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Mainstreet Student Living Launches $1.8 Million Crowdfunding Campaign to Fund New Student Housing Community at Southern Wesleyan University

22 Nov

Dedicated to a student-centric approach, Mainstreet Student Living develops communities that allow students an opportunity at a true live and learn environment

 By Robert Hoskins

Carmel, Indiana Mainstreet Student Living has announced a new initiative to raise funds for a new student living community in Central, South Carolina. Helping with this effort is Oregon-based CrowdStreet, a crowdfunding marketplace and software platform that connects accredited investors with institutional-quality real estate investments, and Mainstreet Capital Partners, a U.S. registered broker-dealer that is focused on, but not limited to, opportunities in health care development, health care acquisitions, health care operations and student housing.

Mainstreet Student Living is an innovative investment, development and management firm of student housing communities throughout North America

Mainstreet Student Living is an innovative investment, development and management firm of student housing communities throughout North America

Mainstreet Student Living is the premier investment, development and management firm of student housing communities throughout North America. Dedicated to a student-centric approach, Mainstreet Student Living develops communities that allow students an opportunity at a true live and learn environment. Our redefinition of the student experience fuels design innovation, creative investment opportunities and provides students with a life-changing experience.

Mainstreet Student Living is seeking upwards of $1.8 million on behalf of MS Vita SWU, LLC through a private placement offering solely to accredited investors under Rule 506(c) of Regulation D promulgated by the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933.

“We are excited about our first online fundraising experience and to partner with CrowdStreet for this initiative,” said Justin Farris, managing director of Mainstreet Student Living. “Our mission is to transform collegiate lives and, with this initiative, it enables us to pursue high-quality opportunities to further growth and innovation in student housing.”

The 68,000 square-foot, on-campus student living development at Southern Wesleyan University will boast 114 units, 243 beds and feature a state-of-the-art clubhouse, study lounges, a resident lounge with television, a fully-functional kitchen and much more. The $9.3 million community is projected to be complete in August 2017.

Southern Wesleyan University was founded in 1906 and is a student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars. The main campus totals approximately 350 acres and current enrollment totals 1,883 students. In addition to the main campus, Southern Wesleyan University has six other satellite campuses located throughout South Carolina.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.
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New SEC Rules Allow Companies to Raise Up to $5 Million for Businesses Incorporated Out of State as well as from Investors Who Live Out of State

28 Oct

SEC Adopts New Securities Act Rule 147A and Changes to Reg D Rule 504 to Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities Offerings

Washington, D.C. – The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted final rules that modernize how companies can raise money to fund their businesses through intrastate and small offerings while maintaining investor protections.“These final rules, while continuing to provide investor protections, update and expand the capital raising avenues for smaller companies, allowing them to more fully take advantage of changes in technology and business practices,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

“These final rules, while continuing to provide investor protections, update and expand the capital raising avenues for smaller companies, allowing them to more fully take advantage of changes in technology and business practices,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

“These final rules, while continuing to provide investor protections, update and expand the capital raising avenues for smaller companies, allowing them to more fully take advantage of changes in technology and business practices,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

The final rules amend Securities Act Rule 147 to modernize the safe harbor under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act, so issuers may continue to use state law exemptions that are conditioned upon compliance with both Section 3(a)(11) and Rule 147.  The final rules also establish a new intrastate offering exemption, Securities Act Rule 147A, that further accommodates offers accessible to out-of-state residents and companies that are incorporated or organized out-of-state.

To facilitate capital formation through regional offerings, the final rules amend Rule 504 of Regulation D under the Securities Act to increase the aggregate amount of securities that may be offered and sold from $1 million to $5 million.  The rules also apply bad actor disqualifications to Rule 504 offerings to provide additional investor protection, consistent with other rules in Regulation D.  In light of the changes to Rule 504, the final rules repeal Rule 505 of Regulation D.

Amended Rule 147 and new Rule 147A will be effective 150 days after publication in the Federal Register.  Amended Rule 504 will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  The repeal of Rule 505 will be effective 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.

 

Highlights of the SEC Final Rules

New Rule 147A and Amendments to Rule 147

The adoption of new Rule 147A and the amendments to Securities Act Rule 147 would update and modernize the existing intrastate offering framework that permits companies to raise money from investors within their state without concurrently registering the offers and sales at the federal level.

Amended Rule 147 would remain a safe harbor under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act, so that issuers may continue to use the rule for securities offerings relying on current state law exemptions.  New Rule 147A would be substantially identical to Rule 147 except that it would allow offers to be accessible to out-of-state residents and for companies to be incorporated or organized out-of-state.

Both new Rule 147A and amended Rule 147 would include the following provisions:

  • A requirement that the issuer has its “principal place of business” in-state and satisfies at least one “doing business” requirement that would demonstrate the in-state nature of the issuer’s business
  • A new “reasonable belief” standard for issuers to rely on in determining the residence of the purchaser at the time of the sale of securities
  • A requirement that issuers obtain a written representation from each purchaser as to residency
  • A limit on resales to persons residing within the state or territory of the offering for a period of six months from the date of the sale by the issuer to the purchaser
  • An integration safe harbor that would include any prior offers or sales of securities by the issuer made under another provision, as well as certain subsequent offers or sales of securities by the issuer occurring after the completion of the offering
  • Legend requirements to offerees and purchasers about the limits on resales

Amendments to Rule 504 and Repeal of Rule 505

Rule 504 of Regulation D is an exemption from registration under the Securities Act for offers and sales of up to $1 million of securities in a 12-month period, provided that the issuer is not an Exchange Act reporting company, investment company, or blank check company.  The rule also imposes certain conditions on the offers and sales, with limited exceptions made for offers and sales made in accordance with specified types of state registration provisions and exemptions.  The amendments to Rule 504 would retain the existing framework, while increasing the aggregate amount of securities that may be offered and sold under Rule 504 in any 12-month period from $1 million to $5 million and disqualifying certain bad actors from participation in Rule 504 offerings.  The final rules also would repeal Rule 505, which permits offerings of up to $5 million annually that must be sold solely to accredited investors or no more than 35 non-accredited investors.

The Commission adopted Rule 147 in 1974 as a safe harbor to a statutory intrastate exemption, Section 3(a)(11), which was included in the Securities Act upon its adoption in 1933.  Commenters, market participants and state regulators have indicated that the combined effect of the statutory limitation on offers to persons residing in the same state or territory as the issuer and the prescriptive eligibility requirements of Rule 147 limit the availability of the exemption for companies that would otherwise conduct intrastate offerings.

The $1 million aggregate offering limit in Rule 504 has been in place since 1988.

Effective Date

Amended Rule 147 and new Rule 147A would become effective 150 days after publication in the Federal Register.  Amended Rule 504 would become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  The repeal of Rule 505 would become effective 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School Announces 18-Month Crowdfunding Research Study that Will Explore How and Why Investors Decided to Invest in Successful Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

21 Jun

 

Kauffman Foundation and Nesta Grants, Nir Vulkan, Associate Professor of Business Economics at Saïd Business School, funding explore the business of successful equity crowdfunding

By Robert Hoskins

Oxford, United Kingdom – The equity crowdfunding market is worth over £50 million a year in the UK, doubling in size last year as an increasing number of individuals look for an alternative place to invest their capital. Despite its size however, there is very little research into market dynamics, the success of campaigns to attract funding and the associated risks.

Seedrs makes it simple to buy into the businesses you believe in and share in their success

Seedrs makes it simple to buy into the businesses you believe in and share in their success

Nir Vulkan, Associate Professor of Business Economics at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, has been granted funding from the Kauffman Foundation and Nesta to explore the business of equity crowdfunding. Working with Thomas Åstebro from HEC Paris, the 18 month project will explore the criteria for success for crowdfunders and how investors make decisions on what projects to back.

