Our vision for ProFellow.com is a website where people can search thousands of fellowships, receive solid advice from fellowship experts, and find mentors, ideas and partnerships to help you do something exceptional. But turning a vision into reality takes more than just an idea.
1. Developing and running a website is pricey (at least for people like us!)
We have been planning ProFellow.com since November 2010 and it might surprise you (it surprised me!) how much planning it takes to develop a website with a searchable database, and how much moola it takes to hire someone to create it! While Ryan and I have put countless hours into research, creating page layouts, and planning the user functionality of the site, unfortunately we are not programmers. But we believe in this idea so much that we’ve invested our personal savings and some debt into hiring a developer to create the site, which will launch in September. Even so, it probably won’t be perfect at first and we’ll need IT help to maintain and improve the site. We believe it will be worth every dime!
2. We need to work full-time on ProFellow to make it not just good, but great
The first year of our site will take a lot of elbow grease. In order to get a lot of people excited about finding fellowships on ProFellow, we believe we need at least 1,000 fellowships in the database for a wide variety of disciplines and interests. The reality is, as a virtually unknown website, we will have to add 90% of those fellowships ourselves (yes – 900 fellowship records!). That is the quickest and dirtiest avenue to getting a database full of fellowships, and it can be done – it will be done! – especially if we meet our IndieGoGo goal and can work on the website full-time beginning in September. Once we prove ProFellow is a useful website, we believe fellowship programs and universities will be interested in adding fellowships themselves, which will help us significantly. Meanwhile, we will take as many free opportunities as we can to spread the word about the ProFellow database through email, social media and articles in newsletters and local newspapers.
3. We are seeking every avenue of funding and in-kind support
The fact of the matter is, we need a lot more money than $10K to turn ProFellow into a viable website, so we are seeking every avenue of funding and in-kind support that we can. Friends and family have really helped us a lot so far – everything from advice on hiring a developer to help filming our IndieGoGo movie. Also, we are always on the lookout for free stuff – for example, we got a free press release from PRWeb.com – normally $200! We’ve also found discounts on web hosting, business cards, prizes, etc. If you know of discounts and free services that might be helpful to us, please let us know!
4. Success takes more than just money
More important than the amount of money we raise on IndieGoGo is the number of people backing us. If we can show the world that there are people who value our idea and believe we can be successful, we are a million times more likely to turn ProFellow into viable website. That’s why as little as $10 from a backer can go a long way! Having lots of backers now will help us find more support and funding the future.
We hope you’ll join our movement to create the largest online database of professional and academic fellowships in the world! Thanks so much for your support!