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Archive | April, 2014

New Crowdfunding Consulting Site Aims to Take Hands-On Approach to Help Crowdfunding Campaign Managers Achieve Higher Success Rate

29 Apr

KarmaKrowd Invites the Crowdfunding Industry’s Best Business Development, Advertising, Email Marketing, PR  and Social Media Campaign Experts to Help Crowdfunders Put Together Leading-Edge Fundraising Campaigns

By Robert Hoskins

Chicago, IL  – KarmaKrowd.com, a leading rewards-based crowdfunding site, announced that it will be providing a full suite of crowdfunding consulting services for its fundraising campaign managers who are seeking a professional team of experts to help them plan successful crowdfunding campaigns. And campaign managers will work their way through a four-phase process to perfect their campaigns.

KarmaKrowd Building a Legal, Financial, and Marketing Crowdfunding Consulting Firm to Offer Crowdfunding Campaign Managers Better Chance for Success

KarmaKrowd Building a Legal, Financial, and Marketing Crowdfunding Consulting Firm to Offer Crowdfunding Campaign Managers Better Chance for Success

“Using a completely different strategy from other Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, KarmaKrowd takes a robust approach to every campaign that launches on our site,” said Cindy Summerfield, KarmaKrowd’s CEO.  “We start by offering the best legal services possible to pursue an in-depth Intellectual Property (IP) protection strategy.  Once their IP is buttoned up, KarmaKrowd helps clients engage in a four-step campaign building process and provides a directory of professional manufacturing, distribution and fulfillment consultants who can help campaign managers build a streamlined business model.”

“Once campaign managers have a good business plan and crowdfunding profile in place, we allow them to Beta test it on our internal database of KarmaKrowd users to gather instant feedback from insiders. This interactive process allows all users to learn from each other and build a best practice consulting service from both paid Alpha and Pro Bono Beta professionals,” Summerfield continued.

KarmaKrowd’s four-step crowdfunding consulting process includes:

    1.  The Idea Phase is the first step which assesses the potential patentability of the client’s idea and whether or not the branding infringes on any existing trademarks that have been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
    2. The Alpha Phase is the second step when a product/service idea is transformed into the beginning stage of a crowdfunding campaign. During this phase campaign managers have the option to browse through KarmaKrowd’s directory of business consultants to build a team of experts who can provide direction on how to shoot a great pitch video, how to write a persuasive crowdfunding profile and offer rewards/perks that offer the right calls-to-action to entice backers to support their campaign.In order to avoid a growing trend in crowdfunding campaigns of meeting funding goals, but failing to deliver the goods, Alpha Team consultants can help to ensure that campaign managers have a thorough understanding of their cost of goods as well as assist in the building of business plans, signing up a manufacturer, building distribution and fulfillment channels and planning integrated digital, multi-channel marketing campaigns.
    3. The Beta Phase is the third step once campaign managers think they are ready to launch their campaign live they move their campaign into the Beta Phase. This removes the veil of secrecy so that users can provide private comments and instant feedback to campaign managers to help them make last minute adjustments.
    4. KrowdReadyPhase is the final step when campaign managers signal they are ready to launch their campaign. The KarmaKrowd staff will help the campaign manager put on the finishing touches.


KarmaKrowd Business Services Directory

KarmaKrowd encourages advertising, business, competitive analysis, distribution, email marketing, film production, financial, fulfillment, manufacturing, manufacturer reps, public relations, and social media consultants to sign up for a free KarmaKrowd Business Listing.  Once vetted and approved Alpha Team consultants will be able to offer their expert, value-added crowdfunding business consulting services for a fee to campaign managers.

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Mainstreet Rehab Centers Offer Accredited Investors Oppportunity to Earn a Targeted 10% Annualized Cash Yield through Equity Crowdfunding Real Estate Investment

28 Apr

CrowdStreet Investors can review the opportunity on CrowdStreet and commit capital directly to the project on-line

By Robert Hoskins

Indiapolis, IN – Mainstreet, one of the nation’s largest and most innovative developer of short-stay rehabilitation facilities, has announced the launch of a direct investment initiative to fund its new Bloomington project.

CrowdStreet Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Platform in Indianapolis, Indiana

CrowdStreet Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Platform in Indianapolis, Indiana

Mainstreet and MS Bloomington, LLC are offering investors an exciting opportunity to participate directly in the MS Bloomingtondevelopment project and earn a targeted 10% annualized cash yield plus potential upside.  In conjunction with CrowdStreet, investors will have the opportunity to review the project and relevant information on a secure web site and commit capital directly to the project on-line.

“Consistent with our mission to think differently, innovate and transform industries, Mainstreet is among the first to offer private real estate investment opportunities directly to the public,” said Zeke Turner, Founder and CEO of Mainstreet. “Direct investment initiatives for real estate have great potential to not only fund worthwhile projects like this, but also to provide individuals interesting and compelling opportunities they historically may not have had access to.  We couldn’t be more excited about unlocking the potential of direct investment funding initiatives for real estate as we believe it will transform the industry.  We are also excited to partner with the CrowdStreet team, a forward thinking, and visionary platform on the leading edge of the industry.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the opportunity to work with Mainstreet on this pioneering initiative,” said Darren Powderly, Co-Founder of CrowdStreet.  “Our goal is to connect accredited investors with high-quality, professionally-managed real estate investments.  The Mainstreet team has a proven business model and a track record of success.”

Mainstreet will host an information session for accredited investors on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 10 am in Bloomington. Reservations are required. For more information, visit www.buildmainstreet.com.

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Leading Equity Investment Crowdfunding Platform in Israel Closes $25 Million Series B Funding Round

28 Apr

According to OurCrowd, based on published data, latest round of fund is the largest investment round in the equity crowdfunding sector to date

By Robert Hoskins

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd, a leading global equity crowdfunding platform, announced the closing of a $25 million Series B funding round. This round, according to OurCrowd and published data, is the largest investment round in the equity crowdfunding sector to date. The investment will be used both to further expand OurCrowd activities in Israel and worldwide, and to provide general partner funding participation for each OurCrowd deal on its website. Terms of the investment, and the list of participants in the round, were not disclosed.

Israel’s OurCrowd Takes Lead in Equity Crowdfunding

Israel’s OurCrowd Closes $25 Million Dollar Series B Funding Round for Equity Crowdfunding Platform

OurCrowd CEO, Jon Medved, stated: “We are delighted to have closed this major funding milestone for OurCrowd. As we look back on our first year since launching in February 2013, we are gratified by the support of our global community of 4,000 accredited investors, our talented group of entrepreneurs and the 36 portfolio company teams. This additional funding will allow us to extend our global leadership in equity crowdfunding for early stage companies.”

