Anna Guenther and PledgeMe: Future directions for crowdfunding artistic and entrepreneurial ventures

A workshop and masterclass that explores the questions:

  • How can the power of the crowd be utilised to validate and fund new artistic and entrepreneurial ventures? 
  • What is the future for crowdfunding in New Zealand given the recent legalization of crowdsourced equity?

Artists and entrepreneurs often experience difficulty raising funding for their creative ideas beyond the usual suspects: friends, family, and ‘fools’. However, the advent of internet-enabled crowdfunding offers new opportunities for fund-raising beyond these traditional sources.

In this episode of Enterprise MasterWorks, Anna Guenther discuses the history, success, and future plans for PledgeMe, New Zealand’s first crowdfunding platform that Anna launched in early 2012.

The first generation of internet crowdfunding sought funding in the form of direct financial pledges which rewarded contributors through a variety of gifts and services. 

However, the New Zealand Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMC) of 2014 now permits approved entities to raise investment equity through crowdfunding. Consequently, this new mechanism enables ordinary people to share, through a site such a PledgeMe, the riches and risks reserved typically for professional investors such as angel investors and venture capitalists.

Anna discusses the new opportunities enabled by the new FMC Act and the future for crowdfunding both within and beyond New Zealand.

Guest master: Anna Guenther is the co-flounderer [sic], chief executive, and bubble-blower for New Zealand’s first crowdfunding platform, PledgeMe.

Producer and Master of Ceremonies: Peter Mellalieu, Unitec Institute of Technology

An Enterprise MasterWorks Production: Conception MyndSurfers 1996, 2014.

Playlist EMW 2014-01

Part 00 - 1:40 - Enterprise MasterWorks Overture

Part 01 - 9:08 - SoftTalk: Introducing Anna Guenther and PledgeMe

Part 02 - 8:25 - Presentation: Crowdfunding: explaining the concept

Video insert - 2:58 - First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy (Derek Sivers)

Part 03 - 22:41 - Presentation (continued): From crowdfunding to matchfunding and equity funding

Part 04 - The Master’s challenge: Creating a video pitch for a crowdfunding site

Part 05 - 11:27 Fishbowl discussion about crowdfunding

Part 06 - 14:46 Pitch - Noah Young

Part 07 - 7:19 Crowdfunding: Questions and insights for Anna Guenther

Part 08 - 1:40 Final credits

Video insert: 12:08 How crowdfunding is going to change the world - Anna Guenther at TEDxTeAro

Total playlength: 1 hour 35 minutes

Anna Guenther

Anna Guenther.Source: (Jackman, 2013)

The Master’s challenge

In this part of the Enterprise MasterWorks learning adventure, the convener issues “the master’s challenge”. The master’s challenge is designed to provide a basis for sharing the guest master’s expertise directly with those in the audience who accept the challenge. The guest master is Anna Guenther, founding chief executive of PledgeMe, New Zealand’s first equity crowdfunding site.

“You have been commissioned by an entrepreneur (or artist) with a bright idea to join their team to help raise funds to advance their venture. Having exhausted funds from their friends and family, the team now seeks additional funding. The team has determined to raise its next tranche of funding through the mechanism of crowdsourcing.

“Your team’s challenge is to prepare a live or pre-recorded video pitch and supporting text for launching a crowdfunding campaign on a crowdfunding site such as PledgeMe. You may elect to focus your crowdfunding campaign on raising ‘traditional’ sponsorship-like pledges, or equity funding in anticipation of PledgeMe gaining relevant approval under the Financial Markets Conduct Act  (2014). 

“At the workshop, your video pitch will be critiqued constructively by Anna Guenther of PledgeMe crowdfunding, and her blaze of ‘Dragons’.”

