Updated Feb, 8th 2013
SunFunder is a funding platform for high-impact, solar projects. Our projects range from solar lighting & cell phone charging products to micro-grids, and they always create social, economic and environmental benefits for the communities they serve.
Why: About 1.3 billion people in the world lack access to electricity and another billion live in areas with highly unreliable power. Energy poverty is a serious global problem and we have an idea to solve it.
How SunFunder works: We believe that the top challenge facing solar businesses working to bring affordable solar energy to these communities is the lack of access to financing. We partner with those solar businesses that need loans to finance their solar projects and solar technology deployment. We vet these businesses and their projects, and when we are comfortable with the risks, we post a project on our platform and allow anyone around the world to invest in the project by making a loan as small as $10. Once we raise the projects full target amount, we then issue the loan to the solar business. Over the loan term, as the solar company repays the loan, project investors get repaid and can then reinvest.
Latest screenshot of our selection of projects (we just fully funded our fourth last month):
The Viral Map
1. List all major “players” in the system (eg. a marketplace may have two major players: buyers & sellers)
a. Online funders
b. Solar partners
2. List out any selfish reasons why each player would need their contacts/friends to join the service
a. Online funders - want to show off to their friends about how much good they are doing, want to be recognized that their philanthropic acts are based on demanding measurable impact
and are forever giving because they are loans and not donations
b. Solar partners - want to get more loans quicker from online funders so they will tell all their supporters, want to be perceived as a cutting edge business by utilizing innovative crowdfunding platforms
3. List out all things you could possibly charge each player for on the service
a. Online funders - nothing, because we don’t like the idea of charging anyone to do the charitable act of lending.
b. Solar partners - interest on loan, small upfront fee for signing up for the financing service
4. For 2 and 3 above give a very short reason you think the player would be motivated to need their contact or pay for the service
a. Online funders not only want to do good, but they want to be recognized by their networks that they are conscientious citizens who are putting effort into doing good for the world. Anonymous charity is good, but most people feel more gratification when their acts of charity are known by their community.
b. Solar partners need access to financial loans to scale up their projects. They also need the exposure to people outside the energy and development industry for their products to be recognized as a consumer product and not a “product for international aid”.
<<Second week parts>>
5. List the channels (email, facebook, text message, etc.) that you will send your users’ invites through and how you will get that contact data
6. Create what those invites will look like