SEC and SBA Announcements Lay the Foundation for Training Small Businesses on How to Use Crowdfunding in the United States

19 Sep

SBA Partners with SEC to Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

By Robert Hoskins

Washington, DC – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will join the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in co-hosting a series of events around the country to help small business owners learn about new opportunities to raise capital under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.  The first event will be hosted by the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business on Sept. 25 from 2 p.m.to 4 p.m. EST.

SBA Partners with SEC on Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs Events to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

SBA Partners with SEC on Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

“We believe that any new, inclusive and innovative paths that help small businesses gain access to the capital they need are good things, but these paths should be implemented with prudence and care,” said Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. “We’re happy to join forces with the SEC to have these important, interactive discussions with small businesses around the country about existing and pending capital raising options under the JOBS Act.”

The JOBS Act events are intended for existing and aspiring small businesses, including minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned small businesses to learn about opportunities to raise capital under the JOBS Act.  One change already in place under the JOBS Act allows firms to advertise certain private offerings and another pending change allows firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

Representatives from SBA’s Offices of Investment and Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development, will join representatives from SEC’s Offices of Small Business Policy, Investor Education and Advocacy and Minority Women Inclusion to cohost the events highlighting additional ways for small businesses to raise funds under current and proposed SEC rules.

The events are designed for existing and aspiring small businesses, including those that are minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned, and will discuss the JOBS Act, which expands the options that businesses may use to raise capital.  One change already in place gives firms the ability to advertise certain private offerings; a second that is pending will allow firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. The SEC is actively developing rules to implement JOBS Act provisions.

Representatives from the SEC’s Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance, the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion will co-host the events with the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation and the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development.

The events will highlight additional ways small businesses may seek to raise funds under current and proposed SEC rules.  The events will also give small business owners an opportunity to ask questions of the SEC and SBA staff.

The events are free and will give small business owners the opportunity to ask questions of SBA and SEC staff members.  Those interested in registering for the Sept. 25 event at the University of Baltimore may do so: here.

# # #

Positive Letters Needed to Support the SEC’s Ability to Crowdfunding Pass Title III Guidelines for Small Business

8 Sep

The SEC Claims that It Does Not Have Sufficient Positive Industry Support to Implement Title III Crowdfunding. Let’s Change that Today by Sending in 10,000 Letters and Tweets from American Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses that Want Access to Small Business VC

By Robert Hoskins

Washington, D.C. – I’d like to start off by saying “Hats off” to Justin Ryan and Terell Jones for putting on an awesome Kickercon crowdfunding event in Houston last month. It was, by far, the best crowdfunding conference we have attended to date! All of crowdfunding subject matter experts were there, but this conference did a much better job than most because they addressed where the crowdfunding industry is headed instead of just rehashing the old facts and figures of the JOBS Act.

There were numerous tracks on the Texas Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption, an excellent Crowdfunding Boot Camp put on by InventIt2Day’s Conley Giles, and great panel discussions on the up and coming real estate crowdfunding industry, but the most important event by far was a presentation by Ron Miller, who has been meeting with numerous officials the SEC in an attempt to try and understand the SEC’s hesitation to implement Title III crowdfunding rules, which are now way overdue.

 

Please Retweet - I suppport Title III Crowdfunding

Please Retweet – We support Title III Crowdfunding to Start Small Businesses!

 

Mr. Miller gave a convincing presentation based on comments from SEC Commissioners and many of its staff members.  The SEC is basically saying that in 560+ pages of public comments, the negative comments outweigh the positive comments supporting the implementation and communicated that if they had a lot more positive support from Americans then they would be more motivated to pass the final guidelines.

In the Crowdfunding Industry we pride ourselves on utilizing the crowd to accomplish many objectives such as raising money for crowdfunding campaigns and helping crowdfunding platforms police potential equity investment deals.

Unlike many established industries, members of the crowdfunding industry have very advanced social media capabilities and very large networks of contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and other important social media networks. One of Mr. Miller’s main points was that the crowdfunding industry should begin working together to leverage these social media networks to drum more support.

During the event’s Q&A session, with an after show audience of almost 500 crowdfunding enthusiasts, several comments suggested developing a Title III Crowdfunding Support Form Letter and providing the contact information on where to mail or email these positive Title III Crowdfunding support letters.  Others suggested creating HeadTalker or ThunderClap campaigns.

