Under the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) Act, New Rule Allows Non-Accredited Investors to Invest Alongside Angel Investors for 1st Time in 80 Years
Detroit, MI – MichiganFunders.com announced that it launched the 1st equity crowdfunding site in Detroit to connect Michigan-resident investors and Michigan-based businesses that are seeking growth funding. The equity crowdfunding site is the first portal based in Michigan to allow investors to participate in private equity investments in exciting local startups, expanding businesses, and real estate. All investors, regardless of income, are able to participate in funding the future. Investing in exciting local Michigan businesses has never been easier.
Following the passage of Public Act 264, co-founders David Tessler, local attorney Jeffery Freeman, and Niles Heron partnered to build the platform, which will for the first time, open up investment opportunities to Michigan-based non-accredited investors. The site launched in February 2015 and will be open to both prospective investors and entrepreneurs.
According to a leading research report, How Accelerators Kickstart Startup Ecosystems by TechCocktail, “In 2013, over $120 million in venture capital was invested in 40 Michigan companies, the most deals done in a single year in the past decade. The state now boasts 33 venture capital firms (50% more than 2008), $1.6 billion of capital under management, and over 90 investors (84% more than 2008). Its Q2 investments in 2014 landed it #11 among US states.”
In 2014, Google recognized the huge potential for growth in Detroit and launched Grand Circus Tech Hub located inside M@dison Block to provide financial support and resources for entrepreneurs. The investment is a sign that even Internet Moguls do not forget their roots. Google co-founder Larry Page was born in East Lansing, less than 100 miles from Detroit, and graduated from the University of Michigan.
Equity Crowdfunding will augment Michigan’s ability to provide additional seed investment capital to their growing network of entrepreneur and startups organizations such as:
- Educational organizations like Build Institute, which offers courses on entrepreneurship and networking events, and the Creative Ventures Residency Program, which mentors designers.
- Co-working spaces like Co-Lab, Green Garage, Office in Detroit, Junction 440, Ponyride, Bamboo Detroit, and Practice Space.
- Universities like the local Wayne State University, whose Blackstone Launchpad provides workshops, events, and mentorships for entrepreneurs. Other nearby universities with resources for entrepreneurs include the University of Michigan via its Venture Center, Oakland University through its Macomb-Oakland University INCubator, and Michigan State’s Spartan Innovations and co-working space The Hatch.
- Funding organizations like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Invest Detroit, Ludlow Ventures, First Step Fund, Fontinalis Partners, and many VC firms in neighboring Ann Arbor.
Michigan is the 10th most populated state in America, and growing yearly, with almost 10 Million residents. The state contribute’s in excess of $400 billion to the national GDP, which is more than Thailand, Austria, and a host of other countries produce for themselves yearly. Detroit was recently ranked a top-city for entrepreneurship and startups by Forbes.
The Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) opens up small business securities investments to all Michigan residents in a way not available nationally, or in the majority of other states. We’re from here, based here, and committed to working with local investors and small businesses to bridge the gaps.
“Michigan Funders firmly believes that the pursuit of dreams is an inalienable right, and should not be denied or deferred because of access or wealth. Within that is our belief that investors should be allowed access to investments, and businesses should be allowed access to capital – both within a truly democratic market,” said Niles Heron, Chief Business Development Officer at Michigan Funders.
Built on the CrowdEngine crowdfunding platform, state residents can now invest up to $10,000 per investment, per year, in startups, existing businesses, and real estate via crowdfunding platforms.
“CrowdEngine is proud to have been part of many crowdfunding ‘firsts’, and this is another key milestone in bringing equity crowdfunding to the world. This is the same technology trusted by investors and entrepreneurs around the world, but now we’re enabling a new investment experience for intrastate crowdfunding portals that is accessible, efficient, and secure,” said Jim Borzilleri, President.
Accelerators and Incubators can use CrowdEngine’s software to launch their own equity crowdfunding site that features:
- User-Friendly Tools – That simplify the creation, promotion and securing of new investments for small businesses.
- Align Investors to Investments – With access to a broader range of locally based investments not limited by federal requirements of existing personal relationships, “accredited” investor status, or other federal compliance requirements.
- Streamlined due diligence – A new population of investors and entrepreneurs can focus more on fundraising instead of paperwork, with digitized templates, automation and e-signing during the checkout processes.
- Increased Convenience – Michigan residents can now browse investments anytime, from anywhere, on any device.
- Investor Management – Once investments are complete, companies and entrepreneurs have one simple tool for investor communication, payouts, dividends, and quarterly updates.
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