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Idea.me offers $5,000 for creative projects

Through June 15, Idea.me’s new Create Miami campaign is offering locals a chance to get $10,000 to make their ideas happen, with support from Knight Foundation.

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What is it? Idea.me was born in Argentina as a Latin America-focused platform for creators to raise money to support their ideas and projects.

What problem is it trying to solve? Its founders noticed that most US-based platforms, such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, were often focused on the product being made, rather than the people making it.

“In Latin America, it’s about that— it’s not just about the bottom line. People need to trust you,” says Thais Thiesen, project manager for Idea.me’s Miami campaign. “We’re trying to be a different spin on crowdfunding. For us it’s about community; you become a participant in the project.”

How does it work? Everywhere it operates, Idea.me provides what’s called “rewards-based crowdfunding,” where, like on Kickstarter, creators offer rewards to their backers. While there are a number of big-name platforms in the space, Idea.me’s team saw an opportunity at the local level.

“It was a local next step to move to Latin American communities in the US and create a connection,”says Carolina Merlo, project manager for Idea.me in Argentina.

What’s happening in Miami? The company’s new campaign offers creators who post a project the chance to get $5,000 in matching funds for their project, in addition to the money they raise on their own. A local panel will select projects that “will create an impact in Miami,” says Thiesen. “Starting new product lines, developing projects, anything that can cause a change in Miami. It can be at any stage. You could be well established but you’re raising funding for one project. Anyone can apply with an idea that’s relevant to Miami.”

Applications close June 15.