Bloomington-based musician Jenn Cristy, who describes her music as old-school rock ‘n roll style with a contemporary flair, wanted to release a new album, ut she needed money before she could start. So Cristy decided to launched a pledge campaign on a new website called Kickstarter.com. The website encourages people to pledge money for a cause. In return, groups offer gifts to their contributors like a copy of a new CD or hand-written lyrics of your favorite song.
Cristy told her fans she needed $4,000 to release the album. And those fans came through.
“The second we went over $4,000, my bassist was the one that saw it, and he called, and he’s like, ‘we’re at four thousand’,” she says. “I could not say thank you enough to every one who pledged to us.”
Professor of Marketing at the Kelley School of Business Shanker Krishnan sees this transformation as a move away from venture capitalism.
“But I think also the interesting part is that now you’re going after not just bankers and corporate entities, you’re going after the real people,” he says. “You’re going after a grassroots America.”
And these creative startups are also keeping things local. Cristy’s producer and owner of Farm Fresh Studios Jacob Belser says Kickstarter brought in money for a Bloomington artist, who selected a Bloomington producer, who chooses to invest his money locally.
“My mortgage is held with Old National Bank, formerly Monroe Bank, and I, of course, spend money at local businesses, restaurants, what not all the time. So yeah, I think that bringing that money out of town definitely brings it into Bloomington and keeps it in Bloomington,” Belser says. ”There’s no doubt about it in my mind.”
Cristy and Belser are now recording the new album, which should be released this spring.