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FinMason Launches Fin-Tech Accelerator Program that Provides Startups with Free Access to Investment Analytics

29 Jun

The FinSpring accelerator is a six-month program for start-ups that share a mission of educating investors / advisors in order to help them make better investment and retirement planning decisions

By Robert HoskinsCrowdfunding PR

Boston, Massachusetts – FinMason, a Boston-based FinTech and investment analytics firm, is helping industry start-ups overcome one of the biggest challenges faced during the development stage – accessing high quality investment analytics. The firm announced the launch of FinSpring, an initiative that will provide free access to FinRiver, a set of flexible and lightning-fast investment analytics APIs.

Finmason - Institutional Grade Analytics that Investors Actually Understand

Finmason – Institutional Grade Analytics that Investors Actually Understand

“FinTech start-ups face tremendous competition in the marketplace and pressure from their investors to quickly achieve their business goals,” said Kendrick Wakeman, CFA, CEO and founder of FinMason. “We feel that many start-ups and potential start-ups are held back because of the time and expense of building robust analytics platforms. FinSpring lets smart entrepreneurs put analytics anywhere in their product with just a simple API call, leaving them free to focus on prototyping, getting to market and solving consumer problems.”

The FinSpring accelerator is a six-month program available to start-ups that meet four criteria: share a mission of educating investors or advisors to make more informed investment and retirement planning decisions; operational less than two years; under $500,000 in revenue; and, have raised no more than $1 million in funding.

Wealth technology start-ups accepted into the FinSpring program will have access to more than 700 analytical data types, including risk and performance metrics, aggregate factor exposures, scenario analysis and stress testing.

“Part of the strength of the APIs is their simple structure,” said Bob Leaper who runs the FinSpring program at FinMason. “You send us a simple API call containing a list of securities, a list of their weights in the portfolio, and a string of request codes telling us what analytics you want. We then perform the calculations, package the results into a JSON object, and send it back to you. Usually, we do this in under 21 milliseconds. That instantly puts a start-up on even ground with the biggest firms in the world.”

FinMason is a Boston-based financial technology and investment analytics firm dedicated to providing tools that help financial advisors and their clients move forward with confidence. FinMason’s cutting-edge platform analyzes millions of global investments and delivers institutional-grade analytics at scale via three core products:

  • FinRiver provides financial technology platforms with robust analytics and proprietary data sets via lightning-fast APIs;
  • FinScore Pro provides financial advisors with a quick, intuitive and uncomplicated risk assessment tool that systematically develops a mutually understandable, bright-line agreement on risk from each client and prospect; and
  • FinScope provides compliance teams with a way to screen through each client portfolio every night with robust analytics to detect problems before they become problems.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-eight 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 runs one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding PR, social media and marketing agencies that has amassed a huge social media following and is dedicated to supporting a wide variety of donation, rewards and equity crowdfunding campaigns.
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Front Page PR Rolls Out Turnkey PR/Media Relations Service Portfolio for Franchises, Construction, Home Services (Solar & Energy Efficiency), Industrial, Manufacturing, and High-Tech Companies

12 Jun

For less than $5k per month, this leading public relations, social media and marketing firm will help startups, existing companies and corporations generate more website traffic and increase monthly sales

By Robert Hoskins

Maryville, Tennessee – Seeking a leading edge PR firm? Whether your company needs help generating publicity for a franchise’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not event or would benefit from generating positive PR publicity for a business-to-business (B2B) home service company that installs solar, saves money with home energy audits or offers HVAC tuneup services to help homeowners save money on monthly energy bills, Front Page PR can provide a cost-effective, turnkey growth-hacking marketing program for around $5,000+tax per month.

Front Page PR Rolls Out Turnkey PR/Media Relations Service Portfolio for Franchises, Construction, Home Services (Solar & Energy Efficiency), Industrial, Manufacturing, and High-Tech Companies

Front Page PR Rolls Out Turnkey PR/Media Relations Service Portfolio for Franchises, Construction, Home Services (Solar & Energy Efficiency), Industrial, Manufacturing, and High-Tech Companies

Front Page PR’s team of marketing experts can help growing companies write press releases, develop online press rooms, build social media networks, plan a digital advertising program, write search engine optimized blog pages for content marketing, generate precise databases of vertical B2B media contacts, write effective media pitches, build media relationships with the management team, find trade show panels discussion for subject matter experts to speak at and harvest email addresses for carefully-tailored email marketing programs. An excellent price for a full portfolio marketing services that is hard to beat and represents one of the most cost-effective deals in the B2B marketing industry.

“One of the most challenging decisions that most small companies face is hiring their first marketing consulting firm,” said Robert Hoskins, Front Page PR’s Director of PR and Media Relations. “Regardless of whether it’s a small startup seeking to gain market traction, a small business that wants to expand their existing business operations or a large corporation that is seeking merger and acquisition partners, our team of seasoned media relations experts can help any business move mountains with words and sway public persuasion with positive trade publication and business media interviews.”