In addition, the audience and the event hosts suggested contacting your U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. State Senators to let them know that support for Title III Crowdfunding Rules will be an important factor when considering who to vote for this fall.

Please show the SEC your overwhelming support for Title III Crowdfunding and let them know that the general public, entrepreneurs and small businesses are 100% behind creating a Title III equity crowdfunding industry in the United States. Please download a copy of this Form Letter, add your contact information and then send it the SEC. It will take less than 5 minutes, but can make a difference for the crowdfunding industry.

Please repost, retweet and reblog this story.  All copyrights are waived on both the text and the image. Please retweet and republish at will!

 # # #

Feel free to mention these handles in your tweets:

 

Over the Past 35 Years, LearnToPlayMusic.com has Transformed the Music Lesson Industry Three Times, Generated More Than 25+ Million Book & Video Sales and is about to Launch the Next Spotify / Oyster Music Content Platform

8 Sep

Created for Musicians by Musicians, @LTPMusic has been pioneering the way people learn to play music utilizing printed music books, videos, CDs & DVDs, eBooks & WebTV shows and soon will be launching a brand new type of digital music teaching platform

By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, California – For a company that has defied convention by flying under the radar for most of its life, www.LearnToPlayMusic.com (originally called, Koala Music Publications) has a lot of reasons to celebrate on its 35th birthday. The company has just launched a new ecommerce website and wrapped up production on the first season of its acclaimed WebTV series, Music Space. Soon it will be unveiling a new state-of-the-art digital music lesson content platform that will provide the next game-changing evolution of the music learning industry for up and coming musicians.

As rock-n-roll musicians from the same music scene as AC/DC, playing on bills supporting INXS and other iconic Australian rock bands, Gary Turner and Brenton White found their passion in teaching people how to play music. Frustrated at the lack of music training materials for the contemporary guitarist, the duo sensed a huge business opportunity. In 1979 they drew up a business plan on a napkin and soon thereafter founded Koala Music Productions in Adelaide, Australia (click here to read the rest of the story).

LearnToPlayMusic's Free Ebook and New Digital Music Teaching Platform

LearnToPlayMusic’s Free Ebook and New Digital Music Teaching Platform

“When we first started, if you were a kid who really wanted to learn how to play the guitar, or the piano, or the violin, you had two options; you took lessons with a teacher or you bought a music lesson book from the local music store and taught yourself,” said Gary Turner, LearnToPlayMusic.com’s CEO. “In today’s world, kids are armed with laptops, tablets, and smartphones and now social media and digital content sharing networks are the focal point of their lives and are used 24×7 to keep in touch with friends and family. To tap into this new lifestyle, we realized that once again that we needed to transform our business. In 2009, we started this journey by digitizing over 35-years worth of music lessons, music books and an entire library of analog instructional music videos.”

“We have been tracking the success of subscription-based digital music, eBook and movie downloading services and platforms such as Amazon Prime, Oyster, Netflix, and Spotify. These media companies have been very successful at transforming the way they interact with and sell content and new services to customers,” Turner continued. “We think the music learning industry is going to be very impressed when we unveil our new leading-edge digital music platform, which will make it much easier for aspiring musicians, their parents and music teachers, music schools and music stores to get involved and share the wealth from the booming digital music industry.”

Turner added that, “Soon we will be launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that will allow musicians and anyone in the music teaching industry to get involved in building our platform. We will be offering some really cool perks to support and fund the project and give everyone that contributes a small piece of the action.”

To receive more information on LearnToPlayMusic.com’s new Digital Media Platform please register at www.learntoplaymusic.com/freemium or contact Gary Turner at gat@learntoplaymusic.com.

A full press kit is available at www.learntoplaymusic.com/press-room.

# # #

Arc Angel Seeks Dealers, Ecommerce Sites, Franchises, Resellers, and Manufacturer’s Representatives to Pre-Sell Stun Canes, Pet Defenders and Tactical Stun Devices (TSD)

8 Sep

@ArcAngelStunGun prepares to place its first large-scale manufacturing run and would like to pass along big discounts and savings to dealers and wholesalers who help achieve higher-volumes and lower prices

By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, CA – After receiving strong customer demand for its Stun Canes, Big Sticks and Pet Defenders, Arc Angel (www.aastuncane.com) is now building out its sales and distribution channel network and plans to place its first large manufacturing production run earlier than expected. To secure better pricing for its distribution partners, Arc Angel is now offering up to 50% discounts for a limited time to retailers/dealers, resellers and distributors who are willing to place orders now to help increase Arc Angel’s volume for its first large manufacturing production run. Larger order quantities will achieve better volume production discounts and provide more margin for Arc Angel’s channel partners.

