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SEC and SBA Announcements Lay the Foundation for Training Small Businesses on How to Use Crowdfunding in the United States

19 Sep

SBA Partners with SEC to Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

By Robert Hoskins

Washington, DC – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will join the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in co-hosting a series of events around the country to help small business owners learn about new opportunities to raise capital under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.  The first event will be hosted by the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business on Sept. 25 from 2 p.m.to 4 p.m. EST.

SBA Partners with SEC on Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs Events to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

SBA Partners with SEC on Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

“We believe that any new, inclusive and innovative paths that help small businesses gain access to the capital they need are good things, but these paths should be implemented with prudence and care,” said Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. “We’re happy to join forces with the SEC to have these important, interactive discussions with small businesses around the country about existing and pending capital raising options under the JOBS Act.”

The JOBS Act events are intended for existing and aspiring small businesses, including minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned small businesses to learn about opportunities to raise capital under the JOBS Act.  One change already in place under the JOBS Act allows firms to advertise certain private offerings and another pending change allows firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

Representatives from SBA’s Offices of Investment and Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development, will join representatives from SEC’s Offices of Small Business Policy, Investor Education and Advocacy and Minority Women Inclusion to cohost the events highlighting additional ways for small businesses to raise funds under current and proposed SEC rules.

The events are designed for existing and aspiring small businesses, including those that are minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned, and will discuss the JOBS Act, which expands the options that businesses may use to raise capital.  One change already in place gives firms the ability to advertise certain private offerings; a second that is pending will allow firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. The SEC is actively developing rules to implement JOBS Act provisions.

Representatives from the SEC’s Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance, the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion will co-host the events with the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation and the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development.

The events will highlight additional ways small businesses may seek to raise funds under current and proposed SEC rules.  The events will also give small business owners an opportunity to ask questions of the SEC and SBA staff.

The events are free and will give small business owners the opportunity to ask questions of SBA and SEC staff members.  Those interested in registering for the Sept. 25 event at the University of Baltimore may do so: here.

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Positive Letters Needed to Support the SEC’s Ability to Crowdfunding Pass Title III Guidelines for Small Business

8 Sep

The SEC Claims that It Does Not Have Sufficient Positive Industry Support to Implement Title III Crowdfunding. Let’s Change that Today by Sending in 10,000 Letters and Tweets from American Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses that Want Access to Small Business VC

By Robert Hoskins

Washington, D.C. – I’d like to start off by saying “Hats off” to Justin Ryan and Terell Jones for putting on an awesome Kickercon crowdfunding event in Houston last month. It was, by far, the best crowdfunding conference we have attended to date! All of crowdfunding subject matter experts were there, but this conference did a much better job than most because they addressed where the crowdfunding industry is headed instead of just rehashing the old facts and figures of the JOBS Act.

There were numerous tracks on the Texas Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption, an excellent Crowdfunding Boot Camp put on by InventIt2Day’s Conley Giles, and great panel discussions on the up and coming real estate crowdfunding industry, but the most important event by far was a presentation by Ron Miller, who has been meeting with numerous officials the SEC in an attempt to try and understand the SEC’s hesitation to implement Title III crowdfunding rules, which are now way overdue.

 

Please Retweet - I suppport Title III Crowdfunding

Please Retweet – We support Title III Crowdfunding to Start Small Businesses!

 

Mr. Miller gave a convincing presentation based on comments from SEC Commissioners and many of its staff members.  The SEC is basically saying that in 560+ pages of public comments, the negative comments outweigh the positive comments supporting the implementation and communicated that if they had a lot more positive support from Americans then they would be more motivated to pass the final guidelines.

In the Crowdfunding Industry we pride ourselves on utilizing the crowd to accomplish many objectives such as raising money for crowdfunding campaigns and helping crowdfunding platforms police potential equity investment deals.

Unlike many established industries, members of the crowdfunding industry have very advanced social media capabilities and very large networks of contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and other important social media networks. One of Mr. Miller’s main points was that the crowdfunding industry should begin working together to leverage these social media networks to drum more support.

During the event’s Q&A session, with an after show audience of almost 500 crowdfunding enthusiasts, several comments suggested developing a Title III Crowdfunding Support Form Letter and providing the contact information on where to mail or email these positive Title III Crowdfunding support letters.  Others suggested creating HeadTalker or ThunderClap campaigns.