“The average rate that most PR firms charge clients is $10,000 to $20,000 per month or $60,000 to $240,000 per year. The metric or question that all firms need to measure when evaluating their PR/media relations budget is, ‘Is my PR firm capable of generating at least $1 of media publicity for every $1 I spend on their PR consulting fees?’ ” Hoskins continued. “With that said, if a company can find a PR firm that can generate a 300% return-on-investment (ROI) for a budget of $60,000 per year, that’s equivalent to hiring three professional, seasoned marketing professionals, and/or receiving a minimum of $300,000 in positive, credible media exposure. Not many firms can deliver on this expectation, but our team can.”

Have an interest in learning more? Please give Front Page PR a call at (512) 627-6622 to learn more and to receive a free 30-minute review of your website, your social media credentials and an off-the-cuff review of what first steps might be taken to generate more website traffic, produce more business leads and how to help your sales team close deals on more new business. Front Page PR wants your business and is willing to work hard to earn your business, complete with a great ROI.

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins
Front Page PR
(512) 627-6622

Chinese Entrepreneurship Global Study Shows Staggering Increase in Shenzhen and Hong Kong Entrepreneur Activities Compared to 64 Competitive Countries Worldwide

16 Feb

Experts advocate the two cities join force in formation of complementary advantages to foster international competitiveness for entrepreneurship

By Robert Hoskins

Hong Kong, China – New research released by the professors of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CfE) and Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)’s School of Business shows that entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and Shenzhen is on the rise.

A collaborative effort by CUHK CfE, HKBU School of Business, the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Business and Economics, Shenzhen Academy of Social Science and Savantas Policy Research Institute, the research titled “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Hong Kong and Shenzhen Report 2016-17” provides a detailed analysis of the current status of entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The GEM Study Compares the Results with Past Indicators for Ecosystems and Provides an International Benchmark with 65 Economies Worldwide

The GEM Study Compares the Results with Past Indicators for Ecosystems and Provides an International Benchmark with 64 Other Economies Worldwide

The study compares the results with past indicators for both ecosystems and provides an international benchmark with 65 economies worldwide. It is part of the global initiative, 180-page Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Research Report, the world’s foremost comparative entrepreneurship study and a trusted resource on entrepreneurship for key international organizations such as the United Nations, World Economic Forum, World Bank and more.

In the recent few years, Hong Kong and Shenzhen have experienced an explosive growth in the start-up support ecosystem. The GEM Hong Kong and Shenzhen Report 2016-17 shows that the start-up rates recorded a staggering increase in Hong Kong and Shenzhen from 2009 to 2016. In mid-2016, the early-stage entrepreneurial activity among the adult population was estimated at 9.44 percent (3.64 percent in 2009) in Hong Kong and 16.04 percent (4.8 percent in 2009) in Shenzhen.

The growth has been driven by a rapid increase in Shenzhen’s new (+284 percent) and Hong Kong’s growth in nascent businesses (+206 percent) in comparison with 2009 statistics. The prevalence rates of established businesses recorded an increase as well: +389 percent for Shenzhen and +109 percent for Hong Kong. It is worth noting that while entrepreneurship rates are on the rise in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, they are declining in other places in China. Both cities have developed a separate start-up culture and entrepreneurial ecosystem that operate independently from the rest of the Mainland.

The positive changes were not limited to early entrepreneurship rates only. The research team also observed a major shift in attitudes and entrepreneurial intentions. In particular, 56.8 percent of the adult population perceives start-up opportunities in Hong Kong. In Shenzhen, the same proportion of individuals who declared they possessed necessary skills and knowledge to start a new business (35.8 percent), also reported their intention to start a business in the next two years (36 percent).

Comparing to 2009, the population with entrepreneurial intentions in Hong Kong grew from 7.3 percent to 19.7 percent in 2016, representing an impressive increase of +170 percent. Similarly, in Shenzhen the intentions grew from 17.6 percent to 36 percent, an increase of +105 percent. According to the study, cultural conditioning and attitudes towards entrepreneurship, perception of own skills, and exposure to entrepreneurship practices all had a positive impact on intentions to start businesses. Successful entrepreneurs are also regaining their high status and are promoted by local media in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

In terms of financial support, Hong Kong early-stage firms have lower capital requirements than that of their Shenzhen counterparts, which may be related to the lower technological intensity of Hong Kong firms. 92 percent of nascent entrepreneurs in the two cities declared that their principal source of financial support was their own savings. The role of the family in financing new ventures is still significant in Shenzhen, but not so much in Hong Kong.

Banks are also more supportive of startups in Shenzhen than in Hong Kong and so are venture capitalists, which could be explained by a higher prevalence of start-ups with profound market impact. In Hong Kong, on the other hand, crowdfunding is more prevalent as the source of capital for early-stage businesses, a sign of a more established product innovation.

Aligned with higher entrepreneurship rates, the research team also found a growing culture of informal investors developing in both cities. Shenzhen observed a much higher informal investment prevalence rate (20.5 percent) than Hong Kong (6.5 percent) of the adult population. In fact, Hong Kong and Shenzhen informal investors were two of the most generous among all economies in the study with a contribution of US$70,565 and US$76,112 respectively.

