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Meet our crowdfunding platform, ATB BoostR

Crowdfunding is the fastest and most effective method to test, launch and grow a business. With BoostR, you can leverage the crowd to generate cash flow and even use it as a platform for ecommerce.

Getting started with BoostR

Need a little help launching your campaign? These 7 quick steps will help you get started right away.
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Knowledge really is power.

Crowdfunding experts aren’t born—they’re made. Maximize your campaign’s odds of success with helpful advice from the experts at ATB BoostR.
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FAQs: I’m a business owner

ATB BoostR is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform that ATB launched in 2015. ATB BoostR gives Alberta entrepreneurs a place to raise money for their businesses, often in exchange for a “reward” (to pre-sell a product, service or experience).

With ATB BoostR, entrepreneurs can choose from two different campaign models.

The first is the traditional “all or nothing” crowdfunding model, where a business will only receive the funds raised by a campaign if the campaign reaches its goal.

The second is a “take it all” model, where a business will receive all of the money its campaign raises—regardless of whether the campaign goal is met.

ATB BoostR also provides an online shopping platform for businesses without their own. Entrepreneurs who run successful campaigns can sell goods and services (including gift cards) on BoostR once their campaigns end.

ATB BoostR was created by ATB. We provide support and expertise to create and maintain a crowdfunding platform for Alberta businesses and organizations. Our team of experts also offers participating business owners advice beyond crowdfunding. ATB does not provide financial contributions to businesses using ATB BoostR, nor does it make any guarantees about the businesses, organizations, campaign goals, or rewards.

Rewards based crowdfunding is an ever growing, alternative source of funding for businesses. It’s also the most popular type of crowdfunding. Businesses create a campaign on the platform for a set amount of capital to be raised, and in return for donations, the business provides various rewards. Rewards can be substantial, or as simple as a virtual high five.

While traditionally ATB BoostR has been used to start and grow a business or test an idea, during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses may choose to use the BoostR platform to receive capital while their doors may be closed. This could mean selling existing inventory, pre-selling products, future experiences or services, gift cards or simply requesting to receive donations.

ATB BoostR gives local businesses an alternative that puts them in control, deepens their relationships with their community and customers and helps them market their business on a broader platform.

If you are an Alberta-based entrepreneur or business (for profit or not-for-profit), you can raise money using the rewards based crowdfunding solution. Entrepreneurs will often crowdfund using BoostR to test their business idea, build a customer base, gain exposure or grow their business. Some notable Alberta businesses who’ve successfully campaigned on BoostR include:

  • Burgundy Oak furniture
  • Local Laundry clothing
  • Sugared and Spiced bakery
  • The Light Cellar superfood shop
  • Square 1 coffee cafe

To help support businesses launching campaigns during COVID-19 crisis, ATB Financial will waive our 3.1% platform fee. Campaigners will only be responsible for the credit card processing fee ($0.30 per transaction) and the 2.9% Stripe payment process fee.

With the traditional “all or nothing” crowdfunding model, you’ll only receive the funds raised by your campaign if the campaign reaches its goal. Those funds should appear in your account within 5 business days after the goal is reached.

With the “take it all” model, you’ll receive all of the money your campaign raises regardless of whether the campaign goal is met. You will see these funds in your account within 5 business days after the campaign ends.

There are a lot of factors that play into setting your crowdfunding goal. Of course, every business could use some additional cash, but crowdfunding works best for businesses that have a specific and defined goal.

Top factors to consider when setting your goal:

  • What’s the main purpose of your campaign? It’s the compass for all your efforts.
  • Reference your milestones, their associated costs and which milestones are absolutely critical for you to reach your goal. What’s your minimum amount you need to move forward? Choose a goal that you can confidently meet and exceed.
  • How much will your rewards cost you (including shipping and taxes)?
  • Generally the size of your existing social network is directly related to how much you can raise through crowdfunding. Consider how many of your existing fans will contribute and how much they’d be realistically willing to pay. On average, 75% successful reward-based campaigns raise between $5,000-$10,000.

This can be tricky. You want your campaign to run long enough for you to get the BoostRs you need to reach your fundraising goal. But making a campaign too long could result in BoostRs not acting quickly (or not acting at all). The ideal campaign duration is 30-45 days. All campaigns will automatically expire after 45 days on the BoostR platform.

Businesses launching on BoostR have the option to launch a “private” campaign for up to 7 days before launching to the public. Only people with a link to the campaign page will be able to see it. Ideally you would share that with your closest network of supporters—those people you are pretty sure will become BoostRs. Launching your campaign on a high note is critical to success. Campaigns that can raise at least 20% of their total funding goal within the first 1-2 weeks are 80% more likely to reach their funding goal.

No. ATB does not get involved in any individual campaigns. Your campaign’s success is entirely dependent on your ability to share your story, make BoostRs feel confident in your campaign, and offer something people value enough to make a contribution. If your campaign is successful, ATB may help to promote your success through our marketing channels.