Further resources

About PledgeMe, Crowdfunding, and Anna Guenther

Guenther, A. (2014, May 10). Don’t forget the crowd in crowdfunding. PledgeMe.Blog. Retrieved from

Guenther, A. (2014, July 31). Equity crowdfunding: we did it. PledgeMe.Blog. Retrieved from

How crowdfunding is going to change the world: Anna Guenther. (2012). Wellington: TEDxTeAro. Retrieved from

Jackman, A. (2013, March 21). Small idea, big success. Retrieved from

Kerr, P. (2014, January 14). PledgeMe co-flounderer’s words of wisdom. sticK - science, technology, innovation & commercialisation KNOWLEDGE. Retrieved from

McKenzie, J. (2012, September 5). Anna Guenther: Crowdfunding through PledgeMe. TALK. Wellington: FixTV. Retrieved from

Mellalieu, P. J. (Ed.). (2014, June 3). Case study: Anna Guenther and PledgeMe. Department of Management and Marketing, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland. Retrieved from

PledgeMe - New Zealand’s Crowdfunding Platform. (n.d.). PledgeMe. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from

Sachtleben, A. (2014, August 1). Equity crowdfunding platforms get the green light. Idealog: the magazine and website of New Zealand creative business, ideas and innovation. Retrieved from

Getting started on a video pitch

For two examples of video pitches that contributed to a successful fund-raising project, see:

Pettit, T. (2014, April 1). shyft Wellington: Changing the way you move. PledgeMe. Retrieved August 19, 2014, from

Whittaker, A. (2012, October 3). Get Runaways to AFI Fest. PledgeMe. Retrieved August 19, 2014, from

Creating an effective video for crowdfunding

How To Create an Effective Crowdfunding Video. (2013). Retrieved from

How Video Can Help Crowdfunding Projects. (2013, October 3). SoMedia Video Marketing Blog. Retrieved from

Trigonis, J. (n.d.). 5 Ways to Power-Up Your Crowdfunding Pitch Video. Indiegogo Blog. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from

Promoting your project

Bostock, L. (2014, May 18). Top 7 Quirky Ways to Market Your Crowdfunding Project. PledgeMe Blog. Retrieved from

About Enterpise MasterWorks

Mellalieu, P. J. (2013). Enterprise MasterWorks: An exemplary project-based learning context for enterprise development and innovation [Video playlist]. Innovation & chaos … in search of optimality. Retrieved December 14, 2013, from

Mellalieu, P. J. (1999). Beyond the Case Method: A Master Class for Enterprise Development. In Think Global! Act Global! The role and impact of strategic management in the development of small enterprise and new ventures: Proceedings of the Annual Educators Conference of the New Zealand Strategic Management Society, 7th Annual Conference (Vol. 1, pp. 293–304). Massey University, Palmerston North: New Zealand Strategic Management Society. Retrieved from

Crowdfunding: New opportunities and directions in New Zealand

To a distant beloved. Commentary and performance of Beethoven’s song cycle ‘An die ferne Geliebte’ Op. 98

Beethoven’s ‘An die ferne Geliebte’ is the first of many song cycles in the lieder and art song genre. Peter Mellalieu introduces the context and significance of ‘An die ferne Geliebte’ in relation to subsequent developments in the song cycle genre, such as Schubert’s ‘Winterreisse’ (A Winter Journey) and Mahler’s ‘Eines Fahrenden Gesellen” (Songs of a Wayfarer). Prepare for gloom, despair, and metaphoric journeys of the heart!

Performed with Dianne Harvey (piano) at Auckland Lieder Group, July 27, 2014.

Introduction and commentary:

Additional peformances by Peter Mellalieu

Internet Archive.

Peter Mellalieu’s profile summary on LinkedIn.

I have added links to my publications archived on to my LinkedIn profile, and revised my profile summary.

Peter Mellalieu is a creative designer and implementer of tertiary education and professional development programmes. Specifically, he focusses on developing the natural, unique strengths of innovators, intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, strategists, and those who work in their teams. His distinctive role is contributing his flair for rapid learning, strategic insight, new venture team building, and ‘path-blazing’ new directions.

Peter’s early career as a bio-industrial engineer focussed on improving the long-term business perfomance of significant New Zealand agribusiness industries including dairy processing, apple and pear, and wheat. Following training in military engineering (best sapper!), diplomacy and public policy he later taught adventure-based team learning, entrepreneurship, and military strategy at Massey University.