“We are looking to find out how investors react when presented with different information about an investment,” said Nir Vulkan. “Do they respond more strongly to information about the founding team, to company milestones, existing investors, or previous sales made? We will be able to understand what generates success and what leads to failure, and this will have important implications for companies looking for investment of money and community expertise. More broadly our findings will be of great importance for regulators and governments both in the UK and internationally looking at the benefits and risks associated with the crowdfunding sector.”

The study is being conducted on Seedrs, one of Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms. Seedrs matches investors with businesses seeking capital, conduct due diligence on the businesses, executes the investment transactions and acts as nominee on behalf of investors to protect their rights.

Seedrs was founded by Oxford MBA alumni Jeff Lynn and Carlos Silva, who worked on the idea for the company as part of their Entrepreneurship Project at Oxford Saïd, mentored by Vulkan, before it was launched in July 2012. On average, over £2 million is invested through Seedrs per month, and in 2013 it became the first crowdfunding platform for equity investments to allow cross-border fundraising rounds across the EU. Seedrs has made over 2.5 years of historical data, on an anonymized basis, available to Vulkan and Åstebro for the project.

Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs, said, “It’s a great honor to work with my former Oxford tutor, Nir Vulkan, along with Thomas Åstebro on this project. Equity crowdfunding is only in its infancy, and I expect their research to prove highly valuable for practitioners and observers alike as the space continues to grow rapidly in coming years.”

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Why Every University and College Should Develop a Rewards-based or Equity-Based Crowdfunding Ecosystem

18 Mar

Crowdfunding platforms can be used to support research & development, transfer technology, protect IP, build co-working spaces and finance incubators and accelerators to launch new startups

 By Robert Hoskins

 Austin, Texas – The purpose of this equity crowdfunding article is to encourage universities and colleges to begin thinking about how schools and students might benefit from:

The Need to Build a Crowdfunding Ecosystem

There is a new generation of “Millennials” that do not want to go to college due to the poor economy and because they do not want to start their life as young adults by incurring $50,000 or more in college loan debt. And there is a growing concern for many students that there may not be a job waiting for them when they finally graduate. 

Read more:  What is Crowdfunding?

But what if there was a way to attract more students by convincing them that they could work their way through college by researching, planning and then launching their own business while earning their college degree? This would allow some certainty about their career path and teach students how to put a lot more money in their pockets than working for a large corporation that will stick them in a cubicle for the rest of their life.

Entrepreneurship Centers

For this reason, “Entrepreneurship Centers” are becoming a huge draw for students who do not want to work for a living, but instead want to live for working. That means learning how to build new startups from the ground up.  Entrepreneurship Centers usually start with a co-working space, then adds a business incubator with mentors to guide students through the startup process and when budget permits, accelerators are created to help students raise money from angel investors, accredited investors and sometimes venture capitalists.

Co-Working Spaces for Startup Companies

The biggest challenge for incubators and accelerators are the costs associated with building a 25,000 sq. ft. co-working space, paying mentors salaries and finding experienced executives with great track records that are willing to share their wisdom and industry experience with students. There is also resistance from departing from the “old school” way of transferring technology from a university Research & Development laboratory, protecting the intellectual property and then utilizing a licensing or royalty revenue model to realize short-term deals to provide a revenue for the college or university. 

JOBS Act: Nationwide Equity Crowdfunding

Enter the 2012 JOBS Act, General Solicitation and a new Equity Crowdfunding alternative financing tool that can help startups raise seed investment capital to startup new businesses. While the SEC and NASAA seems hell bent on preventing the national guidelines from ever being released (they are three years past the official deadline mandated by President and the United States Congress), approximately 14 states such as Texas, Michigan, and Georgia have passed their own Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions. Add to that another 15 states have a Crowdfunding Exemption in progress.

Map of U.S. States that approved Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions

Map of United States that have approved Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions

Source: CrowdfundingLegalHub.com

Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemption

In states where intrastate equity crowdfunding is legal, any trade school, college or university can build an equity crowdfunding platform and use it to begin fundraising campaigns to raise money, not only from Angel Investors and Accredited Investors, but also from the general public who are non-accredited investors.

Read more: What is an Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemption?

This means anyone can take a brilliant idea, create a business plan and investor deck to support the business case, build an online equity crowdfunding profile and then use marketing campaigns to advertise the deal to millions of potential investors. Like any e-commerce site, Investors can then visit the equity crowdfunding sites to shop for deals by minimum investment amount, by products or services or by vertical business segment to find deals they want to invest in.

This means that a college or university can build an equity crowdfunding site and use it to raise money for every one of its R&D programs and streamline the entire technology transfer process so that promising technology can be transformed into startups businesses. The school collects a certain percentage from each crowdfunding campaign called a platform commission fee. For a $1 million raise and 10% platform commission fee, a college could collect a $100,000 fee from each campaign. This money could be used to fund co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators and Entrepreneurship Centers.

Creating Equity Crowdfunding Investment Syndicates

By the SEC’s securities law, a crowdfunding platform’s management team or employees cannot invest in equity campaign hosted on its own site unless they are registered broker dealer with the SEC. But a popular trend that is growing is building a college or university equity crowdfunding investment syndicate. An investment syndicate is usually led by one or more Super Angel Investors, who are seasoned veterans that have been investing in startups for 20 to 30 years and completely understanding the process of vetting deals with due diligence and understand the real risks of investing in startup companies.

Novice accredited investors with little investment experience join the investment syndicate so that they can follow or invest along side the Super Angel Investors. In addition, where it is legal, investment syndicates will pool a large pool of non-accredited investors together, who make small investments, into a single LLC and then invest the group’s money similar to how a venture capitalist invests money on the behalf of others.

Adopting an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem

For colleges and universities that adopt an equity crowdfunding business model might, it might completely change the way a school recruits, raises money, builds relationships with alumni and earns revenue by seeking long-term equity stakes in their students startups versus short-term licensing and royalty agreements.

Read More:  Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites in the United States

Launching an equity crowdfunding platform would not just increase a school’s earning potential, but they might dramatically change the manner in which that Millennials are taught. Instead of just course work, students would be taught at an early age to begin to engage with the world around them and plot a course for their own future destiny rather than relying on fate. Some Millennials might reject the idea of going to college, but the lure of becoming a successful entrepreneur and launching their own business while earning a college education has the potential to create one of the most vibrant and thriving economies the world has ever seen.

Even students that do not start up their own companies have an outstanding chance to benefit from the equity crowdfunding business model. All students seek a way to get some type of real world work experience usually by working as free or highly underpaid interns. Imagine the learning benefits that student would receive when applying their desired major’s education such as business administration, finance, legal or marketing to the intense equity crowdfunding process of launching a startup company.

Instead of adding a bullet point for working a menial job as a small cog in the corporate machine as an intern, students just might be fortunate enough to work on several successful crowdfunding campaigns that would highlight their professional expertise such as business planning, structuring equity finance deals marketing, PR, video production, and/or copy writing. And if the sweat equity pays off in equity crowdfunding shares, they might become extremely wealthy when that startup goes public a couple of years after they graduate. This is how many, many Silicon Valley millionaires got their start. They just did not have a term for the process, which is now branded as equity crowdfunding today.

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Need help setting up a college/university crowdfunding sites?

Please fill out this form to get started:

Understanding the Best Type of Crowdfunding Site to Support a College or University Campus

16 Mar

What’s the Best Type of Crowdfunding Platform to Serve a College or University Entrepreneurship Center, Co-Working Space, Incubator or Accelerator Program?

By Robert Hoskins

Understanding the Crowdfunding Funding Process

The first step in building a crowdfunding business model is to understand the various forms of crowdfunding and at what step of the business creation process each should be used.

This crowdfunding infographic is a good representation on each step of the business creation process from the business idea, generating revenue, validating marketplace demand, expanding operations and maturing into a fortune 500 company.  It also shows what type of crowdfunding is usually best to fund startups and each step of the business’ evolution.

