July 2016
Maude Rhéaume, Responsable de La Ruche

Local crowdfunding makes its debut in Montréal

On June 1st, Montréal got its own local crowdfunding web platform: La Ruche.

Crowdfunding is a concept that allows project with the support of a community see the light of day thanks to a large quantity of small contributions. We like to compare it to door-to-door 2.0 – instead of financing a student trip by selling chocolate bars door-to-door, it becomes an entrepreneurial project, financed, for example, by the presale of products or services via social media.

Inspired by traditional crowdfunding platforms, La Ruche innovates and adapts this alternative financing model, adding features that don’t exist on other crowdfunding sites. 

Three distinctive aspects:

1. Non-profit

Unlike other platforms, which are private companies, La Ruche operates as a non-profit entity, sending out the message that it belongs to the community and that its mission is solid.

2. Regional impact

Also, in order to be eligible for La Ruche, projects must have a social, economic or cultural impact either in the Greater Montréal region, Mauricie, or the Greater City of Québec region, making La Ruche a truly local crowdfunding platform. By setting out a precise territory, a feeling of belonging is generated among members of the population, who get a strong impression that they are making a difference in their community, and supporting projects that are accessible to them in a concrete way. For promoters, it also provides highly targeted publicity. 

3. Live support 

Finally, La Ruche is unique in the support and guidance provided by the SM40 Ambassadors: an alliance of well-known businesspeople involved in their area of expertise and their region, who offer promoters the priceless benefit of professional experience and a broad network of contacts. In Montréal, 80 SM40 Ambassadors are available for support. Once a month, promoters of new projects present their planned campaigns, before they go online, to 10 to 15 of these SM40 Ambassadors. This is an important moment for promoters, who receive valuable advice to help improve their campaigns and their chances of reaching their financing goals. 

A reflection of a population that expresses itself and takes responsibility for its own region’s vitality

Founded in 2013, La Ruche was originally exclusive to the Greater City of Québec region. Over the last three years, in that region alone, La Ruche enabled the collection of $873 480 thanks to 7979 local contributors, which allowed 99 projects to be completed. Its campaign success rate is 60%, compared to the American giant Kickstarter, which is 36%.

Since the month of June, the Metropolitan Region of Montréal has also benefited from La Ruche, helping make Montréal a smart city by giving the population the opportunity to get involved and make a difference in the development of its region! La Ruche makes entrepreneurship democratic, fostering the emergence of a culture of responsibility. La Ruche stimulates dreams and propels good ideas upwards – those that the population wants, that is. La Ruche is for all of us! 

Do you have a project? Are you looking for alternative solutions to finance it? La Ruche is there for you

Resources for kicking off your crowdfunding campaign on La Ruche

1. How does it work?

2. Advice

3. Crowdfunding 101