OurCrowd, which began its activity by investing in early stage Israeli companies, has become the world’s largest equity crowdfunding firm in terms of dollars invested into companies through its platform. In addition to its own current $25 million Series B round, and its previous $5.5 million Series A funding round (Feb 2013), to date OurCrowd has raised another $43 million for its 36 portfolio companies from accredited investors in 26 different countries.

OurCrowd is already extending its global reach: four of its last ten equity crowdfunding deals were for companies based outside of Israel. Portfolio company round size has grown from several hundred thousand dollars per deal to a new high of over $3 million in a single deal. Eighteen portfolio companies have already raised more than $1 million each through OurCrowd’s platform.

Geoff Levy, the former CEO and Chairman of Investec Bank Australia and member of OurCrowd’s Advisory Board, who is an investor in the current round said, “OurCrowd’s emergence as the global leader in equity crowdfunding is now supported by a significant funding round. This new fuel will allow the management team to continue to execute the business plan and bring a wide group of new investors to the exciting tech startup scene worldwide. From their base in Israel, the ‘Startup Nation,’ OurCrowd will now make additional headway in Israel and other global innovation hotspots.”

Andrew Heyer, Mistral Equity Partners CEO, is another individual investor in the round and has joined the OurCrowd Advisory Board. He said, “As a private equity investor, I look to invest in the best emerging companies and help to grow their great consumer brands. At Mistral, we recently led a $10 million follow-on funding round for OurCrowd’s portfolio company Abe’s Market, the leader in e-commerce for organic products. We believe that OurCrowd has proven that they can add real value to their portfolio companies. They are opening up great investments for individual investors and I am delighted to be part of this groundbreaking venture.”

OurCrowd is a hybrid VC-equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors only who wish to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. Managed by a team of well-known investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. Members choose those deals they invest in via OurCrowd-managed partnerships.

OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal. OurCrowd provides post investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats.

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Texas Entrepreneur Networks Reports that Proposed Texas Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption Expected to Pass in August 2014

27 Apr

Texas Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Will Soon Be Able to Collect $5,000 from Unaccredited Investors By Selling Private Equity Shares

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – The Securities board of the State of Texas has just issued their proposed ruling on an intrastate crowdfunding law.  The goal of intrastate crowdfunding is to provide more capital for early stage companies at a reduced cost.

Front Page PR is one of the leading Crowdfunding PR firms in America

Front Page PR is one of the leading Crowdfunding PR firms located in Austin, Texas 

The key highlights are:

1. Unaccredited investors can invest up to $5K/year in a startup.

2. Startups raising $1M or less need only have the CEO certify their financial statements rather than provide audited statements.

3. Texas Crowdfunding portals need only fill out a form and pay a standard filing fee which basically provides a basic background check.  The portal needs to track investor/issuer comments and all communications must take place on the portal. Portals do not need to sit for exams and must maintain records of transactions for five years.

The proposed ruling will be open for comment for 60 days and is expected to pass in final form in August, 2014.

John Morgan of the State Securities Board of Texas invites your comments on the proposed ruling. You can contact him at (512) 305-8302.

Here’s the proposed ruling:

Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption

The Texas State Securities Board proposes new <*>139.25,
concerning intrastate crowdfunding exemption. The new rule would
provide a registration exemption for securities offered in an
intrastate crowdfunding offering. The filing used to claim the
exemption is new Form 133.17, which is being concurrently
proposed. New <*>115.19, concerning Texas crowdfunding portal
registration and activities, is also being proposed to allow
offers and sales of the exempt securities to be made using a
Texas crowdfunding portal’s Internet website.

The new rule is proposed under Texas Civil Statutes,
Articles 581-5.T, 581-12.C, and 581-28-1. Section 5.T provides
that the Board may prescribe new exemptions by rule. Section
12.C provides the Board with the authority to prescribe new
dealer, agent, investment adviser, or investment adviser
representative registration exemptions by rule. Section 28-1
provides the Board with the authority to adopt rules and
regulations necessary to carry out and implement the provisions
of the Texas Securities Act, including rules and regulations
governing registration statements and applications; defining
terms; classifying securities, persons, and matters within its
jurisdiction; and prescribing different requirements for
different classes.

During the development of these proposals, the staff had
discussions with a number of firms and individuals who are
interested and have expertise in the area so their insight and
concerns could be considered. Federal crowdfunding proposals and
provisions in other states were also reviewed.

Under the proposal, the offering must comply with the federal
intrastate offering exemption and Securities and Exchange
Commission (“SEC”) Rule 147, so the securities do not have to be
registered at the federal level. Accordingly, the issuer must be
a Texas entity and the offers and sales limited to Texas
residents. Some Rule 147 requirements have been incorporated
into the proposed exemption to assist issuers in determining if
they qualify for the exemption. Rule 147 also places
restrictions on resale of the securities and requires certain
precautions against interstate offers. These are noted in
subsection (k) of the proposal.

The proposal is designed to assist small issuers conducting
offerings that are local in nature where many investors are
likely to be part of the company’s customer base or from the
surrounding community that will benefit from the growth of local
businesses and the jobs they provide. Accordingly, subsection
(b)(2) excludes certain issuers from the exemption, including:
(1) investment companies, which engage primarily in the business
of investing in other securities; (2) SEC reporting companies;
and (3) blind pool and blank check companies.

The offering amount would be capped at $1 million in a
12-month period. This cap would be reduced by the amount
received for sales of the issuer’s securities that occur within
six months before, during, or within six months after any offers
or sales made in reliance upon the exemption.

The issuer cannot accept more than $5,000 from a single
purchaser unless the purchaser is an accredited investor. Funds
raised must be placed in an escrow account until the minimum
target offering amount specified in the disclosure statement is
reached.

The proponents of crowdfunding argue that the hard work of
making investment decisions — filtering out the best investments
and limiting fraud — can be addressed in part by tapping the
“wisdom of the crowd” over the Internet. Individuals interested
in the crowdfunding campaign (members of the “crowd”) share
information about the project or business with each other and use
the information to decide whether to fund the campaign based on
the collective “wisdom of the crowd.” To facilitate this aspect
of crowdfunding, subsection (h) of the proposal requires that
information about the offering be posted on the Internet website
for a minimum of 21 days before the securities may be sold.
During this time, and for the course of the offering, all
communications between the issuer, prospective purchasers, or
investors must occur on the Internet website. The site must
provide channels for potential purchasers and investors to
communicate with each other, and those communications must be
visible to others on the site.