Arc Angel Stun Canes, Stun Sticks and  Tactical Stun Guns offer a Non-Lethal Self Defense Weapon for Consumers and Law Enforcement Agencies

Arc Angel Stun Canes, Stun Sticks and Tactical Stun Guns offer a Non-Lethal Self Defense Weapon for Consumers and Law Enforcement Agencies

“Arc Angel Stun Canes and Pet Defenders are manufactured with rugged, industrial-strength, aircraft aluminum form factors, long-lasting NiMh batteries and are manufactured to compete directly against the Taser Stun Gun as an affordable, non-lethal force option for law enforcement agencies,” said Glenn Willey, Arc Angel’s CEO. “Our products are built to last with intense daily use, not just by consumers, but by large professional security forces with brute strength requirements.”

“Right now Stun Canes, Big Sticks and Pet Defenders are marketed to consumers seeking self-protection options,” Willey continued. “But soon Arc Angel will be introducing a new line of Tactical Stun Devices (TSDs) that will target police, military, emergency first defenders, federal government, homeland security and other types of tactical security/law enforcement agencies that will benefit from using non-lethal force as an alternative to loaded firearms in order to avoid wrongful death lawsuits like the Darren Wilson/Michael Brown ordeal in Ferguson, Missouri when possible.”

If Darren Wilson had been carry a Tactical Stun Gun instead of a gun, Michael Brown might still be alive.

All channel partners that sign up to participate in Arc Angel Channel Marketing Program will receive a special preview briefing on the new TSD product line after signing a NDA. They also will be allowed to participate in bringing this product to market in an upcoming Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, which will be supported by a nationwide advertising, PR and social media cooperative marketing campaign.

Tactical Stun Gun Channel Marketing Partners Wanted:

  • Self Defense Ecommerce Sites – Arc Angel seeks eCommerce centers, online stores and blogs that sell self defense stun guns, Tasers, tactical weapons, police gear and/or uniforms to resell its products.
  • Tactical Gear Retailers, Gun Dealers, Stores – Arc Angel seeks retailers and dealers that sell stun guns, Tasers, tactical weapons, law enforcement gear and/or uniforms to stock its tactical stun gun and self defense products.
  • Non-Lethal Self Defense Franchises – Arc Angel seeks franchisors/franchisees that would like to add Arc Angel’s Stun Canes, Pet Defenders and Tactical Stun Devices to their franchise’s self-defense product portfolio.
  • Stun Gun Resellers, Distributors, Wholesalers – Arc Angel seeks resellers, and distributors that sell stun guns, Tasers, tactical weapons, police gear and/or uniforms that would like resell and distribute Arc Angel’s Stun Canes, Big Sticks, Pet Defenders and Tactical Stun Devices.
  • Self Protection Manufacturer’s Representatives - Arc Angel seeks manufacturer reps that sell complementary law enforcement, military tactical gear and self-protection product lines into big box retailers and would like to add Arc Angel Tactical Stun Device (TSD) products to their non-lethal, self-protection and law enforcement portfolios.

# # #

Mike Mongo Launches InkShares Crowdfunding Campaign to Write New Astronaut Instruction Manual for Kids in Key West, Florida

2 Sep

The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Kids Lays Out Course to Become an Astronaut by the Year 2025 and Prepare for Careers in Space

By Robert Hoskins

Key West, Florida – Launching a campaign for his debut non-fiction space careers book, “The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens,” on web-based crowdfunding publishing platform Inkshares.com this week, professional space educator and self-described ‘astronaut teacher’ Mike Mongo is on a mission: to get your kids to space.

Mike Mongo Launches InkShares Crowdfunding Campaign to Write New Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens

Mike Mongo Launches InkShares Crowdfunding Campaign to Write New Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens

“Being a native Floridian, I am a life-long advocate of space. When it comes to converting for space, I was practically born into the role, “ says 49-year old Mongo. “It is one of the reasons I became such a dedicated proponent of space careers to students.”

