Archive | Small Business RSS feed for this section

Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities for Startups Revealed at 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem, Israel

27 Feb

OurCrowd Global Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities in Jerusalem for Global Angel, Seed-Stage and Venture Capital Investment Firms 

By Robert Hoskins

OurCrowd Global Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

OurCrowd Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd made history in the crowdfunding industry and hosted the biggest equity crowdfunding investment summit ever held in Israel called the “Startup Nation.” With more than 6,000 guests from 82 countries attending, including startups, venture capitalists and strategic investors, the event was packed with entertainment, excitement and information to capture a real vision for the future in Israel. Also in attendance were over 200 multinational corporations including Honda, Innogy, GE, Shell, Intuit, Microsoft, and Samsung Ventures.

Click here to watch more videos or Click here to see more event photos!

Over the past 12 months of working with leading ag-tech, auto-tech, bio-tech, drone-tech, fin-tech, high-tech, security-tech, space-tech and virtual-tech startups, OurCrowd has identified its top 10 investment opportunity categories of global startups and entrepreneurs equity crowdfunding that investors should be researching and considering for equity investments during 2017:

Top 10 Equity Investment Opportunities

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Go Mainstream
2. Seeing Is Believing: VR and AR Become a Critical Business Tool
3. Obey the Sound of My Voice: Voice-Driven Apps Filter Out the Noise
4. Apples and Oranges: AgTech Disrupts the World’s Oldest Industry
5. Industrial and Agricultural Drones Take Off
6. Is That a Doctor in Your Pocket? Digital Revolutionizes Healthcare
7. Here, There, Everywhere: Blockchain Applications Finally Take Hold
8. Boldly Going Where No Company Has Gone Before: SpaceTech
9. Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Becomes Critical
10. Autonomous Driving Picks Up Speed

1. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Go Mainstream

Driven by exponentially faster computing power and cloud computing, “teaching machines” is becoming easier and more scalable, enabling AI to go mainstream across a wide range of industries: including consumer marketing and retail, entertainment, digital health, and newer areas like autonomous driving and advanced robotics.

We are most excited by companies building applications which solve real world problems, applying AI in areas that can truly have an impact on the quality of our lives.

2. VR and AR Become Critical Business Tools

Did you know that in operating rooms across the US, brain surgeons are already using Virtual Reality (VR) to rehearse and simulate surgery in order to be more effective?  VR and Augmented Reality (AR) is not just about show business, entertainment, and 3D gaming, but also about saving lives, industrial solutions, and infrastructure.

In our view, VR and AR are about to go mainstream and will be used across a wide range of sectors from sports analytics to building airplane wings. These are definitely interesting technologies to keep an eye on!

3. Voice-Driven Apps Filter Out Background Noise

Have you ever tried using Siri in a car going over 50 KPH?  Or talking to Alexa with the kids making noise in the background? Good Luck! As we all know it does not work.

However, we believe the era of voice driven computing is coming. In the last 10 years, we have moved from primarily using keyboards to swiping and using touch-screens. OurCrowd believes that in the next five years we will move to talking to our devices as the primary mode of man – machine communication.

Core voice recognition software has become almost perfect at understanding the human voice and getting our words correct. The missing ingredient is its ability to enable our machines to get a clear signal and cancel background noise so that Siri really can HEAR what we are saying.

We are excited about companies finding innovative ways of making this happen.

4. Ag-Tech Disrupts the World’s Oldest Industry – Farming

As we all know, the world oldest industry has not been known for its technological flexibility. However, these days we witness the blooming of Agriculture-related technologies for different reasons.

Traditionally farming is a family owned business and we now see how second generation of farmers are much more techie and open to adopt advanced farming technologies. In addition, the last two years have seen mass consolidation between leading players in AgTech creating deep pockets and a big appetite for acquisitions.

5. Industrial and Agricultural Drones Take Off

Over the past couple of years, we have heard a lot (maybe too much) buzz about Amazon using drones to deliver packages to your doorstep or bring you fast food on demand.

While this is fun, we think the most interesting and profitable uses of drone technologies lie within industrial and agricultural markets.

Drones are already playing critical roles in facility security, mining, oil and gas exploration, crop protection and surveying landmass. Building industrial scale drones, which are robust and reliable is difficult and challenging, but companies that can meet that challenge are where we want to focus.

6. Digital Healthcare Puts a Doctor in Your Pocket

As much as we try not to overuse this term, artificial intelligence is actually a powerful factor in the rapidly growing digital health sector. Letting us crunch old data sets from electronic medical records all the way to data collected from wearables will increase our quality of life and perhaps even prevent deaths.

