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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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Colorado Conference Provides Lessons on Crowdfunding for Solar, Clean Tech and Renewable Energy Projects

8 Sep

Solar and Clean Technology Crowdfunding Experts to Share Cutting Edge Clean Tech Strategies with Responsible Investors on Green Bonds, PACE Financing, MLPs, and REITs

By Robert Hoskins

Solar and Clean Technology Crowdfunding Experts to Share Cutting Edge Clean Tech Strategies with Responsible Investors on Crowdsourcing, Green Bonds, PACE Financing, MLPs, and REITs

Solar and Clean Technology Crowdfunding Experts to Share Cutting Edge Clean Tech Strategies with Responsible Investors on Crowdsourcing, Green Bonds, PACE Financing, MLPs, and REITs

Organizers of the 24th annual SRI Conference will be hosting a leading North American forum on Crowdfunding solar and clean technology projects for investors and investment professionals on October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

One featured Solar & Clean Technology Crowdfunding Session will be moderated by Dan Adler, managing director of the Clean Energy Angel Fund and CalCEF, and will include a presentation from Dan Rosen, CEO of the leading solar crowdfunding companies in the United States, Solar Mosaic, which will explore the clean tech landscape and the newest products and strategies for sustainable and responsible investors.
“Investing in Clean Tech: Expanding Opportunities for ESG/SRI Investors,” will focus on recent developments in crowdsourcing, green bonds, clean energy victory bonds, PACE financing, MLPs, and REIT eligibility.

The  is a leading North American forum for investors and investment professionals involved in sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing, will be October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

First Affirmative President Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said, “These clean tech experts are on the cutting edge of investment and financing opportunities available to responsible investors and investment professionals. Dan Rosen from Solar Mosaic will discuss how they are utilizing crowdsourcing or “crowdfunding” in clean-tech deployment opportunities. Solar Mosaic has received a lot of attention recently for raising $6 million of venture capital, including a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, to build an online platform that supports funding of solar projects.”

First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587) offering investment consulting and asset management services through a nationwide network of investment professionals who specialize in serving socially conscious investors.

Solar Mosaic CEO, Dan Rosen added, “Crowdfunding allows early-stage companies, or projects to “crowd in” finance from a lot of small sources over the Internet (you could consider it democratizing finance, in a way). We have seen the power of crowdfunding in local community solar projects here at Mosaic. In one year, we received $350,000 to finance five solar power plants through our zero-interest investment model, and the power of the crowd to facilitate positive local change is increasingly visible. As individuals, we can finally see the impact of our contributions, and together we can help change the world.”

Dan Adler, managing director of CalCEF and president, CalCEF Ventures, will moderate the clean tech session at the SRI Conference. In addition, other leading experts on the clean tech panel will include: Matt Ferguson, principal, Reznick Group; Jeff Eckel, president and CEO, Hannon Armstrong; and Nancy Pfund, managing partner, DBL Investors, and board member of Primus Power, SolarCity, Solaria, Eco­logic, Pow­er­Genix, and Bright­Source Energy. This session was organized by Doug Arent, Executive Director of the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a long-time member of the conference Agenda Committee.

The CalCEF group is a nexus for entrepreneurs, investors, energy companies, industry, government, and academia engaged in development and advancement of clean energy. CalCEF is a family of non-profit organizations working together to accelerate the movement of clean energy technologies along the continuum from innovation to infrastructure using tools from finance, public policy and technological innovation.

Solar Mosaic connects investors to high quality solar projects. Our mission is to open up clean energy investing and fundamentally change the way energy is financed. The fundamentals of solar makes it an attractive component of a diversified investment portfolio: reliable technology, predictable energy output, and stable cash flows. Every Mosaic project is carefully vetted and structured to minimize risk while maximizing benefits to investors and to the planet. Thousands of people from across the United States have invested millions of dollars to finance solar projects through Mosaic’s online marketplace.

CohnReznick is a nationwide network of accounting, tax and business advisory services, with offices from Boston to Los Angeles. Reznick Group has acquired technical consulting firm Think Energy, Inc., enabling the firm to provide full project life-cycle advisory services to clean technology developers, investors and utilities.

Hannon Armstrong is a specialty finance company that provides debt and equity financing for sustainable infrastructure projects that increase energy efficiency, provide cleaner energy sources, positively impact the environment or make more efficient use of natural resources. Formed more than 30 years ago, Hannon Armstrong has provided or arranged over $4.0 billion of financing in more than 450 sustainable infrastructure transactions since 2000. Hannon Armstrong is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “HASI”.