In addition, the audience and the event hosts suggested contacting your U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. State Senators to let them know that support for Title III Crowdfunding Rules will be an important factor when considering who to vote for this fall.

Please show the SEC your overwhelming support for Title III Crowdfunding and let them know that the general public, entrepreneurs and small businesses are 100% behind creating a Title III equity crowdfunding industry in the United States. Please download a copy of this Form Letter, add your contact information and then send it the SEC. It will take less than 5 minutes, but can make a difference for the crowdfunding industry.

Please repost, retweet and reblog this story.  All copyrights are waived on both the text and the image. Please retweet and republish at will!

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Community Banks: Renewed Purpose and Survival through Crowdfunding White Paper Cites Importance of Crowdfunding to Upgrade the Vitality of Community Financial Institutions

5 May

Community Banks Experienced a 24-percent Drop from 2000 to 2013 due to increased regulatory oversight, to competition from non-banks and internal conflicts all involving limited resources

By Robert Hoskins

Sausalito, CA – Breakaway Funding LLC issued the first of a three-part white paper series which describes the changing landscape of the private securities market and the importance of immediately implementing a crowdfunding as a survival tool for community financial institutions.

Kim Kaselionis Breakaway Funding

Kim Kaselionis, Breakaway Funding

“The deregulation of securities laws governing direct solicitation and participation by non-accredited investors, combined with the incredible innovations in technology and widespread adoption of social media is forcing unparalleled change in the private capital market,” said Kim Kaselionis, CommunityLeader’s CEO.

Co-authored by Breakaway Funding founder/managing partner Kim Kaselionis, and CommunityLeader, Inc. CEO/co-founder Joseph Barisonzi, the paper argues that without the integration of a crowdfunding program into their product offerings, community banks will continue to struggle to remain relevant to their commercial clients seeking growth capital.

The first paper is entitled “Banking with Purpose.” The second and third installments to be issued over the next month are “Crowdfunding 101 for Community Bankers” and “Sink or Crowdfund.”

Citing a 24 percent drop in the number of community banks from 2000 to 2013, the authors write that community-based financial institutions face overwhelming challenges, ranging from increased regulatory oversight to competition from non-banks to internal conflicts all seeking limited resources.

“The papers provide community bank leaders with the information they need to build an irrefutable business case,” said Kaselionis, former CEO/chairman of Circle Bank, “and to implement an immediate community-based crowdfunding strategy. We also show how they can preserve valuable relationships to remain competitive in the evolving capital market system. And we explain how the inclusion of potential investors previously prohibited from participating in funding transactions will cause fundamental changes in the market.”

Breakaway Funding, created by Kaselionis in late 2013, is a new funding portal providing a complete capital raising ecosystem through the lens of community bankers.

CommunityLeader was created in 2012 to help organizations understand and operate in the regulatory environment created by the JOBS Act. “The opportunities now and becoming available to financial institutions, small businesses and investors have opened an entirely new financial environment. What we have been able to do for our clients is help them successfully put the applicable provisions of the JOBS Act to work for them. Those who adopt early will find themselves both beneficiaries and leaders in their respective fields,” said Barisonzi.

Breakaway has conducted workshops, seminars and meetings over the past five months and will continue to make available crowdfunding educational information for bankers, businesses and investors

“The deregulation of securities laws governing direct solicitation and participation by non-accredited investors, combined with the incredible innovations in technology and widespread adoption of social media is forcing unparalleled change in the private capital market,” said Barisonzi. “Community banks have a unique opportunity to reclaim their leadership position as the source of growth capital for emerging businesses.”

“What we are seeing is an enormous interest in crowdfunding among bankers, investors and businesses,” Kaselionis said. “The pace of adoption and demand promises to grow steadily as more and more companies successfully fund their companies through this emerging market. Everyone recognizes that our capital markets and investment opportunities are evolving quickly and they seek to learn and educate themselves to see how they may benefit by being part of this economic tsunami.”

