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I-Banker Direct Augments Deal Flow for Accredited Investors Seeking Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

18 May

I-Bankers Direct Launches US-Based Dealer/Broker Equity Crowdfunding Platform

By Robert Hoskins

I-Bankers Direct announced the launch of a web-based crowdfunding platform designed to transform the process of investing in private and public growth-stage companies. The platform, www.ibankersdirect.com, allows individuals to invest as little as $5,000 directly in selected small-cap growth businesses, pairing accredited investors with a growing list of emerging companies with investment capital needs.

“What they lacked is access to a reliable source of deals. We also know from experience how challenging it can be for small, growing businesses to raise capital. I-Bankers Direct was created to address these needs.”

“What they lacked is access to a reliable source of deals. We also know from experience how challenging it can be for small, growing businesses to raise capital. I-Bankers Direct was created to address these needs.”

With 24/7 online access to offering documents, management conference calls, company slide decks, video presentations and other decision-making support, individual investors now have the ability to evaluate and invest in promising business opportunities, based on their own schedule and from any Internet-connected device.

“It was clear to us that there are many high-net-worth individual investors in the marketplace who have both the ability and the desire to invest in small, dynamic companies,” said I-Bankers Direct President John Kallassy. “What they lacked is access to a reliable source of deals. We also know from experience how challenging it can be for small, growing businesses to raise capital. I-Bankers Direct was created to address these needs.”

I-Bankers Direct has set itself apart from other entrants in the crowdfunding field by focusing on transactions which appeal both to individual and institutional investors at the same time, thus transforming the capital-raising landscape for early-stage businesses. To that end, I-Bankers Direct has assembled an experienced team of investment professionals*, software innovators and ecommerce experts committed to transforming the capital-raising landscape for growth-stage businesses.

CEO Mike McCrory explains, “We’ve harnessed the power of the Internet—and leveraged the experience our team has gained helping companies access billions of dollars in capital over the past eighteen years. Our platform, recently capitalized with $1.5 million of institutional and private investment, provides accredited individual investors, angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity investors with 24/7 access to investments previously unavailable to them. It’s a win for everyone.”

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New Equity Crowdfunding Portal VentureHealth Launches to Provide Life Science Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities for Accredited Investors in United States

18 May

Individual Accredited Investors Can Now Tap into Previously Inaccessible Life Sciences Deals through Crowdfunded Investments

By Robert Hoskins

VentureHealth announced a new equity crowdfunding portal for accredited investors seeking crowdfunded healthcare investments.  Focused on innovations that dramatically improve clinical outcomes, VentureHealth is one of the first equity crowdfunding portal founded by professional investors.  The investment platform offers qualified investors access to life sciences deals that traditionally were reserved for venture capitalists.

VentureHealth for Life Science Crowdfunding for Accredited Investors

VentureHealth for Life Science Crowdfunding for Accredited Investors

VentureHealth is led by a seasoned team with extensive success in the healthcare industry.  Mir Imran, Co-Founder and Managing Director, is a prolific medical innovator who has founded more than 20 life sciences companies and holds more than 200 patents.  Mir is also the founder of InCube Labs, a multi-disciplinary research lab that develops breakthrough medical technologies, and InCube Ventures, a life sciences venture fund.  Andrew Farquharson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of VentureHealth, is an investor and entrepreneur with two decades of experience building, restructuring and acquiring companies in life sciences.  A Harvard MBA, Andrew is also a founding member of InCube Ventures and an advisor to InCube Labs.  Talat Imran, the third Co-Founder and Managing Director, is an accomplished entrepreneur in the world of digital media.

“Venture capital for early stage life sciences companies has dried up in the last few years, and promising companies are always looking for investors.  VentureHealth has the potential to change how healthcare innovations are funded, which is a win for both entrepreneurs and investors,” said Mir Imran , Managing Director.

“We founded VentureHealth so that physicians and other accredited investors can invest in the most compelling biomedical innovations,” said Andrew Farquharson , Managing Director. “This model gives individuals access to high-quality deals, investing on terms offered to professional VCs.  It’s a paradigm shift and, if we’re successful, this could change the landscape for biomedical financing.”

VentureHealth is also announcing today that it raised $875,000 as part of a Series B round for Channel Medsystems, a start-up developing next generation cryoablation technologies.

