Crowdfunding start-up company Fundabilities is moving into the New York BizLab on State Street, investing $11,000 and planning to hire 11 employees.
Fundabilities.com, a website that launched in 2012, is moving into its first office space at 251 State St., a business accelerator that also houses three other start-up companies as part of the state’s business tax incentive program START-UP NY.
“We work with individuals, local groups and nonprofit organizations to raise money for causes they care about,” said founder Dan DeMarco. “It’s basically like a GoFundMe. But we have a lot more amenities and we work more closely with nonprofit groups.”
Fundabilities, now with a couple of employees, is planning to hire up to 11 people and have interns from area colleges, like Schenectady County Community College, to help grow the website.
The company is looking to move into about 150 square feet of space on the second floor of the BizLab, established by Transfinder CEO Antonio Civitella, in the next month or two, DeMarco said.
“It’s a small space just to get us started and get us in there,” he said. “As we grow the space will grow. Right now it’s basically two offices together.”
Fundabilities.com currently has hundreds of clients, DeMarco said. The website gives users the ability to launch and market campaigns leveraging social media tools.
DeMarco said the ultimate goal is for the company to go national. But he said the company’s roots are in Schenectady. Fundabilities founders include DeMarco, CEO Marco Pezzuto, Danielle Pezzuto and Angelo Pezzuto.
“We’re all born and raised in Rotterdam,” DeMarco said. “We will always make our community first.”
Fundabilities has already helped users in Schenectady to raise money, including $10,000 for people displaced by a massive apartment building fire on Jay Street in March.
Fundabilities also raised $15,000 in 90 minutes for Ellis Medicine’s project to build a 25,000-square-foot Center for Surgical & Interventional Medicine. The original goal was to raise $5,000 at the fundraising event in May, DeMarco said.
DeMarco said he isn’t worried about the company’s competition, like websites GoFundMe and YouCaring, because Fundabilities brings a local, personal touch to every fundraising campaign.
“I don’t think our competition is a big obstacle because there are a lot of people we run into that don’t even know what crowdfunding is, let alone GoFundMe,” he said. “We have a lot of opportunity to educate our community.”
Other tenants of the 25,000-square-foot BizLab include E-commerce company SureDone, second-chance gaming website Lottery Rewards and pet travel site Furlocity.
New York City-based SureDone was the BizLab’s first tenant in March. The company plans to hire 26 employees over the next three years.
Lottery Rewards, run by former New York Lottery CEO Jeff Perlee, plans to hire 16 employees over the next five years.
Pet travel site Furlocity is moving into the BizLab this week and is expected to create 20 jobs by the end of 2017. The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority is providing a $45,000 grant to cover the cost of Furlocity’s lease for one year.
“We have a great relationship with the BizLab and the people in it. It’s technology-based so it helps everyone,” DeMarco said. “We’re excited because some people already in there are further along and we can learn from them and share ideas and resources.”
Companies that move into the BizLab as part of START-UP NY, in partnership with Schenectady County Community College, benefit with tax breaks.
The tenants in the building are paying property taxes as part of their lease agreements, according to Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen.