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SEC Issues Call for Crowdfunding Suggestions to Promote Small Business Capital Formation

5 May

By Robert Hoskins

The SEC will be hosting the 2013 Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation on November 21, 2013, from 9:00 am to 5:15 pm at its headquarters at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549.  The event will focus on the new rules for capital formation concerning small businesses.  This gathering has assembled annually since 1982, as mandated by the Small Business Investment Incentive Act of 1980.

SEC Crowdfunding Call for Comments on November 15, 2013

SEC Crowdfunding Call for Comments for Small Business Capital Formation to be held on November 15, 2013

The 2013 Forum will include both morning panel sessions and afternoon breakout groups. The panel sessions will be webcast live on the SEC’s home page at www.SEC.gov beginning at 9:00 a.m. The afternoon breakout groups will not be webcast, but will be accessible by telephone conference call to pre-registered members of the public. Members of the public who wish to attend the Forum in person at SEC headquarters are also requested to pre-register.

Members of the public may attend the Forum in person without charge, but are asked to pre-register online. Anyone wishing to participate in a breakout group meeting, either in person or by teleconference, must register online by November 15, 2013. A day or so before the Forum, we will e-mail a call-in telephone number and access code to registrants who have indicated they plan to participate in a breakout group meeting by telephone conference call. You also may use the online registration form to let the SEC staff know you are interested in having your name on the mailing list for future Forums.

A major purpose of the Forum is to provide a platform to highlight perceived unnecessary impediments to small business capital formation and address whether they can be eliminated or reduced. Each forum seeks to develop recommendations for government and private action to improve the environment for small business capital formation, consistent with other public policy goals, including investor protection.

Participants in the Forum typically have included small business executives, venture capitalists, government officials, trade association representatives, lawyers, accountants, academics and small business advocates. In recent years, the format of the Forum typically has emphasized small interactive breakout groups developing recommendations for governmental action.

Last Year’s 2012 Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation held last November 15, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The following materials on the 2012 Forum are available:

To suggest Crowdfunding topics and recommendations for facilitating small business capital formation to be considered at the 2013 Forum, please send them to the SEC Office of Small Business Policy at SmallBusiness@sec.gov or 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20549-3628.

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Early Growth Financial Services Adds Indiegogo Crowdfunding Platform and Niche Crowdfunding Companies to Growing Client Base

5 May

By Robert Hoskins

Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS) recently added to their growing client list such niche crowdfunding companies as Indiegogo and successfully crowdfunded companies such as OUYA.

EarlyGrowth Financial Services adds Indiegogo and OUYA as Crowdfunding Clients

EarlyGrowth Financial Services adds Indiegogo and OUYA as Crowdfunding Clients

“In addition to signing on these most recent crowdfunded clients, everyday I’m meeting with new potential clients who have received their first rounds of funding and now require financial expertise to help manage these new funds,” said David Ehrenberg, CEO of EGFS. “More and more of these companies are funded by crowdsourcing. One great example of the power of crowdfunding is our new client OUYA, an Android-powered gaming console, which achieved massive levels of success with their Kickstarter campaign, raising $8.5 million. This isn’t something you would have seen back in 2008 when I first started EGFS. Now the capital is flowing directly to companies that need and deserve funding.”

According to Scott Jordan, of S. Jordan & Associates (SJA), a life sciences investment banking and business development consultancy, “Crowdfunding works by democratizing the flow of capital to promising start-ups; meaning investors of means (accredited investors) have the opportunity to participate in an asset class that was previously limited, and have the opportunity to diversify their holdings in this asset class as part of their overall asset allocation to minimize risk.”

Where crowdfunding has really taken off is within niche markets, as EGFS can attest. Says Ehrenberg, “We’re definitely seeing more niche crowdfunding companies. EGFS is proud to announce our support of Indiegogo, the leading international crowdfunding platform, which has successfully helped entrepreneurs raise millions of dollars for thousands of campaigns worldwide. And I’m meeting with more niche crowdfunding companies every day who have been inspired to take crowdfunding to the next level within their sector.”

