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NowStreet Brings Wall Street Closer to Crowdfunding and P2P-Lending through Free May Crowdfunding Webinars

16 May

Free Crowdfunding webinars to ensure that broker-dealers, investment bankers, financial advisors, issuers and investors of all sizes capitalize on imminent Wall Street transformation.

By Robert Hoskins

NowStreet Media announced its “Capitalizing on Financial Innovation” webinar series, aimed at helping broker-dealers, investment bankers, financial advisors, issuers and investors of all sizes succeed in a financial industry that is in the midst of extraordinary change.

NowStreet Crowdfunding Webinars

NowStreet Crowdfunding Webinars

“As the popularity for neoteric crowd-financing methods such as P2P lending and crowdfunding continues to mount, we are witnessing the rapid disintermediation of Wall Street. As a result, traditional banking and brokerage revenue models are becoming obsolete, conventional capital raising techniques are no longer viable, and investor demand for alternative assets is escalating. The objective of our webinar channel is to ensure that both the financial community as well as the investing public are properly prepared to capitalize on the imminent market transformation,” stated Dara Albright, NowStreet’s CEO.

NowStreet’s ground-breaking webinar channel features trendsetting discussions and indispensable insight from the very individuals who are shaping tomorrow’s capital markets. As part of an educational outreach program, the webinars are free to all participants.

May 16, 2013, 1pm EST

Pre-JOBS Act Crowdfunding – The Intrastate Exemption
Learn how intrastate crowdfunding is on the verge of setting the national crowdfunding precedent, uniting communities and inspiring local economic growth. Presented by Douglas S. Ellenoff, Partner at Ellenoff, Grossman & Schole; *Richard J. Salute, CPA, Consultant with extensive expertise in capital markets and securities regulations; Jeff Bekiares and Megan Johnson, Co-Founders of SparkMarket, the nation’s first bonafide crowdfunding portal allowing unaccredited investors to legally crowdfund via intrastate exemption.

May 30, 2013, 1pm EST

An Inside Look at the Explosive Growth of P2P & Online Lending
Recognized P2P thought leader, Peter Renton, Founder of Lend Academy & author of The Lending Club Story, will discuss the rapid growth of P2P & Online Lending as well as the economic implications of Google’s recent investments into Lending Club & On Deck Capital. He will also show participants how to maximize P2P returns and capitalize on the proliferation of the industry.

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Top 10 Tips for Selecting Crowdfunding PR Firm for Promoting/Marketing a Crowdfunding Campaign

4 May

Hiring an Experienced PR Firm with Strong Media Relations Experience and a Strong Database of Developed Crowdfunding Media Contacts Can Make or Break a Serious Crowdfunding Campaign Drive

Robert Hoskins, Director, Crowdfunding PR/Media Relations

Robert Hoskins, Director, Crowdfunding PR/Media Relations

By Robert Hoskins, Front Page PR

Follow these simple tips to find the best Crowdfunding PR firm to help launch a successful Crowdfunding PR campaign for fundraising platforms, portals, websites and individual Crowdfunding campaigns:

  1. Check to see how many years the PR firm has been in business and examine what industries they have served
  2. Review their Crowdfunding activity on popular social media sites such as Linkedin.com, Twitter.com, etc. to see how knowledgeable they are on popular Crowdfunding news trends in the media
  3. Make sure they include a wide variety of written press materials in their monthly retainer, such as a Crowdfunding campaign profile, at least four press releases for a 30-day campaign, a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) sheet, a short white paper, online press room, and media training/message maps for executive interviews, etc.
  4. Make sure that you will be working with a media relations expert that has at least 10+ years of media relations experience. The more media relations experience the better your publicity results will be.
  5. Beware of PR firms that recommend signing up for expensive online tutorials, which then later pressures clients to buy more expensive PR services when they realize that they simply do not have enough time, experience or media skills to pitch stories to reporters successfully
  6. Beware of PR firms that want to use free or cheap news wire distribution services.  Always use a premium news wire service such as Businesswire.com, Marketwire.com, PRNewswire.com or PRweb.com.
  7. Make sure the PR firm adheres a strict no conflict of interest policy meaning they do not represent two companies or Crowdfunding campaigns that would be considered competitors at the same time.
  8.  Ask for a PR publicity guarantee and a clip report that shows clients all the news stories that their Crowdfunding PR campaign generated
  9. Ask the PR firm what other types of value-added marketing services are available such as press conferences, community outreach, email marketing, Google advertising/analytics, building fundraising donor databases, data mining, trade show speaker placement, product launches and perks fulfillment.
  10.  Last, but not least, make sure the PR firm is thinking long term with initial Crowdfunding PR campaign. This means they need to completely understand building brand share awareness as well as business distribution channels for your products and services.