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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:

To Celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of the 2012 JOBS Act, Front Page PR Offers Low-Cost License Fee to Start Crowdfunding Training Classes throughout the United States

4 Apr

License Agreement offers Chambers of Commerce, SBA Offices, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), SCORE & Startup Incubators and Business Accelerators the Opportunity to Offer Front Page PR’s Content to Launch Their Own Crowdfunding Training Programs

 By Robert Hoskins

AUSTIN, TXFront Page PR announced a new low-cost licensed crowdfunding training class that will provide non-profits, economic development, Meetup groups and government agencies such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) with the basic training materials needed to begin educating entrepreneurs, veterans, startups, small businesses, high schools, junior colleges, universities and employment agencies on how to use crowdfunding to eradicate unemployment by facilitating new businesses and creating new jobs throughout the United States.

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

For only $300 per year, licensees will receive the training materials needed to launch a crowdfunding advocacy training program in their community. The low price point should allow crowdfunding educators and experienced public speakers to break even on the very first class by charging attendees $25 or more to attend the seminar. Click here to buy a one-year license.

“Most Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) charge an average of $49 per class to attend classes on how to write a business plan, how to get a bank loan, how to seek venture capital, or how to seek alternative financing to start up a small business,” said Robert HoskinsFront Page PR’s Director of Crowdfunding Campaigns. “At this price tag, our Crowdfunding Training Program will only take six paying customers to fund a full year’s subscription. After the initial cost, training 20 people per month at $49 would generate approximately $11,460 per year in revenue.”

Front Page PR will provide free Crowdfunding Training Class Workshops for instructors who want to provide the Crowdfunding Training Class, but have no knowledge of the crowdfunding industry or experience in teaching their communities how to launch successful crowdfunding campaigns. In addition, the workshops will include free press release templates and teach instructors how to utilize cost-effective PR/media relations programs to raise awareness for the classes within the local community.

Front Page PR’s Crowdfunding Seminar materials include:

  • How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
  • How to Conduct a Crowdfunding Competitive Analysis
  • How to Shoot a Crowdfunding Pitch Video
  • How to Write a Persuasive Crowdfunding Profile
  • How to Offer Effective Perks & Rewards
  • How to Set Up a Realistic Fundraising Goal

Even Fortune 500 corporations can get involved. Many large companies such as IBM have launched intranet crowdfunding programs to incentivize their employees. Crowdfunding campaigns can be used as an excellent research and development tool. Internal crowdfunding campaigns can be used to fast track great business ideas upward to management based on employee support, which completely bypasses the typical roadblocks that thwart innovation.

Front Page PR’s crowdfunding training class rollout will target AtlantaAustinBaltimoreBirminghamBostonCharlotteChicagoColumbusD/FWDetroitHoustonIndianapolisJacksonvilleLos AngelesMemphisMilwaukeeNew YorkPhiladelphiaPhoenixSan AntonioSan DiegoSan FranciscoSan JoseSeattleWashington, DC and Wichita. Additional markets will be added based on market demand.

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Reward-Based Crowdfunding Seminar: Everything You Need for Success! – Presented by the NYC Crowdfunding Meetup Group in New York

24 Mar

Crowdfunding Subject Matter Experts Will Be Covering the “A-to-Zs” of Crowdfunding Strategies Including Important Case Studies, Research Strategies, Buzz Generation Techniques, Shooting Viral Pitch Videos as Well as How to Protect Intellectual Property

By Robert Hoskins

New York, NY – To meet the demand from entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses, the NYC Crowdfunding Meetup Group will be hosting a special Crowdfunding Seminar on April 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The event will be held on the 60th floor of the Empire State Building in the 1800 Accountant Office, which is located at 350 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10118.

Lucy Norris is a British correspondent who is now based in NYC. She freelances at a variety of media outlets including Alleywire, Millennium Magazine, the TV show “On Deck With Lucy”

Lucy Norris is a British correspondent who is now based in NYC. She freelances at a variety of media outlets including Alleywire, Millennium Magazine, the TV show “On Deck With Lucy”

Alex Feldman, the event organizer, has assembled an excellent team of crowdfunding subject matter experts that will be sharing tips, tricks and strategies on how to research, plan, and launch successful Rewards-based Crowdfunding campaigns. The event will be videotaped by the Reality Crowd TV crew.