To alert interested persons to an offering, an issuer may
distribute a limited notice stating the issuer is conducting an
offering, giving the name of the general dealer or Texas
crowdfunding portal and a link to the Internet website. To keep
the issuer from inadvertently converting an intrastate offering
to an interstate one, thereby losing the federal exemption, the
proposal restricts distribution of the notice to within Texas and
requires it to contain a disclaimer reflecting that the offering
is limited to Texas residents and that offers and sales on the
Internet website are made only to Texas residents. A similar
disclaimer is required on the Internet website for the same
reason. The site also must require evidence of Texas residency
before allowing a person to view securities offering materials.
As with securities, there is also an exclusion from federal
registration available to dealers whose business is exclusively
intrastate. The disclaimer, evidence of residency requirement,
and regulatory approach taken in the proposal appear adequate for
purposes of characterizing the dealer’s activities, as well as
the securities offering, as one conducted intrastate.

Subsection (i) requires that a disclosure statement be
provided to each prospective purchaser on the Internet website.
Material information and risk factors must be disclosed and
topics to be addressed in the document noted. Additional
guidance for content of the disclosure statement will be in a
document prepared by the staff and posted on the Agency’s website
with other small business and crowdfunding information. Required
disclosures, common to crowdfunding offerings generally, are in
subsection (i)(2). These disclosures also appear in concurrently
proposed <*>115.19, which requires a Texas crowdfunding portal to
obtain an affirmative acknowledgment from the investor regarding
the disclosures before investment is permitted.

Many proponents of small business incentives cite the
requirement to provide audited or reviewed financial statements
prepared in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards
and generally accepted accounting principals as too costly for
small businesses. Section (i)(3) allows the issuer’s financial
statements to be certified by its principal executive officer.
However, if the issuer has audited or reviewed financial
statements prepared within the last three years, such financial
statements must also be provided.

Payments to unregistered persons are prohibited by
subsection (l), which also prohibits certain compensation
arrangements and affiliations between an issuer and the general
dealer or Texas crowdfunding portal operating the website on
which its offering appears.

To ensure that the exemption is not misused, subsection (m)
contains two types of disqualifications. Bad actor
disqualifications are addressed in subsections (m)(2) and (m)(3).
Issuers should be aware that, although a prior incident may not
be a disqualification under this proposal, it may still need to
be disclosed to potential purchasers and investors if it is
material information under subsection (i)(1). Subsection (m)(4)
prohibits offerings with a 12-month period by different issuers
with common control persons or where the proceeds of offerings by
different issuers will be combined in a single plan of financing.

Offerings made pursuant to the proposed exemption will not
have to meet the filing requirements in the Texas Securities Act,
<*>22.A, and Chapter 137 of the Board Rules (relating to
Administrative Guidelines for Regulation of Offers) since those
provisions do not apply to transactions exempt under <*>5, but a
notice on new Form 133.17 must be filed with the Securities
Commissioner along with a copy of the issuer’s disclosure
statement and the summary of the offering that appear on the
Internet website.
<

The new rule is proposed under Texas Civil Statutes,
Articles 581-5.T, 581-12.C, and 581-28-1. Section 5.T provides
that the Board may prescribe new exemptions by rule. Section
12.C provides the Board with the authority to prescribe new
dealer, agent, investment adviser, or investment adviser
representative registration exemptions by rule. Section 28-1
provides the Board with the authority to adopt rules and
regulations necessary to carry out and implement the provisions
of the Texas Securities Act, including rules and regulations
governing registration statements and applications; defining
terms; classifying securities, persons, and matters within its
jurisdiction; and prescribing different requirements for
different classes.

The proposal affects Texas Civil Statutes, Articles 581-7,
581-12, 581-13, 581-14, 581-15, and 581-18.
<*>139.25. Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption.
(a) General. The State Securities Board, pursuant to the Texas
Securities Act (Act), <*>5.T, exempts from the securities
registration requirements of the Act, any offer or sale of
securities of an issuer through a registered general dealer or a
registered Texas crowdfunding portal, provided that all offers
and sales made pursuant to the offering are made to Texas
residents, completed solely within this state, and all the
requirements of this section are satisfied.

(b) Issuer.

(1) The issuer is an entity that has filed a certificate of
formation with the Texas Secretary of State, is organized under
the laws of Texas, and is authorized to do business in Texas and:
(A) At least 80% of the issuer’s gross revenues during its most
recent fiscal year prior to the offering are derived from the
operation of a business in Texas;
(B) At least 80% of the issuer’s assets at the end of its most
recent semiannual period prior to the offering are located in
Texas;
(C) The issuer will use at least 80% of the net proceeds of this
offering in connection with the operation of its business within
Texas; and
(D) The principal office of the issuer is located in Texas.
(2) The issuer is not, either before or because of the offering:
(A) A company, that engaged or proposes to engage in the business
of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding, or trading in
securities;
(B) Subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities and
Exchange Act of 1934, <*>13 or <*>15(d), 15 U.S.C. <*>78m and
<*>78o(d); or
(C) a company that has not yet defined its business operations,
has no business plan, has no stated investment goal for the funds
being raised, or that plans to engage in a merger or acquisition
with an unspecified business entity.

(c) Coordination with federal securities laws. The transaction
meets the requirements of the federal exemption for intrastate
offerings in the Securities Act of 1933, <*>3(a)(11), 15 U.S.C.
<*>77c(a)(11), and Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 147,
17 CFR <*>230.147.

(d) Offering. The offering must be made exclusively through an
Internet website operated by a registered general dealer or
registered Texas crowdfunding portal. All consideration received
for all sales of the securities in reliance on this exemption
shall not exceed $1 million in a 12-month period. This amount is
reduced by the aggregate amount received for all sales of
securities by the issuer in another offering that does not take
place prior to the six month period immediately preceding or
after the six month period immediately following any offers or
sales made in reliance upon this section.

(e) Individual investments. The issuer will not accept more than
$5,000 from any single purchaser unless the purchaser is an
accredited investor as defined in <*>107.2 of this title
(relating to Definitions). The issuer must have a reasonable
basis for believing that the purchaser of a security under this
section is a Texas resident and, if applicable, an accredited
investor.

(f) Escrow. All payments for purchase of securities offered under
this section are directed to and deposited in an escrow account
with a bank or other depository institution located in Texas and
organized and subject to regulation under the laws of the United
States or under the laws of Texas, and will be held in escrow
until the aggregate capital raised from all purchasers is equal
to or greater than the minimum target offering amount specified
in the disclosure statement as necessary to implement the
business plan. Investors will receive a return of all their
subscription funds if the target offering amount is not raised by
the time stated in the disclosure statement.

(g) Communications.

(1) All communications between the issuer, prospective
purchasers, or investors taking place during the offer of
securities pursuant to this section must occur on the Internet
website of the registered general dealer or Texas crowdfunding
portal. During the time the offering appears on the Internet
website, the website must provide channels through which
potential purchasers and investors can communicate with one
another and with representatives of the issuer about the
offering. These communications must be visible to all those with
access to the offering materials on the Internet website.
(2) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the issuer may distribute a
notice within Texas limited to a statement that the issuer is
conducting an offering, the name of the registered general dealer
or portal through which the offering is being conducted and a
link directing the potential investor to the dealer or portal’s
Internet website. The notice must contain a disclaimer that
reflects that the offering is limited to Texas residents and
offers and sales of the securities appearing on the Internet
website are limited to persons that are Texas residents.