“We love this new approach,” said Dan Burnett , Founder of Channel Medsystems. “VentureHealth is very attractive for companies like ours because it creates new financing options, and makes the whole funding ecosystem less VC dependent. That is a very big deal to entrepreneurs.”

In launching the online portal, VentureHealth is able to expand the community of investors while offering a limited number of carefully selected investment opportunities at any given time.

Astro Teller serial entrepreneur and scientist who oversees Google [x]Google’s audacious ideas lab and “moonshot factory,” is not affiliated with VentureHealth but sees the potential of the model.  “Democratizing access to private markets is a powerful concept, and VentureHealth gets us a step closer to this vision.  It’s opening doors for individual investors, giving them access to deals they wouldn’t be able to participate in otherwise.  Even more interesting, it’s giving these investors a forum to interact and engage with the community.  There’s no doubt that 100 qualified people evaluating a deal make a better decision than one individual investor.”

Registered potential investors can log into www.venturehealth.com to see the most current offerings and to sign up to receive notifications when new investments become available. Those seeking life science investment opportunities must understand the risks associated with equity investments and are encouraged to consider investment diversification.

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Equity Crowdfunding Investments Surpass $16 Million on MicroVentures Broker/Dealer Crowdfunding Platform

18 May

Equity Crowdfunding Investment Milestone Hit as MicroVentures Invests in Graphicly, SupplyHog, Kickfolio and Republic Project

By Robert Hoskins

MicroVentures announced that to date accredited investors have invested $16M in startups on their equity crowdfunding platform. With investments in 34 companies, MicroVentures has now invested more with legal, accredited investors than any other equity based crowdfunding platform. MicroVentures employs a crowd-sourcing process that enables the power of the crowd to decide which startups will receive investments in an effort to provide a higher probability of successful outcomes. Further, MicroVentures has a dedicated due diligence team that screens out companies that may have potential growth inhibiting challenges.

MicroVentures Reaches $16M in Equity Crowdfunding Investments

MicroVentures Reaches $16M in Equity Crowdfunding Investments

“As we patiently wait for the SEC to enact rules around the JOBS Act, we are utilizing traditional securities laws to connect startups with great investors. This is only possible as a result of our being one of the only registered broker dealer in the space. This is the first time ever that accredited investors have had the ability to invest alongside VC’s without taking major stakes and ending up with similarly diversified portfolios. However, we may find that the crowd does an even better job at picking winners,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of MicroVentures. “We’ve reached a milestone that proves that our platform doesn’t just ‘work’ — but that there is significant demand from smaller investors to take part in this asset class.”

MicroVentures’ platform invests primarily in seed stage startups, but will participate in follow on rounds alongside the VCs throughout the life of a company. For example, visual book publishing platform Graphicly and rich media advertisement platform Republic Project have both received multiple investments from MicroVentures as they have continued to gain traction and required additional capital to accelerate their growth. Other investments include SupplyHog, a Tennessee-based company that operates a platform that streamlines the process for buying building supplies and material online, along with Kickfolio, the first foreign management team, who have created a platform that enables developers to run iOS app demos in a standard web browser.

“Our platform has created the opportunity for our investors to invest in everything from seed stage startups to huge companies such as Twitter and Facebook through secondary transactions. We’re giving investors the chance to participate and the transparency to make decisions in a way they have traditionally never been able to,” said Sullivan.

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Arizona Attorney Publishes New Book on Equity Crowdfunding: “Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners

18 May

Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners now available from Amazon.com

By Robert Hoskins

Arizona Attorney Jonathan Frutkin of The Frutkin Law Firm recently published a new book about this new source of finance, known as “equity crowdfunding.” According to Frutkin, the same power of online funding will soon let local companies raise capital online – and more importantly, make customers into owners, increasing the market share of businesses that successfully leverage this new opportunity.

Jonathan Frutkin, CEO of Cricca Funding

Jonathan Frutkin, CEO of Cricca Funding

The book, titled Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners, provides insight into how business owners can turn their customers into loyal customers while raising money for their company. It is now available for print and digital purchase on Amazon.com.

“Equity crowdfunding is the single largest marketing opportunity for local businesses to transform mere customers into loyal owners,” Frutkin said when describing the concept. “By resetting the relationship between corporation and patron, the new rules for crowdfunding are going to fundamentally shift the way entrepreneurs think about both raising capital and creating long-term engagements with their customers.”