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Click here to setup a conference call to learn more about launching a Crowdfunding Campaign!

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

16 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have Crowdfunding News?

Select one of the following categories and post your press release: Business CitiesCommunitiesCrowdfunding PlatformsEducationFilmMusicEntertainmentGamesVideosSocial GoodSolarRenewable Energy and SoftwareHardware, and Technology Gadgets.   Don’t see your category listed? Tell us to add it and we will.

Five Tips on How to Get Great Publicity for Crowdfunding PR Campaigns in Media Outlets Everywhere

16 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

Looking for a cost-effective way to get some positive publicity for your Crowdfunding Platform or Crowdfunding PR campaign to reach potential donors/investors?

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

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

Follow these simple directions:

  1. Hire a Crowdfunding PR firm to help you write a search engine optimized press release
  2. Release the news via a professional, paid newswire service (free news wires are ignored by reporters)
  3. The same Crowdfunding PR firm should also conduct a media relations campaign to contact all reporters that cover your Crowdfunding subject matter
  4. Post the news wire URL link from your press release into one of the following vertical business Crowdfunding PR categories so donors, investors and members of the press can find it
  5. Make sure to include a picture of the product, an executive headshot or your company’s logo. Stories with a picture/logo/infographic are picked up 50% more by the press.

Select one of the following categories and post your press release: Business CitiesCommunitiesCrowdfunding PlatformsEducationFilmMusicEntertainmentGamesVideosSocial GoodSolarRenewable Energy and SoftwareHardware, and Technology Gadgets.   Don’t see your category listed? Tell us to add it and we will.

Both Crowdfunding platform owners and Crowdfunding campaign managers and PR staff can post their news and press releases into these free discussion forums to promote maximum social media exposure.  Don’t forget to include hashtags (#), which Linkedin.com is now linking to people and companies with Linkedin.com profiles.

Crowdfunding reporters scan news these Crowdfunding PR campaign categories on daily basis looking for new and exciting Crowdfunding news stories to cover.  The same is true for donors and investors that are looking for cool new Crowdfunding campaigns to invest.  Post it for free so anyone and everyone on LinkedIn.com can find it.

To learn more about the Crowdfunding industry and startup local Crowdfunding community outreach programs, please join our free American Crowdfunding Center on LinkedIn.com or Meetup.com and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Become a Crowdfunding Advocate by starting up a Crowdfunding Meetup in your city or town and promote Crowdfunding as a social and economic development finance tool.

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Please click here to help us Crowdfund this website continued editorial development.

Please click here to help us Crowdfund this website’s editorial development

Lend Academy and NowStreet Media to Host LendIt Peer-to-Peer Lending Conference in New York

7 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

Lend Academy, the preeminent resource for the P2P lending industry, and NowStreet Media, producer of acclaimed financial events that highlight Wall Street transformations, are pleased to announce LendIt, the first global conference for the burgeoning P2P and online lending industry. Peer-to-Peer and online lending (collectively, “online lending”) is a relatively new asset class that is rapidly revolutionizing the credit markets and transforming the global banking industry.

Industry Influencers Introduce LendIt, the Inaugural Peer-to-Peer (P2P) & Online Lending Conference

Industry Influencers Introduce LendIt, the Inaugural Peer-to-Peer (P2P) & Online Lending Conference

Online lending seeks to exploit the structural mispricing and funding inefficiencies in the traditional banking sector. Through the use of technology, online lenders are able to compress the cost of originating, servicing, and funding traditional loans. As a result, borrowers receive a lower interest rate while lenders receive a very attractive rate of return. Online lending marketplaces have emerged globally for personal loans, student loans and small business loans. With interest rates at all-time lows and big banks hording cash, online lending marketplaces have tapped into a variety of investor sources ranging from large pension funds all the way down to self-directed individual investors.

LendIt is being held at the prestigious Convene Innovation Center in Manhattan on Thursday, June 20, 2013. The day will bring together the industry’s most influential leaders including: Renaud Laplanche, Lending Club‘s CEO, the largest peer-to-peer lending company as well as Ron Suber, Head of Global Institutional Sales for Prosper Marketplace, the nation’s second largest. Combined, these companies have already originated more than $2 billion in loans.