DBL Investors uses venture capital to accelerate innovation in a way that positively impacts an organization’s social ecosystem as well as its financial success. DBL believes that positive social change and a healthy financial performance are inherently connected. The firm invests in and helps nurture outstanding entrepreneurs and companies in Cleantech, Information Technology, Health Care, and Sustainability-Oriented Products and Services.

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Crowdfunding Industry Rolls Out the Red Carpet to Hollywood and Indies with First Crowdfunding Film Festival in California

29 May

Crowdfunding Film Festival Set to Roll Out the Red Carpet to Hollywood and Independent Filmmakers to Promote Revolutionary New Public Equity Crowdfunding Finance Tool

By Robert Hoskins

The First Annual International CrowdFunding Film Festival will be held October 2-6, 2013 in San Francisco. The film fest will bring together artists, filmmakers, entertainment and video game creators to showcase their craft, network and  raise money through the new crowdfunding finance tool. The film festival has plans to collaborate with film schools in New York, London and Paris.

Crowdfunding Film Festival Set to Roll Out the Red Carpet to Hollywood and Independent Filmmakers to Promote Revolutionary New Public Equity Finance Tool

Crowdfunding Film Festival Set to Roll Out the Red Carpet to Hollywood and Independent Filmmakers to Promote Revolutionary New Public Equity Crowdfunding Finance Tool

Film students from universities all around the country are increasingly looking to crowdfunding to find backing for their projects. With over countless films successfully funded through crowdfunding portals such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, Hollywood is now paying close attention to all this movement.

Director/Writer Rob Thomas has raised over $5.7 million for his movie “Veronica Mars” while Zach Braff’s feature “Wish I Was Here” has raised $2.6 million in donations. San Francisco State Student Sterling Cook keen on exploring crowdfunding of finance for production projects.

“I see in these directors, writers, and cinematographers, the same core passion for innovation. They are not only artists but more importantly, entrepreneurs – they are seeking to touch the world and make a difference through their films. We know of their struggle to find financial backing and I believe crowdfunding will be the answer,” stated the ICFFF’s organizer Sydney Armani.

A film production involves collaboration between dozens of creative groups and getting all the individual pieces to fit together is similar to managing a business. Crowdfunding is changing the production landscape and the movie industry is currently experiencing a real game changer

Ted Hope, advocate of America’s Independent Cinema Movement and Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society, provides deeper insight into the current state of the film industry in his blog post “Why I Left New York for the San Francisco Film Festival.”

He said, “Our entertainment economy and the art it supports, was built upon the concepts of scarcity and control, but today’s reality is one of super-abundance and access – the exact opposite. To survive and flourish, today’s artists/entrepreneurs–and those who support them–must all embrace practices that extend beyond the core skills of development, production, and post-production of their art and reach beyond the attention and practice of marketing and distribution.” The meaning behind Hope’s words echoes the exact spirit and foundation that is the core of Silicon Valley’s passion for entrepreneurship and reflects the same spirit represented by the film festival.

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Crowdfunding Conference Planned for Berkeley in Northern California, June 9th

27 May

By Robert Hoskins

Last year crowdfunding platforms raised $2.7 billion and successfully funded more than 1 million campaigns, according to California-based research company Massolution. Business executives that want to learn about this crowdfunding phenomenon and to meet leading industry insiders should register to attend the  CrowdFunding California Conference which will be held in Berkeley on June 9th.

California Crowdfunding Conference in Berkeley, CA on June 9, 2013

California Crowdfunding Conference in Berkeley, CA on June 9, 2013

The Crowdfunding West Conference is presenting an unprecedented lineup of experts from crowdfunding platforms, legal firms, investment community and entrepreneurs who have risen (combined) almost $2,000,000 for their projects through crowdfunding.

The morning session will consist of discussions about rewards-based crowdfunding. Special panel is devoted to community programs. The afternoon session will help the entrepreneurs better understand their fundraising options, including equity crowdfunding, peer-2-peer lending, angel investments and rewards based crowdfunding. Opponents of crowdfunding movement will have a chance to present their position at the debate moderated by David Drake, well known New York investment expert and speaker.

Among the speakers are the representatives of the global leader in microcredits, Kiva, crowdfunding platforms WhenYouWish and Realty Mogul from Los Angeles, Upstart from Palo Alto, “Investment bank for startups” MicroVentures, Colorado-based portal Community Funded and CrowdIt from Missouri, world’s largest network for entrepreneurs EFactor, fundraising platform for kids PiggyBackr, investment consulting companies North Capital, Inc. and Cutting Edge Capital, payment services platform BancBox, SaaS portal VentureDocs, well known lawyer and blogger Antone Johnson, CEO of uBiome,  Jessica Richman, the creator of the fifth most successful campaign on Indiegogo Sonny Vu and the founders of  Mothership HackerMoms community from Oakland.

