Meet Roy Cremers, Founder of Voordekunst.nl
We met Roy Cremers, voordekunst.nl, last week in Zurich to exchange crowdfunding experience and ideas. Here are some insights we love to share with you:
wemakeit: You established the crowdfunding platform voordekunst.nl. Why did you quit your job at the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst to become an crowdfunding entrepreneur?
Roy: I was looking for ways to encourage the entrepreneurial skills among the artists and institutions that applied for grants at our fund. On the other hand, I thought that the connection between many artists and their audience was rather weak, so I started searching for solutions. Soon I came out with crowdfunding. We started working on the idea in 2009, developing in 2010 and on 4 November 2010 we launched. voordekunst became a success and then I had to choose: getting back to my work at the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst or continuing the new adventure called crowdfunding. I decided to choose the latter.
wemakeit.ch: Voordekunst.nl has been online for two years, raised almost 1,5 Million Euro, 207 projects finished successfully. What has been the most challenging part in your work?
Roy: We started in 2010 and by that time we were the first crowdfunding website for art projects in the Netherlands and one of the first crowdfunding websites at all. It was still really unknown. The biggest challenge has been to prove that the concept of crowdfunding is working, even outside of the United States. In our early days people could be really sceptical. By now we’ve proven that there’s a future for an alternative way of financing like crowdfunding. And we’re still in the beginning. I also think that there’s a great opportunity for companies to do co-funding with the crowd.
wemakeit.ch: What did crowdfunding change in Holland?
Roy: I think we’re living in a very interesting era. Many of our traditional beliefs are falling apart or turn out not to be working properly. Crowdfunding is a new solution for an already excisting problem: many artists and institutions have become too dependent from governmental support and have neglected their audiences. There’s a shift now. It’s not only due to crowdfunding, but also to other innovative ways how our society can become more democratic. Because of the major cuts on the arts in the Netherlands, artists and institutions are forced to make a connection with their audiences, which is a good case. That doesn’t mean that I’m against governmental support for the arts! It’s essential! But I think creatives should always be challenged to find an audience and to keep in touch with them.
wemakeit.ch: Where do you see crowdfunding in Europe in 2015?
Roy: I think it will be big. There are still so many possibilities. I think there will be more regulation though. We have to watch that crowdfunding doesn’t become too institutionalized, that would be devastating. The simple idea of someone with an idea who seeks supporters for that idea is so clear, that shouldn’t be changed too much. I’m not a huge supporter of one European crowdfunding platform. I think there are many cultural differences, on the side of the artists and institutions, but also on the side of the donors. We already see that in the Netherlands. People from the south are more willing to give to a project that takes place near them.