to search for investors in other emerging markets who have experience with similar business models,” Lyons shares via email. “But for us, it was beyond beneficial.”
里昂在邮件中称:“并非所有人都能想到在其他新兴市场寻找有类似业务模式经验的投资者。但对于我们而言,这项合作已经超越了利益关系。”

2. Create a new vision with what you have.
2. 利用现有资源创造新的愿景

In the early 1970s, EJ Jackson worked as a private investigator but banks rejected his loan application that would have allowed him to expand his business. In a stroke of creative inspiration Jackson took out two car loans: one for a 1975 Lincoln and another for a 1975 Cadillac. In 1977, he used the two cars to launch a new business, Jackson Limo Service.
上世纪70年代初,EJ•杰克逊是一名私家侦探,但他扩大业务的梦想却因银行拒绝贷款而宣告破灭。灵光一闪的杰克逊申请了两笔汽车贷款:用一笔钱买下一辆1975年产的林肯,用另一笔钱购买了一辆1975年产的卡迪拉克。1977年,他利用这两部车成立了一家新公司——杰克逊豪华轿车服务公司。

Today his Los Angeles-based company employs hundreds of drivers, chauffeuring passengers in that celebrity-studded town. “Sometimes you have to take what you can get and make something out of that,” Jackson shares via email. “Create a new legacy for yourself.”
如今,在明星云集的洛杉矶,他的公司聘用了数百名司机为乘客提供用车服务。杰克逊在电子邮件中表示:“有时候,你必须利用自己现有的资源,去做一些事情。创造一个新的传奇。”

3. Advertisers are investors, too.
3. 广告客户也可以成为投资者

Darin Alpert was the first person to join the team of Find Me Gluten Free, a company, also in Austin, offering a search engine to locate gluten-free restaurants. Alpert and his team secured Mark Cuban’s Naked Pizza as an advertiser and then convinced him to become an investor.
达林•阿尔佩特是加入Find Me Gluten Free团队的第一人。该公司同样位于奥斯丁,提供一种用来寻找无麸质食品餐厅的搜索引擎服务。阿尔佩特和他的团队招揽马克•库班的连锁餐厅Naked Pizza成为他们的广告客户,并且说服他成为公司的投资者。

“Both deals were done via numerous emails and one 20 minute phone call,” Alpert writes. “We grew to 2,000,000 users and profitably sold the company in July 2013.”
阿尔佩特写道:“我们通过无数次电子邮件和一次20分钟的电话,做成了这两笔交易。我们的用户增长到20万名,并在2013年7月以高价将公司出售,获利颇丰。”

4. Make payment arrangements at the playground.
4. 在游乐场得到投资

Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter set out to create a children’s media company. While their children amused themselves on the playground, they asked other parents for feedback as they developed their product.
阿比•席勒和萨曼莎•库兹曼-康特决定成立一家儿童媒体公司。当孩子们在游乐场玩耍的时候,她们一边向其他家长寻求反馈,一边开发自己的产品。

Their informal polls struck a chord with parents who then became investors in Los Angeles-based The Mother Company, which offers a series of books and shows for children. The Mother Company wound up raising some $500,000 in funds as a result of playground playdates, Schiller asserts via email.
这种非正式民意调查引起了几位家长的共鸣,后来,他们成为The Mother Company的投资者。这家位于洛杉矶的公司为孩子们提供各种图书和表演。席勒在电子邮件中表示,The Mother Company在游乐场里获得了50万美元的投资。

5. Kickstart yourself.
5. 采用众筹方式在自家网站融资

Priska Diaz naively thought it would be easy to use Kickstarter to raise $75,000 to produce her invention, a baby bottle called Bare that offers air-free milk. But her project failed to receive funds in three months.
普利斯卡•迪亚兹曾经天真地以为,在众筹网站Kickstarter上,可以非常轻松地为自己的发明融资75,000美元。她的发明是一款名为Bare的奶瓶,可保证不会有空气进入其中。但她的项目却未能在三个月内获得足够的资金。

Three years later she was ready to try again. This time she created a website showing the concept with pictures of bottle prototypes. The concept earned her an extensive social-media following as potential customers awaited the product’s development.
三年后,她决定重新尝试。这一次,她创建了一个网站,通过奶瓶的原型图片介绍自己的理念。这种理念在社交媒体上引起了许多人的关注,有大批潜在客户对正式产品翘首以待。

She set up a system for preordering and hosted a presale directly from a website, raising more than $50,000 for her company Bittylab, she claims in an email.
她在邮件中表示,她直接在网站上推出了预订系统,并进行了预售,最终为她的公司Bittylab募集了超过50,000美元资金。

6. Share your passion on Facebook.
6. 在Facebook上分享自己的热情。

Bill Gandy’s hobby is sharing historic photos of Allegheny City, a community on the north side of Pittsburgh, and he also belongs to a Facebook group Born & Raised on Northside of Pgh.
比尔•甘迪的爱好是分享阿勒格尼市的历史照片,此外他也是Facebook小组“土生土长的匹兹堡北方人”的成员。阿勒格尼市位于匹兹堡的北方。

