After showing up at an informative meeting held by Klak Innovation Centre, a centre for innovation and business creation, we met with the guys from Karolina Fund who presented their business idea for the first time publicly at this event.
The fiercely four out of the group invited us to their desk in the facilities of Kvosin Innovation Center for a quick chat about the concept and the road ahead. The founders are Ingi Rafn Sigurðsson, initiator and manager, Jónmundur Gíslason, graphic designer, Arnar Sigurðsson, filmmaker and technological director, and one guy, who preferred to remain anonymous. Others in this crowded group of founders are Sævar Ólafsson, marketing director, Þórarinn Jóhannsson, web developer, Brynjólfur Sigmarsson, economist and Irina Domurath lawyer.
anonymous, Ingi Rafn, Jónmundur and Arnar
Karolina Fund is a crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platform for the creative industries. The idea is to bring ideas to life interactively with the help of others, service providers, investors. If you are a creator, you will have the opportunity to search for financing worldwide, but also to get other people aboard and profit from their know-how.
If you are an investor, you can browse projects and invest in them. As a service provider, you can offer your services for a project.
Everyone involved will be able to monitor the implementation of the idea through infographs and notifications on the achievement of milestones. Karolina Fund will release the funds according to those milestones. This means that investors will always know how their money is being spent, and service providers can be sure to get paid for their rendered services.
The platform thrives on the idea of social media idea. In fact, Karolina Fund is a social medium itself. People can have a profile, upload pictures, receive news, and join forums.
Who started the project?
First, in 2009, it was Ingi and Jónmundur developing the project. Later, Arnar, Sævar Ólafsson, Brynjólfur Sigmarsson and others joined. We believe that it is our strength that we are people from both the creative and business fields. It’s a good blend for the vision that we have with the platform.
Why do you think that funding is a better done online?
On an online platform, creators, investors, and service providers from all over the world can join hands and make projects together. Karolina Fund creates a global marketplace. In this way, you have access to more know-how, projects, and funding possibilities.
What can you tell me about the concept of crowdfunding,
and do people know what it means?
Well, the word can be understood literally. It’s about funding a project with funds from multiple resources. The concept is very well known abroad, especially in the U.S., and we hope to introduce it to Iceland and support creative projects here.
Wasn’t Breakbeat.is funding a graphical poster-book through crowdfunding not so long ago?
Yes, it was actually a great idea. Many who like this music and are interested in poster art, supported the project and gave money for the book. We congratulate them on the project. It’s good that people here are starting to do be interested in crowdfunding. This is exactly what we need.
So what is your next step in the project? What is in it for you?
We have a prototype ready and want to test the concept by having projects of different sizes for a try-out in our databank online. In that way we can test usability and customer experience before we launch the website. We are currently looking for funding.
In the end, we want to be a strong venue for the creative industries, service providers, and investors, and we want to create a platform that works just like the best social media sites online.
Interview: Ása Baldursdóttir
Photograph: Nanna Dís