The study has also recorded a dramatic change in investment patterns for Shenzhen. While in 2009 individuals were rather investing in family members, in 2016, friends and neighbors had been the first choice which was aligned with that of Hong Kong.

In addition, the research team interviewed 39 Hong Kong and 37 Shenzhen experts in the field of entrepreneurship about their opinions on how the cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen that would increase the cities’ international competitiveness. The most frequent recommendation was to leverage the natural industry compatibilities between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Other recommendations include:

  • Joint development of industries such as Internet-of-Things, Smart City, Health Tech, Edu Tech, Fintech or E-commerce
  • Joint R&D initiatives aiming at cross-border innovation, sharing of talents and intensification of knowledge exchange
  • Introduction of joint or cross-border education to develop a shared cultural understanding of each other through opening more world-class academic institutions catering to students from both sides of the border
  • Coordinating government policies for entrepreneurship between the two economies, e.g. joint visas for entrepreneurs that would facilitate cross-border operations of many start-ups

“If Hong Kong and Shenzhen join forces in the formation of complementary advantages on entrepreneurship, it would strengthen the international and Mainland competitiveness for both,” said Prof. Kevin Au, Associate Director of CUHK CfE and Associate Professor of the Department of Management at CUHK Business School. “This can be the first step towards the development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen megalopolis.”

“Hong Kong and Shenzhen are facing a fantastic opportunity: that of being in the perfect position to build a highly unique and internationally competitive start-up hub with an unparalleled ecosystem compatibility between the two cities and a supportive informal investment culture,” said Dr. Marta K. Dowejko, Research Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship of the Department of Management at HKBU School of Business. “While Shenzhen’s start-ups are well geared to deliver innovative ideas with high growth potential, Hong Kong’s entrepreneurs possess the know-how in taking ideas to the next level and ensuring their long-term sustainability. The results from this year’s GEM report give testament to this unique setup that no other place in the world has.”

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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.

 

How to Use Crowdfunding PR, Social Media, Websites and Email Marketing to Launch Successful Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Title IV Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

20 Oct

Crowdfunding PR helps crowdfunding sites and their campaign managers plan effective marketing campaigns that give fundraising efforts a higher than average chance for crowdfunding success!

By Robert Hoskins

What’s the best way to get the word out about a crowdfunding campaign?

Build an in-depth website including a well-provisioned press room full of information such as a primary PR contact info, logos, head shots of executives, press releases, press coverage, product photos, graphs, charts, white papers, and anything else that a reporter needs to write a news brief or a feature length article at 4:00 am in the morning without talking to anyone.

Always cover the: who, what, where, when, why and how much. Use the website as an electronic sales person that provides comprehensive FAQs that lead customers, crowdfunders and investors directly down the path that you want them to follow with regard to product/service education. The goal is to remove all fear, uncertainty and doubt from the sales equation.

Next, offer them a free white paper or something worth of value such as early bird discounts, VIP memberships, etc. that makes them want to share their email address and phone number with your team for future fundraising marketing efforts.

Use this process to build up an email list of 5,000 or more customers that have expressed a desire to purchase your products before the crowdfunding campaign launches. This step will be a major factor in determining its ability to achieve crowdfunding success on the very first day of the campaign.

Build an extensive social media network on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and as many other social media networks as possible. Grow your social media network by sharing the content from your developing website as well as distributing leading industry news stories for your industry.

And, as you are tweeting out the leading news articles, begin building a database of the reporters, their twitter handles and any subject matter experts quoted in the articles. Also note the frequently used buzzwords, catch phrases, and learn what formulas a reporter likes to use when they write a story.

Use these terms to SEO your crowdfunding profile so that customers who are searching for similar products and service to buy may find the crowdfunding campaign accidentally.

Follow reporters, industry analysts and subject matter experts and make friends with them, a process known as building media relations. Learn what they care about, what they do for fun, and what subject matters they like to talk about.

There is a huge difference in trying to pitch a reporter with a cold, un-researched email versus building a relationship with them before asking them to write a story for you. This strategy should also be used to target angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity and institutional investors.

The most important thing to let them know is that based on “my” extensive research, the articles that “you’ve” written, and the “buyers” that have invested/purchased my company’s product and services are a “perfect match” for your “editorial environment” or your current “investment portfolio.” And it is important to note, that this process usually takes around two-to-six months and needs to be done prior the crowdfunding campaign’s launch.

Issue well-written press releases on one of the top four paid wire distribution services. To reporters “free” or “cheap” wire services equal a potential fraudulent company since they are not willing to pay to use a real wire service and, if so, they may not be a reputable company.

Think of press releases as an extension of content marketing. Add links in the press releases to content on your website that goes into a much deeper discussion of the press release’s primary message. Include a “call-to-action” that tells readers exactly what you want them to do.

Also, write the press release as if you were writing the press release specifically to fit within a trade publication’s editorial environment. The easier it is for reporters and bloggers to cut and paste a story, the easier it will be for you to get media coverage.

