It is easy to see the obvious brilliance of crowdfunding from today's vantage point, but when Slava Rubin and his co-founders first tried to sell the idea to investors back in 2008, they faced a tsunami of "No." Nearly 100 VC's gave the company an initial thumb's down. Flash forward to 2014: Indiegogo, now a global leader in a field it helped invent, closed a $40 million financing round spearheaded by Institutional Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Launched at the Sundance Film Festival as a platform to help independent filmmakers raise money, Indiegogo quickly expanded to become a platform for product developers, community organizations, musicians, researchers and NGO's to raise money for a staggering range of goods and services.
Over the last two years, the number of campaigns has increased by a heady 1,000%, with about a third now originating from outside the US. Crowdfunding has become an established way for bootstrappers to demonstrate value to more traditional investors.
Communities forming around projects can themselves be leveraged for further good works: After Cyclone Pam devastated the tiny Pacific island of Vanuatu, the Flow Hive campaign offered a special perk to its 20,000+ funders, raising almost $100,000 for the rebuilding effort.
During the development of the JOBS Act in 2012, Slava represented the crowdfunding industry at the White House and has played a crucial role in working with the White House and the SEC to finalize the rules and regulations for equity crowdfunding.
Prior to Indiegogo, Slava worked as strategy consultant for clients such as MasterCard and FedEx. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Engineering degree from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.