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LX Ventures Buys Weeve.it Crowdfunding Platform for Vertical Industry Rollout

14 Feb

By Robert HoskinsFront Page PR

LX Ventures Inc. signs deal to acquire Weeve Ventures Inc. and all of Weeve’s assets including their crowdfunding platform Weeve.it.

LX Ventures Acquires Weeve.It

LX Ventures Acquires Weeve.It

Since its launch in July 2012, Weeve has helped dozens of nonprofits by providing a simple and effective platform to increase their fundraising efforts, making it easier to raise funds as compared to traditional fundraising methods. Weeve’s platform currently enables nonprofits to tap into a new crowd of socially-conscious and tech-savvy individuals.

Weeve was featured in the major press including TechVibes, TechCrunch, The Digital Journal and The Huffington Post. Weeve was named as one of the “top 6 coolest companies to watch” by The Metro and described as the startup “set to disrupt nonprofit fundraising” by The Digital Journal.

LX Ventures plans to take Weeve’s sophisticated crowdfunding framework and repurpose it for use in other vertical industries that are ready for disruption.

“Weeve’s crowdfunding technology is a natural fit for our FinTech market vertical. Together, we will internally innovate and deliver revolutionary funding solutions across multiple market sectors,” said Ray Walia, COO of LX Ventures.

Alex Chuang, Co-founder and CEO of Weeve, said, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to join forces with LX Ventures. With LX Ventures accelerating our growth with their business intelligence, we can continue to innovate and take crowdfunding to new heights.”

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U.S. Small Business Administration to Host National Crowdfunding Webinars Next Week

14 Feb
U.S. SBA Free Crowdfunding Webinars

U.S. SBA Free Crowdfunding Webinars

SBA Offers Webinar Series Promoting
Entrepreneurship Education and Small Business Growth 

WHAT:        The U.S. Small Business Administration will host a series of Free webinars in recognition of the seventh annual National Entrepreneurship Week.  The emphasis will be on how the next generation of small business owners can leverage crowdfunding as an alternative finance option to start and grow their businesses.

WHEN:         

Tuesday, February 19 at 3:00 p.m. (EST)

Crowdfunding – Pros and Cons
Jay Goth, Business Consultant
TriTech Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Wednesday, February 20 at 3:00 p.m. (EST)

Crowdfunding Innovation

Kevin Lehman, CEO and Co-Founder
Three Revolutions                      

Thursday, February 21 at 3:00 p.m. (EST)

Kickstarting an Urban Farm

Ryan Finch, General Manager
Raleigh City Farm

HOW:             Audio Conference Login Instructions

1.  Dial the AT&T Connect TeleconferenceToll-Free Number – 1-888-858-2144

2.  Enter your AT&T Access Code

– 4259370 (press the # key)

                        Web Conference Login Instructions

1.  Login at www.connectmeeting.att.com2.  Enter “Meeting Number” 1-888-858-2144

3.  Enter “Access Code” 4259370

4.  Enter “Email Address, First and Last name”

5.  Click Submit

6.  Click Participant

7.  Click Participant Application (Recommended)

8.  Click “Enter” Event

9.  Click Dial-In/Already Connected by Phone

(Close the Telephone Connection Instructions pop-up box)

System Requirements:

To set up the AT&T Connect Participant application, a user’s PC must run either Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.8 or Mac OS X 10.7 with either Internet Explorer 7.0 (or higher) supported.  AT&T Connect does support the Chrome, Safari or Firefox browser.

Note:  The phone number is the “meeting number” when logging in tohttps://www.connectmeeting.att.com.

A separate telephone line is needed for the conference call-in portion. For assistance with AT&T Connect Web Conference Service, contact AT&T Connect Customer Care at 1-888-796-6118.

FriendsLearn Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign Fights Obesity

14 Feb

By Robert HoskinsFront Page PR

Can crowd-funding help fight the global obesity epidemic? FriendsLearn, a startup company of 13 incredibly talented students, engineers and game developers, led by a successful serial entrepreneur, certainly thinks so!

Crowdfunding Campaign to Fight Obesity

Crowdfunding Campaign to Fight Obesity

FriendsLearn will look to its fans, supporters, social entrepreneurs and the Kickstarter community to help fund the next version of their game, “Fooya”, a fun and engaging 3D online food fight game (third-person shooter style) with a serious mission to educate people throughout the world about the relationship between food, health and wellness.

FriendsLearn has already developed a single-player version of the game on Facebook and is seeking support on Kickstarter to create Fooya with Friends, the multiplayer expansion of the existing single player game. The Kickstarter campaign intends to raise $50,000 to fund this next version of the game, expected in Fall 2013.