And don’t think for a minute that a reporter will find your release by themselves. Instead email a copy directly to the reporter, which by now should now know who you are if you have been doing a good job of building a good media relations as detailed above.

Only target publications and media outlets that contain a high composition of the desired target audience with the right purchasing authority and a high propensity to buy your product or service. In other words, if you wouldn’t spend any money to place an advertisement in any given publication, don’t waste your time trying to pitch your story to a reporter that writes for an audience that really has no interest in purchasing your type of product or service.

All of these crowdfunding campaign prep-work marketing strategies should be done at least two months prior to the crowdfunding campaign. The more months that are spent on prep-work before the campaign begins the better the company will be positioned to achieve success on their crowdfunding campaign.

This entire process will educate the founders and their crowdfunding campaign managers and allow the whole team to learn about the industry, their competitors and how to effectively position their product/service and make it desirable in a very competitive global marketplace.

Why? When potential donors/investors like a crowdfunding campaign’s product, the first thing they will do is research how many likes it has on Facebook, what kind of professional resume the founders have built on Linked and how many followers they have on Twitter.

Next, they will do Google searches on the founders’ names, the company name and its brand names. If they find very little or nothing when searching for information on the company, the crowdfunding campaign will be doomed because it means the company clearly does not understand marketing, social media or PR.

However, if there are several pages of Google search results with news stories, press releases, product photos and a huge following on social media, this means that the founders are dedicated, hard-working employees that have exemplified a better than average chance of being successful long after their crowdfunding campaign concludes simply because they understand marketing.

If all of these crowdfunding puzzle pieces are in the correct place, potential crowdfunders will be convinced that there is a very good chance of receiving the high-tech gadget they want to pre-order to help the company get off the ground.

 

What is the biggest unexpected problem crowdfunders face?

The single biggest problem that founders and crowdfunding campaign managers face is not putting together a realistic marketing budget. It will cost at least $20k to shoot a great crowdfunding video and spend several months mastering the marketing prep-work outlined above.

For example, if you went and hired someone off the street and paid them $7.25 times 40 hours a week times 4 weeks a month times 3 months in a prep-work marketing program, that would equate a marketing budget of $3,480.

The reality is that most good marketing people will bill out at least $25 per hour and great talent will bill out at $100 or more per hour.

So using this math, crowdfunding campaigns should plan to spend at least $15,000 for marketing, social media, and PR support and another $5,000 to shoot a great pitch video and write a well-written crowdfunding campaign profile with language that sells. The campaigns that are raising millions of dollars are typically spending at least $50,000+ on one or more forms of digital advertising networks.

There is a whole sub-crowdfunding industry that will offer press releases, backer programs, social media posts, etc. for a couple of hundred bucks. The problem is that they simply will not provide the success that crowdfunding campaign managers are hoping to receive.  These companies know that founders don’t have much money, but are willing to take whatever they can get.

The same is true for marketing companies that promise to work for a 35% post-paid commission after the campaign ends. The problem is that several days into a crowdfunding campaign that raises hardly any money, these commission-only companies will sever their ties, move onto the next campaign with a better chance of being successful and leave struggling founders hanging out to dry.

We get calls from angry crowdfunding campaign managers all the time that have gone through this disappointing experience. There is no such thing as a “Free Lunch.”

What do crowdfunders need do to achieve excellent results for their campaigns?

In our four years of working with founders on their crowdfunding campaigns, we have seen a trend that is worth pointing out. The single best strategy to prepare for any type of crowdfunding campaign for any founder, entrepreneur, startup or existing small business is to perform an in-depth competitive analysis on as many competitors as possible.

This means researching a minimum of 100 campaigns on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The same is true for equity crowdfunding campaigns. Examine successful campaigns as well as ones that have failed.

  1. How are their crowdfunding pitch videos shot?
  2. How are their crowdfunding profiles written?
  3. What perks sold the best/worst and how were they worded and priced?
  4. What was their original crowdfunding goal?

Even better is to search for companies that failed on their first campaign and then raised millions of dollars on their second campaign, such as the “Coolest Cooler,” and then examine what the changed between the first and second try.

The second most important thing that successful crowdfunding campaigns need to have is enough support from family and friends to raise the first 30% of the crowdfunding goal.

Nothing is worse than a campaign that only raises $100 during the first several days.

This is why smart founders will set their goal as low as possible so that they can raise 50% of the goal on the first day. A low goal doesn’t mean they can’t raise a million dollars!

What is the number one piece of advice for anyone wanting to do a Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign?

We highly recommend taking out a yellow writing tablet and going to Crowdfunding PR’s free crowdfunding training classes at https://crowdfundingtrainingclasses.wordpress.com.

Crowdfunding PR Offers Crowdfunding Training Classes to Help Campaign Managers Plan Cost-Effective Marketing Campaigns

Crowdfunding PR Offers Crowdfunding Training Classes to Help Campaign Managers Plan Cost-Effective Marketing Campaigns Using Social Media, PR, Email and Content Marketing

Reading through these free tutorials will educate founders on the various components of the crowdfunding process. For each section, founders should write down their thoughts about what they might want to do to raise money for their own crowdfunding campaign.

