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If you’re planning to build your own startup, The Spark Project may be the right avenue to help spark that idea of yours. On their 5th year, The Spark Project want to start 2017 right and make it as their best year.

Starting up with revamped website, they also opened its first-ever festival to crowdfunding. But what is it all about? What does it take to become a project creator? What does it mean to be a backer? We speak to Patch Dulay, founder and CEO of The Spark Project, and he answers all your FAQs about the project.

Patch Dulay, founder and CEO of The Spark Project. (Photo by The Spark Project)

What is The Spark Project?

The Spark Project is a community for Filipinos to support and crowdfund projects that are “creative, innovative, and passion-driven.” It is a platform that showcases projects from small businesses and opens them up to crowdfunding—basically, it opens it up to generous folks willing to pitch in money to see the project come to life.

For pitching in and funding a project, supporters aka backers get rewarded by the project creator. Rewards may range from a thank you note to a personalized product given by the project creators.

When and why did it start?

It started back in February 2013 with an initial array of four projects. Patch Dulay said that he came up with the idea of putting up TSP because he realized that we need a local crowdfunding platform.

“The idea of starting The Spark Project here in the Philippines is when I learned about Kickstarter and Indigogo as crowdfunding platforms.  I thought that it is a good concept and if it is brought to the Philippines, I’m sure na marami tayong magagawa if we have it here.

Nung time na yun, I sent an email to Kickstarter asking if it is possible na magkaroon sila sa Philippines. Kaso kailangan pala ng US bank account. Kaya dun ko na naisip na why not start a local crowdfunding platform. Kaya ayun, we started from 4 projects, and now we have 45 and counting,” he said.

Patch also said that through TSP, they want to showcase local creativity, innovation and enterprising. For him, it is not just a platform or a website because they want to build a community online and offline where people can freely interact. To prove that there are real people behind the project that can help them.

Gouache Camera Bag, sparked in September 2013.
(L-R) YAY Journal, sparked in December 2016. Obrano Minimalist Wallets, sparked in September 2015.

How to become a project creator?

Being a project creator is easy: send a proposal though e-mail or Facebook, and from there, the TSP crew will study it, work on it, and see how they can spark it. As long as your project is feasible, you’re good to go.

Patch also said that sometimes, when they see something interesting online, the TSP will be the one to message the creator and offer to be crowdfunded.

How can I support a project?

If you plan to become a backer, you can go to their website and discover different projects. There are video pitches, project blue prints, sample products for you to see and judge whether or not it is to your liking.

Once you’ve selected a project that you’d like to support, back the project and you’ll get a reward in return. You’ll also get updates about the project’s progress and get in touch with the creators personally.

What are the methods of funding?

If you’ve already decided to support a project, there are three types of funding that you can choose:

Rewards-based – This is where the backers will get a reward once they’ve supported a certain project

Donation-based – for the non-profit and personal causes where the backers can donate any amount for the project

Investor-type – is the type of funding where the backers can help an existing and established project to expand more. They are like lenders and they will get the money back over time.





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