Crowdfunding California Conference is created by Crowdfund Productions, the organizer of investment and crowdfunding events in the USA. Other 2013 conferences will be held in Boston, MA, Charlotte, NC, Seattle, WA and Chicago, IL. On January 6th – 7th, 2014 Crowdfund Productions will be hosting Global Aspen Investment Forum in Aspen, CO.

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Crowdfunding Expected to be a Hot Consumer Electronics Topic at CE Week in New York

9 May

By Robert Hoskins

CE Week announced plans to host an innovative new lineup of keynotes and Crowdfunding conference sessions from the most well known names in the technology industry. The 2013 CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits are scheduled for June 26-27 at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building in New York City. This event is the official show headquarters of a week-long series of CE technology events taking place in the city over the course of CE Week, June 24-28.

CE Week LIne Shows & Exhibits is the Official Headquarters of CE Week, featuring the show’s largest exhibit floor of new products and start-ups, the largest concentration of conferences and attendees.

CE Week LIne Shows & Exhibits is the Official Headquarters of CE Week, featuring the show’s largest exhibit floor of new products and start-ups, the largest concentration of conferences and attendees.

To kick off CE Week, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is producing a Research Summit on Monday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event at the High Line Hotel will provide timely intelligence on the unique and important market trends and transformations emerging in the consumer electronics industry.

Aereo Founder and CEO Chet Kanojia will join Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, for an in-depth conversation about how technology innovation drives Aereo’s business strategy, at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 26.

Living in Digital Times will display the best and brightest in mobile app technology at the Mobile App Showdown. During this live event at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, ten finalists will put their apps to the test and the audience will cast the deciding vote on the best app.

Top company executives from Pioneer, Monster, Kenwood, Toshiba, IK Multimedia, Samsung and BlueBOLT will introduce new products and discuss what’s ahead for their companies during press conferences.

The CE Week SuperSessions will address popular topics including 3D printing, crowdfunding, and the next generation of gaming. Sessions include:

Polygon SuperSession: Video Gaming’s Other Next-Gen [June 26 at 1:35 p.m.] – With so much attention focused on new video game consoles from Microsoft and Sony, both of whom are poised to usher in another “next generation” of gaming later this year, it’s easy to miss that an entirely separate alternative generation of video game consoles is taking shape. Join us as we explore this nascent “other” generation, typified by a focus on mobile hardware, open operating systems, digital delivery and an indie-friendly publishing model.
Moderator: Christopher Grant, editor-in-chief, Polygon

CNET SuperSession: Bringing 3D Printing to Consumers [June 26 at 3:15 p.m.] – We hear about new 3D printing breakthroughs almost every week now, ranging from houses to prosthetic skull implants to 3D printing on Mars. For consumers, 3D printing is either science fiction, or it suffers from the perception that it’s an expensive, time-consuming hobby with little practical utility. How can consumer-facing 3D printing companies improve their image and attract more mainstream users? Should that even be the goal? This panel will explore the issues and solutions around taking 3D printing to the mass market.
Moderator: Rich Brown, senior editor, CNET

Mashable SuperSession: The Battle Over Smartphone Screen Size [June 27 at 10:15 a.m.] – Since 2010, the average size of cell phone screens has increased by almost a full inch. Plus-size phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note have expanded the displays of all models, to the point where it’s impossible to buy a top Android phone with a screen smaller than 4.7 inches. Does this trend have a ceiling, and what does it mean for people with normal-size hands?
Moderator: Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief, Mashable

PCWorld/TechHive SuperSession: Who’s Fastest? Wireless Speed Test Results [June 27 at 12:15 p.m.] – PCWorld/TechHive Editor Mark Sullivan and OpenSignal Co-Founder and CEO Brendan Gill present results from their annual study of 4G and 3G wireless speeds. This year, testers visited 20 cities and measured speeds at the street level to give wireless customers independent data on which carrier offers the best speeds and coverage in the U.S.

Engadget SuperSession: Crowdfunding the Hardware Revolution [June 27 at 1:45 p.m.] – Welcome to the dawn of the age of hardware startups. Sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have changed the way we think about starting a business, from funding to user feedback. We’ll talk to success stories about the new business paradigm and discuss some tips for getting started in the world of crowdfunding.
Moderator: Brian Heater, director of media, Engadget

The CE Week Line Shows Conference Program is part of the full CE Week conference program, including 50-plus sessions and featuring more than 150 speakers. Conference tracks include the CEA Research Summit, Crowdfunding, Women in CE Forum, Connected Car Conference, Digital Health Summit, 2nd Screen Summit, Ultra HD Conference and Techlicious Summit.