Health Tech Hatch is one such niche crowdfunding company that proves there is a real opportunity in targeted crowdfunding platforms. Pat Salber, Founder and CEO of Health Tech Hatch, believes that there is an important “role for specialized sites, like Health Tech Hatch, that focus on one sector” (in their case, early-stage innovations in health care) because they “know the industry, can better evaluate the prospects of an innovation, and have a large network of industry connections.”

As EGFS continues to sign-on clients who’ve benefited from crowdfunding, in Ehrenberg’s opinion, we’ve only just begun to see the power of crowdfunding. “I believe we will continue to see innovation within this movement,” says Ehrenberg. “Crowdfunding is putting the power in the hands of the people and helping to launch companies that may not have traditionally received funding. It’s an exciting time for entrepreneurs and an exciting time for EGFS. Professional services are the beneficiaries of the crowdfunding movement as much as the funded companies themselves.”

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Dun & Bradstreet Kicks off Crowdfunding Town Hall Meetings on May 22 in Chicago

5 May

By Robert Hoskins

According to the Federal Reserve of Chicago, large bank lending to small businesses has fallen by over 50 percent since the start of the 2007 recession, yet Accion Chicago, a CDFI microlender, reported an 80 percent increase in loan applications from small businesses from 2008 to 2011.

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., the leading provider of credit building and credibility solutions for businesses, today announced that registration is open for its Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet Event

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., the leading provider of credit building and credibility solutions for businesses, today announced that registration is open for its Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet Event

To help solve the loan and lending shortfall, the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. announced that it has opened its registration for the Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet Event which will be held Wednesday, May 22, 2013 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Additional stops on the tour include Atlanta on August 14th and Seattle on November 12th. These events are designed to foster lending and educate small businesses about the various types of funding that are available through expert panels and on-site 1:1 meetings with a broad spectrum of debt and equity providers.

“With over 99% of American businesses classified as small by the Small Business Administration, it is crucial that this important sector gets access to capital if we want to grow the economy and cut into the nation’s unemployment rate,” said Jeff Stibel, Chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. “We are very passionate about our Access to Capital events which we believe are a step in helping lead American small businesses back to prosperity. We know from our Los Angeles event, which resulted in tens of millions of dollars in loan originations, that these loans were spurred by the unique access that businesses had to lenders.”

Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet’s initiative is to educate and grow local small businesses. The events are comprised of two main areas – the “town hall” area where speakers, spotlight series, and panels ranging from topics on traditional bank lending to crowdfunding will take place – and the “financial district” area where small business owners can meet one-on-one with various lenders, legal, business resources and advisors. Key sponsors for the Chicago event include Bank of America, Microsoft, TransUnion, AEO, LegalZoom, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.’s Los Angeles Access to Capital event held last year was attended by over 500 Los Angeles based small business owners who took part in hundreds of 1:1 meetings with loan officers, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in reported loan originations.

Lending appointments for Chicago’s event will include representatives ranging from Bank of America to local Chicago area financial institutions such as Accion Chicago, AEO, American Chartered Bank, BMO Harris, First Eagle Bank, Franklin Capital Network, Inland Bank, Merchant Cash and Capital, North Side Community Federal Credit Union, Standard Bank, Ridgestone Bank, and SomerCor 504. Community and business resources that will also be on hand include Microsoft, LegalZoom, TransUnion, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce, SCORE Chicago, Women’s Business Development Center, Built In, and more.

“According to the Federal Reserve of Chicago, large bank lending to small businesses has fallen by over 50 percent since the start of the 2007 recession, yet Accion Chicago, a CDFI microlender, reported an 80 percent increase in loan applications from small businesses from 2008 to 2011,” said Stibel. “We need to be providing small businesses with roadmaps to a wide variety of capital sources, as well as help them be prepared when it comes to actually qualifying for financing if this glaring gap is to be bridged.”

At the Chicago event, attendees will be given access to a free copy of their business credit report, a key factor in many lenders’ credit decision process. Leading up to the event, attendees will have the opportunity to talk with a Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. certified Credit Advisor to help them prepare for their lending meetings at no cost.

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