Next, take advantage of Crowdfunding PR’s free 30-minute telephone consultations for founders that are considering launching a crowdfunding campaign. If they are willing to learn about crowdfunding first and then write down their initial thoughts on what they might like to do with their campaign, it will lead to a much better first conversation on what they want to achieve with their Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Title III/Title IV equity crowdfunding campaign.

Call Crowdfunding PR at (512) 627-6622 to setup a call!

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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.

Arrow Electronics Brings Technology and Design Hardware to Life with Up to $1 Million for Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaigns 

1 Sep

Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo launches groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production service aimed at accelerating the pace of innovation for technology entrepreneurs

San Francisco, California – Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW) and Indiegogo launched their groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production service, which is aimed at accelerating the pace of innovation for technology and internet of things (IoT) entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs can apply for Arrow certification on the Indiegogo platform. Arrow Electronics’ engineers will then analyze the design and manufacturability of each application. Projects deemed “ready for manufacturing” will be denoted with official “Arrow Certified” badges on their Indiegogo campaign site to let potential backers know the project is ready for production."Arrow

Every “Arrow Certified” campaign on Indiegogo that meets certain eligibility criteria can compete to receive a share of $1 million in flash-funding that Arrow will give away to 20-50 campaigns during the next 12 to 15 months. Click here for full funding details and rules.

Arrow Certified” campaigns on Indiegogo will also lock-in up to $50,000 in benefits that help entrepreneurs succeed in prototyping and manufacturing their innovative products, which include some or all of the following:

  • Direct, online access to the prototyping tools available through Arrow.com and Silicon Expert, one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive database for technology component design
  • Comprehensive technical reviews of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts and the quantities of each needed to manufacture a product
  • Professional design-for-manufacturing product reviews and certification
  • Up to $1,000 in materials for prototype development
  • Free access to the Arrow Testdrive program to try out the latest innovations from leading semiconductor manufacturers with no up-front investment
  • Customized marketing and promotional support on Arrow.com and through Arrow’s extensive technology-focused media network
  • 10 percent off and free shipping on millions of products available through Arrow.com that will help accelerate prototyping and bringing innovations to market

In addition, a handful of “Arrow Certified” campaigns that Arrow experts deem truly technologically exceptional will qualify as “Arrow Innovator” campaigns and receive additional support, which includes some or all of the following:

  • Supply chain services and contract manufacturing support worth up to $500,000
  • Up to $10,000 in materials for prototype development
  • A dedicated local Arrow technical concierge available for on-call or on-site support
  • Perk protection that guarantees campaign backers will get their money back if for some reason the product is never manufactured—providing current and future campaign backers with increased confidence
  • A fast-tracked review with Arrow’s in-house financing team to help fund the cost of getting production up and running

Arrow and Indiegogo formalized an alliance in May after Indiegogo entrepreneurs had been increasingly turning to Arrow to help transition innovative ideas into successful commercial products. Arrow is now a key component of Indiegogo’s efforts to support the entire product lifecycle for entrepreneurs on the platform.

Current and new Indiegogo technology or design campaign entrepreneurs interested in applying to become “Arrow Certified” should visit www.arrow.com/indiegogo.

“This groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production program will help so many tech entrepreneurs and startups accelerate their path to market and revenue. Halo Smart Labs didn’t have access to a formal production program like this when we were successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo. However, we did have the good fortune of getting introduced to Arrow experts early on who helped us refine designs, source the right components, tackle first runs and scale to full production,” said Ben Stagg, Halo Smart Labs’ CEO. “Without the crowdfunding support we received on Indiegogo and without the go-to-market support we received from Arrow, we wouldn’t be preparing for the first Halo and Halo+ smart fire alarms to hit the shelves of major retailers this fall.”

“Arrow is leading IoT design and production for many of the world’s largest companies. We are broadening these capabilities to support the rising wave of innovation coming from crowdfunding,” added Arrow’s Chief Digital Officer, Matt Anderson. “The comprehensive design, manufacturing and go-to-market support that Arrow will provide Indiegogo campaigns will help IoT and technology innovators succeed in even greater numbers, making Indiegogo the only game in town when it comes to launching an IoT or technology idea.”

Indiegogo CEO’s David Mandlebrot commented, “This collaboration improves the experience for both entrepreneurs and backers on Indiegogo. Supporting the entire lifecycle for technology entrepreneurs—from idea, to funding, to manufacturing and ultimately retail selling—is a priority for Indiegogo and this collaboration with Arrow allows us to build on those efforts in an incredibly impactful way. At the same time, this alliance will enable backers to have greater confidence that they will ultimately receive their perks.”

Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than 100,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 460 locations serving over 85 countries.

