Houston crowdfund site's work with local business sets it apart

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Starting your own business isn't always easy. But a popular crowdfunding platform launched here in Houston is helping startups get off the ground.

Since NextSeed was founded in 2015, it has helped around 50 businesses raise over $11 million. Last month, it also opened a pop-up restaurant space in Greenway Plaza to help potential restaurants test out new concepts before opening a brick-and-mortar location.

"People may be familiar with Kickstarter or IndieGoGo," said NextSeed co-founder Abe Chu. "Those are great donation and rewards platforms. But we focus on local businesses and include places like restaurants, craft breweries, fitness studios."

Among the businesses that NextSeed has helped fund is Pitch25, a 25,000-square-foot, soccer-themed bar opened by Houston Dynamo all-time leading scorer Brian Ching.

"Through NextSeed, we raised $550,000," said Ching. "Being a former player, I thought a lot of fans would jump at the opportunity to be involved in something like this, and NextSeed provided that platform."

ABC13 caught up with NextSeed co-founder Chu to hear how he and two friends from college first conceived the idea, and why this crowdfunding platform is unlike any others.
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