To register for CE Week visit https://secure.events-registration.com/ceweek2013/ Join in on the CE Week conversation by tweeting using the hashtag #ceweek.

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SEC Issues Call for Crowdfunding Suggestions to Promote Small Business Capital Formation

5 May

By Robert Hoskins

The SEC will be hosting the 2013 Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation on November 21, 2013, from 9:00 am to 5:15 pm at its headquarters at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549.  The event will focus on the new rules for capital formation concerning small businesses.  This gathering has assembled annually since 1982, as mandated by the Small Business Investment Incentive Act of 1980.

SEC Crowdfunding Call for Comments on November 15, 2013

SEC Crowdfunding Call for Comments for Small Business Capital Formation to be held on November 15, 2013

The 2013 Forum will include both morning panel sessions and afternoon breakout groups. The panel sessions will be webcast live on the SEC’s home page at www.SEC.gov beginning at 9:00 a.m. The afternoon breakout groups will not be webcast, but will be accessible by telephone conference call to pre-registered members of the public. Members of the public who wish to attend the Forum in person at SEC headquarters are also requested to pre-register.

Members of the public may attend the Forum in person without charge, but are asked to pre-register online. Anyone wishing to participate in a breakout group meeting, either in person or by teleconference, must register online by November 15, 2013. A day or so before the Forum, we will e-mail a call-in telephone number and access code to registrants who have indicated they plan to participate in a breakout group meeting by telephone conference call. You also may use the online registration form to let the SEC staff know you are interested in having your name on the mailing list for future Forums.

A major purpose of the Forum is to provide a platform to highlight perceived unnecessary impediments to small business capital formation and address whether they can be eliminated or reduced. Each forum seeks to develop recommendations for government and private action to improve the environment for small business capital formation, consistent with other public policy goals, including investor protection.

Participants in the Forum typically have included small business executives, venture capitalists, government officials, trade association representatives, lawyers, accountants, academics and small business advocates. In recent years, the format of the Forum typically has emphasized small interactive breakout groups developing recommendations for governmental action.

Last Year’s 2012 Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation held last November 15, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The following materials on the 2012 Forum are available:

To suggest Crowdfunding topics and recommendations for facilitating small business capital formation to be considered at the 2013 Forum, please send them to the SEC Office of Small Business Policy at SmallBusiness@sec.gov or 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20549-3628.

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Dun & Bradstreet Kicks off Crowdfunding Town Hall Meetings on May 22 in Chicago

5 May

By Robert Hoskins

According to the Federal Reserve of Chicago, large bank lending to small businesses has fallen by over 50 percent since the start of the 2007 recession, yet Accion Chicago, a CDFI microlender, reported an 80 percent increase in loan applications from small businesses from 2008 to 2011.

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., the leading provider of credit building and credibility solutions for businesses, today announced that registration is open for its Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet Event

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., the leading provider of credit building and credibility solutions for businesses, today announced that registration is open for its Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet Event

To help solve the loan and lending shortfall, the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. announced that it has opened its registration for the Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet Event which will be held Wednesday, May 22, 2013 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Additional stops on the tour include Atlanta on August 14th and Seattle on November 12th. These events are designed to foster lending and educate small businesses about the various types of funding that are available through expert panels and on-site 1:1 meetings with a broad spectrum of debt and equity providers.

“With over 99% of American businesses classified as small by the Small Business Administration, it is crucial that this important sector gets access to capital if we want to grow the economy and cut into the nation’s unemployment rate,” said Jeff Stibel, Chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. “We are very passionate about our Access to Capital events which we believe are a step in helping lead American small businesses back to prosperity. We know from our Los Angeles event, which resulted in tens of millions of dollars in loan originations, that these loans were spurred by the unique access that businesses had to lenders.”

Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet’s initiative is to educate and grow local small businesses. The events are comprised of two main areas – the “town hall” area where speakers, spotlight series, and panels ranging from topics on traditional bank lending to crowdfunding will take place – and the “financial district” area where small business owners can meet one-on-one with various lenders, legal, business resources and advisors. Key sponsors for the Chicago event include Bank of America, Microsoft, TransUnion, AEO, LegalZoom, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.’s Los Angeles Access to Capital event held last year was attended by over 500 Los Angeles based small business owners who took part in hundreds of 1:1 meetings with loan officers, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in reported loan originations.

