BANKING ON CHANGE: As 3-D imaging gains ground, the progressive footwear brand True Gault is also taking an innovative approach to brand building.
Whittled down from 2,000 companies, the shoe label is now among the 39 start-ups on the investment platform Republic.co. Its new crowdfunding campaign enables those interested to become a stakeholder for as little as $100. The site has funded 17 companies with $2.5 million in the past 18 months. Republic’s average investment is $500, which is considerably more substantial than Kickstarter supporters, which hover around the $25 range.
In addition, True Gault chief executive officer Sandra Gault will be pitching her visionary business model on Sony’s new investment competition reality series, “Meet the Drapers.” Her run through will air on Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. EST on Sony Entertainment Television. This double-barreled approach to fund-raising is meant to overhaul traditional fund-raising. The show will star three generations of movers and shakers. Heading up the trio is Bill Draper, a pioneering venture capitalist in Silicon Valley start-ups. He also penned, “The Start-up Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs.” Tim Draper, a big believer in viral marketing, is also on board, as is his daughter Jesse, a talk show host, investor and former actress. She is also the founder of Halogen Ventures, which focuses on supporting consumer technology companies started by women.
Via “Meet The Drapers,” three start-ups will be competing for investment in their companies while also trying to sway viewers to finance their businesses via their respective crowdfunding pages. A guest judge will be featured on each episode. Jyoti Bansal of AppDynamics will do the honors on the Dec. 17 show featuring True Gault. AppDynamics was sold to Cisco for $3.7 billion this year.
As for Gault’s unconventional approach to investing, she said, “Women-led start-ups typically have a much harder time raising capital, so we opted for a fresh approach.”