The Crowdfunding Escalator by CrowdSuite  Shows the  Different Types of Crowdfunding

The Crowdfunding Escalator by Crowdfund Suite Shows the Different Types of Crowdfunding

Source: CrowdfundSuite.com


Donation-based Crowdfunding
– At kitchen tables, dinner parties, happy hours and dorm rooms around the world many brilliant ideas are born and discussed for the very first time. Once an idea has been pitched and vetted among friends and family and it begins to gain momentum toward the first step of crowdfunding, Donation-based Crowdfunding, which is used to scrape enough money together to begin building a business plan to figure out how much it will cost to bring a business idea to fruition and/or develop at one or more prototypes. Donation crowdfunding sites make it easy to collect money for new creative ideas as well as expand the crowdfunding campaign’s reach from just family and friends to a global audience of potential supporters.

Most donation-based crowdfunding sites are usually built to provide fundraising activities for campaigns that do not offer any rewards or perks.  They are also used to support non-profit causes.  Donations to 501(3)(c) are tax deductible and can be written off at the end of the year.  

Most universities will only build donation-based crowdfunding sites that can be used by students and faculty to collect money by students and faculty for a wide variety of projects including college educations, scholarships, research and development, campus improvements and all kinds of not-for-profit endeavors. Crowdfunding can be used for very small fundraising efforts to raising millions of dollars from alumni, foundations, institutional investors and corporate sponsors.

Donation-based crowdfunding sites will make it easy for anyone to search for, discover, research and fund their favorite pet projects on their alma mater’s campus.

Rewards-based Crowdfunding – Surprisingly enough 90% of people in the world still are not familiar with the term crowdfunding. Mention Kickstarter or IndieGoGo and most people do recognize the brand name and know its purpose and have heard of popular crowdfunding campaigns such as Oculus, Star Citizen, Coolest Cooler and the return of the Pebble Time SmartWatch.

Rewards-based campaigns are used to take ideas, concepts and prototypes to the next level. They are used in a similar fashion to how typical marketing campaigns are used to support product/service launches and rollouts with an added twist.

People with ideas build a crowdfunding profile, shoot a crowdfunding pitch video and build a list of up to 20 perks or rewards that are pre-sold to raise enough money to develop a prototype or pay for the very first manufacturing production run.  Not only do rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns validate industry demand, but they allow businesses to test market various product versions, colors and price points to gauge public interest. More importantly, they help startups generate their first revenue by pre-selling their products and services in order to raise enough money to get the business started. Gaining this type of market traction is very important to angel investors because it shows that there is an audience of people who are willing to pay for the company’s products and services. 

The best way for universities and colleges to cut their teeth on the crowdfunding business model is to launch a rewards-based crowdfunding site, which usually collects a 5% commission on the crowdfunding campaign’s total amount raised. That may not sound like much but since 2009, Kickstarter alone has raised $1.6 billion, which at 5% means $80 million over 5 years in gross revenue or an average of $16 million per year that could be used to fund a wide variety of college/university projects.

Not only are crowdfunding platforms a good source of revenue, but with the right marketing resources crowdfunding campaigns have the potential to raise a huge amount of marketplace awareness for the university’s projects, business development goals, research and development labs and technology transfer programs. All at no cost to the university because the crowdfunding campaign managers are the ones that spend money to market their crowdfunding campaign to the world.

The other reason to consider launching a rewards-based crowdfunding program is that they are easy and do not fall under the jurisdiction of the SEC or state securities board regulators because no securities are being sold. For new startups it also means that raising money does not involve selling any equity shares or giving up any control of the company’s administration.

Rewards-based crowdfunding campaign commissions can also be used by colleges/universities to establish co-working spaces and to fund college incubator and accelerator programs. Co-working spaces with at least 25,000 sq. ft. can generate millions of dollars per year in additional revenue from rent and mentorship programs.

It is important to note that rewards-based commissions combined with co-working space revenue can provide millions of dollars in seed investment capital to begin funding the next step in the process, equity-based crowdfunding sites, where schools, students, faculty and alumni can become equity investors in new startups.

