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Press release: New crowdfunding model for the financial sector: T-Systems supports platform for crowd financing

The first crowdfunding solution for the financial sector in Germany is online. Internet service providers VR-Networld, Startnext Network and T-Systems have developed (many do more) for banking co-op Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken. Volksbank Bühl is the first branch to go online with its own platform. Other Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken banks will follow.

Crowdfunding - the collecting of many small amounts - can be organized to fund projects, business ideas, services or products from a large group, or crowd, of funders. VR-Networld, Startnext Network and T-Systems subsidiary Multimedia Solutions built the required platform in less than five months. Its focus is to provide local funding for local initiatives. If a sports club wants to renovate the bleachers at its playing field, for example, it can look for financial support from residents of the municipality, city district, village or county at In the first step, they have to gain as many fans for the project as possible. Once a sufficient quantity has been reached, the project enters the next phase and the donors contribute amounts of their choice. The status of the respective project is displayed openly on the platform at all times. If the funding target is reached, the supporters receive gratitude in the form of free admission to the next game, for example, or an honorary membership. If the target is not reached, the funds are returned to the donors. Neither donors nor project initiators have to pay a fee to use the platform.

In addition to the platform, Volksbank Bühl also supports project initiators with word and deed in the run-up phase. An integrated web-to-print option is available, for example, which allows clubs and initiatives to design and print their own advertising materials, without requiring any marketing expertise. Volksbank Bühl advertises for the projects on its web pages and in its branches. Integration with Facebook and other social media channels is also supported.

Franz-Sebastian Welter heads the innovation workshop at Volksbank Bühl: "We knew right away that we wanted to be part of a regional crowdfunding platform. We are happy to have this opportunity to create something permanent in the region and promote social projects. It would be great if a lot of outstanding projects were created in our region and our platform helped contribute to their success."

"The idea for our crowdfunding solutions arose during a joint workshop with T-Systems. We wanted to make the co-operative way of thinking better known, particularly among the younger generation, while at the same time emphasizing the local ties of the VR banks. So it made sense to link social media elements with the world of finance," says Boris Janek, who is responsible for innovation at VR-NetWorld.

Michael Waerder, Account Manager at T-Systems, adds: "The cooperative Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken stand for social commitment, membership and values. Approaching the innovative subject of crowdfunding with this banking group, thus combining the old with the new, was a major motivation for us for this project."

The project was implemented in cooperation between T-Systems Multimedia Solutions, Startnext Network and VR-Networld. This included the entire project handling, from consulting and project management to integration, supplying the technology and post-launch support.

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