In addition to a powerful lineup of keynote presentations, interactive panels discussions and extensive networking, the event will feature the world’s first exhibit of peer-to-peer and peer-to-business lending portals.

Attendees will include institutional investors, private wealth managers, family offices and individual investors. Admission tickets can be obtained directly at http://lendit2013.eventbrite.com/. Complimentary press passes will be provided to pre-approved journalists and editorial staff.

Peter Rention,  Lend Academy’s CEO said, “There has never been a more opportune time to launch the LendIt Conference. The recent rapid growth of online lending has captured the attention of large and small investors alike. We look forward to introducing the investing community to the leading online lending platforms, the providers serving the sector as well as the Wall Street firms that are providing innovative financing structures and capital to this new asset class.”

“It is an enormous privilege to be working with Peter whose work is so highly regarded within the P2P industry. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to, once again, break new ground in the Wall Street convention space with the launch of another cutting-edge industry conference,” stated Dara Albright, NowStreet’s CEO.

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

5 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA) to Host 2nd Annual Crowdfund Investing Innovation Forum in August

4 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

The Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA) will host its 2nd Annual Crowdfund Investing Innovation Forum on August 8-9, 2013 in Orlando, FL. The forum has established itself as the must-attend conference for leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers who are committed to fostering capital formation and job creation.

Crowdfunding Professional Association Hosts Key Industry Event

Crowdfunding Professional Association Hosts Crowdfunding trade show in Florida

Luan Cox, CfPA Governing Board Member and Founder of Crowdnetic, states, “Our vision is simple, yet ambitious—we want to educate the crowd on how to raise capital, spurring job growth for startup and emerging companies. We are dedicated to redefining success for businesses and the economy through facilitating a vibrant, credible and growing crowdfunding community globally.”

Presented by the association of crowdfunding pioneers that helped write the JOBS Act, expert financial services professionals, and innovative services providers, current issues will be addressed through intimate discussions and breakout sessions.

The CfPA is the industry’s pioneering, nonprofit trade organization established by the thought leaders who founded the crowdfund investing movement in the United States, those who wrote the framework for President Obama’s Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act (JOBS Act) and the dedicated individuals who lobbied for its passage, which was signed into law on April 5th, 2012.

The Forum, sponsored by CrowdClear and Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, will address key topics through a unique and interactive format, including crowd investing and Wall Street, the legal and regulatory environment and the crowdfunding ecosystem and innovative technologies.

CfPA’s 2nd Annual Crowdfund Investing Innovation Forum will spark change, challenge and debate conventional thinking and unleash new perspectives in the pursuit of real solutions.

2nd Annual Crowdfund Investing Innovation Forum
Location: Caribe Royale Orlando, Orlando, Florida
Date: August 8 – 9, 2013
Price: $395 – Early Bird Special for the first 200 attendees, $489 – Post Early Bird

The Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA) is dedicated to facilitating a vibrant, credible and growing Crowdfunding community while advocating for an industry view versus a single company perspective. Uniting a broad-based coalition of industry participants, the association is committed to ensuring the credible development of the industry, including a commitment to the highest ethical standards.

National Radio Talk Show Invites Crowdfunding Pitches for the “Good Day Crowdfunding Show”

27 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

The Good Day Crowdfunding Show brings the buzz of a broadcast radio reality series and pits crowdfunders in a contest judged by crowdfunding industry thought leaders.  Entrepreneurs and businesses interested in raising capital, social lending and fundraising websites for their products, charity projects and creative ideas are invited to “pitch the experts” on the first crowdfunding radio reality series.

Doug Stephan's Good Day Crowdfunding Radio Talk Show

Doug Stephan’s Good Day Crowdfunding Radio Talk Show

Good Day Crowdfunding has launched its own pre-launch to build community where crowdfunders can engage. Inside the community is a unique incubator project, Startup America Crowdfundingwhere participants are guided from start to finish through successful money-raising campaigns.

As part of the project, creators of the best ideas will get a shot on the Good Day Crowdfunding Show, to pitch their idea to millions in a fast-paced reality format. The incentive is simple: The better the idea, the more promotion and airtime to over 3MM daily listeners across the U.S. and online.

Doug Stephan ‘s Good Day Show shifts into high gear in its 25th year of production, now adding the crowdfunding segment. Mike Hayes , current host of StartUp America News and an expert in entrepreneurship, working with thousands of entrepreneurs, has created the crowdfunding incubator and will serve as co-host. Hayes has more than 25 years in the media marketing industry.