Similarly, computer vision and machine learning are enabling companies to extract new insights and diagnostics from images.

7. Blockchain Applications Finally Take Hold

Timing is everything! In the buzzword competition of 2016, blockchain was the hands down winner.   Since then there have been fits and starts for this important financial technology. Many VCs have been disappointed with their investments in this sector; however, we think now is the time to take a fresh look, as this technology matures and evolves beyond Bitcoin across multiple applications such as: sharing economy, data security, logistics, and of course, banking and finance.

8. SpaceTech Goes Where No One has Gone Before

We are thrilled to see that a sector dominated by governments and states is now opening up to private ventures. NSLComm is inspiring entrepreneurs to aim high. We now see prestigious VC funds building space portfolios and enabling these ventures to take off.

In term of funding needs, what used to be super-expensive is becoming much more affordable, with standardization of hardware protocols as well as general cost reductions of consumer electronics. Satellites can now be built and launched for less than half a million dollars, creating exciting opportunities to commercialize the technology.

9. Cyber Security for Infrastructure Becomes Critical

Are you worried about your car getting hacked? How about cyber criminals sneaking in through your air conditioner or refrigerator?  Well we are too! Cybersecurity is not new; and in fact, the investing landscape is quite crowded, and the playing field is highly competitive.

But we believe the key shift for investing in the next few years will be a move from protecting IT infrastructure to protecting all infrastructure. We are excited about companies that are designing full-proof solutions to protect everything from automobiles to electric grids and everything in between.

10. Autonomous Driving Picks Up Speed

Did you really think we were going to finish this top-10 list without mentioning the most overhyped tech trend?  We all know that autonomous driving is coming, but the question is when?  Should we still pay for our kids to get drivers licenses?

Thanks to core technology expertise and industry-leading companies such as Waze and Mobileye, Israel has become a global hub of automotive innovation. Now that we have a direct flight to Boston and Silicon Valley; our #1 prediction is that the next one will be direct to Detroit.

OurCrowd is one of the world’s leading global equity crowdfunding platforms for accredited investors. Managed by a team of seasoned investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities, invests its own capital, and brings companies to its accredited membership of global investors. OurCrowd provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigns industry experts as mentors, and takes board seats. The OurCrowd community of almost 17,000 investors from over 110 countries has invested over $400M into 110 portfolio companies and funds. OurCrowd already has thirteen exits to date, two IPO’s and eleven acquisitions.

# # #

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.

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.”

# # #

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.

 

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.

# # #

VerteCore Lift™ Offers Chiropractors a Peer-Reviewed Spine Decompression Medical Device They Can Prescribe to Treat Herniated Discs, Degenerative Disc Disease, Scoliosis, Sciatica and Back Pain

21 Mar

 Get in Line Now if You
Want the Early Bird Special

Read the three customer testimonials from doctors that detail their own personal battle with chronic back pain and how the affordable, easy-to use “Lift™” made a big difference in returning to a normal life

By Robert Hoskins

 

Los Angeles, California – VerteCore Technologies announced a new program for Chiropractors that will allow them to lease affordable, mobile spinal decompression units that will augment scheduled chiropractic adjustment procedures. The VerteCore Lift™ can be used in a clinical setting that allows Chiropractors to offer spinal decompression in a very compact office setting that was not previously available with the large spinal decompression tables that cost $125,000 or more to install and required a very large footprint.

VerteCore Lift - Close Up - Brown on Black

VerteCore Lift – Affordable, Mobile Spinal Decompression for Active Adults

The clinical version of the Lift sells for only $1,199, which makes it the most affordable spinal decompression medical technology product on the orthopedic marketplace, and multiple units can be stored in a single small cabinet.

Chiropractors can prescribe the VerteCore Lift as in-office treatment or offer it as an at-home-use solution that back pain patients can wear 20-to-30 minutes per visit/day to allow the spine to be stretched out, which allows blood, nutrients and the body’s natural healing processes to flow through the spine uninhibited to help the body repair itself by rehydrating and resorption of the herniated discs, which relieves the pressure on pinched nerves that cause most types of back-pain-related disorders.

During the VerteCore Lift’s med-tech’s product development process a number of medical doctors and pain management specialists have peer-reviewed the compact spinal decompression device and provided not only positive customer testimonials, but have made personal investments in the company in order to introduce the VerteCore “Lift” to the $57 billion Orthopedic medical device marketplace.