Equity-based Crowdfunding – Setting up equity-based crowdfunding websites will allow schools to play the role usually enjoyed by Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists and/or Broker-Dealers. They will allow students to raise money for startups by selling debt, such as convertible notes, or selling equity shares for a certain percentage of the company to raise enough seed investment capital to produce prototypes, fund early manufacturing runs, setup distribution agreements and hire manufacturer representatives. 

Other types of equity crowdfunding involve sharing 20% of the gross profits with investors or making royalty payments on a per item sold basis until the investors receive a 3x to 5x payback on their initial investment.

Investing in startups is a risky business, but with the right education and building a small group of experienced Super Angel investors to follow, a large group of novice accredited investors can invest smaller amounts of money along side seasoned experts with a proven 25-30 year track record.

In states like Texas, Michigan, Georgia and 11 others non-accredited investors can also pool their money together to purchase equity shares of stock. This is something that has been illegal for the past 80 years, but intrastate crowdfunding exemption laws are now allowing average people to begin investing in startups just like angel investors and venture capitalists.

The aggregation of novice accredited and non-accredited investors are known as Investment Syndicates, which is the process of following expert investors.  This allows students, faculty members and the general public to learn the equity investment business and enjoy the benefits of being an insider when a great business idea is transformed from a startup company to an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

For example, a $300 investment for a single share of stock and pair of Oculus virtual reality goggles would have paid investors a return on investment of $45,000 when Facebook bought the company for $2 billion dollars.

Equity-based crowdfunding is much more complicated than rewards-based crowdfunding due to the stringent requirements needed to meet the SEC and state securities board regulatory requirements.

Unlike rewards-based crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding provides a great opportunity for business administration, legal and finance students to get hands-on experience writing business plans, structuring deals, protecting intellectual property (IP) and planning real world product/service launches that are part of every single equity crowdfunding campaign.

Working alongside experienced angel investors and venture capitalists is also a great way for students and faculty to learn the finance industry from the inside out.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

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Want to learn more about crowdfunding campaigns or how to setup a crowdfunding platform?

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Equity Crowdfunding Provides Colleges and Universities with Easy Access to Early Stage, Seed Round Investment Capital

15 Mar

How Colleges / Universities Can Provide Easy Access to Seed Investment Capital with Equity Crowdfunding Platforms

By Robert Hoskins

Providing Easy Access to Investment Capital 

Providing easy access to seed investment capital is a great way to encourage the creative thinking of young innovators. When money is hard to get, there isn’t much point in trying to be creative. But when students realize that there is a better than average chance of putting together a good business plan and actually being able to raise money to fund their ingenious ideas, Equity crowdfunding will serve as the catalyst that stimulates economic development.

The payoff for students, faculty and universities can be tremendous. It only takes a couple of home run investments to generate a billion dollars in revenue when one of their startups is purchased or takes their company public.  

If you look at the current crop of Angel investors, the large majority got their start by working for a company that went public. Once entrepreneurs strike it rich, they want more.  They don’t cash out and retire.  They reinvest the $10 million they earned into a new pool of startups to help them achieve the same success.  This is what most people mean by mentors.

Successful entrepreneurs love to share their success stories with the next generation. The most important step is to create the first wave of entrepreneurs even if it means a small town in nowhere Texas has to pay Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists from California and New York for their consulting services to get the ball rolling.  All it takes is a small college, smart professors, a few successful investors, a Rewards or Equity-based crowdfunding platform and a team of marketing experts that understand advertising, email marketing, PR and social media.

One company that creates a 1,000 millionaires has the capability to investment up to a billion dollars back into the next round of startups. This is precisely how Silicon Valley was built. For colleges/universities that decide to add an Equity-based Crowdfunding ecosystem, it has the potential to start a huge investment domino effect that will result in a wide-spread, long-term return-on-investment for universities, its faculty, their students and the community around them.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Setting Up a New College – University Equity Investment Crowdfunding Site to Take Advantage of the Growing U.S. Investor Network Suffering from a Lack of Deal Flow

14 Mar

Schools that Launch Equity Crowdfunding Sites Now Will Learn How to Market Investment Opportunities to Accredited Investors and Get a Head Start on the Vast Amount of Money that Will Flood the U.S. when the SEC Finally Approves Title III Crowdfunding Guidelines

By Robert Hoskins

Investor Surplus, Deal Flow Shortage

Believe it or not, there is a growing surplus of angel investors, accredited investors and venture capitalists that have the money to invest in new startups, but cannot find enough good deals being circulated by entrepreneurs and startups that need investment startup capital.  