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Crowdfunding PR Rolls Out Title IV, Reg. A+ 2-Month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program to Help Startups and Existing Businesses Learn How to Launch More Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

29 Aug

The Crowdfunding Prep Work Program Helps Campaign Managers Amass a Large Crowd of Followers on Social Media and Utilize PR to Generate Hundreds of News Articles on Leading Media Outlets

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Want to learn how to launch a successful Title IV, Reg. A+ equity crowdfunding campaign? To help crowdfunders achieve this elusive goal, Crowdfunding PR announced a special two-month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program that will significantly improve a crowdfunding campaign’s success rate by amplifying its management team’s social media profiles and by utilizing an effective crowdfunding PR campaign to generate hundreds of stories via electronic news media outlets prior to the crowdfunding campaign’s launch.

How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding PR Campaign by Following this Secret Step-by-Step Process

How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding PR Campaign by Following this Secret Step-by-Step Process

Social Media Campaigns
Conducting a strong social media marketing campaign is one of the biggest challenges that many Title IV, Reg. A+ Crowdfunding Campaigns will face. Improving weak social media credentials for companies is critical to crowdfunding success. What many entrepreneurs and startups need to recognize is how important social media is in the world of crowdfunding.

“The very first thing that an investor/donor does when they read through a crowdfunding profile they like is to look up the company and its team members on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to check out their credentials,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Crowdfunding Campaigns. “Having a strong resume on LinkedIn, lots of likes on Facebook and an army of followers on Twitter is crucial to determining the strength of the team and the likelihood that they have the tenacity and marketing skill set to deliver on their crowdfunding campaign’s promises.”

Public Relations/Publicity Campaigns
The second biggest task is generating stories on electronic news media outlets and blogs prior to launching a crowdfunding campaign. Not only can a well-orchestrated crowdfunding PR campaign generate hundreds of free, positive trade press articles to support the fundraising effort, but the same targeted, search-engine-optimized (SEO) press releases will continue to drive new investors, potential customers as well as sales/distribution partners to the business long after the crowdfunding campaign ends.

“Most investors/donors will do a Google search to see what they can find online for both the company and its team members,” Hoskins continued. “With a two-month crowdfunding prep work campaign there will be several pages of search engine results that link to the client’s website pages, their social media posts/profiles and the crowdfunding campaign’s temporary landing page until they launch an equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest.comStartEngine.com, Republic.co, WeFunder.com or any other Title IV, Reg. A+ equity crowdfunding sites.

Contact Crowdfunding PR
If you would like to speak with a crowdfunding PR, social media and/or marketing expert regarding your crowdfunding campaign, please call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622.

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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.
(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.
Mr. Hoskins consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Mr. Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.

United Overseas Bank Partners with OurCrowd to Offer Equity Crowdfunding Support for Startups Participating in UOB’s Singapore FinLab Accelerator Program and other Cities throughout Asia

17 Aug

With a full Capital Market Services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) OurCrowd is now able to market its equity crowdfunding platform in Singapore and other Asian cities

 By Robert Hoskins

Singapore/Jerusalem – United Overseas Bank (UOB) is deepening its commitment to helping startups grow into sustainable businesses by training its commercial bankers to provide clients with the most up-to-date information on alternative funding channels beyond traditional financing. More than 100 of its bankers have been trained so far.

United Overseas Bank Partners with @OurCrowd to Support Asian Startups and Small to Medium Enterprises Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding for Seed Investment Capital

United Overseas Bank Partners with @OurCrowd to Support Asian Startups and Small to Medium Enterprises Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding for Seed Investment Capital

The training is timely as the Bank’s strategic equity crowdfunding partner, OurCrowd, a leading global equity crowdfunding platform, was awarded a full Capital Market Services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) at the end of July. With the license, OurCrowd is now able to market its equity crowdfunding platform in Singapore. In March this year, UOB announced it had made a US$10 million investment in OurCrowd, which invests in startups with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services.

“We are proud of the rapid growth of our unique brand of equity crowdfunding and teaming up with UOB to advance the cutting edge of FinTech and the startup ecosystem in the region,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s CEO. “As we work together, innovative Asian companies with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services will be able to get access to another source of funding from a global investor network to jumpstart their international expansion and business development.”

UOB’s partnership with OurCrowd reinforced the Bank’s commitment in supporting Asian SMEs and startups with end-to-end financing needs. The range of support includes UOB’s accelerator program, The FinLab, to venture debt financing through to investment banking.

Ms. Janet Young, Head of Group Channels and Digitalization, UOB, said, “We understand the ambitions of startups and emerging enterprises and want to help them grow into sustainable businesses. In the last six months, we have trained more than 100 commercial bankers to identify and to understand the type of financing for which startups can qualify. Through our initiatives, we are well-equipped to support the startup ecosystem and help them realize their full potential.”

In addition, accredited investors among UOB’s clients will now have an opportunity to broaden their investments into OurCrowd’s portfolio companies and tap into a quality deal flow across the globe.

Mr. Denes Ban, OurCrowd Partner and Managing Director, Asia, said, “Our latest approval and licence in Singapore is further validation of OurCrowd’s global footprint and it’s exciting to see immediate and impactful results, thanks to our partners at UOB and the Sassoon Investment Corporation (SIC). Singapore-based investors will now have access to our portfolio of world-class startups and tap their growth potential.”