(h) Internet website.

(1) The Internet website operated by a registered general dealer
or the Texas crowdfunding portal must meet the following
requirements:
(A) the website must contain a disclaimer that reflects that
access to securities offerings on the website is limited to Texas
residents and offers and sales of the securities appearing on the
website are limited to persons that are Texas residents;
(B) evidence of residency within Texas is required as a condition
of entry before viewing securities-related offering materials on
the website and before sale is made to a prospective purchaser.
An affirmative representation made by a prospective purchaser
that the prospective purchaser is a Texas resident and proof of
at least one of the following would be considered sufficient
evidence that the individual is a resident of this state:
(i) a valid Texas driver license or official personal
identification card issued by the State of Texas;
(ii) a current Texas voter registration; or
(iii) general property tax records showing the individual owns
and occupies property in this state as his or her principal
residence; and
(C) prior to offering an investment opportunity to residents of
Texas and throughout the term of the offering, the registered
general dealer or registered portal shall give the Securities
Commissioner access to the Internet website.
(2) Information about the issuer and the offering posted on the
Internet website, entry onto which is conditioned upon evidence
of Texas residency, operated by the registered general dealer or
registered portal consists of:
(A) a copy of the disclosure statement required by subsection (i)
of this section;
(B) a summary of the offering, including:
(i) a description of the entity, its form of business; principal
office, history, business plan, and the intended use of the
offering proceeds, including compensation paid to any owner,
executive officer, director, or manager;
(ii) the identity of the executive officers, directors, and
managers, including their titles and their prior experience and
the identity of all persons owning more than 20% of the ownership
interests of any class of securities of the company; and
(iii) a description of the securities being offered and of any
outstanding securities of the company, the amount of the
offering, and the percentage ownership of the company represented
by the offered securities.
(3) The information required by paragraph (2) of this subsection
must be made available on the Internet website to the
Commissioner and potential investors for a minimum of 21 days
before any securities are sold in the offering.

(i) Disclosure statement. A disclosure statement must be made
readily available and accessible to each prospective purchaser at
the time the offer of securities is made to the prospective
purchaser on the Internet website. The disclosure statement must
contain all of the following:
(1) Material information and risk factors. All information
material to the offering, including, where appropriate, a
discussion of significant factors that make the offering
speculative or risky. Guidance on the categories of information
to include can be found by reviewing the small business offering
information provided by the Texas State Securities Board on its
Internet website. Topics to be addressed include, but are not
limited to:
(A) general description of the issuer’s business;
(B) history of the issuer’s operations and organization;
(C) management of the company and principal stockholders;
(D) how the proceeds from the offering will be used;
(E) financial information about the issuer;
(F) description of the securities being offered; and
(G) litigation and legal proceedings.
(2) Disclosures. The issuer shall inform all prospective
purchasers and investors of the following:
(A) There is no ready market for the sale of the securities
acquired from this offering; it may be difficult or impossible
for an investor to sell or otherwise dispose of this investment.
An investor may be required to hold and bear the financial risks
of this investment indefinitely;
(B) The securities have not been registered under federal or
state securities laws and, therefore, cannot be resold unless the
securities are registered or qualify for an exemption from
registration under federal and state law.
(C) In making an investment decision, investors must rely on
their own examination of the issuer and the terms of the
offering, including the merits and risks involved; and
(D) No federal or state securities commission or regulatory
authority has confirmed the accuracy or determined the adequacy
of the disclosure statement or any other information on this
Internet website.
(3) Financial statements. Issuers must provide current financial
statements certified by the principal executive officer to be
true and complete in all material respects. If the issuer has
audited or reviewed financial statements prepared within the last
three years, such financial statements must also be provided to
investors.

(j) Notice filing. At least 21 days before an offer of securities
is made in reliance on this section or use of any publicly
available Internet website in an offering of securities in
reliance on this section, the issuer shall file with the
Securities Commissioner:
(1) Form 133.17, Crowdfunding Exemption Notice;
(2) the disclosure statement, required by subsection (i) of this
section; and
(3) the summary of the offering, required by subsection (h)(2)(B)
of this section.

(k) Resales of securities. The issuer and all its officers,
directors, and employees shall make the disclosures required by
SEC Rule 147(e) and (f), 17 CFR <*>230.147(e) and (f). The issuer
must place a legend on the certificate or other document
evidencing that the securities have not been registered and
setting forth the limitations on resale contained in SEC Rule
147(e), including that for a period of nine months from the date
of last sale by the issuer of the securities in the offering, all
resales by any person, shall be made only to Texas residents.

(l) Commissions and remuneration. A commission or other
remuneration shall not be paid or given, directly or indirectly,
for the offer or sale of the securities unless the person
receiving such compensation is registered in Texas as a dealer or
agent or as a Texas crowdfunding portal. The issuer may not list
its securities on the Internet website of a general dealer or
portal that holds an interest in the issuer. The issuer may not
compensate a general dealer or a portal by providing a financial
interest in the issuer as compensation for services provided to
or on behalf of the issuer. A general dealer or portal may not be
affiliated with or under common control with an issuer whose
securities appear on its Internet website.

(m) Disqualifications.
(1) For purposes of this subsection, “control person” means an
officer; director; other person having the power, directly or
indirectly, to direct the management or policies of the issuer,
whether by contract or otherwise; or a person that owns 20% or
more of any class of the outstanding securities of the issuer.
(2) This exemption is not available if the issuer, the issuer’s
predecessors, any affiliated issuer, or any control person of the
issuer:
(A) within the last five years, has filed a registration
statement which is the subject of a currently effective
registration stop order entered by any state securities
administrator or the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission;
(B) within the last five years, has been convicted of any
criminal offense in connection with the offer, purchase, or sale
of any security, or involving fraud or deceit;
(C) is currently subject to any state or federal administrative
enforcement order or judgment, entered within the last five
years, finding fraud or deceit in connection with the purchase or
sale of any security; or
(D) is currently subject to any order, judgment, or decree of any
court of competent jurisdiction, entered within the last five
years, temporarily, preliminarily, or permanently restraining or
enjoining such party from engaging in or continuing to engage in
any conduct or practice involving fraud or deceit in connection
with the purchase or sale of any security.
(3) Paragraph (2) of this subsection shall not apply if:
(A) the party subject to the disqualification is licensed or
registered to conduct securities-related business in the state in
which the order, judgment, or decree creating the
disqualification was entered against such party;
(B) before the first offer under this exemption, the state
securities administrator, or the court or regulatory authority
that entered the order, judgment, or decree, waives the
disqualification; or
(C) the issuer establishes it did not know and exercising
reasonable care, based on a factual inquiry, could not have known
that a disqualification existed under this subsection.
(4) This exemption is not available to an issuer if:
(A) a control person of the issuer is also a control person of
another issuer that has made a securities offering in Texas
within the previous 12-month period;
(B) a control person of the issuer is also a control person of
another issuer that is concurrently conducting a securities
offering in Texas; or
(C) the proceeds of the offering will be combined with the
proceeds of a securities offering by another issuer as part of a
single plan of financing.
This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been
reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s
legal authority to adopt.