Lending appointments for Chicago’s event will include representatives ranging from Bank of America to local Chicago area financial institutions such as Accion Chicago, AEO, American Chartered Bank, BMO Harris, First Eagle Bank, Franklin Capital Network, Inland Bank, Merchant Cash and Capital, North Side Community Federal Credit Union, Standard Bank, Ridgestone Bank, and SomerCor 504. Community and business resources that will also be on hand include Microsoft, LegalZoom, TransUnion, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce, SCORE Chicago, Women’s Business Development Center, Built In, and more.

“According to the Federal Reserve of Chicago, large bank lending to small businesses has fallen by over 50 percent since the start of the 2007 recession, yet Accion Chicago, a CDFI microlender, reported an 80 percent increase in loan applications from small businesses from 2008 to 2011,” said Stibel. “We need to be providing small businesses with roadmaps to a wide variety of capital sources, as well as help them be prepared when it comes to actually qualifying for financing if this glaring gap is to be bridged.”

At the Chicago event, attendees will be given access to a free copy of their business credit report, a key factor in many lenders’ credit decision process. Leading up to the event, attendees will have the opportunity to talk with a Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. certified Credit Advisor to help them prepare for their lending meetings at no cost.

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SoMoLend Crowdfunding Community Outreach Program Enlightens Small Businesses and Investors Nationwide on Crowdfunding Best Practices

16 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

As the thrist for crowdunding information continues to grow, Candace Kline, SoMoLend’s CEO, strives to keep up with demand to meet the need from small businesses and investors on how to get involved with the crowdfunding industry.  Klein is traveling to multiple locations across the country this spring to promote the crowdfunding industry’s value-added benefits that will augment the current venture capital marketplace by infusing hundreds of billions of dollars for startups, entrepreneurs and existing business that need money to expand operations.

SoMoLend Crowdfunding Community Outreach Program Enlightens Small Businesses and Investors Nationwide on Crowdfunding Best Practices

SoMoLend Crowdfunding Community Outreach Program Enlightens Small Businesses and Investors Nationwide on Crowdfunding Best Practices

“The demand is escalating for information on alternative access to capital, the ability to increase personal wealth, the state of regulatory affairs and the different platforms available in the crowdfunding marketplace,” says Klein. “I am excited and lucky to be at the forefront of this new crowdfunding industry with the ability to share this information with small businesses and investors,” adds Klein.

The Ritz Group in partnership with NowStreet is hosting a live Shark Tank event on April 18, where Klein will act as a an “Icon Shark” for the event at the City Club in Atlanta, GA. NowStreet, founded by Dara Albright, is a financial media company. The event features three Icon Sharks, who will act as experts in crowdfunding versus three of the best individuals selected from the virtual Pitch Tank. The purpose of the event is to bring increased awareness to the crowdfunding industry.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is hosting the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council Regional Conference on April 23, at the Embassy Suites in Charleston, WV, where Klein will be a guest speaker. The event is an opportunity for women business owners to engage in networking, corporate round tables and one-on-one meetings with corporate procurement managers.

The Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) Magazine presents the Female Entrepreneur Summit at the Wyndham in Cleveland, OH, on April 24, where Klein will be speaking on the panel “Funding Your Business and Legal Resources”. Klein, as an entrepreneur, attorney, and advocate for women business owners, offers a unique perspective and expertise on this panel topic.

The Milken Institute Global Conference, on April 29, at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angles, CA, features Klein as a panelist on the topic “Crowdfunding for Startups and Small Businesses”. The purpose of this panel is to discuss how to maximize the promise of crowdfunding while minimizing the risks to entrepreneurs and investors.

Klein will be attending the Missouri Venture Forum Entrepreneurial Roundtable Series at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza in Clayton, MO, on May 16, where she will be a member of the “Money in the Crowd Panel”. The purpose of this event is to discuss what crowdfunding is in general, and if it is a good option for entrepreneurs and investors.

SoMoLend is the leading debt-based, crowdfunding platform that connects small business borrowers with individual and organizational lenders in a local area. SoMoLend.com automates the loan application process, as well as interest negotiations, funding progress and payments, and also provides fundraising campaign tools.

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ieCrowd and FundingPost Bring Professional Experience to Crowdfunding Industry including SharkTank, Investor Forums and Crowdfunding Workshops at Mega Event

5 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

One of the nation’s leading networks of angel and venture capitalists has partnered with ieCrowd and brings more than 150 professional organizations together to co-host the ieCrowd’s inaugural Innovation Economy Expo (ieExpo), a national mega-event designed to provide innovators and entrepreneurs direct access to a large network of investors equipped to fund innovative businesses and innovations.

ieCrowd’s Inaugural Event Connects Shark Tank, Investor Forums, and Crowdfunding Workshops at Mega Event

ieCrowd’s Inaugural Event Connects Shark Tank, Investor Forums, and Crowdfunding Workshops at Mega Event

“Success stories come when entrepreneurs are introduced to investors who can finance their ideas and put them into action,” said Joe Rubin, director at FundingPost. “Innovation Economy Expo will provide all the tools necessary for this kind of success,” said Rubin.

