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Produced By:

Merton Park Film Studios,
Toronto, Canada
Los Angeles, CA

Executive Producer:

Allan Schwartzenberger

Announcement - Crowd Funder Show Launches


-Audiences fund the next big idea in real time with high value perks

-Set to debut in Canada, the show will be the first of its kind in the world 

TORONTO (AUGUST 8TH, 2013)- When Jordan Whelan left his job as Producer at a top-rated Toronto radio station, he already had in mind the type of show he wanted to create on his own.

“I spent a lot of time researching the industry after watching Gawker’s successful Indiegogo campaign involving Toronto’s Mayor and the growth stats blew me away,” said Whelan.

Over 100,000 crowd funding campaigns launched last year on platforms such as Kickstarter, IndieGogo, and FundRazr. Thousands of people have pledged millions in the hope of bringing fresh new concepts and causes to fruition.

“Many of those campaigns met with great success, however the majority seemed unable to raise much more than a few hundred dollars. They lacked exposure to a big audience and that’s what you get from television.”

Whelan approached a few investors and a local production company called Merton Park Film Studios in Toronto run by Allan Schwartzenberger. “We all saw the opportunity right away. Within weeks a deal was hammered out and we’re now partners and co-owners in the production of The Crowd Funder Show,” said Schwartzenberger.

The Crowd Funder show will lay out 6 or 7 crowd funding projects that have been pre-screened based on their individual merit. The 30-minute ‘talk show’ format will rely on the show’s hosts to delve into the background of the project and highlight how the principal intends to achieve the desired outcome with the funding proceeds they’re hoping to receive. The hosts will include major players in the world of media and entrepreneurship and be announced in the coming weeks.

Each segment will end with a screen grab of the campaign’s active landing page and a nudge from the host to support the idea. Members of the viewing audience that contribute to a campaign can then select a gift card from a list of local and national businesses as a ‘thank you’ for their support.

“Basically, a supporter can contribute $50 and receive a $50 gas or grocery voucher that has been discounted by one of our show sponsors….the difference between the discount and the face value of the voucher goes into the campaign’s funding bucket.”

“Contributors will feel good about helping launch a great idea they believe in, and can do so by simply contributing a sum of money in return for a gift card or voucher of equal value they can use to make everyday purchases they already buy.”

Whelan believes his sponsors will also come out on top. Initially, when their business gets promoted on his show, and again when a new customer arrives at the sponsor’s door-step to redeem their voucher.

“Our sponsors don’t pay for commercial airtime. Instead, they just give us a discount on the gift cards and vouchers we’ll use as funding perks to reward donors. That translates into a main-stream menu of usable, generic perks that can exponentially increase contributions and defray donor fatigue.”

The show was originally slated to debut in November, but the recent promise by Indiegogo and Kickstarter to serve the Canadian market by September accelerated Whelan’s launch.

“We’ll come out of the gate with a light version of the show for the first 6 or 8 weeks, and then ratchet up the production value around November,” said Whelan. “The team is very passionate about the project because our approach removes all the negative aspects I read about the industry”

Those stigmas mostly come from disgruntled campaigners that don’t have the resources to parade their ideas to a large audience. According to industry stats, many crowd funding campaigns are only able to achieve about 20% of their funding goal, mostly from friends and family. Getting to the proverbial masses remains an elusive goal.

“Our audience is the crowd”, says Whelan. “As our audience grows, so does the potential for our campaigners to achieve their funding goals. The most compelling thing about having the television platform is the ability to watch a campaign funded in real time, with dollars flowing in during a commercial break”

Another headline-grabber the industry has wanted to avoid is with respect to campaigns that fail to deliver on their promised perks.

“That can be a nightmare for everyone, especially the reputation of the funding platform. Unfortunately, a lot of campaigners fail to adequately speck out the cost of development and delivery of their perks. I’ve read that 95% of campaigns that promise a product as a perk fail to deliver when promised.”

“That’s where our sponsored funding perks make sense. Individuals will contribute if there’s value connected to the positive feelings they get by helping make someone’s dream come true. People have limited funds to offer however by making it financially feasible to donate; contributors can support every project they believe in.”

The show will launch in Southern Ontario, Toronto and Western New York on the local Fox affiliate to an estimated 3 million households starting September 22nd, with the rest of Canada and the United States rolling out right after.

Those interested are invited to apply to the company’s website at   www.crowdfundershow.com

About Merton Park:
Merton Park is a fully integrated production company based in Toronto. Its director, Allan Schwartzenberger has over 15 years production experience in the commercial television and video business.

About Jordan Whelan:
Jordan Whelan is a writer (Sun Media, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune), Radio and Television Producer (MuchMusic, Newstalk 1010, Virgin Radio) and Entrepreneur based in Toronto, Canada.

For media inquiries please contact:
Joanna Davis
Production Coordinator
Merton Park Film Studios Ltd.
1 Wiltshire Avenue, Unit 110

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