VerteCore Lift, Affordable, Comfortable, Mobile Spinal Decompression

VerteCore Lift, Affordable, Comfortable, Mobile Spinal Decompression

The following medical professionals have had a variety of back pain related medical problems and recently had a chance to personally try on and evaluate the VerteCore Lift. All were skeptical about trying out another new promising back pain relief medical device based on their trials and tribulations with other devices such as inversion tables that did not work, gave them headaches from too much blood rushing to their head and ended up causing more pain in their ankles and knees than the relief it provided for their back pain.

But after years of spending thousands of dollars on doctor visits, MRI’s, long-term physical therapy sessions, cortisone shots, pain medications, and back surgeries, all of these medical professionals were just like a wide cross-section of the American population that were willing to try anything to get rid of their chronic back pain. And when they did they were surprised at how well the “Lift” performed.

Dr. Mark J. Mulvihill, Ph.D., Vice-Pres., X-Rx, Cambridge, MA

“I woke up on Christmas Day six years ago and my leg hurt extremely bad and I thought maybe I had pulled a hamstring. After several doctor visits and an MRI exam I was diagnosed with Sciatica, which was being caused by a herniated L5 S1 disc.

For five years I went through extensive physical therapy, cortisone shots, and many types of pain medications, which caused problems with my digestive tract and gave me pretty bad heartburn.

I have tried many back pain devices that are advertised on TV, but the only one that gave me any type of relief was an inversion table where you hang upside down and let gravity stretch the spine with the body’s weight. While it gave me temporary back pain relief, I am tall and weigh around 200 pounds. Putting that much pressure on my knees and ankles hurt and negated the effects of my back pain relief. It also gave me headaches because of the blood that rushed to my head while hanging upside down.

Before all of this started I was a competitive golfer and the back pain basically forced me into early retirement. I longed to play the game, but I simply could not because I could not rotate my back at all without excessive pain.

By nature and due to my medical education I am very skeptical when it comes to trying out new back pain devices, but a friend of a friend introduced me to Paul Leake. We agreed to meet during a business trip, which was actually good because travel usually is an excruciatingly painful experience for people with back pain.

Paul Leake, VerteCore Technologies, Managing Director

Paul Leake, Managing Director, VerteCore Technologies

We met and after wearing the VerteCore Lift for 20 minutes my back pain was completely gone. For the first time in years, I could actually sit up easily from a laying down position. It was incredible. I felt so good the next day that instead of sitting on the sidelines as usual, I spent a full day sliding around slippery slides at the local water park with my family. It was an awesome feeling.

A good friend of mine, Dr. David Curtis, also suffers from back pain associated with degenerative disc disease, which left him with six herniated discs. One day we played 36 holes of golf and both of our backs were sore so I mentioned that I had the VerteCore Lift with me. We took turns wearing the Lift for 20 minutes each and the pain relief was immediate.

It worked so well that David wanted to purchase a Lift and was disappointed that my device was a demo unit and that they would not be available until an upcoming Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that will be launched sometime in April 2016.

If you have any type of back pain caused by herniated discs and pinched nerves, I highly recommend that you try a VerteCore Lift. It is simple, cost-effective and very easy to put on and wear during a 20-minute doctor visit or buying your own Lift so that you can wear it during your normal daily routine.

 

Dr. David Curtis, Ph.D., Psychologist, based in Long Island, New York

“My story is similar to Mark’s. I was diagnosed two years ago with degenerative disc disease and by the time I had my first MRI, the exam showed that I had six herniated discs.

Like Mark, my back pain made it tough to play golf. So when he called and asked me if I wanted to play a round of golf I wanted to say no, but he said that he had a new med-tech device that would decompress the spine and help reduce my back pain. When I tried it on, much to my surprise it did and I felt the decompression effects for the whole day. And I only wore it for 20 minutes.

What surprised me is how simple the device was to operate and how much better I felt. I would highly recommend a ‘Lift’ to anyone with back pain. Simple back pain relief is a good thing for everyone.”

Dr. Richard F. Mestayer, Medical Doctor/Psychiatrist, Springfield, Louisiana

“The VerteCore Lift was introduced to me through a good friend, Stanley Cooper. He told me some very positive things about the med-tech spine decompression device and I became very interested in the product due to my own person experience with chronic back pain.

Unfortunately for me, I have had back surgery twice with the final one being a “Fusion.” So instead, I had several patients try it on at my office and it was very clear from their facial expressions that it was doing a good job at melting away their pain.

As an MD, I think that the VerteCore Lift would have been very helpful to me during the years prior to my surgery. The VerteCore Lift is not designed to help patients with fusions, but I wish that it had been available when I began having my back pain. I feel confident that if I had healed better from my earlier minor back injuries that I probably could have completely avoided undergoing back surgery altogether.

