FringeBacker was absolutely delighted to have been invited by our friends at UNESCO to a huge turnout of over 5,000 young people at UNESCO’s Peacemakers' Day last weekend.  This follows on from the Opening Ceremony that FringeBacker joined in officiating last December, together with consular representatives from 15 nations.

This awesome event was organised under the direction of Professor Patrick Lau SBS JP, President of UNESCO Hong Kong, and Professor Samuel Leong, Director of UNESCO RLCCE. Professor Leong reiterated that the Celebration was not just "One day for peace", but that "Today is one important step along the continuing road towards peace. Whatever course your lives may take, may you always strive to make decisions and take actions that would make a difference to 'Peace for All'.".

In a day filled with fascinating and creative events presented by young people -- like the impressive installation arts exhibition, the inspiring cultural performances, the creative and festive peace street arts carnival -- the one that caught FringeBacker's eye the most was the demonstration of the making of "Hong Kong style milk tea"!  Lest you wonder why tea was featured at the event, we can remind you (or we're chuffed to be the first to tell you) that Hong Kong's "cha chaan teng" (Hong Kong style tea house) has been recognised and put up to UNESCO as an "intangible cultural heritage of humanity".  Yes!!!

FringeBacker is excited about continuing to play its part in supporting UNESCO and helping promote culture, creativity and arts by its project creators in filmmaking, design, technology, music, sports and so on........as well as countless backers who play such an important part in bringing so many projects to life.  Thanks so much for having us.  We hope you will enjoy our efforts in featuring great projects brought to you by the most creative young people! 

 

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Officiating at the ceremony were Dr Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, GBM, GBS, JP, Member of Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Professor Tao Xiping, Vice President of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs and President of the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in China

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The Peace booth, one of dozens of cultural and national exhibitions at the event.

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One of many cultural performances by local students

 

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5,000 enthusiastic young people were out in full force in performing at this awesome event



  

Christy Choi of South China Morning Post talks about FringeBacker bringing crowdfunding to Hong Kong's entrepreneurs and creative types. Jacqueline Lai, Hong Kong’s homegrown equestrian showjumper gold-medallist, is the first equestrian to gather public participation in the exciting journey towards the Asian Games through a crowdfunding campaign.



  

The super guys at PC Market Magazine covered FringeBacker in a 4-page exclusive "how to" feature this week. Oh, and, by the way, great pictures of FringeBacker-funded upcycling designer Agnes Nong at her leather workshop!



  

FringeBacker kicks off the New Year by speaking at United Nations' UNESCO Observatory RLCCE's Focus Issues Seminar Series on Cultural Development & Sustainability

Hong Kong has embarked on an ambitious arts and cultural development process through the West Kowloon Development Project, but the development of a vibrant cultural environment and sustainability need to go hand in hand.  It should provoke an interactive and democratic process of searching and reflection about the present and the future, helping to clarify goals within a shared value system, and aiming to reach some kind of consensus.

Ÿ      How do we build a cultural environment that enriches the quality of human life?

Ÿ      How do we build the resilience and sustainability of the cultural sector in Hong Kong?

These are some of the key issues that will be addressed at this event to be held at the Hong Kong Institute of Education on 26 January 2013 at 2:30 p.m.  Please join us there, together with other pre-eminent speakers from cultural and academic sectors!

Admission is free but seats are limited, and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.  So, to reserve your seat, please contact UNESCO's Ms. Vivien Leung at 29486425 or by email at [email protected]



  

Handmade designer upcycling seems to be the latest designer trend. First, it was Hermes’ hugely successful travelling caravan exhibition in Hong Kong with over 2,000 one-of-a-kind pieces, made from discarded scraps of exotic leather and luxurious fabric from its atelier, snapped up within a month at astonishingly high prices. Now, Hong Kong’s very own talented upcycling designer of handmade goods, Agnes Nong, successfully achieves her financial support target through FringeBacker for her “Memories Factory”upcycling project. In fact, she has exceeded her financial target on FringeBacker, ....and with some to spare!

Next to come will be Agnes Nong's personal exhibition of her handmade upcycling designs. Watch out for news of this!

As a supporter of handmade designer upcycling, a process of using discarded materials and transforming them into unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, Agnes met with Pascal Mussard, the great-great-great granddaughter of Hermes founder, during Mussard's stay in Hong Kong to talk about what quality means for a designer.  Regardless of it being a hundred-year-old brand or a young designer, the critical factor for coming up with quality work is in the attention to detail.  A designer has to put in love and care, instilling value and quality when making or designing an item, and to ensure that the item is even more valuable 25 years later.

To this, Agnes’ “Memories Factory” has lived up to its values. Her project has now been successfully funded on FringeBacker through great support from the public. Agnes will be preserving memories in two ways -- first, she will design her own special items for her supporters; secondly, she will custom-upcycle and re-design old pieces from other supporters, breathing new life into each of them.