Today, set in a 3D Carnival environment, Fooya offers players food-derived weapons and various scenarios to combat evil forces driving obesity. Players win by dodging unhealthy food thrown at them by their enemies, while they run around to burn calories to improve their health and burst their enemies with the most greasy, sugary, salty foods they can find!

The problem: According to a 2012 report by the World Health Organization, obese individuals are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. To put this into perspective, the WHO reported nearly 1.4 billion adults globally were overweight in 2008 and international obesity has doubled since 1980.

“By creating Fooya with Friends, we intend to start a global food fight to combat humanity’s health crisis caused by greedy junk food profiteers,” said Bhargav Sri Prakash, Founder of FriendsLearn. “While this new level of engagement promises to deliver a hugely exciting experience for gamers, Fooya with Friends will continue to fight against the global health epidemic of obesity by producing a fast-paced environment that not only entertains but also subconsciously educates about the dangers of a bad diet.”

“Creating a high performance real-time multi-player backend to support that scale takes a lot of time, skill and resources to produce. By meeting our goal, we are planning to provide an epic, food fight experience at the intersection of gaming and education that aims to help this incredible social problem one person — and soon many gamers — at a time. But we need the community’s help to make Fooya with Friends a reality!”

Through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter, the public can “back” the project for as little as $10 — or as much as they like — to download the game and receive exclusive rewards including Fooya shirts, original art, in-game currency, Fooya ringtone, special Facebook mention, and a chance to meet the FriendsLearn team.

U.S. Equity Crowdfunding Activity 2007-2012

14 Feb

Equity Crowdfunding - EquityNet.com

Equity Crowdfunding – EquityNet.com

EquityNet Issues Equity Crowdfunding Research Report with Six Years of Data

14 Feb

By Robert HoskinsFront Page PR

EquityNet unveiled a free Equity Crowdfunding Industry Research Report containing statistics and trends based on U.S. businesses that used EquityNet from 2007 to 2012 to seek equity-based crowdfunding from accredited Reg D investors.

Presented in the form of an embeddable infographic, the report presents some of the first statistics available on the original form of equity crowdfunding that involves the use of funding platforms such as EquityNet by accredited investors.  It provides insight into how crowdfunding will appear under the deregulating provisions of the U.S. JOBS Act in which millions of non-accredited investors will be able to invest in privately-held businesses.

In introducing the report, Judd Hollas , EquityNet’s founder and CEO, said that the crowdfunding industry is hungry for “more data and less rhetoric.”  “We are in the unique position of having 6 years of granular data from our patented platform and prepared this report to provide a statistical industry perspective for investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, service providers, and others in the crowdfunding ecosystem.  Although some high-level information has been available, the trends and statistics that emerge from this report present valuable new insights into the emerging crowdfunding industry.”

The new report contains business composition statistics and trends for many important attributes and even demonstrates the effects of the recession.  For example, the average amount of capital being sought by entrepreneurs has varied greatly since EquityNet launched its platform in 2007.  In 2008 the average capital sought was $2.5 million and dropped to an average of$800,000 by 2010.  The economic downturn also left its mark on companies’ average pre-investment valuation, which fell from$6 million in 2008 down to nearly $3 million by 2010.  Both of those metrics strengthened along with the economy by 2012.

Among other statistics presented and analyzed in the report are:

  • Consumer and business product/service companies account for over 40% of equity crowdfunding activity. These are industries that were previously underserved by traditional venture capital.
  • Around 50% of businesses that use equity crowdfunding seek less than $500,000 in investment capital.
  • Valuations vary widely in equity crowdfunding with around 40% of pre-money valuations being under $1,000,000.
  • Approximately 70% of businesses seeking equity crowdfunding had no revenue in the previous year, but 75% of those businesses expect to generate revenue in their current fiscal year, indicating that the majority are at the revenue-inflection point.
  • 15% of businesses seeking funding are currently profitable, and 90% of the remainder predict that they will be profitable in 3 years or less.
  • 30% of the businesses in the sample have patents or patent applications for proprietary technology.

Hollas noted that the sample analyzed for the report involved over 1,000 businesses and emphasized the significance to the industry of the first data-driven report based on 6 years of operation in the equity crowdfunding industry.

“We feel that these statistics provide the first-ever information that can be readily extrapolated to represent the entire crowdfunding industry.  Our report contains 15 data-packed charts, graphs, and related commentary.  We hope that entities in the crowdfunding ecosystem find our report helpful as we approach the anticipated early-2014 date for the SEC to finalize their regulation-making process that will give legs to the Title III of the JOBS Act of 2012.”