Featured Speakers:

  • 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm
    Registration
  • 6:30 pm – 6:40 pm
    Introduction to Reward-Based Crowdfunding Campaigns
    Alex Feldman, CEOCrowdsUnite
  • 6:40 pm – 6:50 pm
    Crowdfunding Case Study: How I raised over $22,000!
    Alicia HansenNYC Salt Founder & Photographer
  • 6:50 pm – 7:00 pm
    How to Research Existing Crowdfunding Projects
    Helen Donnelly, CMO, CrowdFunding4All
  • 7:00 pm – 7:10 pm
    How to Create a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
    Brian Meece, CEO, RocketHub
  • 7:10 pm – 7:20 pm
    How to Make a Viral Crowdfunding Pitch Video
    Lucy Norris, Managing Editor, AlleyWire
  • 7:20 pm – 7:30 pm
    How to Create Buzz for Crowdfunding Campaigns
    Howard Sherman, President, CrowdFundBuzz
  • 7:40 pm – 8:30 pm
    Crowdfunding Question & Answer Session
  • 8:30 pm – 9:00 pm
    Social Mixer & Business Networking Event

Reservations:
Tickets are $50, but early birds who sign up before Wednesday, March 26th will receive a $20 discount. The event is open to the general public, but seating is limited, so sign up ASAP at: http://www.meetup.com/NYC-CrowdFunding-Networking/events/171128902/.

Media:
Reporters get in free, but need to RSVP prior to the event with Crowdfunding PR Campaigns by sending Press RSVP request in order to enter the Empire State Building and proceed to the 60th floor. Members of the press should email rhoskins@frontpagepr.com for more information.

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New Equity Investment Fund Setup by Launch Angels to Invest in Women-Led Startups

13 Feb

PayPal shows support for women and the crowdfunding industry by sponsoring the Finding the Bright Spots: Women & Capital Event on March 4th

By Robert Hoskins

Launch Angels, an investment platform focused on equity crowdfunding deals and based in Boston, MA, is now offering two programs programs that will allow investors to begin backing women-focused startups.

New Equity Investment Fund Setup by Launch Angels to Invest in Women-Led Startups

New Equity Investment Fund Setup by Launch Angels to Invest in Women-Led Startups

First, Launch Angels and co-sponsor PayPal are hosting Finding the Bright Spots: Women & Capital, a March 4th event on how women entrepreneurs and investors are finding “bright spots” in equity.

Second, Launch Angels is opening its Women-Led Fund to accredited investors. This is the first fund dedicated to searching equity crowdfunding platforms for investments in women-led startups.

Finding the Bright Spots features a panel on funding sources disrupting male-centric models. It will explore how women entrepreneurs and investors are succeeding empowered by crowdfunding, accelerators, angels and venture capital.

Kara Miller, host and executive editor of “Innovation Hub” (which airs on 89.7 WGBH and SiriusX) will moderate. The keynote will be delivered by Michelle Watson, CIO of First Republic Investment Management. Panelists include Daily Grommet CEO Jules Pieri, Techstars Managing Director Katie Rae and ClearSky Data CEO Ellen Rubin. The free event is set for 6:00-8:30 PM at One International Place, Boston, with reservations through EventBrite.

Launch Angels CEO Shereen Shermak will kick off the evening. Shermak observed, “I’m an entrepreneur and angel, so I’ve seen that women are underfunded and under-represented in the C-suite. But trends—including equity crowdfunding—are changing the story. Launch Angels is pleased to be part of that through this event and our Women-Led Fund. Matching angels with women-led and -focused businesses needing capital benefits women, investors and the economy.”

A good example of crowdfunding at work is the event caterer, Mei Mei. This Boston-based company recently expanded their business from a food truck to a restaurant thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. Two members of the sibling management team are female.

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CrowdfundingInvestments.com Rolls Out New Crowdfunding Website for Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investments

11 Feb

The site details how real estate investors can utilize crowdfunding platforms to increase their deal flow for new real estate-related projects and opportunities

By Robert Hoskins

A new crowdfunding website based in Los Angeles, California, CrowdFundingInvestment.com is devoted to educating, informing and defending the general public about real estate issues and investments and announced today that is has just launched its informative and easy-to-navigate website.

In addition to offering helpful information about various equity and debt real estate investments all related to crowdfunding, the website also gives specific information about 506(b) offerings, Title II 506(c) offerings, as well as pending legislation for Title III and Title IV of the JOBS Act.