During her project campaign on FringeBacker, Agnes reached out to people in her circle of life, her family, friends, schoolmates and designer colleagues, getting them excited about her project and getting support from them. Agnes has become a hot topic for the press, with widespread media interviews from Tao magazine, Hong Kong Economic Times, Sudden Weekly, Weekend Weekly and U Magazine, to name a few, spiraling her supporters to even higher levels.  We're so delighted that crowdfunding on FringeBacker has given Agnes an all new opportunity to pre-sell her creative work in a way that otherwise was all too difficult for designers. She was able to connect with a vast online community and to showcase her work through FringeBacker.  Traditionally, the public got to meet Agnes only through designers’ marts or exhibitions, and they were no different from any other consumers. But Agnes’project on FringeBacker allowed supporters to participate in her creative process and be a part of it. This vicarious experience has excited the online crowd, giving them a unique experience to not just buy things online, but to be the first to do so for something that has yet to be made and then see it come to life.

Congrats to Agnes and her supporters! Watch this space for updates on her exhibition!



  

After barely recovering from the excitement of meeting up with dozens of boisterous indie bands at the Clockenflap music festival a week ago, and answering their crowdfunding questions, FringeBacker was out in force this past weekend to support our United Nations friends from UNESCO.

All of us at FringeBacker were absolutely thrilled to have been a guest of honour, together with diplomats from 15 consulates and numerous representatives of United Nations organisations, to officiate at UNESCO's Peacemakers' Day opening ceremony.

The ceremony, the first of its kind, took place at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, with over 500 participants in attendance.  As a part of the “UNESCO Peace for All” programme, Peacemakers' Day aims to promote cultural diversity, tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue, mutual understanding and respect for different traditions and customs.

 

FringeBacker joined Professor Patrick S. S. Lau, President of the UNESCO Hong Kong Association, Professor Samuel Leong, Director of the UNESCO Observatory RLCCE and Head of the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts at HKIEd, and diplomats from 15 consulates and numerous representatives of United Nations organisations, in officiating at the Opening Ceremony

 

As a UNESCO network partner at its RLCCE Observatory, FringeBacker has enjoyed being a strong proponent of UNESCO's mission.  Along the way, we've successfully brought U.K. a capella champions All the King's Men from King's College London to Hong Kong, as well as now preparing to help fund young entrepreneurs from the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program. Brilliant young designers from the Hong Kong Design Centre and IT developers at Cyberport are also on our list of exciting projects to showcase soon.  Innovative young filmmakers, Hong Kong's gold-medal athletes, our exclusive interview with Hermes' creative director Pascal Mussard......the list goes on and on.

 

FringeBacker and other guests of honour

Nothing brings a smile to our faces here at FringeBacker more than helping creative and innovative people to showcase their great work for everyone to share and enjoy.  And full credit to the tremendous work done by President Lau, Director Leong, and everyone else at UNESCO in Hong Kong!



  

FringeBacker has always been a huge supporter of talented and creative minds, and we're seeing a great deal of interest in submissions to our online crowdfunding platform by musicians and other creative people who want to connect with others who share their vision and passion. And of course, FringeBacker didn't miss the chance to share our passion for music with so many indie artists and bands at Clockenflap over the past weekend. 

The hottest pick of the day – Primal Scream

Amateur musicians spotted!

 

Thousands of music-lovers, hipsters and even toddlers headed down to the West Kowloon waterfront promenade this past weekend to celebrate Hong Kong’s biggest indie music and arts festival – Clockenflap 2012. Although the sun didn’t show up and the temperature dipped to almost 15 degrees Celsius over the two days, the crowds kept warm by wrapping themselves up in the awesome waves of music, dancing and drinking.

 

Music is the focus of the day

Shall we dance?

 

Two days, seven stages, over 70 Hong Kong and international bands, artists and filmmakers, Clockenflap is the first ever indie music and arts festival of this scale in Hong Kong. The spectacular lineup included exciting performance by Primal Scream and Alt-J from the UK, De La Soul from USA, and, not to mention the astonishing performance by Hong Kong’s Jun Kung. What’s more, Clockenflap brought an early Christmas gift for all music-lovers, both the artists and festival-goers, for the opportunities provided for showcasing their efforts and support for indie music in Hong Kong.

But what lies ahead for these talented indie artists and bands after Clockenflap? In Hong Kong, as elsewhere, so much of the talent of indie artists and bands remains undiscovered.

  

Luke Sital-Singh (UK) at Timeout Stage

Let's sing out LOUD!

Are you ready for Jun Kung?

End of the day, get drunk and say HEY!

 

Well, FringeBacker now comes bearing an ‘alternative’ Christmas gift for indie musicians!  With our online platform, indie musicians, artists, filmmakers and many others can now bring their projects to life by connecting with their fans. In the US, music projects are the most successful ones among all crowdfunders, comprising 29% of the total number of successfully funded projects.