Texas Crowdfunding Portal

The Texas State Securities Board proposes amendments to
<*>115.1, concerning general provisions; and <*>115.3, concerning
examination. New <*>115.19, concerning Texas crowdfunding portal
registration and activities, is also proposed.

The amendment to <*>115.1 would add a definition for “Texas
crowdfunding portal” and provide a restricted dealer registration
category as such.

The amendment to <*>115.3 would provide an examination
waiver to an applicant applying for restricted dealer
registration as a Texas crowdfunding portal.

New <*>115.19 would set out the registration process and
permitted activities of a dealer registered as a Texas
crowdfunding portal.

A Texas crowdfunding portal would be a Texas-only dealer,
able to utilize the exclusion from federal registration available
to dealers whose business is exclusively intrastate. The
portal’s activities would be limited to operating an Internet
website for <*>139.25 exempt offerings. It could not participate
in secondary market transactions or engage in the activities in
subsection (c).

To preserve the intrastate character of the dealer’s
activities and the offering, the Internet website must contain
appropriate disclaimers and obtain evidence of Texas residency
before allowing access to the offering materials or permitting a
sale to be made.

Prior to offering securities on the Internet website, the
portal conducts background and regulatory checks on the issuer
and each of the issuer’s control persons. Additionally, the
portal must obtain affirmative acknowledgments of certain
disclosures common to all crowdfunding offerings from investors
before a sale can be made.

Records required to be kept by the portal are specified in
subsection (e), rather than the more extensive, and mostly
inapplicable, list of records required of other securities
dealers. A portal is also not required to maintain a supervisory
system. A portal’s records are subject to inspection and must be
furnished on request of the Securities Commissioner.

A Texas crowdfunding portal would apply for registration by
filing new Form 133.15, which is being concurrently proposed. It
would also provide its organizational documents to establish its
status as a Texas entity. It would be subject to the same
registration fee as other dealers registered in Texas. New Form
133.15 would also be used for filing amendments. The portal is
subject to the post-registration reporting requirements in
<*>115.9. When the portal withdraws its registration, it would
use new Form 133.16, which is also being proposed.

<*>115.19. Texas Crowdfunding Portal Registration and
Activities.

(a) Intrastate portal. A Texas crowdfunding portal:

(1) must be an entity incorporated or organized under the laws of
Texas, authorized to do business in Texas, and engaged
exclusively in intrastate offers and sales of securities in
Texas;
(2) must limit its activities to operating an Internet website
utilized to offer and sell securities exempt from registration
pursuant to <*>139.25 of this title (relating to Intrastate
Crowdfunding Exemption); and
(3) does not operate or facilitate a secondary market in
securities.

(b) Internet website. The Internet website operated by the Texas
crowdfunding portal must meet the following requirements:

(1) the website must contain a disclaimer that reflects that
access to securities offerings on the website is limited to Texas
residents and offers and sales of the securities appearing on the
website are limited to persons that are Texas residents;
(2) evidence of residency within Texas is required as a condition
of entry before viewing securities-related offering materials on
the website and before sale is made to a prospective purchaser.
An affirmative representation made by a prospective purchaser
that the prospective purchaser is a Texas resident and proof of
at least one of the following would be considered sufficient
evidence that the individual is a resident of this state:
(A) a valid Texas driver license or official personal
identification card issued by the State of Texas;
(B) a current Texas voter registration; or
(C) general property tax records showing the individual owns and
occupies property in this state as his or her principal
residence;
(3) prior to offering an investment opportunity to residents of
Texas and throughout the term of the offering, the portal shall
give the Securities Commissioner access to the Internet website;
and
(4) prior to permitting an investment in any securities listed on
the Internet website, the portal shall obtain an affirmative
acknowledgment from the investor of the following:
(A) There is no ready market for the sale of the securities
acquired from this offering; it may be difficult or impossible
for an investor to sell or otherwise dispose of this investment.
An investor may be required to hold and bear the financial risks
of this investment indefinitely;
(B) The securities have not been registered under federal or
state securities laws and, therefore, cannot be resold unless the
securities are registered or qualify for an exemption from
registration under federal and state law.
(C) In making an investment decision, investors must rely on
their own examination of the issuer and the terms of the
offering, including the merits and risks involved; and
(D) No federal or state securities commission or regulatory
authority has confirmed the accuracy or determined the adequacy
of the disclosure statement or any other information on this
Internet website.

(c) Prohibited activities. A Texas crowdfunding portal shall not:

(1) offer investment advice or recommendations;
(2) compensate employees, agents, or other persons not registered
with the Securities Commissioner for soliciting offers or sales
of securities displayed or referenced on its platform or portal;
(3) hold, manage, possess or otherwise handle investor funds or
securities;
(4) be affiliated with or under common control with an issuer
whose securities appear on the Internet website;
(5) hold a financial interest in any issuer offering securities
on the portal’s Internet website; or
(6) receive a financial interest in an issuer as compensation for
services provided to or on behalf of an issuer.

(d) Background and regulatory checks.

Prior to offering securities to residents of Texas, the Texas crowdfunding portal
shall conduct a reasonable investigation of the background and
regulatory history of each issuer whose securities are offered on
the portal’s Internet website, and of each of the issuer’s
control persons. “Control persons” for purposes of this
subsection means the issuer’s officers; directors; or other
persons having the power, directly or indirectly, to direct the
management or policies of the issuer, whether by contract or
otherwise; and persons holding more than 20% of the outstanding
equity of the issuer. The portal must deny an issuer access to
its Internet website if the portal has a reasonable basis for
believing that:
(1) the issuer or any of its control persons is subject to a
disqualification under <*>139.25 of this title (relating to
Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption);
(2) the issuer has engaged in, is engaging in, or the offering
involves any act, practice, or course of business that will,
directly or indirectly, operate as a fraud or deceit upon any
person; or
(3) it cannot adequately or effectively assess the risk of fraud
by the issuer or its potential offering.

(e) Recordkeeping.