CrowdfundingInvestments.com Rolls Out New Crowdfunding Site for Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investors

CrowdfundingInvestments.com Rolls Out New Crowdfunding Site for Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investors

As a recent article on Storify noted, thanks to recent legislation, real estate crowdfunding is now a reality. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, real estate crowdfunding involves using a crowdfunding platform to obtain investments for real estate-related projects and opportunities. However, unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowdfunding platforms that typically ask for smaller donations, real estate crowdfunding usually involves investing thousands of dollars that will then be used to help fund a large investment into a property like a shopping center, office building or apartment complex.

As the article explained, any real estate company that wants to try crowdfunding needs to be fully compliant with the SEC and other regulatory agencies. For example, there are two kinds of offerings that a crowdfunding company can give: the aforementioned 506(b) and 506(c), both of which are the focus of the new CrowdFundingInvestment.com website because they are currently the two most preferred methods of funding by existing crowdfunding companies.

With the rise of real estate crowdfunding websites like fundrise.com and RealtyMogul.com, investors more than ever need access to information that can help them navigate the rules and regulations so they can safely invest.

The SEC regulations concerning real estate crowdfunding should be known by any intelligent investor so they can understand the different types of investment platforms now available. “In a 506(b) offering, general solicitation of an investment property to accredited investors is expressly prohibited,” the article on Storify explained, adding that the company can advertise their crowdfunding platform to potential investors through ads, social media and other forms of promotion without violating the restrictions on general solicitation, so long as they are not advertising for a specific investment property in their marketing material.

“However, according to the SEC’s requirements of a 506(b) offering, a pre-existing substantive relationship is required before the newly registered user of the site can see any listings of available investment opportunities within the inner pages of the real estate crowdfunding platform itself.”

One way this relationship can be established, the SEC has decided, is to restrict users from seeing investment opportunities for a 30-day “cooling off” period from the time they register on the crowdfunding site.

Companies that decide to use the 506(c) offering can generally solicit accredited investors and encourage them to come to their website by publicly advertising specific investment opportunities, but they cannot allow their users to self-certify their accredited status.

Anybody who would like to learn more about crowdfunding real estate options, the 506(b) and 506(c) offerings, and the changes to the JOBS Act is welcome to visit the new CrowdFundingInvestment.com website at any time; there, they can become more knowledgeable by educating themselves about the various crowdfunding options.

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Crowdfunding Experts Gather in New York to Educate Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses and Startups on How to Launch Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

22 Jan

Reality Crowd TV’s Host Manolis Sfinarolakis will be interviewing crowdfunding advocates and subject matter experts on their visions for crowdfunding developments in 2014

By Robert Hoskins

The NYC Crowdfunding Meetup Group will be hosting a free Crowdfunding Networking Event on January 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at EVR located at 54 West 39th Street in Midtown West Manhattan to promote the benefits of the crowdfunding industry for entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses and equity investors.

Alex Feldman, the NYC Crowdfunding Networking Meetup Organizer, has put together this networking event to allow interaction between crowdfunding advocates and seven subject matter experts who will provide short introductions to their areas of expertise.

Reality Crowd TV Crowdfunding Series

Reality Crowd TV Crowdfunding Series

The event will provide subject matter experts on equity crowdfunding, social good crowdfunding, crowdfunding for publishing projects and crowdfunding consultants.

In addition, the Reality Crowd TV crew and Host Manolis Sfinarolakis will be filming three-minute pitches from crowdfunding advocates that would like to share their personal interests in the crowdfunding industry as well as their predictions of where the crowdfunding industry is headed in 2014.

Featured Speakers:

Event Sponsor:

The event is being sponsored by Minda Aguhob, Love Performs’ CEO/Founder. Love Performs’ mission is to raise the level of love in action in the world by empowering passionate people with a purpose via crowdfunding campaigns. Minda has personally risen over $30,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma research through crowdfunding campaigns.

Reservations:

Seating is limited. To RSVP for the free crowdfunding event, please visit: http://www.meetup.com/NYC-CrowdFunding-Networking/events/157334982/.

To RSVP for a free three-minute crowdfunding pitch to Reality Crowd TV program,
please visit: http://www.meetup.com/realitycrowdtv/events/159958102/.