Launched in 2013, OurCrowd has raised more than US$250 million for investment in almost 100 companies, and has already had eight companies in their portfolio either acquired by a multinational or listed publicly. Unlike traditional equity crowdfunding platforms, OurCrowd invests its own capital alongside the crowd investors in each deal as testament to their confidence in the deal. By offering investors the same terms (valuation, liquidation reference and protection) as venture capital funds, it offers accredited investors access to unrivaled investment opportunities. OurCrowd also provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors.

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SEC Details Rules for Title III Crowdfunding Investors and Crowdfunding Investment Sites

31 Oct

The SEC’s final Title III Crowdfunding Rule (Regulation Crowdfunding) will enable individuals to purchase securities in crowdfunding offerings subject to certain limits, require companies to disclose certain information about their business and securities offering, and create a regulatory framework for the intermediaries facilitating crowdfunding transactions

Chair Mary Jo White Gives an Overview of Title III Crowdfunding Rules

Chair Mary Jo White Gives an Overview of Title III Crowdfunding Rules

By Robert Hoskins

SEC’s Title III of the JOBS Act 

On Friday, October 30, 2015, the SEC passed the final Title III Regulation Crowdfunding Rule that will allow the offer and sale of securities through crowdfunding.  The new rules will give small businesses an additional avenue to raise capital and provide investors with important protections.  If adopted, this would complete the Commission’s major rulemaking mandated under the JOBS Act.

Title III Crowdfunding Investor Rules

The recommended rules would, among other things, enable individuals to purchase securities in crowdfunding offerings subject to certain limits, require companies to disclose certain information about their business and securities offering, and create a regulatory framework for the intermediaries facilitating crowdfunding transactions.  More specifically, the recommended rules would:

  • Permit a company to raise a maximum aggregate amount of $1 million through crowdfunding offerings in a 12-month period;
  • Permit individual investors, over a 12-month period, to invest in the aggregate across all crowdfunding offerings up to:
    • If either their annual income or net worth is less than $100,000, than the greater of:
      • $2,000 or
      • 5 percent of the lesser of their annual income or net worth.
    • If both their annual income and net worth are equal to or more than $100,000, 10 percent of the lesser of their annual income or net worth; and
  • During the 12-month period, the aggregate amount of securities sold to an investor through all crowdfunding offerings may not exceed $100,000.

Under the recommended rules, certain companies would not be eligible to use the exemption.  Ineligible companies would include non-U.S. companies, Exchange Act reporting companies, certain investment companies, companies that are subject to disqualification under Regulation Crowdfunding, companies that have failed to comply with the annual reporting requirements under Regulation Crowdfunding during the two years immediately preceding the filing of the offering statement, and companies that have no specific business plan or have indicated that their business plan is to engage in a merger or acquisition with an unidentified company or companies.

Securities purchased in a crowdfunding transaction generally could not be resold for one year.  Holders of these securities would not count toward the threshold that requires a company to register its securities under Exchange Act Section 12(g) if the company is current in its annual reporting obligations, retains the services of a registered transfer agent and has less than $25 million in total assets as of the end of its most recently completed fiscal year.

In addition, all transactions relying on the new rules would be required to take place through an SEC-registered intermediary, either a broker-dealer or a funding portal.

Title III Crowdfunding Company Disclosures 

Companies that rely on the recommended rules to conduct a crowdfunding offering must file certain information with the Commission and provide this information to investors and the intermediary facilitating the offering, including among other things, to disclose:

  • The price to the public of the securities or the method for determining the price, the target offering amount, the deadline to reach the target offering amount, and whether the company will accept investments in excess of the target offering amount;
  • A discussion of the company’s financial condition;
  • Financial statements of the company that, depending on the amount offered and sold during a 12-month period, are accompanied by information from the company’s tax returns, reviewed by an independent public accountant, or audited by an independent auditor.  A company offering more than $500,000 but not more than $1 million of securities relying on these rules for the first time would be permitted to provide reviewed rather than audited financial statements, unless financial statements of the company are available that have been audited by an independent auditor;
  • A description of the business and the use of proceeds from the offering;
  • Information about officers and directors as well as owners of 20 percent or more of the company; and
  • Certain related-party transactions.

In addition, companies relying on the crowdfunding exemption would be required to file an annual report with the Commission and provide it to investors.

Title III Crowdfunding Rules for Portals

A funding portal would be required to register with the Commission on new Form Funding Portal, and become a member of a national securities association (currently, FINRA).  A company relying on the rules would be required to conduct its offering exclusively through one intermediary platform at a time.