A recent member of the San Francisco Angel Group member recently said that there many startups in San Francisco currently receiving seed investment that really are not worthy of seed investment capital, but are getting lucky because there is a surplus of money and a shortage of good deals. 

The good news is that college and universities can now take advantage of a new rule passed as a part of the JOBS Act, which approved something known as General Solicitation. For the past 80 years it has been illegal to advertise or market private equity deals to the general public, but that ban has been lifted. 

In November 2014, a new SEC rule was passed that makes it possible to advertise private placement memorandums (PPMs) to approximately 8.7 million accredited investors throughout the United States and abroad.  This is great news because only about 3% of all accredited investors are active angel investors. This means that 97%  of this group has never been approached by startups seeking investment capital. 

This means that any school can setup an equity crowdfunding platform and start marketing their local community’s entrepreneur and startup business plans to a nationwide or global network of accredited investors.  Once a platform is setup, investors with the right credentials can search through the platform’s online equity investment opportunities on a 24x 7 basis.

And then, hopefully in October 2015, the SEC also will pass the final rules that open up Title III equity crowdfunding to every adult in the United States who is 18 years or older. When that happens, the same equity crowdfunding site will have the ability market deals to every adult in America or approximately 180 million new investors.  Take that with a grain of salt because the new Title III rules are three years overdue, but if they do make it to the Federal Registry there will be flood of money seeking great business plans and startups who need startup capital.

In order to leverage the growing pool of accredited investors now, colleges and universities should begin the process of setting up a streamlined equity crowdfunding ecosystem as soon as possible. It will open up schools to a nationwide and/or global network of angel investors now and help them get a head start on the vast amount of money that will flood the marketplace when the SEC finally approves the Title III crowdfunding guidelines.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Want to learn more about setting up an equity crowdfunding platform?

Please fill out this form to get start:

Paid Mentorship Management Consulting Fees Can Help Fund College University Incubator and Accelerator Programs

14 Mar

Allowing Mentors to Earn Revenue while Colleges/Universities Collect a Commission for Facilitating the Knowledge Transfer is Great Way to Bring Leading Expertise to Remote Areas

By Robert Hoskins

Paid Mentor Management Consulting Fees

Another option for schools to generate funding is to create a management consulting practice in tandem with college and university incubators and accelerators. Many sources of mentorship can be attracted by allowing the subject matter experts to generate revenue by providing mentoring services for a consulting fee. 

Incubators/accelerators could take a 15% commission out of the consulting fee to add monthly recurring revenue to their incubator and accelerator programs. Payments for services can be paid in cash and/or might include an option to purchase equity shares in the first class of equity shares being offered during the seed fundraising round.

Using this strategy, schools with video conferencing capabilities can tap into talent on a worldwide basis. Using teleconferencing and distance learning applications schools can access the world’s leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and private equity investors, even in remote locations.

A single community college might not able to afford a speaking engagement with Guy Kawasaki, Elon Musk or Richard Branson, but working with numerous community colleges in any given state they could launch a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign to solicit enough cash to pay for an event that could be broadcast to a network of participating schools.  These single session tutorials, mentoring sessions or consulting engagements could be setup in a very similar manner to the very popular TedX talks.

Other sources of revenue can be earned by hosting conferences, trade shows, pitching competitions and/or training classes.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Equity Crowdfunding Platform Commission Revenue Can Fund College & University Incubators and Accelerators

13 Mar

How to Launch an Equity Crowdfunding Site to Provide Sufficient Revenue to Fund Successful College and University Incubator and Accelerator Programs

By Robert Hoskins

Equity Crowdfunding Platform Commission Fees

As deals receive funding, equity crowdfunding sites usually collect a 5% to 10% commission fee.  This funding can be used to setup incubator co-working spaces, which can then start charging monthly rent to begin generating monthly recurring revenue. Once an incubator has been setup, the crowdfunding commission fees can be used to begin building a pool of investment capital to fund a school’s accelerator program.

Most states, however, will not let a equity crowdfunding sites invest in crowdfunding campaigns hosted on their own site unless they are a registered broker dealer with the SEC. 

Schools can, however, setup a separate LLC and begin investing money in startups via the separate entity.

Rules vary by state, so check with a local securities attorney to make sure you understand what the legal guidelines are in your state.

The main point is to note that with the right marketing programs in place, any college or university in the United States can begin build up their own equity crowdfunding investment syndicates and crowdfunding platforms to help fund co-working spaces, incubators and accelerator programs.

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How to Generate More Revenue for Co-Working Startups by Launching a Rewards or Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem

13 Mar

How Equity Crowdfunding Can Take College and University Co-Working Spaces and Incubators to the Next Level

By Robert Hoskins

Generating More Co-Working Revenue with Crowdfunding

Most major universities and colleges have set up on-campus Entrepreneurship Centers, Innovation Labs or co-working spaces to facilitate an environment that encourages students to use their creative minds to develop innovative ideas and turn them into successful startup businesses.

Joining a co-working space allows students setup an affordable office or working space to rub elbows with like-minded individuals and discover people who have the same set of goals and objectives as they do.  This provides a unique opportunity for new startup founders to cross pollinate each other and fertilize new ideas that sometimes leads to the decision to co-found a business together.

Part of the draw for co-working spaces are community lunch rooms, founder dating events, after-hours cocktail parties, social mixers and Meetup groups, all of which can provide access to great sources of well-educated, but very cost-effective labor pools.

All of these activities serve a useful purpose in allowing co-founders to find talented workers that will be needed to help their new businesses begin harvesting new ideas and business concepts, put them on paper and turn them into a high impact startup ventures.

In addition to people, co-working spaces provide cheap office space, meeting rooms to setup video/teleconferences, board rooms for team meetings, video production facilities to shoot pitch videos, access to data centers and hardware/software laboratories where new ideas can be tested on the latest and greatest smartphones, smartwatches, tracking tags and bracelets, tablets, laptops and wearable technology devices.

For larger audiences, a large auditorium or theater provides the perfect venue for visiting guest speakers, corporate presentations, pitch contests and many other type of large meetings with panel discussions.

Below is an example of what a well-planned co-working floor plan might look like courtesy of the T-Rex facility in Missouri.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

T-Rex Co-Working Facility in Missouri co-locates two venture accelerators, venture capital companies, an SBA-funded resource center, and a training and mentoring organization along with other incubator companies

Source: T-Rex Co-Working Facility in Missouri co-locates two venture accelerators, venture capital companies, an SBA-funded resource center, and a training and mentoring organization along with other incubator companies


Co-working spaces have the ability to offer very affordable working spaces for students and local entrepreneurs that want to start a student or family-owned business. Renting out space for $250 to $500 per month and serving 250 entrepreneurs would create potential monthly recurring revenue opportunity worth $62,500 to $125,000 or up to $1.5 million per year.

An average size cubicle is 75 sq. ft. so serving 250 co-workers would require approximately 18,750 sq. ft. to provide very comfortable dedicated working spaces, but many average co-working desks are much smaller.

Increase the facility’s size to accommodate a kitchen/lunch room, conference rooms, rest rooms and one large auditorium and the total space required would be around 25,o00 sq. ft.

Co-Work Space Business Plans

Thinking about opening a co-working space, but need help with writing a good business plan?  We Googled a bunch of business plans and here are three co-working business plans that we thought are worth a look:

If you want more examples, please check out this list of the Top 75 Co-Working Spaces in America.

Rewards or Equity Based Crowdfunding Platform

Once a co-working space has been set up, the next step in the process is to launch a rewards-based or equity-based crowdfunding ecosystem so that members of the co-working space can use the site to raise seed stage investment capital to get their companies up and running.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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