(1) A Texas crowdfunding portal is not required to maintain the
records listed in <*>115.5 of this title (relating to Minimum
Records) or to maintain a supervisory system under <*>115.10 of
this title (relating to Supervisory Requirements).
(2) A portal shall maintain and preserve for a period of five (5)
years from either the date of the document or communication or
the date of the closing or termination of the securities
offering, whichever is later, the following records related to
offers and sales made through the Internet website and to
transactions where the portal receives compensation:
(A) records of compensation received for acting as a portal,
including the name of the payor, the date of payment, name of the
issuer, and name of the investor;
(B) copies of information provided by the portal to issuers
offering securities through the portal, prospective purchasers,
and investors;
(C) any agreements and/or contracts between the portal and an
issuer, prospective purchaser, or investor;
(D) any information used to establish that an issuer, prospective
purchaser, or investor is a Texas resident;
(E) any information used to establish that a prospective
purchaser or investor is an accredited investor as defined in
<*>107.2 of this title (relating to Definitions);
(F) any correspondence or other communications with issuers,
prospective investors, and/or investors;
(G) any information made available through the portal’s Internet
website relating to an offering;
(H) ledgers (or other records) that reflect all assets and
liabilities, income and expense, and capital accounts; and
(I) any other records relating to the offers and/or sales of
securities made through the Internet website.
(3) A portal shall maintain and preserve a copy of the Form
133.15 (relating to Texas Crowdfunding Portal Registration), Form
133.16 (relating to Texas Crowdfunding Portal Withdrawal of
Registration), and the Form U-4 (Uniform Application for
Securities Industry Registration or Transfer) used to register
the portal and its designated officer, and any amendments
thereto, for a period of five (5) years from the termination of
the portal’s registration.
(4) The records required to be maintained and preserved under
this subsection may be archived if they are over two years old.
(5) A portal shall, upon written request of the Securities
Commissioner, furnish to the Commissioner any records required to
be maintained and preserved under this subsection.
(6) The portal shall provide to the Commissioner access,
inspection, and review of any Internet website operated by a
portal and records maintained by the portal; and
(7) The records required to be kept and preserved under this
subsection must be maintained in a manner, including by any
electronic storage media, that will permit the immediate location
of any particular document so long as such records are available
for immediate and complete access by representatives of the
Commissioner. Any electronic storage system must preserve the
records exclusively in a non-rewriteable, non-erasable format;
verify automatically the quality and accuracy of the storage
media recording process; serialize the original and, if
applicable, duplicate units of storage media, and time-date for
the required period of retention the information placed on such
electronic storage media; and can download indexes and records
preserved on electronic storage media to an acceptable medium. In
the event that a records retention system commingles records
required to be kept under this subsection with records not
required to be kept, representatives of the Commissioner may
review all commingled records.

(f) Filings.

(1) Application. In lieu of the application requirements in
<*>115.2 of this title (relating to Application Requirements), a
complete application for a Texas crowdfunding portal consists of
the following and must be filed with the Securities Commissioner:
(A) Form 133.15, including all applicable schedules and
supplemental information;
(B) Form U-4, for the designated officer and a Form U-4 for each
agent to be registered (officers of a corporation or partners of
a partnership shall not be deemed agents solely because of their
status as officers or partners);
(C) a copy of the articles of incorporation or other documents
which indicate the form of organization, certified by the Texas
Secretary of State or by an officer or partner of the applicant;
(D) any other information deemed necessary by the Commissioner to
determine the financial responsibility, business repute, or
qualifications of the portal; and
(E) the appropriate registration fee(s).
(2) Post-reporting requirements. A portal is subject to the
dealer and agent requirements in <*>115.9 of this title (relating
to Post-Registration Reporting Requirements).
(3) Renewal. Registration as a portal expires at the close of the
calendar year, but subsequent registration for the succeeding
year shall be issued upon written application and upon payment of
the appropriate renewal fee(s), without filing of further
statements or furnishing any further information unless
specifically requested by the Commissioner.

Forms

The Texas State Securities Board proposes three new rules,
concerning forms adopted by reference. Specifically, <*>133.15,
which would adopt by reference the Texas Crowdfunding Portal
Registration form; <*>133.16, which would adopt by reference the
Texas Crowdfunding Portal Withdrawal of Registration form; and
<*>133.17, which would adopt by reference the Crowdfunding
Exemption Notice form. The portal forms are tailored to the
limited activities performed by a portal and eliminate the need
for a portal to use the more comprehensive dealer forms.
<*>133.15. Texas Crowdfunding Portal Registration. This
form is available from the State Securities Board, P.O. Box
13167, Austin, Texas 78711-3167 and at http://www.ssb.state.tx.us.
<*>133.16. Texas Crowdfunding Portal Withdrawal of
Registration. This form is available from the State Securities
Board, P.O. Box 13167, Austin, Texas 78711-3167 and at
http://www.ssb.state.tx.us.
<*>133.17. Crowdfunding Exemption Notice. This form is
available from the State Securities Board, P.O. Box 13167,
Austin, Texas 78711-3167 and at http://www.ssb.state.tx.us.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Panel Discussion to Be Hosted in New York on April 30th

25 Apr

Former New York Governor David Paterson to Open the  “Innovations in Real Estate: Crowdfunding Panel,” which will address residential vs. commercial deals, preferred equity vs. debt investments and other crowdfunding topics

By Robert Hoskins

New York, NYiFunding, one of America’s leading  real estate crowdfunding platforms, announced that it is participating in a Harvard alumni organizations panel discussion entitled “Innovations in Real Estate: Crowdfund Investing.”   The event will be held Harvard alumni organizations on Wednesday., April 30, 2014, at The Conference Center on 59th St. in Manhattan, NY.  Tickets are available to the public at http://www.hbscny.org/article.html?aid=992.

iFunding is a real estate investment platform that uses technology to make private real estate investing simple. Individual investors can select and make direct investments in pre-vetted institutional quality real estate assets directly on our website.

iFunding is a real estate investment platform that uses technology to make private real estate investing simple. Individual investors can select and make direct investments in pre-vetted institutional quality real estate assets directly on our website.

The discussion will address many of the emerging themes in real estate crowdfunding, including equity versus debt investing and residential versus commercial crowdfunding deals. Former New York Governor David Paterson will provide opening remarks about the state of real estate and the economy.

“Crowdfunding has changed the landscape for real estate investing,” said William Skelley, CEO of iFunding. “It enables investors to have the potential for institutional-quality returns through preferred equity investments, but with minimum investments as low as $5,000. An online platform like iFunding’s provides extensive investment research information, including financial projections, project plans, on-site images and video, and educational webinars. We’re honored to help share information about crowdfund opportunities for real estate operators and investors at this exciting Harvard event.”

Given crowdfunding’s broad applicability, three organizations have teamed up to present the panel: Harvard Business School Club of New York, the Harvard Real Estate Alumni Organization, and Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York. The event is sponsored by commercial law firm Flaster/Greenberg. The panel moderator, Mark Roderick of Flaster/Greenberg, is a top legal expert on crowdfunding in the US.

