20th October 2017, Belgium – Herculean was awarded “Best Belgian Crowdfunding Campaign of the Year 2017” at Crowdday in Antwerp. The Herculean equity crowdfunding campaign was completed on the MyMicroInvest platform. A professional jury compared successful projects and awarded Herculean with the first prize.
“Winning this award is a huge boost for the whole team. We are proud of this public recognition at the main crowdfunding event attended by all key players. This prize confirms we chose the right path, even with the odds against us and many hurdles“, Inge Van Belle. “We learned so much and are even more convinced of crowdfunding that we can’t wait to involve more fans in the years to come as we want to expand all over the world. We want to keep on playing a pioneer role in the sportainment and wellbeing market.”
Herculean started considering crowdfunding at the end of 2016 and raised a financing mix of approx. 1 mil EUR. An overview of the milestones:
- Herculean started in 2012 when the co-founders, Inge Van Belle and Yves Vekemans, were inspired by Muhammad Yunus and the United Nations’ Year of the Cooperation. The founders created a cooperative organisation with the dream to involve the fans in financial structure in the long run.
- Between 2012 and 2017, Herculean focused on building a sustainable business model through different formats and tested the business in several countries. Investors joined the organisation in 2-yearly capital rounds and a professional Board of Advise came into place.
- In 2016, MyMicroInvest inspired the founders that equity crowdfunding was a great way to allow fans to participate in the governance.
- While preparing the campaign, they soon discovered that Belgium was one of the least mature crowdfunding markets. So they considered it as their duty to help educate the market.
- The true believers were informed about the plans during a private launch.
- At the public launch, even more believers started to join the movement.
- Their story drew the attention of the media .
- The result: Herculean raised about 1mil EUR and Roger Maleve joined as President with Barbara Torfs joining as Managing Director for Herculean Belgium
- Herculean decided to share the lessons learned and wanted to play a teaching role for other entrepreneurs who considered crowdfunding. Hence their participation at the Crowdday.
Crowdday is the biggest gathering for everyone involved in crowdfunding in Belgium, powered by Chamber of Commerce Antwerp, crowdfunding agency Douw & Koren and PMV. +300 entrepreneurs, investors, crowdfunding platforms, financial specialists and institutions attended the second edition of Crowdday.
Herculean co-founder, Yves Vekemans, was amongst the keynote speakers and talked about Equity Crowdfunding. Dries Bols from LifePower talked about reward-based crowdfunding and Wim Ballieu from Balls&Glory about lending-based crowdfunding.
Yves also participated in a panel discussion about the role of Crowdfunding in the financing mix together with Francis Van der Haert (Deloitte), Koen Schrever (KBC), Alex De Ridder (PMV), Bart Eeckhout (ING), and Kris Leys (BNP Paribas Fortis).
A few words about the partners:
- VOKA is the Flemish network of corporations. They represent 18,000 companies in Flanders and Brussels, which is 65% of private employment and 66% of the added value. VOKA – Chamber of Commerce Antwerp-Waasland has a specific focus on the Antwerp region with the port as main hub.
- Crowdfunding agency Douw & Koren helps entrepreneurs to find their crowd through crowd engagement. They implemented over 400 campaigns since 2011.
- PMV is a do and dare company that is shaping the future of the Flemish economy. PMV provides finance for promising businesses, from their very start, through their various growth stages and even on to operating internationally. Working with and for the government and other partners, PMV implements projects that are important for prosperity and wellbeing in Flanders.
- Other partners of the event were Hello Bank crowd, Look & Fin, Bolero Crowdfunding, Bryo, MyMicroInvest, Starters Creative Xchange, Ulule, BAN Vlaanderen, Kickstarter, Seedrs, Kiss Kiss Bank Bank, WinWinner and CrowdAngels.
Herculean is the sportainment and corporate wellbeing platform. We develop formats to energise people. Currently we run Hercules Trophy, Hercules Academy, Hercules Projects, Ladies Games and Pink Ladies Games with own offices in Belgium, Dubai and New York.