Increasingly, Sacramento-area entrepreneurs are gaining backers in the virtual world by putting their ideas onto online funding platforms and video-sharing sites. Take a look at a three that caught this columnist’s attention:
Feminist and Sacramento State student Marina Watanabe counted roughly 16,000 individuals as subscribers to her YouTube vlog, “ Marina Shut Up,” last April when the U.K. edition of Elle magazine told its readers that hers was one of 14 playful yet powerful feminist voices they should follow. Watanabe, a graduate of Bella Vista High School, now has 28,340 subscribers. Elle U.K. praised Watanabe for her thought-provoking, witty observations and deadpan delivery. Frequent readers of this column will recall that Watanabe started an online business selling T-shirts with literary references at g4tsby.onlineshirtstores.com/. Through it, she earned enough money to pay for college. She now also receives a small income from YouTube ads on her vlog.
Comic book writer Eben E.B. Burgoon is more than halfway toward his goal of raising $5,000 to produce an 84-page volume that chronicles a series of adventures featuring the B-Squad, a squad of misfit mercenaries. “We are looking to raise enough money so that I can create the next four issues, all of which would be illustrated, at least in part, by artists living in Sacramento,” Burgoon told me. He said his plan is to deliver the $25 volume by Christmas. Burgoon’s Kickstarter campaign will end on Sept. 11, the day of Crocker-Con, a local exhibition of comic book and pop art talent at the Crocker Art Museum. Learn more at www.bsquadcomic.com/.
A carpenter and an aspiring lawyer dream of walking into a Sacramento-area bar and playing games, and they figured others would latch onto their dream and help them fund it. With 34 days to go, Dariush Gheyssarieh and Anthony Barajas are a third of the way toward raising $25,000 in a Kickstarter campaign they created to pay for games, tables, lighting and sound equipment, technology and fees. The two, lifelong game players, are asking geeks to unite behind Save Point Tavern, which will feature board games, card games, role-play games and gaming consoles along with adult beverages. In the Kickstarter appeal, Barajas writes: “We wanted to create a place where even more gamers could get together and game in an adult setting, replete with all the tools to encourage a great time – other players, food, drinks, and tons of games.”