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Marketing alumnus creates New Orleans' own crowd funding platform

January 17, 2014

Crescent City native and Loyola University New Orleans College of Business alumnus Alex McConduit ’08 not only writes New Orleans-themed children’s books, including “The Little WHO DAT, Who Didn’t,” he’s also the entrepreneur behind another hometown venture: a crowd funding platform specifically designed for projects created in or about New Orleans.

McConduit created FundDat in October. Like Kickstarter, people who post a project to FundDat must set a monetary goal and a deadline by which that goal must be met. Creators build a campaign page online with videos, photos, rewards and set out to raise visibility of their project.

Current projects on FundDat include: Get Goats Grazing, Y’herd?, an effort to use and care for goats to eat overgrown areas of Brechtel Park in Algiers; New Orleans Women In Technology, a concerted effort to get more women into higher-paying careers and close the gender wage gap in Louisiana; and Harmony Neighborhood Development, a nonprofit organization focused on the comprehensive revitalization of Central City, New Orleans.

The idea for FundDat came from a crowd funding campaign McConduit ran on IndieGoGo trying to raise money for a youth publishing program called W.R.I.T.E.

“I was trying to help the second graders at SciTech Academy write and publish their own books. Once I saw what a great and dynamic tool crowd funding was, I immediately thought that New Orleans, with all of its projects and cool things happening, should have a crowd funding platform of its own,” McConduit said.

W.R.I.T.E. is designed to take students from all over the New Orleans metro area and transform them into published authors. The program takes each young author through the brainstorming, creative writing, editing, formatting, illustrating and publishing processes. Each student enrolled in the program writes, illustrates and publishes his or her own book.

McConduit credits his Loyola education as a major influence in the path his life has now taken.

“I think Loyola helped me to become a more moral and ethical person, especially in business. Several years after graduating, I vowed that from then on, that whatever I did to earn a living would have to include some social or community aspect that others would benefit from. I'd like to think that with FundDat, W.R.I.T.E. and my books, I've done just that,” McConduit said.

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