“This new reality-based radio program,” says Mike Hayes , “is the American Idol of Crowdfunding. Our intention is to help boost the impact of crowdfunding on America’s economy by creating and supporting crowdfunding success stories across any available platform. We want to enable anyone, anywhere to follow, and fund their dream projects.”

Doug Stephan shares, “The Good Day Crowdfunding team is led by broadcaster Mike Hayes and a great team of hand-picked crowdfunding experts. The fusion of radio and an online community with crowdfunding, is an exciting vehicle, both for entrepreneurs launching new ideas, as well as listeners who are likely supporters. I can’t wait to kick off Good Day Crowdfunding on the air for an entertaining and informative way to cover the best and most important stories about crowdfunding each day.”

Additional team members include:

  • PR expert Ronjini Mukopadhyay, who has been central to several highly successful crowdfunding campaigns including StickNFind.
  • Entrepreneur Danny Kastner , who was a contestant on The Apprentice and has developed Crowdjammer, a crowdfunding community solution designed to drive campaign backers to any crowdfunding project
  • Social Impact Marketer Robin Eschler, host of Socially Conscious Investing online radio and pro in social lending, impact investing and online marketing.

Crowdfunding projects recently gained attention with the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act signed by President Obama with bipartisan support on April 5, 2012. Hundreds of crowdfunding websites have appeared since then and, according to Forbes growing from $1.5 billion to $3 billion in 2013, supporting businesses, growing companies and nonprofit causes. Crowdfunding has focused on bringing together volumes of people to contribute to projects, causes and even personal needs.

iCrowd Launches the Industry’s Most Sophisticated Equity Crowdfunding Portal to Date

24 Feb

By Robert Hoskins

In a growing a landscape of Crowdfunding Universities with no actual classes and Global Crowdfunding Education Networks with zero content or even a place to signup, the new iCrowd Equity Crowdfunding portal is the real deal and it is a must-see website for everyone in the Crowdfunding industry.

Most Crowdfunding sites will tell you that their lack of content, business partner programs, and other Crowdfunding services is due to the fact that the SEC has not yet issued Title II and Title III guidelines. What they do not want to tell you is that they actually have very little business experience and have never been involved with running a functioning industry portal in any industry.

The exception to the rule is the iCrowd Crowdfunding portal, which is live now and has risen quickly to the top of the Equity Crowdfunding industry pyramid. Unlike the competition, the iCrowd site offers richly interactive web-based community based on web 3.0 technology.  Primarily supported by user-generated content, iCrowd promotes socially enriched exchanges that foster a shared passion for Crowdfunding inspired ideas to empower entrepreneurs with the information, insight, and motivation necessary to translate these concepts into tangible business success.

iCrowd is led by John Callaghan, a former Wall Street portfolio manager, security analyst, and expert in small capitalization businesses, and Brad McGee, who served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Tyco International Ltd. and Chief Administrative Officer of the CIT Group.

“Working as an analyst and a small-cap growth portfolio manager, I saw the parallel frustrations of small business owners who were unable to raise capital and investors who were unable to buy into early-stage companies,” Callaghan said. “The internet has opened many opportunities for individuals to take charge of their investments. Investment crowdfunding will be the next step in that evolution.”

iCrowd intends to become a premier, registered equity funding portal once the final rules for Investment Crowdfunding under the JOBS Act are implemented.  At that time, iCrowd will enable entrepreneurs to engage with each other and with potential investors to fine-tune their business concept or growth idea and secure financing directly from these investors.  Investors become an integral part of the entrepreneur’s success through their advice, investment, and advocacy.

“Social interaction is the key to investment crowdfunding. Raising capital is critical to business success, but it is not sufficient. Development of interactive networks of supporters and potential partners along with access to sound business advice is crucial to transition entrepreneurs from people with ideas to people with successful businesses,” said Brad McGee. “iCrowd makes it possible for entrepreneurs to develop those partnerships.”

Small businesses can find communities of entrepreneurs, mentors, peers, and experts to begin gathering advice and support in preparation for launching a successful Equity Crowdfunding campaigns in the future. iCrowd offers small enterprises the opportunity to start building the right network of contacts and establishing the relationships that will be crucial to their success.

iCrowd is actively building a Partners Program to pursue creative ways to join forces with businesses and industry influencers through cross promotions, affiliate arrangements, sponsorships and custom strategic partnerships as well as an iCrowd Validated Experts Program, which is seeking experts to promote their capabilities and services to their iCrowd community.