I would definitely recommend that all future patients try a VerteCore Lift before contemplating irreversible back surgery. You will be glad you did.”

If you would like to pre-order single units or purchase volume quantities before the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign begins, please fill out the contact form at http://vertecore.com or call Paul Leake direct at (601) 807-2148.

The company is currently recruiting sales people, resellers, distributors, and manufacturing representatives. The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is going to offer a 40% discount (save $240) on both the clinical and consumer models on the first 500 units to be pre-sold. About 200 orders have already been placed.

Get in line now if you want the Early Bird Special

# # #

Amazon Demonstrates Its Business Expertise, Provides Superior Marketing and Distribution Services for Entrepreneurs and Startups

17 Nov

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Other Top Crowdfunding Sites Should Pay Attention and Start Providing a Deeper Portfolio of Marketing and Distribution Channel Services or Suffer the Consequences

By Robert Hoskins

Seattle, Washington – Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced Amazon Launchpad, a new program that makes it easy for startups to launch, market, and distribute their products to hundreds of millions of Amazon customers across the globe. The program offers a streamlined onboarding experience, custom product pages, a comprehensive marketing package, and access to Amazon’s global fulfillment network, all geared toward helping startups successfully launch their innovations and share their stories. With Amazon Launchpad, startups can overcome many of the challenges associated with launching new products by using Amazon’s retail expertise and infrastructure to create awareness and drive sales.

Amazon Launchpad for Entrepreneurs and Startups

Amazon Launchpad for Entrepreneurs and Startups

“As the pace of innovation continues to increase within the startup community, we want to help customers discover these unique products and learn the inspiration behind them. We also know from talking to startups that bringing a new product to market successfully can be just as challenging as building it,” said Jim Adkins, Vice President, Amazon. “Amazon Launchpad gives customers access to a dedicated storefront featuring a variety of innovative new products from emerging brands. For startups, we handle inventory management, order fulfillment, customer service, and more, allowing them to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more cool products.”

Amazon Launchpad offers participating startups:

  • Brand Development: Custom product pages help bring products to life through visually-compelling imagery and videos. Founders can tell their story and connect with customers in a personal way with Q&A about the startup. Products from these emerging brands are featured in the new Amazon Launchpad store, which is dedicated to showcasing startups and their innovations.
  • Customer Reach: Amazon’s most powerful marketing tools – including merchandised placements, personalized recommendations, and participation in the Amazon Vine customer reviews program – give products from startups added visibility. Startups also enjoy access to Amazon’s global fulfillment network, fast and free shipping with Amazon Prime, and customer service.
  • Global Expansion: When startups are ready to reach customers outside the U.S., Amazon Launchpad can help them expand globally with cost-effective supply chain solutions and marketing programs in more than 10 Amazon marketplaces around the world.

Amazon is working with more than 25 venture capital firms, startup accelerators, and crowd-funding platforms to bring startups into the Amazon Launchpad program. Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and Indiegogo are a few of the companies that have funded the more than 200 products currently available in the Amazon Launchpad store – which features everything from Electronics to Kitchen to Beauty items. Products from startups in the program include the Bluesmart Smart Carry-On Luggage, eero Home Wi-Fi System, Cuff DVB Smart Sport Band, Fenugreen FreshPaper Produce Saver SheetsElectric Objects EO1 Digital Art Panel, Soma Sustainable Pitcher & Plant-Based Water Filter, Thync Mood-Changing Wearable System, and Casper Mattress, among others.

Initial feedback from some of the companies in the Amazon Launchpad program includes:

  • “Launchpad makes Amazon an ideal partner for the most innovative young tech companies,” said Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “It’s yet another way Amazon fosters a real ecosystem of invention and creativity.”
  • “At Y Combinator, our support doesn’t end on Demo Day. With Amazon Launchpad, we are reinforcing our commitment to help bring physical products to a wide audience,” said Luke Iseman, Partner, Y Combinator. “This program will help our hardware startups get in front of more users than ever before.”
  • “Indiegogo empowers campaigners to turn ideas into reality through customer engagement and funding mechanisms. By partnering with Amazon Launchpad, Indiegogo entrepreneurs gain instant access to Amazon’s powerful distribution capabilities and massive audience,” said Slava Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO, Indiegogo. “I’m excited to see how this unique partnership enables startups to accelerate their growth and share their innovative products with the world.”
  • “Amazon recognizes the increasing importance of fast and reliable home Wi-Fi as consumers stream more video and music than ever before and connected devices go mainstream,” said Nick Weaver, Co-Founder and CEO, eero. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner and are honored to be one of the emerging companies in the Amazon Launchpad program. We’re excited to showcase our product on the world’s largest discovery platform.”
  • “Amazon Launchpad is the perfect home for our smart jewelry. This innovative way to shop lets us tell consumers the story and philosophy behind Cuff, and hopefully makes them fall in love with our product,” said Deepa Sood, Founder and CEO, Cuff. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this initiative.”
  • “I am an accidental entrepreneur – I never dreamed that FreshPaper, which started as my middle school science project, would one day be in the hands of farmers and families across the globe. But my unlikely story is only possible because of visionary partners like Amazon who believe in our product’s potential to change the way the world eats,” said Kavita Shukla, Inventor and Founder, Fenugreen FreshPaper. “By throwing their considerable weight behind ideas like FreshPaper, Amazon is using its technology and reach to make innovation accessible to all.”
  • “The sheer scale that Amazon Launchpad offers a startup like Electric Objects is unparalleled,” said Jake Levine, Founder and CEO, Electric Objects. “Working closely with their team these last few months, I’ve been consistently impressed with the level of service and access that this program makes available. This partnership could be game-changing for our company, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to participate.”