EquityNet prepared this crowdfunding report in response to the widespread interest in equity crowdfunding as provided in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act that President Obama signed into law in April 2012.  The JOBS Act relaxes regulations on fundraising for privately-held businesses and gives online funding platforms like EquityNet more flexibility in facilitating that fundraising.

The crowdfunding provisions of the Act are getting the most attention because they will allow entrepreneurs to solicit the general public for investment, an activity that was previously prohibited.  Proponents of the Act state that it will directly lead to more businesses starting and to increased employment – and that it will encourage business and technological innovation in the U.S.

Crowdfunding Brings Life-Changing Surgeries to Children in the Developing World

14 Feb

By Robert HoskinsFront Page PR

Today, CURE International, one of the largest providers of specialty pediatric surgical care in the world, and Watsi, the first global crowdfunding platform for healthcare, announced a formal partnership to bring life-changing medical care to thousands of children in the developing world.

CURE International Launches Donation Crowdfunding Campaign on Watsi

CURE International Launches Donation Crowdfunding Campaign on Watsi

“Our hospitals around the world receive thousands of patients each year — children needing specialized surgical care,” said Joel Worrall, vice president of cure.org. “We rely on donations from caring individuals to help fund their care. Watsi, with their social approach to funding medical care, will help us bring healing to more children.”

CURE and Watsi had previously engaged a one-month pilot partnership. During that pilot, CURE sent Watsi profiles for 25 children awaiting surgical care, Watsi posted them on its website, and 400 individuals from around the world donated more than $26,000 to directly fund life-changing medical treatments for all 25 patients. CURE provided the necessary medical care, and Watsi donors received an update about the patient they supported. During this test phase, treatments fully funded by Watsi donors included aone-year-old baby with hydrocephalusa 6-year-old girl with a burn scar contracture, and a 6-year-old boy with clubfoot.

“Our mission is to connect people to expand global access to health care. We’re passionate about leveraging the power of technology to create change for people in need of medical care around the world,” says Grace Garey of Watsi. “CURE is doing the kind of work we – and our community of users – want to support. We’re excited to see this partnership grow.”

As a result of the formal partnership announced today, CURE and Watsi expect to provide thousands of life-changing surgeries to children who would otherwise lack access to medical care. This innovative partnership is the first of its kind for both organizations. Individuals can visit watsi.org to directly fund a medical procedure.

“We rely on donations from caring individuals to help fund their care. Watsi, with their social approach to funding medical care, will help us bring healing to more children,” continued Worrall.

SeedInvest Raises Bar on Equity Crowdfunding Sites; Adds Portfolio of Investment Services

14 Feb

By Robert HoskinsFront Page PR

SeedInvest launched a new equity-based Crowdfunding platform that connects accredited investors to high-quality start-ups and small businesses seeking funding. SeedInvest’s mission is to help both entrepreneurs and investors to leverage the disruptive power of the internet to make it easier for companies to raise capital. The company provides accredited, angel investors access to high-quality, curated opportunities in a myriad of industries across the entire country.

SeedInvest Launches Equity-Based Crowdfunding Platform

SeedInvest Launches Equity-Based Crowdfunding Platform

SeedInvest was founded by professional investors Ryan Feit and James Han. Both worked with The Startup Exemption, the group responsible for bringing the concept of investment crowdfunding to Washington DC and worked with them to get the JOBS Act of 2012 passed.

“As both professional investors and entrepreneurs, James and I experienced first hand the challenges young companies go through trying to raise capital,” said Ryan Feit, CEO and co-founder of SeedInvest. “We believe that entrepreneurship should be about building great companies not about constantly raising money. We developed SeedInvest to level the playing field and make it easier for companies to find capital and for investors to broaden their reach.”

SeedInvest’s innovative, web-based platform removes the traditional barriers for raising money. These include geographical restrictions, deal sourcing, investor sourcing and most importantly the time and effort. The platform has many innovative tools for both investors and companies seeking capital that improve deal flow, simplify the process and speed up investments, including:

  • Advanced Data Room: speeds up due diligence for investors and provides tools for companies to flexibly manage all their materials
  • Investment Dashboard: enables investors to easily manage their investments and collaborate with other investors
  • Virtual Boardroom: provides an interactive interface for companies to manage their investors, provide updates and host virtual due diligence sessions
  • Social Media Tools: empowers investors and entrepreneurs to promote and virally market their companies
  • Execution Tools: simplifies the process of collecting funds and signed legal documents to speed up the investment process

SeedInvest has developed valuable relationships with venture capital firms, angel groups, and individual angel investors across the country. In just the past few weeks, 240 accredited investors looking to collectively invest $16 million per deal registered on the platform. In addition, SeedInvest has been curating unique investment opportunities with several deals already active on the site and more on the way in the next couple weeks.

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