In addition to his role as Chief Brand & Culture Officer for interstellar space science advocacy non-profit, Icarus Interstellar, and being a popular speaker at space science conferences, Mongo is the Key West-based author of HUMANNAIRES! Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens. After initially self-publishing, Mongo’s book has recently received a new burst of attention and activity from having been selected for crowdfunding by publishing startup Inkshares.com.

“Inkshares is a better model than traditional publishing,”said Adam Gomolin, Inkshares’ Chief Legal Officer, “one that is more remunerative for authors, and more sensibly disperses risk, but does not diminish quality.”

At Inkshares, books are selected by Inkshares editors and then prepared for crowdfunding. After a crowdfund campaign, the successfully funded books are then published for release and distribution in the general market.

“[Our] model allows us to gauge interest in a title and build a community around a book or piece of writing before it even hits the marketplace,” Gomolin explains, “It is like a traditional publishing house with all the editing, marketing and art support — the difference being the crowdfunding model and that our authors keep a lion share of their sales proceeds. In our opinion, everybody wins. And Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens is a title all of us here at Inkshares are very excited about.”

Mongo says the time is right to encourage middle-school age students to pursue careers in in space. “The difference from when I grew up during the Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle eras, and today…is that today private industry is taking the space industry to unimagined heights. Companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, XCOR, and Bigelow Aerospace are tomorrow’s Apple and Google, they are tomorrow’s Hilton and Ford. These are real companies that already offer real jobs, and soon those jobs with be in space. ”

The crowdfund campaign kicked off this past week for The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens and has already achieved nearly 15% of its $10,000 goal. If the campaign reaches its financial goal by the campaign’s October 15th deadline, the book will then immediately be prepared for publication.

“It’s exciting,” says Mongo. “I became an astronaut teacher and wrote The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens when it dawned on me several years ago how, for me, astronaut was no longer a viable career option. That epiphany is the exact reason why I became an astronaut teacher and why I wrote the book. I want to make sure all the young students today who want to go to space realize that they genuinely do have the opportunity to live, work, and place in space…and maybe one of them will be so inspired by my book and they will remember and hold a seat for me to come along too!”

# # #

After Raising $6.2 Million for Pono Music on Kickstarter, Neil Young is Now Selling Piece of the Action So Fans Can Buy Equity Shares in the Company

20 Aug

In a move for what may become the “new norm” in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors can now purchase shares in PonoMusic for as little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the company

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CaliforniaPonoMusic’s revolution is stirring unprecedented interest in the music community’s high-resolution digital music market, as the startup’s successful Kickstarter campaign recently raised $6.2M from over 18,000 backers — the third largest Kickstarter campaign ever — far surpassing even the campaign initiated by Oculus Rift.

In a move for what may become the new norm in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors Can Purchase Shares in PonoMusic for as Little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the Company

In a move for what may become the new norm in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors can now purchase shares in PonoMusic for as little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the company

Now Neil Young and PonoMusic are continuing their crowdfunding momentum by launching an equity crowdfunding campaign exclusively on Crowdfunder.com at PonoMusic on Crowdfunder. Accredited investors can invest as little as $5,000 and become an equity owner in PonoMusic alongside Neil.

Neil and the team at PonoMusic are excited about democratizing the investment process of PonoMusic by giving their Kickstarter backers, and anyone who loves music, the opportunity to now invest and become an owner in Pono.

Oculus Rift previously raised over $2.0M via Kickstarter, then sold to Facebook for $2 Billion. If their Kickstarter backers had been given the opportunity to invest in Oculus Rift through equity crowdfunding, they would likely have seen a significant return on their investment, but they didn’t — which stirred quite a backlash at the time.

Neil Young conceived of the idea behind PonoMusic to breathe life back into the experience and quality of audio in the digital age of highly compressed, poor quality music files such as MP3s. There’s recently been a huge resurgence of analog vinyl records among music lovers desiring true, undistorted sound. Yet the true, organic, nuanced experience most vinyl delivers hasn’t been convenient or portable, until now. PonoMusic offers a complete digital ecosystem, including a premium portable music player paired with a comprehensive digital music store offering high resolution music files with up to 30x more sound data than low-res MP3 files. PonoMusic is supported by all major music labels and their huge growing catalogues of premium quality digital music.

