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Staples Opens First-of-Its-Kind Online Retail Store Shelf Slots for New Crowdfunded Products

21 Aug

The debut of the online store marks the first time a retailer has used crowdfunding to determine market demand and social support in choosing products to carry

By Robert Hoskins

Framingham, Massachusetts – The winners of the inaugural Crowd2Shelf Contest debut on Staples’ new entrepreneurial store at Staples.com/fundable. Created by Fundable and sponsored by Staples, the Crowd2Shelf Contest drew thousands of startups across the country competing for a chance to crowdfund their way to Staples. The Crowd2Shelf Contest was also made possible by the business strategy firm Sprosty Network.

Staples Carries New Crowdfunding Products via Online Stores

Staples Carries New Crowdfunding Products via Online Stores

Contestants demonstrated demand for their innovative products by gathering votes and crowdfunding pledges. A panel of innovation experts, including Fundable and Staples representatives, chose the winners based on votes, success of crowdfunding campaigns, and each judges’ understanding of what it takes for a startup to be successful.

The debut of the online store marks the first time a retailer has used crowdfunding to determine market demand and social support in choosing products to carry.

“We’re proud to showcase our Crowd2Shelf entrepreneurs through our new online store and help them launch their ideas,” said Daniel Reilly, Director of Product Design and Innovation at Staples. “We were incredibly impressed with the caliber of startup product companies that participated and are thrilled to offer our customers these innovative new products to help them make more happen.”

The winning products and contestants include:

  • Folding Bluetooth keyboard
    Jorno – Los Angeles, Calif. (exclusive to Staples)
  • Remote-controlled recessed LED lighting
    EVA – Wilmington, DE (exclusive to Staples)
  • Outlet-mounted Bluetooth music player
    The Plug Radio – Hollywood, Calif. (exclusive to Staples)
  • Smartphone-controlled lighting
    Plum – Austin, Texas
  • Secure tablet holder
    nHand – Tulsa, Oklahoma

“We’re pleased to see the winners of the Crowd2shelf contest now available on Staples.com,” said Wil Schroter, CEO, Fundable. “The contest has been an incredible journey for each of these startup companies, and given each of them the opportunity of a lifetime to turn a great idea into a household name.”

Staples makes it easy to make more happen with more products and more ways to shop. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples lets customers shop however and whenever they want, whether it’s in-store, online or on mobile devices.

Fundable is one of the largest business crowdfunding platform with nearly $200 million in commitments and exclusively dedicated to helping businesses. Different from any other crowdfunding platform, Fundable offers both rewards and equity business crowdfunding options. Fundable is a part of the Startups.co platform, the world’s largest startup launch platform with tools to help startups and entrepreneurs at any stage of their business.

Sprosty Network is a business strategy and innovation firm helping clients re-imagine technology and the delivery of products, services, and experiences. They have worked for companies ranging from Fortune 50 retailers to startups, and bring a wealth of expertise in leading and developing consumer technology, wireless solutions, and emerging technologies.

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Illinois Governor Rauner Signs New Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Bill into Law

21 Aug

New crowdfunding legislation means more available capital forIllinois entrepreneurs and small businesses, resulting in more Illinois jobs being created by these entrepreneurs and small businesses

By Robert Hoskins

Chicago, Illinois – Governor Rauner has signed intrastate equity crowdfunding into law.  This new vehicle for raising capital empowers the small business community by allowing business owners and entrepreneurs to raise capital from a large number of people.  In exchange, investors receive a small equity interest in the business.

Illinois Equity Crowdfunding Intrastate Exemption

Illinois Equity Crowdfunding Intrastate Exemption

“Intrastate equity crowdfunding can be a game-changer for the small business community, it will allow business owners and entrepreneurs to invest in, and empower one another.  Many states, including Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan, have already passed legislation allowing companies to raise money in this way.  Passing this legislation has ensured Illinois businesses are able to compete on a level playing field with those in neighboring states,” said Elliot Richardson, Small Business Advocacy Council, CEO.

The SBAC and a coalition of chambers and business groups spearheaded a grass-roots effort to bring intrastate equity crowdfunding to Illinois.  Through the power of critical mass, the small business community worked with legislators and moved this important legislation.  “This is a tremendous step forward for Illinois small businesses and entrepreneurs. This will mean more available capital forIllinois entrepreneurs and small businesses, resulting in more Illinois jobs being created by these entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said attorney, Anthony J. Zeoli of Freeman & Peters LLP.

State Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, issued this statement, “As Co-Chair of the Small Business Owners Caucus in Springfield and primary bill sponsor, I’m thrilled Governor Rauner signed our Crowdfunding bill!  I know the business community has been anxious to see this legislation passed.  It has been a sincere pleasure to work with the SBAC on this and other measures over the years.  Illinois has so much to offer small businesses and today marks a milestone in finding new ways for small businesses to raise capital.”

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