What is FunderThunder? We're the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Learn more!
Who Are We?
Funder Thunder was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with decades of experience in numerous types of businesses from e-commerce to brick and mortar, from travel to entertainment to sales and retail of various products. All of the founders understood that for a new project or venture to succeed it needed three things, first a great idea, second the right person or team to make it happen and third sufficient money to make it a reality. Some people have been able to create some incredible businesses with very little or no startup capital and we applaud them as successful entrepreneurs. For the rest of the businesses and projects that exist in the world we recognize that one of the hardest things to do is raise the capital needed to make a project or business successful. Our founders have personally raised hundreds of millions of dollars for successful startups throughout their careers so they know what it takes to find and raise capital.
So as we learned more and more about the concept of crowdfunding we thought this is a great way to start the process for many of the projects the founders themselves were working on. For those unsure about the crowdfunding concept it is the process of placing a pitch for a project, either entrepreneurial, or artistic on the internet where it can be found by a large number of people with the hope that the “crowd” will contribute individually small amounts of money toward meeting the necessary fund-raising goal for that particular pitch. We reviewed the existing crowdfunding sites and found that based on our entrepreneurial experience they were lacking certain necessary elements that we felt were necessary to help people create successful projects or businesses. We then felt that we should take our expertise and create a platform where crowdfunding can really work for everyone from the project creators to the funders.
Today’s economy needs to create new jobs to get the economy moving forward again.
According to the Small Business Administration “Small businesses—those with fewer than 500 employees—are generally the creators of most net new jobs, as well as the employers of about half of the nation’s private sector work force, and the providers of a significant share of innovations, as well as half of the nonfarm, private real gross domestic product.” The Small Business Economy 2010: A Report to the President by the Small Business Administration.
It is our feeling that a great crowdfunding site can help reinvigorate the economy by helping small projects become successful and start hiring people all across the country and the world. We are not the only ones who feel this way, President Obama in his American Jobs Act has made several proposal to help crowdfunding sites help entrepreneurs fund their business dreams.
Our founding team has many combined decades of experience as entrepreneurs, inventors and artists. Collectively they have started over 50 businesses, some of which have gone on to become market leaders, raised several hundreds of millions of dollars for these ventures starting with friends and family, moving to angel and venture capital funds, more traditional banks and Wall Street financing and also taking several companies public or selling them to third parties as part of a general exit strategy.
- Jeff Hoffman – CEO: Jeff Hoffman is an accomplished entrepreneur and innovator in the fields of internet, e-commerce and entertainment. Having launched his first software company while still a student at Yale University, Hoffman has founded and grown a series of successful startup companies in his career, guiding his companies to both acquisitions and public offerings. Hoffman is perhaps best known as a founder and CEO in the Priceline.com family of companies, where Jeff led the development and launch of Priceline’s consumer company.
Jeff was recently appointed by President Obama to serve on the Administration's new Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. As part of an elite hand-picked delegation of dignitaries and US Ambassadors, Jeff is traveling to different parts of the world to teach entrepreneurship.
In the last year Jeff has been inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for entrepreneurship from the National CEO council.
- Glenn Weisberger: Glenn Weisberger is a senior executive with over twenty-five years of experience as an Attorney, Certified Public Accountant and business executive. Glenn along with Jeff Hoffman helped produce the theatrical motion picture, Cabin Fever, which has grossed over $100,000,000 in worldwide revenue.
- Peter Gantner: Peter Gantner is an inventor and serial entrepreneur. The combined wholesale sales from his previous companies were more than $70 million in the US market alone, plus a 60 million-piece McDonald's Happy Meal promotion and a premier Halloween promotion at all Target stores that received a $6.8 million opening order to support the promotion nationwide.
- Mark Laisure: Mark Laisure was a member of the founding team of Inktomi Corporation, a leading provider of OEM Web search and paiDirector inclusion services. He has worked with numerous ecommerce and technology startups assisting in raising hundreds of millions of dollars in investment capital in addition to serving as CEO or Chairman of several of these ventures.
- John Palmer: John Palmer is a successful entrepreneur, has an MBA in finance and has created and ran a number of companies in entertainment & technology over a 40 year career. He created the first desktop financial aid system for colleges, processing over $100 million annually, and developed the first complete smart terminal computer systems for colleges.
- David McPherson: David McPherson is a successful Entrepreneur whose expertise are creative thinking, branding, strategic planning, competitive analysts, problem solving, and research and development. Since his first award winning invention at the age of fourteen, David has been heavily involved in various phases of over two hundred start ups and spin offs.
- Sammy Haggar: Sammy Haggar is a successful Entrepreneur who graduated Business School with honors. He has been involved in various companies as a Senior Level Executive. Sammy has lead and participated in both the start up and growth of multiple companies including air freight transport, automotive insurance and repair, group buy websites, retail products, e-commerce solutions, and social media advertising products.
- Jerry Sidman: Jerry Sidman is a highly technical professional with over 25 years of senior level management and engineering expertise in Information Technology, Internet Technologies, and Embedded Systems with various companies including GoDaddy. Jerry holds a Master’s of Science in Computer Science, a Bachelors of Science in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA).
- Jason Mendenhall: Jason is a distinguished graduate of the US Naval Academy in Economics with more than 12 year's experience as a war decorated Navy fighter pilot. Having just completed his dual MBA / MGM program with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and Thunderbird School of Global Management, Jason is a budding international entrepreneur, serving as co-founder of several e-commerce websites.
- William Haggar: Bill Haggar is successful entrepreneur of 15 years, earning 2 spots in the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies list. A CPA and an effective leader, Bill has invested, started, and successfully operated businesses in industries such as air freight, automotive insurance and repair, geo-information systems, group buy e-commerce, retail products, e-commerce support and solutions, and social media advertising products.
- Aggie Kobrin: Aggie Kobrin has successfully run several event planning companies and media distribution companies. Aggie was the creative force behind several independent films and has an extensive global network and a sphere of influence that include the giants of the motivational community. She is also one of the most enterprising managing directors of the highly successful eWomenNetwork, a contributing author and a regular on TV and radio.