Says Crowdfunder’s CEO, Chance Barnett, “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Neil and his team to democratize the opportunity to invest in PonoMusic. Neil and his team get it; that’s why they’re going the route today’s most successful startups follow: first validating their business through pre-sales of their product on Kickstarter, then raising investment via our leading equity crowdfunding platform and rapidly growing base of institutional and individual accredited investors.”

Says PonoMusic’s visionary, Neil Young, “Pono is an artist-driven movement to rescue music and the art of recorded sound for posterity. It’s about the people who make the music, about the way it sounds to the artists when they record it in the studio and about preserving the original sound created by artists over the history of recorded sound. It’s also about fans hearing what we hear and that hasn’t happened in a long time. We wanted music lovers everywhere to be a part of this from the beginning and have an opportunity to help us launch this new music ecosystem into the world, together.”

“Pono” is Hawaiian for righteous. What righteous means to our founder Neil Young is honoring the artist’s intention. That’s why he’s been on a quest, for a few years now, to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music. Through Pono, you no longer have to choose between quality and convenience when listening to music — you can have both. This is the fundamental idea behind PonoMusic.

Pono’s mission is to provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite music. PonoMusic is not a new audio file format or standard. PonoMusic is an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music exactly as the artist created it, at the recording resolution they chose in the studio. PonoMusic is more than just a high-resolution music store and player; it is a grassroots movement to keep the heart of music beating.

Crowdfunder is where the power of crowdfunding meets investing. Entrepreneurs use the company’s platform to tell the story of their business and raise investment from a community of institutional and individual accredited investors. The company played a significant role in JOBS Act legislation, creating the new market for equity crowdfunding that brings private investing online and creates positive impact and economic opportunity.

# # #

Magnetic, Snap-On Wireless iPhone Charger Launches Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign in Miami

15 Aug

Revocharge is a smartphone charging system that provides power to phones wherever they go – setting customers free from cables and cords and delivering true mobility

By Robert Hoskins

Miami, FL –  The Revocharge magnetic, snap-on, wireless charging system crowdfunding campaign for iPhones and Androids is live on the Kickstarter platform. Revocharge is a smartphone charging system that provides power to users’ phones wherever they go – setting them free from cables and cords and delivering true mobility. Cutting cords and charging up anywhere and everywhere has never been easier as Revocharge launches its smartphone charging system.

Revocharge Wireless Charger for Mobile iPhone and Android Smartphones

Revocharge Wireless Charger for Mobile iPhone and Android Smartphones

With the launch of the convenient Revocharge charging system, users can charge up anywhere and everywhere wirelessly at full, plugged-in speed, thanks to conductive charging (meaning full speed!) and Autosense charging-optimization technology. Everyone has experienced the dreaded moment when they need to use their phone only to find that it’s nearly out of power with no cables or power outlets in sight. Until now, very few wireless charging options existed that could give users the ability to be truly mobile. Revocharge finally lets the mobile phone catch up with the truly mobile lifestyle.

“We’ve made a product that we know will help revolutionize the way people use their smartphones,” said Revocharge founder Cemal Samsilova. “We’re excited to introduce our wireless charging system to the Kickstarter community, and look forward to delivering this mobility-enhancing set of tools to a global audience.”

Revocharge is ready to go, and to bring this cord-cutting tech to the masses, Revocharge has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund initial manufacturing costs.

Revocharge wireless charging benefits:

  • A fast, full charge on-the-go –Using direct pin-to-ring conductive charging (which results in efficiency up to 90% – or up to 30% more than peak performance of alternatives), your phone gets a full charge at full speed from the convenient snap-on battery pack.
  • Our Autosense technology optimizes the charge for any smartphone, boosting efficiency. Most chargers are only optimized for one type of device.
  • Unleash your phone – Go truly mobile! Cut the cables and cords that are tying you down. Charge up wirelessly!
  • Complete ecosystem – Revocharge provides power to your phone at home, in the office, in the car, on the go – literally anywhere. It uses earth magnets to attach to different mounts, creating a whole ecosystem of tools to keep you charged everywhere you go.
  • Smart case – In addition to becoming a wireless, compact mobile charger when you snap on the battery, the Revocharge smartphone case is sleek, functional and offers complete access to headphone jacks, volume controls and USB ports for easy syncing.