Check out what the iCrowd Crowdfunding Portal Business Service Portfolio has to offer:

Expertise Profiles – iCrowd user profiles are designed provide an online supply chain so that investors, ancillary Crowdfunding service vendors and future Crowdfunding campaign managers (Crowdfunders) will have a place to shop for the Crowdfunding expertise they need to make smart investments and/or plan successful Crowdfunding campaigns.

Credibility Badges – To help users ascertain the credibility of any user’s profile, iCrowd uses a point system that allows the crowd to award or subtract points for both questions asked as well as answers given on the portal’s discussion boards, the advisory boards they sit on, the user groups they manage, etc.  The more points a user earns the higher they rise in the rankings, similar to the way fantasy football leagues award players points based on their performance during a game. As the Crowdfunding industry evolves using a sophisticated ranking system to rate users based on their investment interests, Crowdfunding expertise, and ancillary service backgrounds will make it very easy to search, find, validate and then build many value-added business connections.

iCrowd Academy – Not quite yet an academy with instructor lead classes, the iCrowd platform is still by far the most interactive education platform that we have seen to date in the Crowdfunding industry. If it is true Crowdfunding knowledge you seek, the iCrowd Academy is the only place on the internet where you can read up on important Crowdfunding subject matters for free. One feature that would be helpful in growing a professional iCrowd Academy would be a Crowdfunding library, where users could upload white papers, research reports, PowerPoint presentations and infographics for research purposes.

Ask the iCrowd – For inquiring minds that want to know more, the Ask the iCrowd chat rooms allow users to search for any Crowdfunding discussion topic by keyword, and then read through many associated threads that offer great pro and con viewpoints from fellow Crowdfunding members. This is where the Credibility Badges come in handy.  It is very easy for the iCrowd members to give an answer a thumps up (+5 points) or a thumbs down (-5 points). Based on a member’s total iCrowd score, it is easy to determine how credible their advice might be. It is important to note that the iCrowd chat rooms are the only place on the internet where you can get your Crowdfunding questions for free. As iCrowd members become more knowledgeable and their intelligence continues to increase, the iCrowd platform is positioned to become the number one Crowdfunding repository due to its sheer volume of free information.

Advisory Boards – This feature is a very well thought out section and probably will become one of the most important value-added benefits of doing business on the iCrowd platform.  As users explore the many areas of knowledge, they will begin to get a sense of who the real Crowdfunding experts are in the industry. The Advisory Board feature allows Crowdfunders to send invitations to members to ask them to join their Crowdfunding campaign’s advisory board.  An advisory board might include experts from the legal, financial, fundraising and marketing industries that specialize in Crowdfunding. This will be a great way help mentor entrepreneurs and guide them through the intricacies of starting up and operating a business via private networks with secluded discussion forums that will allow business-specific advice and very candid feedback.

iCrowd Groups – In the business world there are many vertical business segments, each with its own distribution channel of manufacturing companies, distributors, resellers, retail outlets and online eCommerce portals. The iCrowd Groups feature on the iCrowd platform allows members to build vertical business-to-business communities of like-minded investors, service providers and Crowdfunders around mutual business interests, which are designed to stimulate fruitful discussions among their members. Groups can be public, by invitation only, or completely private.

CircleUp Explored: Crowdfunding Insight from Co-Founder, Rory Eakin

6 Feb

by 

I had the pleasure to sit down with Rory Eakin, co-founder and COO of CircleUp. Rory gave a wealth of insight into the pioneering equity crowdfunding model him and his team have built to fund underserved companies in a targeted industry vertical (emerging growth consumer product and retail companies).  I’ve distilled and summarized key themes below for convenience, but the full interview offers far more depth. So make sure to carve out 20 minutes to give it a view.

Currently only open to accredited investors (as legislation permits), CircleUp is a front-runner in the investment crowdfunding space. It’s one of a handful of platforms “crowdfunding” (personally defining as executing transactions entirely online) from accredited investors today; to date eight companies have raised a total of ~$7.5 million on CircleUp’s platform.

I’ve paid acute attention to CircleUp because (i) it has traction, i.e. data exists, and (ii) i’m a big believer in the merit its crowdfunding model is proving out. Broadly, it couples domain expertise and curated partnerships with technology to efficiently and transparently deliver high-quality, shepherded deal-flow to investors. It’s a model championed by many other platforms—e.g. RealtyMogul and Fundrise attacking real estate—and I have no doubt it will be applied to nearly many other industry verticals in time. It just makes tremendous sense; on so many levels.

Read more…

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