# # #

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. 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.
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.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

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.

# # #

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.

 

###

Crowdfunding PR Rolls Out 2-Month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program to Help Startups Learn How to Launch More Successful Equity & Rewards Crowdfunding Campaigns

29 Oct

The Crowdfunding Prep Work Program Helps Clients Amass a Large Crowd of Followers on Social Media and Utilizes PR to Generate Hundreds of Articles on Leading Edge News Outlets and Blogs

By Robert Hoskins

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

Tips on How to Plan a Successful Title III Equity-based Crowdfunding Campaign Using Cost-Effective PR/Marketing Campaigns

Learn How to Plan a Successful Title III Equity-based Crowdfunding Campaign Using Cost-Effective PR, Marketing and Social Media Campaigns

Crowdfunding Social Media Campaigns

One of the biggest challenges that most crowdfunding campaigns face are weak social media credentials and the lack of a large group of social media followers that are needed to support crowdfunding campaigns with donations and/or investments. Building strong, professional Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and amassing the largest possible group of followers on social media networks is crucial to conducting a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunding PR 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 press releases will continue to drive new investors, potential customers and sales/distribution partners to the business long after the crowdfunding campaign ends.

“What many entrepreneurs and startups need to recognize is how important social media is in the world of crowdfunding,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Crowdfunding Campaigns. “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 on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to check out their credentials. 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 skill set to deliver on their crowdfunding campaign’s promises.”

“Next, 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 the GoFundMe.com, Indiegogo.com,Kickstarter.com or Title III equity crowdfunding campaign goes live.”

Crowdfunding PR Campaign Consulting

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 or fill out the contact form at: https://crowdfundingpr.wordpress.com/about-crowdfunding-pr-campaigns/ to setup a telephone consultation appointment.

# # #

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. 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.
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.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

Brown Lane Studio Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign on CrowdBoarders.com, One of the World’s First Social Investing Networks

18 Sep

The venture capital  raised will be used to carry out the company’s growing expansion plans to meet the rising demands for the firm’s creative services

By Robert Hoskins

Dallas, Texas – CrowdBoarders announced that Brown Lane Studios has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign to sell five-percent of its equity shares to raise $300,00 to fund future expansion.  J. Michael Brown is the sole owner of the futuristic studio that offers the Dallas creative community an exciting eco-system of private studios, commercial studios, media services and events of all kinds social networking mixers and parties “under one roof.”  The company has seen rapid growth over the past two years.

Brown Lane Studios has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign to sell five-percent of its equity shares to raise $300,00 to fund future expansion

Brown Lane Studios has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign to sell five-percent of its equity shares to raise $300,00 to fund future expansion

The equity crowdfunding offering consists of nine different levels of public investment ranging from $20-$5,000. The venture capital  raised will be used to carry out the company’s continuing expansion plans to meet the rising demands for the firm’s creative services.

Please visit https://crowdboarders.com/brown-lane-studios to view the equity crowdfunding campaign’s financial details.

Similar to rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns, early J. Michael Brown investors will receive complimentary studios services dependent on their investment level in addition to their equity shares.

CrowdBoarders.com is a next-generation social investing network which connects investors with a stream of crowdfunding investment opportunities that are now open to accredited investors and more than 20 million non-accredited investors who reside in Texas.

The Brown Lane Studios is located at 1499 Regal Row, Suite 505 Dallas, TX 75204-2431.  Investors are invited to visit the studio for a free tour. Please call (214) 771-7395 for more information.

# # #

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. 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.
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.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

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.

# # #

%d bloggers like this: