27 October 2012

Crowdfunding in Germany, not as easy as Kickstarter

I have started a crowdfunding campaign on Startnext, the German Kickstarter, to help me with the costs for my PJ's Pussies exhibition at Other Nature (Mehringdamm 79 10965 Berlin) and I have finally reached the financing phase! 
If you've used Kickstarter before, you know that the platform is relatively user-friendly and autonomous.  You put everything up all at once, you link it to your Paypal account, they approve it, and you're good to go.  Not so with the ever-bureaucratic German culture.  I swear, this place is impossible!  Here are the steps I had to go through to get this campaign up and running.

1) Put photos and English Language description of campaign online.
2) Get email encouraging German version. Robert translates everything.
3) Register with Fidorpay, the bank that is connected to Startnext.
5) Have technical difficulties with Fidorpay.  Need to call and see what the problem is but have to wait until native German speaker is available during bank hours to make phone call.
6) Work out technical problems.  Send in PostIdent (special form, requires me to go to post office with my passport and proof of address)
7) Find out something is wrong with my PostIdent, have to do annoying post office trip again.
8) Make HORRIBLE video where I ask people to donate to my campaign.
9) Wait several days for my Startnext campaign to be activated for finance phase.  Accidentally send out email saying that folks can support my campaign early.  Am embarrassed.
10) Email Startnext several times to try to get account activated.  Wait.
11) Call Startnext.  Luckily the person on the phone speaks English.  She tells me I can add days to my account since I have not started the financing phase yet.  I do.  Then she starts the financing phase for me.

And after 2 days, I am more than halfway to my funding goal!  Honestly, I am hoping to exceed my funding goal because I asked for the bare minimum and that was before I knew that I would have to provide refreshments at the exhibition and also get my sewing machine fixed.  So, if you can, slip me a few Euros, will you?  You'll be rewarded with lovely gifts and undying gratitude.
Also, if you can't support my project financially but would still like to let me know you care, you can become a fan of my project by registering with Startnext.de.  Becoming a fan is free,and you can register with your facebook account!  
If you live in or near Berlin, I'd love to see you at the opening.  The official invitation for the opening is here.


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