Members of his Facebook group appreciated the reminders of Allegheny City in its glory days. When he suggested opening a gallery to showcase the photos, the Pittsburgh City Council President Darlene Harris messaged him and offered to partner with him. Thus he launced the nonprofit Allengeny City Historic Gallery. Among the initial events planned for fter it opens? A book signing by Steelers owner Dan Rooney. Gandy has raised more than $12,000 in funds for the gallery in less than a month, he shares via email.
这个小组的成员非常喜欢他的照片,因为他们可以从中领略到阿勒格尼市昔日的辉煌。当他提议开设一个美术馆来展示这些照片时,匹兹堡市议会的议长达琳•哈里斯给他发来信息,希望与他合作。之后他成立了非营利性机构——阿勒格尼历史美术馆。正式开放之初,这家美术馆就举办了多场活动。其中之一是,匹兹堡钢人队老板丹•鲁尼接受邀请,来美术馆签名售书。甘迪在邮件中表示,他在不到一个月时间便为美术馆筹集了超过12,000美元。

7. Think of every party as a pitch fest.
7. 将每一次派对当成推介会。

During a going-away party at a bar, Alex Rappaport began telling strangers about his idea to make educational hip-hop songs. Most people smiled politely and moved on.
在一家酒吧举行的欢送会上,阿历克斯•拉帕波特开始向陌生人讲述自己打算创作具有教育意义的嘻哈音乐的想法。大多数人都礼貌性地报以微笑,然后走开。

But a Columbia Business School MBA student was interested and helped Rappaport put together a pitch for its Outrageous Business Plan competition. The Flocabulary business model was a winner in the social value category, earning $5,000 and the attention of a range of investors.
但一位哥伦比亚大学商学院学生很感兴趣,他帮助拉帕波特起草了一份商业计划书,参加哥伦比亚商学院的“离谱商业计划竞赛”。最后,Flocabulary的商业模式成为社会价值类冠军,获得了5,000美元奖金,并受到许多投资者的关注。

That’s how the Rappaport and Blake Harrison came to co-found Flocabulary, an education startup based in Brooklyn. Today, its online learning program is used in more than 20,000 schools around the world, Rappaport claims by email.
这就是拉帕波特和布莱克•哈里森在布鲁克林创立教育初创公司Flocabulary的经过。拉帕波特在邮件中表示,如今,全世界有超过20,000家学校采用了该公司的在线教育课程。

8. Fund my business. It’s my birthday.
8. 给我投资吧。今天是我的生日。

In 2008, as Cynthia Kersey neared 50, she found her life changing dramatically as she went through a divorce. Instead of wallowing in heartbreak, she tackled her dream idea, securing a child’s right to an education. She invited everyone she knew to her 50th-birthday celebration and asked each guest to bring, in lieu of gifts, $100.
2008年,年近五旬的辛西娅•克西刚刚经历了离婚,生活发生了巨变。但她并没有沉湎于伤心的往事,而是决定追求自己的梦想——保护孩子的受教育权利。她邀请所有认识的人参加自己的50岁生日庆典,并请求每一位宾客用100美元来代替礼物。

Kersey announced to the partygoers that she would use the gifts as seed money to open her Los Angeles nonprofit, The Unstoppable Foundation. Because of her efforts, 6,000 children have attended school and more than 50 schoolhouses have been built, she estimates in an email.
克西向参加派对的宾客表示,她将用他们的礼物作为种子基金,在洛杉矶创建一家非营利性机构:不可阻挡基金会。她在电子邮件中估计,通过自己的努力,约有6,000名学生得到了上学机会,有超过50栋校舍得以建成。

9. Find the money in the streets.
9. 在大街上寻找投资。

While Frederick Hutson served a four-year sentence for marijuana trafficking, his family experienced firsthand the difficulty of staying in contact with someone behind bars.
弗雷德里克•赫特森因非法交易大麻被判四年监禁,在此期间,他的家人经历了无法与身陷囹圄的亲人保持联系带来的痛楚。

Upon his release, Hutson informed his family and friends that he would create Las Vegas-based Pigeonly to help keep inmates connected with their loved ones. He went to his street friends to raise the seed capital, collecting money in increments of $200 and $500 and ultimately raising $80,000, he claims via email. Today Pigeonly has grown to employ 13 people.
刑满释放之后,赫特森告诉他的家人和朋友,他将在拉斯维加斯创建一家名为Pigeonly的机构,帮助服刑者与至爱亲朋保持联系。他在电子邮件中表示,他向街头好友募集种子基金,一笔笔200美元或500美元的捐赠,最终累积至80,000美元。如今,Pigeonly已经成长为一家拥有13名员工的机构。(财富中文网)



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