FundingPost investors will be on hand at the ieExpo event on May 9, 2013, at the Ontario Convention Center in Southern California, to lead a “shark tank” business pitch session in which qualified investors and attendees can participate. FundingPost will also be hosting a workshop on crowdfunding, one of the hottest topics in the investment and venture arenas today. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with FundingPost investors directly and learn from experts who have successfully navigated the early stages of capital formation.

ieCrowd is honored to have FundingPost investors and resources at the Innovation Economy Expo. This event is bringing together, for the first time, all of the critical players needed to forge new pathways to success for startups and high-growth ventures,” said Aaron Knox, President of ieCrowd’s division that is building a collaboration platform for innovative high-growth businesses and startups. “FundingPost is a real leader in the venture world, and its work is highlighting the fact that old ways of raising money are just not sufficient today. We’re glad to have them as part of our collaborative platform and we’re thankful they’re bringing such a power-packed agenda to the ieExpo,” said Knox.

ieExpo is the kick-off event for ieCrowd’s movement to create a global community of business leaders, entrepreneurs, start-ups, investment firms, and service providers working together to build successful, high-growth ventures.

Having organized over 220 conferences throughout the United States, FundingPost is one of the nation’s leading networks of angel investor and venture capital events. For more than eleven years, they have been connecting investors with entrepreneurs. With 11,000 CEOs and 750 Venture Capital Funds attending events in 22 cities nationwide and a deal-exchange website with more than 7,800 VC & Angel Investor members & over 150,000 companies, FundingPost a has been responsible for millions and millions of dollars in venture capital raised!

Front Page PR Offers Free Crowdfunding Conference Template for National Trade Show and Exhibit Companies

25 Feb

How to Plan a National, Regional or Local Crowdfunding Trade Show

By Robert HoskinsFront Page PR

Crowdfunding is a growing industry and more and more people are discovering the benefits of using the power of the crowd to finance their new business. While Equity Crowdfunding is not legal yet, rewards and perk based Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, iCrowd and others are growing at double digit rates on a monthly basis.

Many people are just now discovering the Crowdfunding industry for the first time and are actively searching for trade shows, conferences, seminars and workshops to learn about the Crowdfunding process.

Like any new industry, the Crowdfunding industry is replete with supposed Crowdfunding experts that want to charge hundreds to thousands of dollars to share their infinite Crowdfunding knowledge with newcomers seeking to learn all there is to know about Crowdfunding.  If any Crowdfunding event does not have an agenda like the one published below, you might think twice before spending your hard earned dollars to attend their event.  There is nothing to be learned from rehashing last year’s news.

There is nothing unique about the Crowdfunding industry other than the fact that President Obama signed the JOBS Act  into law on April 5, 21012 with full bi-partisan support.

Crowdfunding portals are nothing more than an eCommerce center that allows entrepreneurs, startups and even existing small businesses to raise donations and collect money via a website. In fact, anyone with a WordPress website can download a Crowdfunding widget for around $99 and start raising money right now regardless of how long the SEC stalls the actual Equity Crowdfunding industry.

In fact, most people that are in the Crowdfunding industry have very little experience in running a real industry, which is why we created this trade show marketing template to show anyone, anywhere what most industries already know –  how to set up a national trade show event.

At the current time, Crowdfunding subject matter experts are charging $500 to $10,000 per speaking engagement plus travel expenses to share their twelve month’s of experience with naive people who want to learn more.  These subject matter experts have very little industry experience in talking about what really matters in building an industry-grade Crowdfunding platform, which is the underlying technology or marketing strategies that differentiate one platform over another.

Instead of inviting Crowdfunding executives for keynote and panel discussions, it would be a much wiser to decision to staff an industry Crowdfunding trade show and exhibition with high technology subject matter experts that can address how to set up an effective, yet safe Crowdfunding portal.

Learning how to setup a Crowdfunding portal with 99.999’s of reliability, security software applications that will protect their investors/Crowdfunders against fraud, business partner programs, Crowdfunding audit statements, call centers, cloud-based data centers, or network management facilities would be a much wiser investment for attendees that want to learn how to get into the Crowdfunding business.