The evening’s speakers include:

  • David Paterson, former Governor of New York and Director of Community at iFunding. In his role at iFunding, Gov. Paterson interacts with policy makers, community leaders and business leaders across the US, as well as with US and international investors interested in socially responsible real estate investment.
  • William Skelley, CEO of iFunding and veteran of the alternative investments space, formerly of Rose Park Advisors and Bain Capital.
  • Elvin Ames of Golden Eye Investments. Mr. Ames is a real estate developer who has completed 300 real estate transactions, including over 60 house refurbishments.
  • Jason Fritton, Co-founder and COO, Patch of Land, a pioneer in the real estate crowdfunding industry, focused on highly attractive debt investments.
  • Alex Twining, CEO of Twining Properties, a developer focused on urban use green projects at transit nodes of the US Northeast Corridor. The company has over 4 million square feet under development.

Innovations in Real Estate: Crowdfund Investing will be held at The Conference Center, 130 E. 59th St., between Park & Lexington, in Manhattan. Tickets are $15 for members of the Harvard Business School Club, HBS Angels and Harvard Real Estate Alumni Organizations; $15 for member guests, $35 for non-member alumni and $50 for other attendees. Close to one hundred are expected to attend the networking and educational sections of the evening.

Further, the panelists are arranging an informational dinner afterward with a number of active real estate operators and investors interested in crowdfunding. The selective seating will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis.

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Benelux Venture Forum Seeks Top 40 Early Stage Companies to Pitch Venture Capital Firms in Leuven

21 Apr

On June 18, 2014, the most promising entrepreneurs will be showcasing their business to an audience of Benelux and international strategic partners, venture capital and corporate investors

By Robert Hoskins

BVF 2014

The European Venture contest is seeking companies that want to raise investment capital.  Contestants can apply for one of the 40 pitching slots at the 14th annual Benelux Venture Forum held on the 18th of June in Leuven 2014. High-tech companies from across the technology sectors of Life Sciences, Clean Tech and Information Technologies are invited to apply for a free position on stage at the Forum.
Those selected will have the chance to present in 8 minutes their company and its unique strengths and gain the opportunity to network with investors and large corporate groups investing in their sector. In addition to their moment on stage, the Forum offers them the opportunity to request personalized meetings with investors of their choice as well as free access to the presentation dry-run (June 17), where they will be coached to critically improve their presentation. Each company presentation will be evaluated by a strong Investor Jury, consisting of venture capital investors and relevant senior corporate venturing & innovation people.
The jury, which totals over 40 members, includes people from Aster Capital, BASF, Capricorn Venture Partners, DOW, DSM, Finindus, Forbion, Gilde Healthcare, GIMV, Idinvest, Intel Capital, KLM, Newion Investments, PHS Fund, PMV, Prime Ventures, Oracle, Robert Bosch, Sofinnova Partners, Start Green and Time Equity Partners.
The full list of Jury members is listed on the event website. Next to the presentations by the presenting companies, the full-day program of the Benelux Venture Forum will feature panels on topics such as ‘Successful Growth & Exits’ and ‘Widening access to capital for entrepreneurs’ and features workshops on how to raise capital and work with different investors types, looking at corporate groups, business angels & family investors, accelerators and crowdfunding platforms and loan & guarantee facilities.
The program features many top speakers such as Prof. Dr. Herman Daems (BNP Paribas Fortis, KU Leuven, BARCO), Jurgen Ingels (Clear2Pay), Wim de Waele (iMinds) & Jos Peeters (Capricorn Venture Partners). Companies interested in applying for a presentation slot should register their company and create a profile on e-unlimited.com/bvf before April 27th.
The 10 best received companies at the Benelux Venture Forum will be among the top companies in the annual European Venture Contest, a pan-European that features over 500 companies each year. These Award winners received a guaranteed place on stage at the European Venture Summit that takes place in December in Dusseldorf. As the final event of the annual European Venture Contest, the Summit is one of Europe’s largest gathering points for high-tech entrepreneurs seeking investment capital and features over 120 award-winning companies and 100+ venture capital investors.

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Top Cities in the United States to Start a Crowdfunding Training Class, Seminar or Workshop Business

18 Apr

Top Crowdfunding Training Classes Available throughout the United States


Searching for an affordable crowdfunding training class, workshop or seminar to learn more about how to launch a crowdfunding campaign to start a new business and start bringing entrepreneur’s and inventor’s creative business ideas to life?   States below with a number have at least one scheduled crowdfunding training class. Those with a zero have none planned.

If you a true entrepreneur and there is a zero listed for your state, you should consider starting your own crowdfunding training business.  We supply the instructor training and class materials. All you need to do is find a venue and start setting up local training classes.  Click on any state with a zero for more information.

States that are listed in Bold Type have already approved Equity Crowdfunding for unaccredited investors. If you want to receive information on where to take a crowdfunding training class or to sign up up to become a certified Crowdfunding Training Instructor, please fill out this form:

Indiegogo Campaign Raising Funds for Armband Thermometer iPhone App that Allows Parents to Monitor a Sick Child’s Fever Throughout the Night

18 Apr

 iTherm bracelet works with iPhone app to set up automated reminder system for medication administration and to record all data to help the pediatrician with diagnosis and treatments

By Robert Hoskins

Boston, MA – How many times have you lost sleep when one of your children was running a dangerously high fever? When your child is sick and running a high fever, it is very wise to check the child’s temperature every few hours.  But instead of waking up the child in the middle of the night to see if their temperature is stable or rising, wouldn’t it be nice to check the temperature via  a smart temperature sensing bracelet worn by the child and your iPhone from the comfort of your own bed.

 iTherm bracelet works with iPhone app to set up automated reminder system for medication administration and records all data to help the pediatrician in the diagnosis and treatment

iTherm bracelet works with iPhone app to set up automated reminder system for medication administration and records all data to help the pediatrician in the diagnosis and treatment

That is the solution that iTherm is crowdfunding via an Indiegogo $29,000 fundraising campaign. The  iTherm is a $39 bracelet that measures body temperature via a wireless smartphone app. Now parents can set alarms to alert them when the temperature has reached a certain limit.

Marcos Oliva, entrepreneur and founder of the project, had the idea when his first child was born. When his son had his first cold and fever the pediatrician told him and his wife: “Watch out that the temperature does not get too high by giving him antipyretics every 8 hours for 2 days. If there is no improvement bring him back.” That night they organized shifts every 2 hours to monitor the fever and the next day the whole family was very tired. With the birth of his second child the sleepless nights increased.