Good question! Every business is different, so there are countless ways to write your campaign story. Here are some tips to help get you started:

  • Answer these questions: 1) How is COVID-19 affecting you and your business? 2) How are the funds you are raising on BoostR going to help you?
  • What is your business and how will it make people’s lives better? Talk about why you started your business.
  • Who are you and why should I listen to you? Share your passion—show why you love being a business owner.
  • Be specific and transparent in your fundraising goals. Explain why you need the amount you’re asking for, and exactly how you will put this money to good use.
  • Why are you doing this business? Include some photos or videos of your business and the project you are seeking funding for. A video is required for all campaigns on Alberta BoostR.
  • When can I expect you to follow through on your proposition?
  • Where’s all of this taking place? Avoid generalities. You may offer “great service,” but your competitors probably say that too, so be more specific about your achievements and qualities.
  • Keep it concise. Use simple language, be clear in your “pitch” and avoid rambling sentences.
  • As much as possible, “show,” don’t tell. Try to incorporate video footage or imagery to get your message across, rather than just talking to the camera for most of your video.

Yes, all campaigns on BoostR must have a video and some images. Don’t let that scare you! Just grab your cell phone and answer these four questions: 1) Who are you? 2) Why did you start your business? 3) How is COVID-19 affecting you and your business? 4) How are the funds you are raising on BoostR going to help you?

The primary source of BoostRs is people already in your network. They know you, your business, your employees, your industry or your community.

  • If you have a social network (even just a small one), ask your contacts to share your story, not just support your campaign.
  • If you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it’s time to dive in! Create accounts and follow your friends, family, and colleagues. Social media networks take time to build, but this is a great opportunity to get started.
  • Continue to update people on your progress throughout your campaign.
  • Consider updating your rewards to keep the story fresh.

You decide how many rewards of each type to offer, at what contribution level, and what restrictions to place on each. For example, if you are offering a T-shirt reward for $25, think about how many T-shirts you have or can have made and how much each costs you. Consider whether they must be picked up or you are willing to ship them. Finally, once supporters receive the shirt, will they feel like it was good value for their $25?

How you fulfill rewards will have an impact on your business and reputation. Consider staggered delivery (a voucher or coupon for product that can only be redeemed on particular days), or delayed delivery (T-shirts will be available for pickup two weeks after your campaign ends, giving you time to get them made).

Coming up with engaging rewards that are of value to your BoostRs is absolutely critical to your campaign’s success. Spend some time thinking through creative ways to design a diverse range of rewards that incorporate product, services or unique experiences for your BoostRs.

Yes, absolutely! Adding and changing rewards can help keep your campaign fresh, and help you respond to what your community wants. As a campaign owner, you will have the ability to add or edit rewards throughout your campaign’s duration. You can also stop offering existing rewards, however once a BoostR has bought a reward, you must fulfill it. Keep in mind though, too many rewards can be confusing.

No. Securities regulations do not allow anything that can be thought of as a security ownership in the business or its assets to be offered as a reward. Nor can a reward be similar to a loan repayment or cash.

A successful crowdfunding campaign creates revenue for your business similar to your normal operations. Be sure to talk to your accountant about how best to handle the revenue, deductions for expenses, and sales tax implications.

Did we miss something? If you have any further questions or would like to request more information we would love to hear from you. Our email address is atbboostr@atb.com.

FAQs: I’m supporting a local business

Anyone from around the globe can become a member of the BoostR “crowd” and support campaigns on BoostR. If you want to become a BoostR (support a campaign), make sure you review the business or organization, its story and campaign thoroughly before you contribute.

Yes, we use Stripe, a secure payment processor for all credit card information and payments. ATB BoostR does not store credit card information or share it with the business you fund on BoostR.

We are currently updating the backend of BoostR to ensure timely payment for our businesses. If you have boosted a campaign prior to May 1st, expect to see your credit card processed on May 1st. If you have boosted a campaign after May 1st, your credit card will be charged the Wednesday following your contribution. We have temporarily changed our current model to a flexible model in light of COVID-19—now, whatever funds are raised are given to the business, regardless of that business hitting their crowdfunding goal.

Your account will list the rewards you have purchased and the business will have a list of all the rewards they are required to fulfill. Expect to hear from them about receiving your reward, but remember some rewards have restrictions on when or how they are fulfilled. If you encounter any problems with your rewards, send us an email at atbboostr@atb.com.

Rewards can only be redeemed when your credit card is charged. Fulfilling rewards is the responsibility of the business that received the funding. Neither ATB BoostR nor ATB can guarantee fulfillment. We suggest you take the time to make an informed decision before supporting campaigns on any crowdfunding platform. Read the company’s story, check out the website or related links, and make sure you are comfortable with the business and its goals before you contribute.

No. Rewards or donations cannot be anything resembling a security such as shares, equity, revenues, interest, or loans.

No. Neither ATB BoostR nor ATB can endorse any individual campaigns, so you should do your research before you contribute to a campaign. Read the company or organization's story, check out the website or related links, and make sure you are comfortable with the organization and its goals before you contribute.

Did we miss something? If you have any further questions or would like to request more information we would love to hear from you. Our email address is atbboostr@atb.com.