His current development themes at Unitec Institute of Technology include: Coaching students to improve productivity and innovation through the ‘greening’ of business; Drawing lessons WITH exemplary IT-enabled new ventures; Deploying ‘Learning Analytics’ for rapid/early identification of failure prone and high performance students; and promoting the adoption of ‘Integrated Reporting’ (IR) strategic development frameworks.

Specialties: Business productivity improvement; Enterprise development; Strategic thinking; Strengths-based approaches to coaching; Personal and professional coaching of innovators, entrepreneurs, and strategists; Business case history writing; Transmedia production; Operations research; Learning Analytics; Programme evaluation and design; New pedagogy development and implementation.

In-country experience in southern Africa (Botswana), Belgium, United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand.


Calon Lân by Fanau

Fanau perform the Welsh hymn ‘Calon Lân’ at the official opening of the ‘Mind Lab by Unitec’ partnership programme.

The words of ‘Calon Lân’ were written in the 19th century by Daniel James (23 January 1848 - 11 March 1920) to a tune by John Hughes (1872-1914). Although a hymn, the song has become a song also associated with Welsh rugby union, being sung before almost every Test match involving the Welsh national team (“Calon Lân,” 2014).

In this performance, ‘Fanua’ introduces two new singers, Foto Waqabaca (student) and Peter Mellalieu, associate professor of innovation and operations management. Foto and Peter join ‘Fanau’ foundation members Lynn John (Director), Chris Stoddard, Karl Martin, and, on drums, Menno Besseling. Before emmigrating to New Zealand, Peter grew up in South Wales singing in Llandaff Cathedral Choir and playing left wing in the Llandaff C/W Primary School.

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Peter Mellalieu in Llandaff Cathedral Choir, circa 1965.

Calon lân

Nid wy’n gofyn bywyd moethus,

Aur y byd na’i berlau mân:

Gofyn wyf am galon hapus,

Calon onest, calon lân.

Calon lân yn llawn daioni,

Tecach yw na’r lili dlos:

Dim ond calon lân all ganu

Canu’r dydd a chanu’r nos.

I don’t ask for a luxurious life,

the world’s gold or its fine pearls,

I ask for a happy heart,

an honest heart, a pure heart.

A pure heart full of goodness

Is fairer than the pretty lily,

None but a pure heart can sing,

Sing in the day and sing in the night.

Hear also:

Unitec Fanau sings “Ke Arona” at the Mind Lab by Unitec. Innovation & chaos … in search of optimality. Retrieved June 12, 2014, from

Fanau Singers Playlist. Retrieved from


Calon Lân. (2014, June 11). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Unitec Fanau sings ‘Ke Arona’ at the Mind Lab by Unitec 

Lynn John introduces the members of ‘Fanau’ at the public launch of the ‘Mind Lab by Unitec’ partnership programme.

Fanau perfom ‘Ke Arona’, a Xhosa resistance song. The arrangement is by Siphiwo Lubambo, formerly ANC Cultural Representative in Australia.

The Mind Lab by Unitec offers a new qualification for teachers giving them the skills and hands-on experience they need to deliver 21st century technology-based learning in their classrooms.

'Fanua' introduces two new singers, Foto Waqabaca (student) and Associate Professor Peter Mellalieu. Foto and Peter join 'Fanau' foundation members Lynn John (Director), Chris Stoddard, Karl Martin, and, on drums, Menno Besseling.

Hear also

Fanau Singers Playlist. Retrieved from

Further information

Introducing The Mind Lab by Unitec: 21st century technology-based learning. (2014, May 15). Innovation & chaos … in search of optimality. Retrieved June 12, 2014, from

About The Mind Lab by Unitec. (n.d.). The Mind Lab. Retrieved from

The Mind Lab. (n.d.). Facebook. Retrieved June 12, 2014, from

Beethoven’s “Adelaide” Opus 46, (circa 1795), performed by Peter Mellalieu and Dianne Harvey (piano).

Performed at Auckland Clef Music Club “Paint a Picture” concert programme.

Fickling Centre, Three Kings, Auckland.

20 May 2014