The recommended rules would require intermediaries to, among other things:

  • Provide investors with educational materials that explain, among other things, the process for investing on the platform, the types of securities being offered and information a company must provide to investors, resale restrictions, and investment limits;
  • Take certain measures to reduce the risk of fraud, including having a reasonable basis for believing that a company complies with Regulation Crowdfunding and that the company has established means to keep accurate records of securities holders;
  • Make information that a company is required to disclose available to the public on its platform throughout the offering period and for a minimum of 21 days before any security may be sold in the offering;
  • Provide communication channels to permit discussions about offerings on the platform;
  • Provide disclosure to investors about the compensation the intermediary receives;
  • Accept an investment commitment from an investor only after that investor has opened an account;
  • Have a reasonable basis for believing an investor complies with the investment limitations;
  • Provide investors notices once they have made investment commitments and confirmations at or before completion of a transaction;
  • Comply with maintenance and transmission of funds requirements; and
  • Comply with completion, cancellation and reconfirmation of offerings requirements.

The rules also would prohibit intermediaries from engaging in certain activities, such as:

  • Providing access to their platforms to companies that they have a reasonable basis for believing have the potential for fraud or other investor protection concerns;
  • Having a financial interest in a company that is offering or selling securities on its platform unless the intermediary receives the financial interest as compensation for the services, subject to certain conditions; and
  • Compensating any person for providing the intermediary with personally identifiable information of any investor or potential investor.

Regulation Crowdfunding would contain certain rules that are specific to registered funding portals consistent with their more limited activities than that of a registered broker-dealer.  The rules would prohibit funding portals from, among other things: offering investment advice or making recommendations; soliciting purchases, sales or offers to buy securities; compensating promoters and other persons for solicitations or based on the sale of securities; and holding, possessing, or handling investor funds or securities.

The rules would provide a safe harbor under which funding portals could engage in certain activities consistent with these restrictions.  The rules also would require funding portals to maintain certain books and records related to their transactions and business.

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SEC’s Proposed Amendments to Approve Nationwide Intrastate Crowdfunding and Raise Limit to $5 Million for Small Business

31 Oct

SEC’s Proposed Amendments to Rule 147 and 504 to Facilitate New Intrastate Crowdfunding and the Sale of Regional Securities Offerings

SEC Staff Proposes Amendments to Rules 147 and Reg. D.,504

SEC Staff Proposes Amendments to Securities Rules 147 and Reg. D. 504

 By Robert Hoskins

 SEC’s Proposed Actions for Title III Crowdfunding

The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering whether to propose amendments to Securities Act Rule 147 and Rule 504 of Regulation D.  The proposed amendments would be part of the Commission’s efforts to assist smaller companies with capital formation consistent with its investor protection mission.

Proposed Title III Crowdfunding Amendments

Proposed Amendments to Rule 147

The proposed amendments would modernize Rule 147 to permit companies to raise money from investors within their state without concurrently registering the offers and sales at the federal level.  The proposed amendments to Rule 147 would, among other things:

  • Eliminate the restriction on offers, while continuing to require that sales be made only to residents of the issuer’s state or territory.
  • Refine what it means to be an intrastate offering and ease some of the issuer eligibility requirements in the current rule.
  • Limit the availability of the exemption to offerings that are registered in-state or conducted under an exemption from state law registration that limits the amount of securities an issuer may sell to no more than $5 million in a 12-month period and imposes an investment limitation on investors.

Proposed Amendments to Rule 504

The proposed amendments to Rule 504 of Regulation D would increase 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 disqualify certain bad actors from participation in Rule 504 offerings.  The proposed rules would facilitate capital formation and increase investor protection in such offerings.

 

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Onevest Sets $2 Million Self-Crowdfunding Record; Uses Funds to Hire Top Talent

22 Aug

Financial technology company currently operates one of the leading startup investing marketplaces with over 80,000 entrepreneurs and 15,000 investors registered

By Robert Hoskins

New York City, New York – Onevest announced that reached $2M in financing for its Series A round after self–crowdfunding on its own platform.   The financial technology firm launched the 506c offering to celebrate the implementation of Title IV of the JOBS Act. In one month alone the company has been able to close what would normally take on average between 4 to 8 months in the offline world for a tech startup of its size.

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, OneVest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups in the United States

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, OneVest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups in the United States

The company is currently operating one of the leading startup investing marketplaces with over 80,000 entrepreneurs and 15,000 investors registered.

Onevest has a unique approach, as it captures deal flow at the formation stage via its cofounder matchmaking property site, CoFoundersLab, which gives Onevest six months to one year in advance to build the relationship with the company before the entrepreneur is ready to seek a round of financing. Via CoFoundersLab, Onevest is onboarding over 2,000 registered entrepreneurs to its ecosystem every month.

“Today we have put a dent in the universe by changing the game of fundraising online. We are lucky and honored to be part of an industry that is revolutionizing what has been an old and outdated model that clearly needed a healthy disruption,” said Onevest’s Executive Chairman Alejandro Cremades.

The company is already putting the capital to work as it has hired a new CFO, Barry Shereck. Barry has more than 30 years of experience in financial management with early stage companies and has taken four companies public.

Onevest also announced the hire of Erica Duignan as the Head of Deal Flow to hone in on bringing high quality startups on its marketplace and to build a world-class team of venture associates. Erica is joining Onevest from the renown accelerator program Dreamit Ventures, where she was a Managing Director focused on company recruiting, fundraising and developing investor relationships.

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