Or send an email to rhoskins@frontpagepr.com to be placed on press list for interviews.

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Feedback Wanted: Creating a National Crowdfunding Campaign Rating System

14 Jan

Crowdfunding platforms need to add crowdfunding campaign rating systems, portfolios of crowdfunding service providers and social media network graphing APIs to improve success ratios

By Robert Hoskins

We work with lots of people who want to launch crowdfunding campaigns.  It is surprising how many are completely unaware that they need a startup business plan before considering launching a crowdfunding campaign, especially when the main goal is to raise money to start a new business.  Even project related crowdfunding campaigns would benefit from writing up a business plan to help campaign managers organize and to think logically about what they are trying to accomplish with their fundraising campaign.

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

One of the most popular crowdfunding services that is in demand from crowdfunding campaign managers is quality advice/feedback on their initial efforts to shoot a good crowdfunding video, write up an effective crowdfunding profile and write enticing calls-to-actions for their campaign’s perks, rewards, donations and soon-to-be investment performas.

The biggest reason that crowdfunding campaigns fail right now is because they do a poor job of providing elementary campaign planning requirements such as conducting a thorough competitive analysis, writing a business plan, creating a corporate message map, building an experienced management team, establishing a target audience, planning a marketing budget to reach their target audience, and predicting with some certainty a perks/rewards (sales) forecast complete with a return-on-investment analysis.

It sure would be great to see crowdfunding platforms start requiring campaign managers to fill out both a business plan section as well as the crowdfunding campaign. It may require extra work, but it certainly would improve a platform’s success ratio.

During this campaign planning process, it would be extremely beneficial for campaign managers to be provided with a database of third-party experts to give them professional advice and counseling.   This behind-the-scene step would allow them to seek professional advice from marketing, financial, legal and other pre-qualified crowdfunding service providers in order to evaluate and critique their campaigns before they went live. In addition, they could utilize these same experts to help them build a professional management team that would add credibility to their crowdfunding profiles.

After the campaign goes live, a public rating system would kick in that would allow investors/donors to rate each module of the business plan and the crowdfunding campaign on a scale of 1 to 10 based on their perception of the information provided. Or, perhaps the crowd should be allowed to ask questions or click on a green, yellow or red flag depending on how they felt about each section of the crowdfunding pitch provided. This would be an extremely good way for thousands of people to work together to vet and weed out fraudulent campaigns by raising red flags at the appropriate time.

To keep negative sharks from bashing without compassion, other users could evaluate advisers and ban people that are considered to be trouble makers after a certain number of derogatory comments that are detrimental versus instrumental.  The purpose would be to educate the masses as more and more investors begin logging on to invest in upcoming equity crowdfunding deals.

In addition, all crowdfunding platforms should be required to use the social graphing APIs from Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other social media networking sites so that everyone can research everyone to see who they are and what their professional credentials are.  This would also encourage crowdfunders to do a lot more work on improving their social media profiles and networks before attempting to launch a fundraising campaign.

Just like media outlet comment sections, people without social media profiles should be banned from creating crowdfunding campaigns as well as critiquing them.  This also might be an easier way to govern who is allowed to invest and what their budget level is on an annual basis based on their status as an accredited or unaccredited investor.

Once a national, standardized crowdfunding rating system is up and running, which may take quite a while, it will be easier for novice investors to search secure crowdfunding platforms for investment opportunities based on their desired crowdfunding rating and risk assessment criteria.

Some basic Crowdfunding Rating Modules to get the conversation started:

Business Plan Rating Modules:

  • Mission Statement
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Management Team
  • Legal Issues
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Target Audience
  • Positioning
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Place (location)
  • Distribution Channels
  • Campaign Goals
  • Campaign Expenses
  • Campaign Revenue
  • Campaign Deliverables
  • Campaign ROI
  • Exit Strategy (even though Mark Cuban says no)

Crowdfunding Campaign Rating Modules:

  • Crowdfunding Goal
  • Campaign Length
  • Pitch Video
  • Pitch Profile
  • Perks/Rewards/ROI%
  • Marketing Budget
  • Industry Growth Predictions
  • Sales Forecast
  • Funds Usage
  • Barriers to Success
  • Fulfillment Milestones
  • Social Impact
  • Post-Campaign Fulfillment Audit

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