For Crowdfunding campaign managers (Crowdfunders), Crowdfunding trade shows should provide an actual trade show floor that is full of Crowdfunding exhibitors such as platforms, portals and ancillary Crowdfunding Service Providers (CSPs) or full-service  PR firms that can help Crowdfunders execute targeted Crowdfunding marketing campaigns to make their Crowdfunding campaigns successful.

It would also been a great opportunity to introduce both Crowdfunding portals and Crowdfunders to licensed Broker Dealers with extensive SEC regulatory experience in order to help both parties structure Equity Crowdfunding portals or Crowdfunding campaigns to meet or beat any set of Crowdfunding guidelines that might be issued by the SEC in the very near future.  In fact, early leaders in the Equity Crowdfunding portal space are already actively raising equity investment capital for small businesses via accredited investors through traditional securities guidelines.

In order to attract speakers to a Crowdfunding event all that an event really needs is a Crowdfunding conference website that follows the guidelines below and that publishes a call for papers or presentations via a well written press release.

Aggressive PR professionals are always on the lookout for great events to place their executives for free speaking opportunities including keynote speeches, breakout sessions, panel moderators/members, tutorials and many other types of speaking/publicity opportunities.  These executives speak at events for free.

There are also numerous trade show portals that aggregate trade event information and publish the details via trade show directories.  Once listed, PR people are sure to begin pitching their executives to furnish free presentations on their expertise in return for the publicity and the free brand share awareness that these events generate for their companies.

This Crowdfunding Trade Show template is meant for executives at national trade show companies such Freeman, GES or Reed Exhibitions, that want to delve into putting together a large-scale, professional-grade Crowdfunding trade show, which is predicted to become a $300 billion industry.

Great targets for Crowdfunding trade show hosts would include IDG,  Tech Web, or Ziff-Davis publishing.

In fact, any industry trade publication, TV station or newspaper with more than 100,000 readers/viewers, should not only host a Crowdfunding event, but should also consider launching their own Crowdfunding portal to support their local community.

Collecting a five percent commission on all money raised is a prime opportunity for newspapers to not only add a badly needed revenue stream, but to help their local communities launch new businesses, which will provide a dramatic economic development stimulus package without incurring any new tax burdens for their citizens.  A typical Crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter is raising between $100,000 to $1,000,000.   Ten $1 million dollar campaigns per month equals around $6 million per year.

All high technology industry trade associations that host national trade shows should also include a low-cost Crowdfunding pavilion at their trade show events in order to educate their attendees as well as their exhibitors on how to use Crowdfunding to raise investment capital for existing and new startup businesses.  The more businesses that are launched, the more potential exhibitors will be at next year’s show!

Example National Crowdfunding Exhibition & Conference

1st Day Kickoff Event

9:00 am                Breakfast Keynote:   National Trade Show Executive Director

10:00 am             Kickstarter Presentation: Record Growth in 2012, Projections for 2013

11:00 am              IndieGoGo Presentation: Record Growth in 2012, Projections for 2013

12:00 pm              Lunch Keynote:  Financial Analyst –  Crowdfunding:  A $300 Billion Market Opportunity

Lunch Round Table Discussions:

Round top table discussions will be seated and grouped by industry segments, which will contain a table 20 subject matter experts including journalists, industry analysts, Crowdfunding Service Providers (CSPs) and successful Crowdfunding campaign managers for each business segment.

Many national associations won’t have a need for all of these industries, but these should give you a good idea of what is possible for most business-to-business associations on state-by-state basis:

Table   1:  Information Technology/Cloud Computing

Table  2:  Computer Networking/Telecom/ISPs

Table   3:  Security/Fraud Prevention

Table   4:  Games/Video Games/Smart Phone Apps

Table   5:  Film/TV/Entertainment

Table   6:  Music/Concert Venues

Table   7:  Art/Dance/Fashion/Theatre

Table   8:  Publishing/Comics/Books

Table   9:  Real Estate

Table 10:  Crowdfunding Service Providers

Table 11:  Gadgets/Gizmos

Table 12:  Bring Your Own Social Devices

Table 13:  VC/Angels/Financial Analysts

Table 14:  Adv/PR/Social Media/Email Marketing

Table 15:  Pres. Obama/Congress/SEC

Table 16:  Social Giving/Community Outreach

Table 17:  Bio Tech

Table 18:  Oil/Gas/Renewable Energy

3:00 pm               Crowdfunding Press Conference Example

Speakers:

  1. Press Conference Moderator
  2. Economic Development Official
  3. Venture Capital
  4. Licensed Broker Dealer
  5. Perks-Based Crowdfunding Service Provider
  6. Equity-Based Crowdfunding Service Provider