So, let's continue to hear from you!  Crowdfund your musical talent, and showcase your passion to your fans!




We couldn't have been more excited about our presentation earlier today to 140 innovative entrepreneurs at The Chinese University of Hong Kong's Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program about how to use FringeBacker's crowdfunding platform.  Thanks so much to CUEMP for having invited FringeBacker to offer crowdfunding services to 110 mentees from 36 entrepreneurial teams!  And nothing was warmer than the welcome we got from the Program's director Mingles Tsoi, as well as from the mentees and 30 mentors.  So many mentors and mentees came up to us after the presentation to tell us how they have great projects that they'd love to submit to FringeBacker for consideration, and how they've waited so long for this kind of crowdfunding platform to be available in Hong Kong for a bilingual audience in English and Chinese -- we're thrilled too, and we'll update you as their projects come online in due course.

FringeBacker's partnership with CUEMP offers the 36 entrepreneurial teams of 110 mentees the opportunity to showcase their business projects on FringeBacker for crowdfunding and to bring their plans to reality.

This year CUEMP has invited 30 of CUEMP's illustrious alumni and successful entrepreneurs to be mentors for this programme, aimed at providing entrepreneurial guidance to 36 selected teams (110 people) of mentees who have projects either at a conceptual stage, with a full business plan, or with an established business. Each team of mentees will be assigned to a suitable mentor for in-depth guidance and advice, so as to take their project into the next level.

FringeBacker is delighted to have been invited to offer crowdfunding services for the CUEMP, providing an online funding platform for mentees to reach out and directly get support for their businesses from their audience. This will be an innovative opportunity for the mentees to gauge real-time market acceptance of their business plans, to increase market awareness for themselves, and to raise funds to make their project happen.

FringeBacker will host an exclusive section on CUEMP and its mentees' fundraising projects, where mentees' projects will be consolidated and featured together.  We'll update you later as these projects come online for fundraising.



  

FringeBacker and Hong Kong Design Centre – Design Incubation Programme, together with the support of Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks, are excited to bring crowdfunding to designers, and creative and innovative companies.

On November 23, Friday afternoon, we will be talking to this group of talented designers about:

Ÿ      How you can use crowdfunding for your business to raise funds from the public through pre-selling

Ÿ      How crowdfunding gives you instant and direct market feedback on your design

Ÿ      Suceessful crowdfunding case studies in product design

Ÿ      How you can use FringeBacker to start crowdfunding

Seats for this event are strictly limited, by invitation only, to HKDC and HKSTP tenants and incubatees.  Please RSVP to [email protected].

There will be a networking session right after the talk, with drinks and light snacks. We look forward to meeting you and hearing all about your projects in the making!

 



  

It's a big day for UK a capella champions All the King’s Men on FringeBacker. Not only were they chosen as the inaugural fundraising project on FringeBacker, it has exceeded its fundraising target! What an incredible feat for the Men who seem to reign their magic on everything they’ve touched. Needless to say, quality music transcends all boundaries that come in the way of the Men.

  

Loyal Fan Base

So what has attracted fans all over to support All the King’s Men in their relentless pursuit to perform and to give everything their very best King's foot forward? One thing for sure, each and every member of All the King’s Men has worked very hard through the past year in building their loyal fan base -- from winning Voice Festival UK, then taking home Third Prize at the International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella in New York, followed by sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And then, finally, taking Hong Kong audiences by storm. And through their tireless efforts in giving these spectacular performances, they have been totally professional and exude humility, while giving quality music, touching the hearts of everyone in the audience. Echoing one of their backers’ comment on their Hong Kong Fringe Club finale: “Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely fantastic performance.”

 

Keeping their Fans Informed

After every performance, the Men have not kept their fans hanging. Through optimal use of social media networks, they have worked hard on keeping all their fans well-informed of their latest activities on their website, on Facebook, on their blog and through Twitter -- and all in real-time. This has added to their success on FringeBacker -- fans all over got to know about their latest performances (and escapades), and came online to support them.

 

Success on FringeBacker

With their project fully funded, All the King’s Men have covered all of the expenses that made their Asia Tour 2012 a reality. They now to continue to pursue their music passion throughout the coming year, touring the world to give quality entertainment and spreading their fusion of fantastic musicianship. They will be producing their very first Asia Tour DVD, capturing memorable moments of this fantastic experience.

 

Their success has seen a significantly positive impact on other musicians who are looking to crowdfund their project online on FringeBacker. Barriers are breaking down every day in this new digital economy, and this is what it's all about for musicians -- to be able to get to their real fans and share with them their passion for music. FringeBacker is here to provide an opportunity for everyone to try out and make some sense of the changes we are seeing in the music industry right now.

 

As All the King’s Men continue with their performances ahead, we look forward to more successes for our other FringeBacker projects.