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iCrowd Launches the Industry’s Most Sophisticated Equity Crowdfunding Portal to Date

24 Feb

By Robert Hoskins

In a growing a landscape of Crowdfunding Universities with no actual classes and Global Crowdfunding Education Networks with zero content or even a place to signup, the new iCrowd Equity Crowdfunding portal is the real deal and it is a must-see website for everyone in the Crowdfunding industry.

Most Crowdfunding sites will tell you that their lack of content, business partner programs, and other Crowdfunding services is due to the fact that the SEC has not yet issued Title II and Title III guidelines. What they do not want to tell you is that they actually have very little business experience and have never been involved with running a functioning industry portal in any industry.

The exception to the rule is the iCrowd Crowdfunding portal, which is live now and has risen quickly to the top of the Equity Crowdfunding industry pyramid. Unlike the competition, the iCrowd site offers richly interactive web-based community based on web 3.0 technology.  Primarily supported by user-generated content, iCrowd promotes socially enriched exchanges that foster a shared passion for Crowdfunding inspired ideas to empower entrepreneurs with the information, insight, and motivation necessary to translate these concepts into tangible business success.

iCrowd is led by John Callaghan, a former Wall Street portfolio manager, security analyst, and expert in small capitalization businesses, and Brad McGee, who served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Tyco International Ltd. and Chief Administrative Officer of the CIT Group.

“Working as an analyst and a small-cap growth portfolio manager, I saw the parallel frustrations of small business owners who were unable to raise capital and investors who were unable to buy into early-stage companies,” Callaghan said. “The internet has opened many opportunities for individuals to take charge of their investments. Investment crowdfunding will be the next step in that evolution.”

iCrowd intends to become a premier, registered equity funding portal once the final rules for Investment Crowdfunding under the JOBS Act are implemented.  At that time, iCrowd will enable entrepreneurs to engage with each other and with potential investors to fine-tune their business concept or growth idea and secure financing directly from these investors.  Investors become an integral part of the entrepreneur’s success through their advice, investment, and advocacy.

“Social interaction is the key to investment crowdfunding. Raising capital is critical to business success, but it is not sufficient. Development of interactive networks of supporters and potential partners along with access to sound business advice is crucial to transition entrepreneurs from people with ideas to people with successful businesses,” said Brad McGee. “iCrowd makes it possible for entrepreneurs to develop those partnerships.”

Small businesses can find communities of entrepreneurs, mentors, peers, and experts to begin gathering advice and support in preparation for launching a successful Equity Crowdfunding campaigns in the future. iCrowd offers small enterprises the opportunity to start building the right network of contacts and establishing the relationships that will be crucial to their success.

iCrowd is actively building a Partners Program to pursue creative ways to join forces with businesses and industry influencers through cross promotions, affiliate arrangements, sponsorships and custom strategic partnerships as well as an iCrowd Validated Experts Program, which is seeking experts to promote their capabilities and services to their iCrowd community.

Check out what the iCrowd Crowdfunding Portal Business Service Portfolio has to offer:

Expertise Profiles – iCrowd user profiles are designed provide an online supply chain so that investors, ancillary Crowdfunding service vendors and future Crowdfunding campaign managers (Crowdfunders) will have a place to shop for the Crowdfunding expertise they need to make smart investments and/or plan successful Crowdfunding campaigns.

Credibility Badges – To help users ascertain the credibility of any user’s profile, iCrowd uses a point system that allows the crowd to award or subtract points for both questions asked as well as answers given on the portal’s discussion boards, the advisory boards they sit on, the user groups they manage, etc.  The more points a user earns the higher they rise in the rankings, similar to the way fantasy football leagues award players points based on their performance during a game. As the Crowdfunding industry evolves using a sophisticated ranking system to rate users based on their investment interests, Crowdfunding expertise, and ancillary service backgrounds will make it very easy to search, find, validate and then build many value-added business connections.

iCrowd Academy – Not quite yet an academy with instructor lead classes, the iCrowd platform is still by far the most interactive education platform that we have seen to date in the Crowdfunding industry. If it is true Crowdfunding knowledge you seek, the iCrowd Academy is the only place on the internet where you can read up on important Crowdfunding subject matters for free. One feature that would be helpful in growing a professional iCrowd Academy would be a Crowdfunding library, where users could upload white papers, research reports, PowerPoint presentations and infographics for research purposes.

Ask the iCrowd – For inquiring minds that want to know more, the Ask the iCrowd chat rooms allow users to search for any Crowdfunding discussion topic by keyword, and then read through many associated threads that offer great pro and con viewpoints from fellow Crowdfunding members. This is where the Credibility Badges come in handy.  It is very easy for the iCrowd members to give an answer a thumps up (+5 points) or a thumbs down (-5 points). Based on a member’s total iCrowd score, it is easy to determine how credible their advice might be. It is important to note that the iCrowd chat rooms are the only place on the internet where you can get your Crowdfunding questions for free. As iCrowd members become more knowledgeable and their intelligence continues to increase, the iCrowd platform is positioned to become the number one Crowdfunding repository due to its sheer volume of free information.

Advisory Boards – This feature is a very well thought out section and probably will become one of the most important value-added benefits of doing business on the iCrowd platform.  As users explore the many areas of knowledge, they will begin to get a sense of who the real Crowdfunding experts are in the industry. The Advisory Board feature allows Crowdfunders to send invitations to members to ask them to join their Crowdfunding campaign’s advisory board.  An advisory board might include experts from the legal, financial, fundraising and marketing industries that specialize in Crowdfunding. This will be a great way help mentor entrepreneurs and guide them through the intricacies of starting up and operating a business via private networks with secluded discussion forums that will allow business-specific advice and very candid feedback.

iCrowd Groups – In the business world there are many vertical business segments, each with its own distribution channel of manufacturing companies, distributors, resellers, retail outlets and online eCommerce portals. The iCrowd Groups feature on the iCrowd platform allows members to build vertical business-to-business communities of like-minded investors, service providers and Crowdfunders around mutual business interests, which are designed to stimulate fruitful discussions among their members. Groups can be public, by invitation only, or completely private.

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