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Jumpstarter Crowdfunding

With projects as diverse as funding a school cricket tour to helping authors publish their work and getting tech and fashion businesses off the ground, Jumpstarter Crowdfunding is a non-profit organisation that impacts numerous South Africans, especially in these times of economic desperation.

According to Derek Steven Whitehead, Operations Director at Jumpstarter Crowdfunding, the platform is an excellent vehicle for entrepreneurs and individuals to get traction, and potentially a good way for them to gauge sentiment and assess the viability of an idea.

“We launched the platform to enable people with great ideas and projects to connect with people who could help fund them,” he says.

As a non-profit organisation, Jumpstarter Crowdfunding relies heavily on the support of major technology companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other leading technology tools, including Salesforce, for access to tools and hosting services that help minimise the cost of operations.

“This means we are able to support non-profit projects at no cost to them, and for-profit projects for a nominal percentage of the funds raised,” he says.

Among the successful projects include Charly’s Bakery, a Cape Town business with 25 staff members, which successfully raised enough money to stay in business and keep paying staff through the difficult months of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Another success is Pirate Masters, a new card game ideal for keeping families entertained during load-shedding. The project raised sufficient funding to take the game to market and start heading for the international stage.

To date, 29 projects have raised funding totalling over R1.2 million through Jumpstarter Crowdfunding, and the pace is picking up as growing numbers of individuals and small businesses learn of the opportunity to secure funding through the platform.

Jumpstarter Crowdfunding is powered by a unique 100%-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully funded, or no money changes hands. Its rewards-based model means that supporters receive incentives to contribute to a project. In the Charly’s Bakery project, for example, the rewards ranged from branded items to a hands-on cake decorating experience.

Whitehead says all these efforts would not have been possible without AWS’s non-profit programme. “AWS solved our challenge of finding suitable and efficient cloud hosting. The AWS platform allows us to simplify user-based permission management, giving our teams the freedom to build while staying within targeted governance boundaries. We can manage and optimise costs across our AWS accounts and resources, and we can centrally secure and audit our fintech environment,” he says.

“The AWS products are used to increase support, expand awareness and advance mission impact locally and globally. We collaborate with AWS to deliver innovative services, tools and solutions that help us drive fundraising, increase advocacy and improve case management, which has enabled Jumpstarter Crowdfunding to operate more efficiently and effectively as a fintech company,” Whitehead says.

Rashika Ramlal, AWS South Africa Public Sector Country Manager, says Jumpstarter is one great example of how organisations are innovating on the AWS Cloud. Furthermore, she encourages executives to register for the AWS and ITWeb Executive Business Breakfast taking place on the 16 March 2023.

“This executive roundtable will feature other customers who have successfully deployed solutions. People will also get to hear from government institutions such the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, who are driving South Africa’s inclusive digital transformation journey through creating an enabling environment towards a digital society to foster socio-economic growth,” Ramlal concludes.

Visit the Jumpstarter website today for more information.