Interest in crowdfunding drastically increased after President Barack Obama signed the JOBS Act (Jumpstart our Business Startups) in 2012 legalizing equity crowdfunding, subject to new rules being agreed by regulators. A total of $2.7 billion was provided through crowdfunding by individual donors last year, according to reports by research firm Massolution — up 81% from 2011. This space is only going to heat up further when SEC rules for the JOBS Act are released this year, paving the way for equity crowdfunding.

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Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

18 May

Ingenious Britain, the small business campaign, community and advice and information portal, has announced that it is launching a crowdfunding initiative to raise a £500,000 investment in return for a combined 25% equity stake in the business.

By Robert Hoskins

Ingenious Britain announced that it is launching a crowdfunding initiative to raise a £500,000 investment in return for a combined 25% equity stake in the business.

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

The investment will be used to fund, among other things, a more dynamic portal suited to the needs of small businesses, an enhanced digital marketing and content strategy, a fourth print (and digital) Ingenious Britain magazine each year, an expanded personal support network to SMEs online, by telephone and by email and, most excitingly, the launch of ‘Ingenious Britain Live,” which will be the UK’s most interactive and vibrant small business event.

“We are practicing what we preach and are taking Ingenious Britain to the crowd. With the investment we’re planning exciting and innovative multimedia content and events in the space which will prove invaluable to the UK’s five million small businesses,” commented Mark Moore, Ingenious Britain CEO.

“People can pledge as little or a much as they wish and we will work as hard as we can to make sure their investment reaps dividends for us, for them and for Britain’s small business community.”

The crowdfunding campaign is available to be viewed via Crowdcube by clicking here.

The UK’s five million small and medium-sized businesses make up 99.6% of all British businesses; they employ 54.5% of our workforce, and account for 49.5% of our annual GDP. Ingenious Britain has reached hundreds of thousands already, providing advice, information and support through events, social media feeds, its online portal, community and magazine.

“Encouraging them and helping them to perform better will have significant economic benefits for the UK economy,” adds Moore.

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Connectify Lanches Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign to Finance Broadband Servers in Underserved Areas

18 May

Where Do You Want Broadband Internet Access: Crowdfunding a Faster Global Network on Kickstarter

 By Robert Hoskins

“Where Do You Want Faster Internet?” That’s the question that Connectify Inc. is asking as they Kickstart their new Switchboard technology this month. Connectify Switchboard is a new cloud service that lets Mac and PC users combine multiple Internet connections for faster speeds and increased reliability using an international network of “Speed Servers” in the cloud. In order to plan and deploy these Speed Servers, Connectify is working with Kickstarter backers to essentially crowdsource a worldwide network in real-time.

Connectify Network for Faster Global Internet Access

Connectify Network for Faster Global Internet Access

Backers of the Connectify Switchboard Kickstarter project can now vote for the location of the next Speed Server to be rolled out during the campaign. An interactive “heat map” a www.wheredoyouwantfasterinternet.com shows where the company currently has servers, and where backer interest is most fervent for upcoming Speed Servers.

By posting in project comments, on Facebook, and Tweeting with the hashtag #backswitchboard with their location, Connectify’s Kickstarter backers can add their location requests directly to the heat map. Kickstarter is all about community, and that’s why we decided to come back to the crowdfunding platform to help us plan and deploy our cloud network,” said Connectify CEO, Alex Gizis. “Switchboard Kickstarter backers now have an opportunity to help us build out a worldwide network, and we’re confident that the end result will be a Switchboard infrastructure that works seamlessly for our users worldwide.”

Already, backers from all over the world are giving the company valuable feedback, both on the Kickstarter project page and via social media channels. Less than a week into the campaign, and the interactive map asking Where Do You Want Faster Internet? is starting to light up. With interest growing by the hour, perhaps Connectify has struck upon a new model, where vital data on network coverage can be crowdfunded by users months before companies spend millions to roll out their servers.

Connectify is a privately-held company that develops next-generation networking software for Mac, PC, and mobile platforms. Founded in 2010, Connectify’s mission is to give all users the power to perform complex networking tasks at the click-of-a-button. For more information on Connectify, visit www.connectify.me .

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