Startland News is continuing its “Fund Me, KC” series to highlight area entrepreneurs’ efforts to accelerate their businesses. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs — like Rachel Cohen with her My Bear Jeff campaign — to share their crowdfunding stories to gain a little help from their supporters.
Who are you?
Rachel Cohen, Chief Bear Officer at My Bear Jeff. I’m passionate about people, companies and movements that drive to create impact and positive change to everyone around us.
What is My Bear Jeff?
My Bear Jeff is a buy one, give one teddy bear company to support kids dealing with trauma. Every time a bear is purchased, its twin is delivered to a qualifying child through our nonprofit partners.
Click here for the My Bear Jeff Kickstarter page.
What’s your ‘why’?
I created this company from the intersection of several personal experiences. The first being a rare heart diagnosis at the age of 4 and recovering from a high-risk procedure that could have cost my life. The second came from my time in Southeast Asia working with children who were dealing with extreme trauma every day. I returned home with a pure, burning desire to support these kids.
How much do you hope to raise with the crowdfunding campaign?
What do you plan to use the funds for?
To place our first production order of 2,500 bears.
How are you differentiating your campaign?
While the product has some uniqueness to it, the mission is unique. For each bear purchased, one will be donated to a nonprofit partner working with kids who deal with trauma.
Is there anything quirky with your campaign?
Nothing super quirky about it unless you consider teddy bears quirky?
What’s some advice you have to others launching a crowdfunding campaign?
Tell all your friends, do lots of research, find where the real/raw pain is, hone in on exactly what your business is/what you’re selling and make it clear and concise.
If you or your startup is running a crowdfunding campaign, let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.