# # #

 

New Crowdfunding Research Firm Wants to Shine Light on Best Practices for Shooting the Perfect Indiegogo/Kickstarter Crowdfunding Pitch Video

14 Aug

In their new research study, Understanding the Effectiveness of the Pitch Video:  A Crowdfunding Research Study, the team plans to measure the effectiveness of crowdfunding pitch videos and their impact on online fundraising

 By Robert Hoskins

Sydney Australia – What type of pitch video helps crowdfunding campaigns achieve success or lead to their failure? That’s what the folks at DigitalMindWorx want to research and document.  In their new research study, Understanding the Effectiveness of the Pitch Video:  A Crowdfunding Research Study,  the team plans to measure the effectiveness of crowdfunding pitch videos and their impact on online fundraising. Conducted by Jess Milne, a Masters student at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney, the upcoming research study will use an online survey to collect quantitative data that will help inform future creators on how to how to make a compelling pitch video based on past Kickstarter and Indiegogo success/failure rates.

Understanding the effectiveness of the pitch video:  A Crowdfunding Research Study

Understanding the effectiveness of the pitch video: A Crowdfunding Research Study

“There is very little research in the crowdfunding arena,” said Jess Milne Masters, a film student. “The pitch video is the most persuasive tool available to crowdfunders I think more research insights are required to help crowdfunders make better and more effective videos.”

According to some sources,  such as the Indiegogo Playbook, including a video with a crowdfunding campaign to demo the product and explain the project can increase fundraising by 115%.

Kickstarter, another popular crowdfunding platform, reported that campaigns with a pitch video succeed at a much higher rate than others (50% vs 30%).

Last, but not least, MWPDigitaMmedia, a professional video production company, reports that projects that have a good crowdfunding pitch video are 85% more likely to achieve their fundraising goal.

“The aim of our research is to relate how the pitch video in a crowdfunding campaign can incite affective and emotional responses in the viewer and ultimately influence the decision to pledge to the campaign,” Masters continued.

With an estimated 49,000 launched projects in 2013 on Kickstarter alone, this research has the opportunity to make a big impact for entrepreneurs and creative types. After data has been collected the unbiased conclusions will be released in a guidebook for filmmakers and other individuals who want to lean how to create a compelling crowdfunding pitch video.

As an incentive all participants of the study will have the chance to win a 200 iTunes voucher after completing the research survey. Click here to participate in the Crowdfunding Pitch Video Research Study, which will be open to all participants until October 1, 2014.

# # #

 

 

Formula One, NASCAR and NHRA Get the Green Flag to Join the Crowdfunding Race and Fund All Types of Racing-Related and Team Projects 

12 Aug

First Gear Project’s new auto racing crowdfunding site has built a community that encourages new innovations and fosters projects that can now be supported directly by  the public, friends, family, and sponsors

By Robert Hoskins

Portland, Oregon – In motorsports, funding is often the critical bridge between opportunity and execution. First Gear Project, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to the automotive & motorsports industries, will help build that bridge by establishing a platform to connect opportunity and funding.

First Gear Project Crowdfunding Sites for NASCAR, Formula One and NHRA Projects

First Gear Project Crowdfunding Sites for NASCAR, Formula One, NHRA and Other MotorSports Racing Projects

The motor sports crowdfunding site, which recently expanded from a successful beta phase to being open to the public, has been built to facilitate programs across the spectrum of the industry, from karting to drag racing, from the development of new aftermarket products to the creation of inspiring documentaries. First Gear Project will build a community, encourage new innovations and foster projects as the open marketplace of motorsports ideas meets with the support of the public, friends, family, and sponsors to turn dreams into realties.

With a financial base built on upon the 20 year success of Vital Enterprises, an Oregon technology firm with revenues approaching $40 million, First Gear Project has been spearheaded by racing driver Guy Cosmo and his wife Louisa.

“The opportunity to partner Vital Enterprises’ vast array of engineering capabilities with Guy Cosmo’s racing and Motorsport industry experience was a great opportunity,” said Ryan Hoppes, President, Vital Enterprises.  “Being able to bring a new method of financing to influence further creativity, ability to self advocate, as well as provide personal connections between fan and driver within the Motorsport’s realm will be exciting to witness.  We are thrilled to be a part of this shift.”

First Gear Project will give participants the opportunity to influence the future by making tangible contributions to a favorite driver or team, or convert a compelling new concept into a publicly available product with a built-in brand awareness and support system.