There had to be a solution for these problems:

  • Waking up again and again when most of the time there is no need
  • Awakening the child when what he/she needs is to rest and recover
  • Sleeping concerned about the possibility that the fever rises

Using Bluetooth 4.0 Marcos attached a temperature sensor to a bracelet, so that by placing it in the child’s arm the temperature could be monitored without waking the child. This system also allows to set alarms to wake parents if the temperature rises but the whole family can rest if it does not.

iTherm also includes an automated reminder system for medication administration and it records all data to help the pediatrician in the diagnosis and treatment.

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New U.S. Hybrid Rewards and Equity-Based Crowdfunding Site Based in Columbus, OH Surpasses $100 Million Milestone

17 Apr

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

By Robert Hoskins

Columbus, OH – In a prelude to what may become the industry norm, Fundable.com announced that backers and accredited investors have pledged over $100 million in funding commitments for both rewards-based and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. During the past 18 months, startups across all industries have utilized Fundable to move their businesses forward. Different from any other crowdfunding platform, Fundable is dedicated exclusively to helping businesses as they seek early stage growth capital. The crowdfunding platform claims to be receiving over 15,000 new company registrations each month.

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

According to Fundable CEO Wil Schroter, “We are thrilled with the incredible success that companies have found through Fundable. It’s amazing to see companies using funding to grow real businesses that are creating jobs and making an impact on the economy.” A veteran entrepreneur himself, Schroter has nearly 20 years of experience founding successful venture-backed startups. Schroter knew firsthand that access to early stage capital was a critical problem for emerging entrepreneurs, and wanted to create a platform to solve this.

Schroter says, “the success of Fundable’s hybrid rewards and equity system proves the need for additional expansion capital after a successful rewards campaign. Companies can prove demand for their business through a rewards campaign, and then meet demand and continue to grow through an equity crowdfunding campaign.”

Due to Kickstarter’s and Indiegogo’s lack of equity investment options,  successful crowdfunding campaigns are the taking the next step on Fundable when seeking addition rounds of funding.  For example, HIDDEN, Ube and Uncharted Play all utilized Fundable to raise additional expansion capital.

Unlike Kickstarter, which experienced a huge backlash from Oculus backers that cried foul when their early rewards -based  crowdfunding campaign raised $2.4 million dollars to launch the virtual reality computer goggles product line, Fundable can follow initial seed funding rounds with equity investment deals.

But just like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and more than another 1,000 crowdfunding platforms worldwide, Fundable is not allowed by the SEC to allow unaccredited investors to invest in equity investment deals.

Hopefully by the 3rd quarter of 2014 the rest of United States will be given the opportunity to strike it rich by investing in small startups.  If pledgers are willing to back a set of Oculus goggles for $300 to jump start a business, the same backers should certainly should have been allowed to recoup their investment when Oculus accepted a $2 billion buyout from Facebook.  According to Forbes, that $300 investment risk would have paid hobby investors a whopping $20,000 return on investment on their investment.

Fundable.com is one of the largest business crowdfunding platforms, with over $100 million in commitments, and is dedicated exclusively to helping entrepreneurs. Different from any other crowdfunding platform, Fundable offers both rewards and equity business crowdfunding options.

In an upcoming crowdfunding trend, Fundable recently acquired LaunchRock, a premiere tool for launching startup ideas, in order to acquire over 500,000 registered startup companies, 10 million users, and 15,000 companies.

The crowdfunding site is the brain child of veteran entrepreneurs who have raised countless venture capital and angel investment rounds to finance early stage growth startups.

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iControl Networks Acquires Piper, a Wi-Fi -enabled, Z-Wave Standard All-in-One Home Awareness and Security Management Solution

16 Apr

Piper, the Compact, All-in-One Home Awareness and Management Device Now Enables Live Interaction and Integrated Security Functionality for a Total Home View

By Robert Hoskins

Ottawa, Ontario – iControl Networks, a leader in connected home technology and innovation, announced the availability of two enhancements to the Piper all-in-one home awareness and management device: two-way audio and multi-Piper capability, which provides the ability to support more than one unit and create multiple security zones.

Piper, the Compact, All-in-One Home Awareness and Management Device Now Enables Live Interaction and Integrated Security Functionality for a Total Home View

Piper, the Compact, All-in-One Home Awareness and Management Device Now Enables Live Interaction and Integrated Security Functionality for a Total Home View

Piper, the compact, Wi-Fi-enabled, all-in-one home awareness and management device that launched general availability in North America in late January 2014 and was recently acquired by iControl Networks, enables users to seamlessly monitor what’s important in their life from their mobile device, all without service contracts or fees.

With multi-Piper capability, users will be able to create independent security zones using up to five Pipers within their homes. Each Piper operates as an independent sentinel and joins together to form an integrated security network. Seamless Z-Wave integration allows for complete home awareness and automation control. Shared environmental and motion sensor data, camera views and recorded videos provide the ability to track changes and movement through each zone.

Simple to use, two-way audio provides users with the ability to directly interact via Piper app’s camera view with occupants, elderly parents, children and even pets.

“The ability to simply and easily interact with and secure your entire home — not just one room — when you’re away has been a priority of ours since we first developed Piper,” said Russell Ure, creator of Piper and Executive Vice President and GM of iControl’s Canadian business unit. “We’re excited to offer an enhanced experience to our current and future customers.”

Piper has been recognized for its excellence in innovative design and engineering and originally debuted its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in August 2013, where it successfully tripled its funding efforts. Allowing users to easily monitor, secure and interact with their homes through Z-Wave home automation accessories, Piper continues to receive support and praise from homeowners, apartment renters, parents, pet owners and design enthusiasts alike.

Piper features include:

  • Security – Customize three security modes (home, away and vacation), motion detector and piercing, 105-decibel siren.
  • Automation – Integrate Z-Wave accessories into Piper’s security modes, control them remotely, on a schedule, or using environmental data.
  • HD Panoramic camera – 180° fisheye lens, electronic pan, tilt, and zoom, 1080p camera sensor.
  • Customized alerts – Phone call, text message, email and push notifications to alert users and their trusted circle when security rules are triggered.
  • Environmental sensors – Monitor and control home temperature, humidity, ambient light and sound.
  • Elegant design – Simple, intuitive app. Compact, two-toned form with brushed metal legs.
  • Smart hardware – ARM processor, battery backup, internal memory for video storage, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.
  • Free cloud storage – Cloud infrastructure provides Piper a place to store event videos, send various types of notifications and perform additional login/connection negotiation.
  • Android & iOS support – Available on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.
  • NEW Two-way audio – Talk directly to occupants through Piper and app on mobile device.

Two-way audio and multi-Piper capability will be available as a free firmware and software update. The Piper House Kit, which comes with three units in either black or white, can be purchased at http://store.getpiper.com for $649 USD. Piper can also be purchased by itself for $239 or bundled with Z-Wave home automation accessories such as smart switches and door/window sensors that allow consumers to control their homes remotely, ranging from $359 to $849 USD.

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