4:30 pm               Crowdfunding Service Providers/Venture Capitalists/Potential Crowdfunders Mixer

8:00 pm               Crowdfunding VIP Party Awards Dinner

  1. MVP Award – Outstanding Crowdfunding Achievement
  2. MVP Award – Fastest Crowdfunding Portal Growth
  3. MVP Award – Best Business to Business (B2B) Portal
  4. MVP Award – Best Business to Consumer (B2C) Portal
  5. MVP Award – Best Social Community Outreach Portal

2nd Day Preliminary Breakout Sessions:

Welcome to the National Crowdfunding Exposition & Conference breakout session agenda, which will consist of moderated panel discussions covering the follow topics:

8:30 am        Continental Breakfast/Coffee Bar

9:00 am – 10:00 am        Breakout Session #1

CSP:  Rewards-Based Crowdfunding

Creative:  Games/Video Games/Smart Phone Apps

Financial:  Venture Capitalists

Technology:  Information Technology

Community:  Education

10:30 am – 11:00 am       Coffee/Bathroom Break

11:00 am – 12:00 pm      Breakout Session #2

CSP: Equity-Based Crowdfunding

Creative: Film/TV/Entertainment/Music

Financial: Angel Investors

Technology:  Security/Fraud Prevention

Community:  Emergency Relief

12:30 pm –  1:00 pm        Coffee/Bathroom Break

1:00 pm  – 2:30 pm        Breakout Session #3

CSP: Donation-Based Crowdfunding

Creative: Art/Dance/Fashion/Theatre

Financial: Financial Analysts

Technology:  Computer Networking/Telecom/ISPs

Community:  Churches/Houses of Faith

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm        Coffee/Bathroom Break

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm        Breakout Session #4

CSP: Create-Based Crowdfunding

Creative: Publishing/Comics/Books

Financial:  Real Estate

Technology: Gadgets/Gizmos

Community: Economic Development

Speakers Bureau:

Welcome to the National Crowdfunding Expo & Conference press room. All editors, reporters, successful crowdfunding campaign managers and industry analysts with press credentials will be allowed to attend this event for free as a VIP guest with access to all keynotes, breakout sessions .

Speakers need to submit high-res photo, 300-word biography and 800-word description what they would like present during keynote speeches, panel discussion and round table discussions. Deadline for submission is February 28, 2013. Click here to fill out the speaker request form.

Press Conference:

Press conference should look just like the one we did for the Crowdfund Texas Conference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CEd2A2jXsAA

Only credential members of media will be allowed to attend.  The five speakers will make 5-minute comments on their vision for development of American Crowdfunding industry followed by short question and answer session.

Remote site reporters will be provided an audio bridge to listen in on the press conference and ask questions during the Q&A session via twitter by posting questions to @Crowdfunding_PR

Press Rooms:

Three quiet press areas will be available for PR people to reserve to conduct interviews with journalists on the National Crowdfunding Expo & Conference media list. There will be a small RSVP charge around ~$25.00 for 30 minutes to help pay for press room space to make sure rooms are used and are available on a first come, first served basis.

Press List:

Welcome to the National Crowdfunding Expo & Conference press list. All editors, reporters, successful Crowdfunding campaign managers and industry analysts with press credentials will be allowed to attend this event for free as a VIP guest with access to all keynotes, breakout sessions.

Press Kit Room:

All exhibitors will be allowed to provided printed materials for inclusion at the onsite press room as well as the virtual press room on the trade show website.

  1. press releases
  2. white papers
  3. research studies
  4. power point presentations
  5. video clips
  6. photos/logos
  7. executive bios/head shots

Media Sponsorships:

Welcome to the trade show media sponsorship page.  All publications that list a short description of the on their publication’s event calendar and a logo with link back to trade show website will receive a receive a reciprocal mention on the trade show website and publication bins to provide bonus trade show distribution of their magazines to all attendees.  Magazine distribution sponsorship to attendees rooms is also available. Click here to download sponsorship opportunities.

Exhibitors:

Welcome to the National Crowdfunding Exposition & Conference exhibitor’s page.  All publications that list a short description of the Crowdfunding Expo on their publication’s event calendar and a logo with link back to trade show website will receive a receive a reciprocal mention on the trade show website and publication bins to provide bonus trade show distribution of their magazines to all attendees.  Magazine distribution sponsorship to attendees rooms is also available. Click here to register for an exhibit booth.

Front Page PR has helped setup many industry trade shows and would be happy to help anyone setup a national, regional or local Crowdfunding event. Please contact us for more details.

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