“This is a project of a lifetime for me, because being in the sport for so many years I’ve seen first hand how critical funding is,” said Cosmo. “We have designed First Gear Project to not only be an opportunity for someone to transform their vision into a marketable reality but it is also a chance for backers to witness the impact of their support. It’s a place for our whole community to actually participate by building programs or supporting them. We are trying to change the industry, and we and our investors believe that this is the best way to do exactly that.”

 # # #

Investors Provide $1 Million Investment to Shore Up Seed&Spark, a Crowdfunding Platform that Funds and Distributes Independent Films

12 Aug

The investment in documentary and narrative films gives a huge boost to women due to the fact that within the entrepreneurship film space, 58% of all films successfully funded on Seed&Spark are led or co-led by women

By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, CaliforniaSeed&Spark closed an important round of $1 million in seed venture capital to expand its operations. In addition to the cash infusion, two seasoned film and entertainment executives will join the crowdfunding platform’s board of directors.  Julie Parker Benello (co-founder of Chicken & Egg Pictures and Gamechanger Films) and producer and Veritas Prep founder Chad Troutwine (Oscar-winning UndefeatedFreakonomicsPrint the Legend) will join the board later this month.

Seed&Spark is building a truly independent filmmaking community where filmmakers and audiences come together for crowd-funding, production, and streaming distribution

Seed&Spark is building a truly independent filmmaking community where filmmakers and audiences come together for crowd-funding, production, and streaming distribution

Earlier this year, Parker Benello, along with Chicken & Egg Pictures co-founder Wendy Ettinger, launched Gamechanger films with Dan Cogan and Geralyn Dreyfous of Impact Partners to “shift the gender disparity in the film marketplace.” Parker Benello’s commitment to women in film both in documentaries and narrative films now extends to entrepreneurship in the film space. 58% of film projects successfully funded on Seed&Spark are led or co-led by women, a statistic Seed&Spark founder and CEO Emily Best attributes to the fact that women are so marginalized in the film industry they’re willing to take a risk on newer platforms. “It could also be that our company leadership is almost entirely women.”

Says Parker Benello, “I am excited to join Seed & Spark as an advisor, given the company’s interest in promoting women directors, both documentary and narrative, on their innovative crowdfunding and streaming platform. I look forward to working with the team to help build out the company while furthering the work of many filmmakers supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures and invested in by Gamechanger Films.”

“We are honored to add two incredibly experienced film producers to our board who are deeply invested in the social impact of the films they make,” says Seed&Spark founder and CEO Emily Best. “What’s more exciting is that we have been able to communicate our company’s mission as an impact investment. We are deeply committed to building tools to give access to a greater diversity of creators—tools we believe can help creators make a sustainable living from their craft.”

“We’re not taking the approach of building this company with money. We wanted to engage the community and grow organically only on the strength of what the community finds valuable about what we’re offering. It means we’ve been able to get a long way with a tiny fraction of the money our competitors have raised. It also means that more of our resources can get poured back into the community because we don’t have so much to pay back,” says Best. “We also hope that we can demonstrate to filmmakers that the strength of this community is more powerful than money. And we can build a sustainable business this way – together!”

Says Troutwine, who most recently produced Print the Legend, which was nabbed by Netflix Originals at SXSW, “There is an exciting new frontier in distribution, one that can more greatly benefit both creators and audiences. Seed&Spark’s founding team of filmmakers understands they’re working for the audience.”

The lead in this round is the Wadsworth Family investment fund Manitou Ventures. Other investors include producer and philanthropist Abigail Disney, Catapult Film Fun co-founder Lisa Kleiner-Chanoff, Emmy-winning producer and Spacestation Founder Matthew Mills, Mitro founder Vijay Pandurangan, and angel investor Deborah Meijer among others.

Having just announced a distribution partnership with American Express, Seed&Spark plans to pursue more distribution partnerships, “to put truly independent content in front of the widest possible audiences and make sure the creators benefit,” says Best.

Seed&Spark is a truly independent film community where filmmakers and audiences join forces to fund, promote and watch the best new independent films. As a selective crowdfunding platform and curated streaming service, Seed&Spark is an online destination for engaged audiences to get involved in exceptional projects at all stages. Seed&Spark’s film specific crowdfunding tool – the “WishList” – allows supporters to buy or loan specific items to a production. Every time an audience member supports a project, they earn rewards points called “Sparks” which they can spend to watch films on the streaming platform. Supporting films gives audiences greater access to watch them.

# # #

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,949 other followers

%d bloggers like this: