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Crowdfunding PR Offers Startups New Service to Build Investor Databases for Title III and Title IV Reg. A+ Mini IPO Crowdfunding Campaigns to Target Precise Lists of Angel, Venture Capital and Private Equity Investors

3 Oct

Investor relations teams can now search through over 175,000 angel, equity and venture capital investors, analyze 575,000 of their prior investments and then target a very precise list of potential investors

By Robert Hoskins

Crowdfunding PR Shows Startups How to Build Investor Databases for Title III and Title IV, Reg. A+ Crowdfunding Campaigns to Target Precise Lists of Angel, Private Equity and VC Investors

Crowdfunding PR Shows Startups How to Build Investor Databases for Title III and Title IV, Reg. A+ Crowdfunding Campaigns to Target Precise Lists of Angel, Private Equity and VC Investors

New York City, New York – Crowdfunding PR’s new investor marketing database service allows equity crowdfunding campaign managers to drill down inside private equity and venture capital firms to find highly-qualified principals, partners, portfolio managers and family offices with the highest propensity to invest in their type of product/service and do sorts by vertical business segments, by geographical locations and by types of deals such as seed capital, private equity, series A/B, late-stage funding rounds and many, many other searchable financial database sorting characteristics, variables and demographics.

“The greatest challenge for startups, entrepreneurs and growing small businesses is finding potential angel investors, private equity investors and/or building out their own private investment syndicate of investors with a high propensity to invest in similar types deals as the one they want to pitch to investors,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Investor Relations. “The same need is present for the hundreds of new equity crowdfunding platforms that have launched new equity crowdfunding platforms in the past twelve months. Crowdfunding PR can utilize the investor database to market any deal on any equity crowdfunding platform to a very wide, but yet very precise and carefully selected list of angel, private equity and VC investors.”

The new investor database provides private investment information on the end-to-end fundraising process. From initial exits to fund returns, it offers the best information available for the complete lifecycle of private investing. This includes Limited Partner (LP) commitments, fundraising, remaining dry powder in funds, deals, company evaluations and fund performance as well as the service providers, executives, and lead partners behind the deals.

The private investor database provides clients with access to stats to build pitch books, contacts to setup road tours, run private and public comps, source co-investors, model cash flows, conduct competitive analysis, follow the entire venture capital (VC) marketplace, build and expand investor networks, target deal makers and identify private equity (PE) and VC firms actively doing deals. The quality of work that can be turned around on a compressed timeline is nothing short of amazing and will be 10 times more efficient and 3 times to 5 times more accurate than other types of private investment information that can be found online via Google and LinkedIn.

If your startup or existing business needs help building and an investor database, creating an effective pitch deck, building a direct email marketing program and/or scheduling an investor “dog and pony” roadshow, please call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622 or contact him via @Crowdfunding_PR on Twitter.

Crowdfunding PR’s
Investor Marketing Database

Access a Huge Database of Potential Investors

  • Angels
  • VCs
  • Portfolio Managers
  • Lead Partners
  • Deal Details
  • Partners

Drill Down to Develop Precise Investor Targets

  • Deal experience
  • Board seats
  • Biography
  • Education
  • LinkedIn profiles
  • LinkedIn connections
  • Phone and email contact information

Analyze Investor’s Past/Current Deals

  • Angel & seed
  • Venture
  • Buyouts
  • Secondary transactions
  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Debt financings
  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)
  • Valuations, terms & multiples
  • Cap tables
  • Participants
  • Deal history
  • Exits & IPOs

Perform Competitive Analysis of Funded Companies/Deal Structures

  • Startup and angel-backed companies
  • Venture capital-backed companies
  • Private equity-backed companies
  • Mature private companies
  • Public companies
  • Strategic acquirers
  • Key private company financials
  • Full public company fundamentals

Gather In-depth Competitor News & Big Data Analytics

  • News stories
  • Quarterly reports
  • Data visualization
  • Custom analytics

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults on a regular basis 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.
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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

# # #

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform iAngels.co Raises $2.25 Million Seed Round from Accredited Investors Who Want to Invest Alongside the Experts

30 Mar

iAngels became the 15th company to successfully raise funds through the iAngels equity crowdfunding site, raising $1.25 million from some of Israel’s most successful super angel investors

By Robert Hoskins

Tel Aviv, Israel iAngels is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that enables private investors to co-invest with Startup Nation’s leading angels and gain access to exclusive early-stage opportunities. The iAngels site recently announced that it has raised a $2.25 million Seed Round led by Roman Abramovich’s fund, Millhouse Capital.

iAngels is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that enables private investors to coinvest with Startup Nation's leading angels and gain access to exclusive early-stage opportunities

iAngels is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that enables private investors to co-invest with Startup Nation’s leading angels and gain access to exclusive early-stage opportunities

iAngels became the 15th company to successfully raise funds through the iAngels online platform, raising $1.25 million from some of Israel’s most successful angels, and an additional $1 million from its global community of investors within two days.

“We are very confident in the elite angels we’ve identified and their ability to spot the winners,” said Shelly Hod Moyal, Founding Partner at iAngels. “In fact, we’ve structured our business model to take the same risk that investors take when they invest in Israeli startups through the iAngels platform.”

“With iAngels, gone are the days when the crowdfunding platform could make money without the angels themselves succeeding,” added Mor Assia, Founding Partner at iAngels. “High-Net-Worth Individuals are choosing to co-invest with leading Israeli angels through the iAngels platform because they appreciate our unique ability to find and engage Israel’s top performing angels and analyze their investment opportunities to make sound recommendations to our angel community.”

Israel’s elite angels and Roman Abramovich’s fund, Millhouse Capital, subscribe to Assia and Hod Moyal’s rationale. Angel Investors who participated in the Seed Round led by Millhouse Capital include Marc Lasry, Boaz Weinstein, Alex Waislitz, Drew Schaefer, Gigi Levy, David Assia, Daniel Recanati, Yanki Margalit and Marcy Simon.

“iAngels provides unparalleled access to Israel’s best deal flow,” noted Gigi Levy Weiss, iAngels Advisor and one of Israel’s most successful angel investors. “The company’s unique model of investing alongside Israel’s top angels guarantees the quality of the selected companies and helps accredited investors worldwide beat the odds and make money from this coveted asset class.”

The year-old iAngels has already connected its investor community to a robust pipeline of high potential Israeli companies. In 2014, 15 Israeli companies successfully raised capital through the platform, led by the conviction of Israel’s top Angel investors and validated by the wisdom of the iAngels crowd. The iAngels investment portfolio includes promising companies such as TravelersBox, Hello Doctor, Webyclip, NanorepDrippler and Biscience.

“We cherry pick only the most promising Israeli startups, selecting only 5% of the investment opportunities we evaluate, said Assia. “Private investors around the world benefit from the due diligence performed by both iAngels and Israel’s top performing angel investors. We expect significant growth in 2015.”

iAngels is an angel investing equity crowdfunding platform that provides accredited investors around the world access to exclusive deals backed by Israel’s top performing early-stage investors under the terms they negotiated.

iAngels founders Mor Assia and Shelly Hod Moyal leverage analytics, visibility and relationships with angels and entrepreneurs to open a closed network of professional investors to the investing public.

By combining the proven experience of professional angel investors with due diligence and analysis, iAngels offers investors the most attractive early-stage investment opportunities in “Startup Nation.” 

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Why Every University and College Should Develop a Rewards-based or Equity-Based Crowdfunding Ecosystem

18 Mar

Crowdfunding platforms can be used to support research & development, transfer technology, protect IP, build co-working spaces and finance incubators and accelerators to launch new startups

 By Robert Hoskins

 Austin, Texas – The purpose of this equity crowdfunding article is to encourage universities and colleges to begin thinking about how schools and students might benefit from:

The Need to Build a Crowdfunding Ecosystem

There is a new generation of “Millennials” that do not want to go to college due to the poor economy and because they do not want to start their life as young adults by incurring $50,000 or more in college loan debt. And there is a growing concern for many students that there may not be a job waiting for them when they finally graduate. 

Read more:  What is Crowdfunding?

But what if there was a way to attract more students by convincing them that they could work their way through college by researching, planning and then launching their own business while earning their college degree? This would allow some certainty about their career path and teach students how to put a lot more money in their pockets than working for a large corporation that will stick them in a cubicle for the rest of their life.

Entrepreneurship Centers

For this reason, “Entrepreneurship Centers” are becoming a huge draw for students who do not want to work for a living, but instead want to live for working. That means learning how to build new startups from the ground up.  Entrepreneurship Centers usually start with a co-working space, then adds a business incubator with mentors to guide students through the startup process and when budget permits, accelerators are created to help students raise money from angel investors, accredited investors and sometimes venture capitalists.

Co-Working Spaces for Startup Companies

The biggest challenge for incubators and accelerators are the costs associated with building a 25,000 sq. ft. co-working space, paying mentors salaries and finding experienced executives with great track records that are willing to share their wisdom and industry experience with students. There is also resistance from departing from the “old school” way of transferring technology from a university Research & Development laboratory, protecting the intellectual property and then utilizing a licensing or royalty revenue model to realize short-term deals to provide a revenue for the college or university. 

JOBS Act: Nationwide Equity Crowdfunding

Enter the 2012 JOBS Act, General Solicitation and a new Equity Crowdfunding alternative financing tool that can help startups raise seed investment capital to startup new businesses. While the SEC and NASAA seems hell bent on preventing the national guidelines from ever being released (they are three years past the official deadline mandated by President and the United States Congress), approximately 14 states such as Texas, Michigan, and Georgia have passed their own Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions. Add to that another 15 states have a Crowdfunding Exemption in progress.

Map of U.S. States that approved Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions

Map of United States that have approved Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions

Source: CrowdfundingLegalHub.com

Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemption

In states where intrastate equity crowdfunding is legal, any trade school, college or university can build an equity crowdfunding platform and use it to begin fundraising campaigns to raise money, not only from Angel Investors and Accredited Investors, but also from the general public who are non-accredited investors.

Read more: What is an Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemption?

This means anyone can take a brilliant idea, create a business plan and investor deck to support the business case, build an online equity crowdfunding profile and then use marketing campaigns to advertise the deal to millions of potential investors. Like any e-commerce site, Investors can then visit the equity crowdfunding sites to shop for deals by minimum investment amount, by products or services or by vertical business segment to find deals they want to invest in.

This means that a college or university can build an equity crowdfunding site and use it to raise money for every one of its R&D programs and streamline the entire technology transfer process so that promising technology can be transformed into startups businesses. The school collects a certain percentage from each crowdfunding campaign called a platform commission fee. For a $1 million raise and 10% platform commission fee, a college could collect a $100,000 fee from each campaign. This money could be used to fund co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators and Entrepreneurship Centers.

Creating Equity Crowdfunding Investment Syndicates

By the SEC’s securities law, a crowdfunding platform’s management team or employees cannot invest in equity campaign hosted on its own site unless they are registered broker dealer with the SEC. But a popular trend that is growing is building a college or university equity crowdfunding investment syndicate. An investment syndicate is usually led by one or more Super Angel Investors, who are seasoned veterans that have been investing in startups for 20 to 30 years and completely understanding the process of vetting deals with due diligence and understand the real risks of investing in startup companies.

Novice accredited investors with little investment experience join the investment syndicate so that they can follow or invest along side the Super Angel Investors. In addition, where it is legal, investment syndicates will pool a large pool of non-accredited investors together, who make small investments, into a single LLC and then invest the group’s money similar to how a venture capitalist invests money on the behalf of others.

Adopting an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem

For colleges and universities that adopt an equity crowdfunding business model might, it might completely change the way a school recruits, raises money, builds relationships with alumni and earns revenue by seeking long-term equity stakes in their students startups versus short-term licensing and royalty agreements.

Read More:  Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites in the United States

Launching an equity crowdfunding platform would not just increase a school’s earning potential, but they might dramatically change the manner in which that Millennials are taught. Instead of just course work, students would be taught at an early age to begin to engage with the world around them and plot a course for their own future destiny rather than relying on fate. Some Millennials might reject the idea of going to college, but the lure of becoming a successful entrepreneur and launching their own business while earning a college education has the potential to create one of the most vibrant and thriving economies the world has ever seen.

Even students that do not start up their own companies have an outstanding chance to benefit from the equity crowdfunding business model. All students seek a way to get some type of real world work experience usually by working as free or highly underpaid interns. Imagine the learning benefits that student would receive when applying their desired major’s education such as business administration, finance, legal or marketing to the intense equity crowdfunding process of launching a startup company.

Instead of adding a bullet point for working a menial job as a small cog in the corporate machine as an intern, students just might be fortunate enough to work on several successful crowdfunding campaigns that would highlight their professional expertise such as business planning, structuring equity finance deals marketing, PR, video production, and/or copy writing. And if the sweat equity pays off in equity crowdfunding shares, they might become extremely wealthy when that startup goes public a couple of years after they graduate. This is how many, many Silicon Valley millionaires got their start. They just did not have a term for the process, which is now branded as equity crowdfunding today.

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Need help setting up a college/university crowdfunding sites?

Please fill out this form to get started:

Understanding the Best Type of Crowdfunding Site to Support a College or University Campus

16 Mar

What’s the Best Type of Crowdfunding Platform to Serve a College or University Entrepreneurship Center, Co-Working Space, Incubator or Accelerator Program?

By Robert Hoskins

Understanding the Crowdfunding Funding Process

The first step in building a crowdfunding business model is to understand the various forms of crowdfunding and at what step of the business creation process each should be used.

This crowdfunding infographic is a good representation on each step of the business creation process from the business idea, generating revenue, validating marketplace demand, expanding operations and maturing into a fortune 500 company.  It also shows what type of crowdfunding is usually best to fund startups and each step of the business’ evolution.

The Crowdfunding Escalator by CrowdSuite  Shows the  Different Types of Crowdfunding

The Crowdfunding Escalator by Crowdfund Suite Shows the Different Types of Crowdfunding

Source: CrowdfundSuite.com


Donation-based Crowdfunding
– At kitchen tables, dinner parties, happy hours and dorm rooms around the world many brilliant ideas are born and discussed for the very first time. Once an idea has been pitched and vetted among friends and family and it begins to gain momentum toward the first step of crowdfunding, Donation-based Crowdfunding, which is used to scrape enough money together to begin building a business plan to figure out how much it will cost to bring a business idea to fruition and/or develop at one or more prototypes. Donation crowdfunding sites make it easy to collect money for new creative ideas as well as expand the crowdfunding campaign’s reach from just family and friends to a global audience of potential supporters.

Most donation-based crowdfunding sites are usually built to provide fundraising activities for campaigns that do not offer any rewards or perks.  They are also used to support non-profit causes.  Donations to 501(3)(c) are tax deductible and can be written off at the end of the year.  

Most universities will only build donation-based crowdfunding sites that can be used by students and faculty to collect money by students and faculty for a wide variety of projects including college educations, scholarships, research and development, campus improvements and all kinds of not-for-profit endeavors. Crowdfunding can be used for very small fundraising efforts to raising millions of dollars from alumni, foundations, institutional investors and corporate sponsors.

Donation-based crowdfunding sites will make it easy for anyone to search for, discover, research and fund their favorite pet projects on their alma mater’s campus.

Rewards-based Crowdfunding – Surprisingly enough 90% of people in the world still are not familiar with the term crowdfunding. Mention Kickstarter or IndieGoGo and most people do recognize the brand name and know its purpose and have heard of popular crowdfunding campaigns such as Oculus, Star Citizen, Coolest Cooler and the return of the Pebble Time SmartWatch.

Rewards-based campaigns are used to take ideas, concepts and prototypes to the next level. They are used in a similar fashion to how typical marketing campaigns are used to support product/service launches and rollouts with an added twist.

People with ideas build a crowdfunding profile, shoot a crowdfunding pitch video and build a list of up to 20 perks or rewards that are pre-sold to raise enough money to develop a prototype or pay for the very first manufacturing production run.  Not only do rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns validate industry demand, but they allow businesses to test market various product versions, colors and price points to gauge public interest. More importantly, they help startups generate their first revenue by pre-selling their products and services in order to raise enough money to get the business started. Gaining this type of market traction is very important to angel investors because it shows that there is an audience of people who are willing to pay for the company’s products and services. 

The best way for universities and colleges to cut their teeth on the crowdfunding business model is to launch a rewards-based crowdfunding site, which usually collects a 5% commission on the crowdfunding campaign’s total amount raised. That may not sound like much but since 2009, Kickstarter alone has raised $1.6 billion, which at 5% means $80 million over 5 years in gross revenue or an average of $16 million per year that could be used to fund a wide variety of college/university projects.

Not only are crowdfunding platforms a good source of revenue, but with the right marketing resources crowdfunding campaigns have the potential to raise a huge amount of marketplace awareness for the university’s projects, business development goals, research and development labs and technology transfer programs. All at no cost to the university because the crowdfunding campaign managers are the ones that spend money to market their crowdfunding campaign to the world.

The other reason to consider launching a rewards-based crowdfunding program is that they are easy and do not fall under the jurisdiction of the SEC or state securities board regulators because no securities are being sold. For new startups it also means that raising money does not involve selling any equity shares or giving up any control of the company’s administration.

Rewards-based crowdfunding campaign commissions can also be used by colleges/universities to establish co-working spaces and to fund college incubator and accelerator programs. Co-working spaces with at least 25,000 sq. ft. can generate millions of dollars per year in additional revenue from rent and mentorship programs.

It is important to note that rewards-based commissions combined with co-working space revenue can provide millions of dollars in seed investment capital to begin funding the next step in the process, equity-based crowdfunding sites, where schools, students, faculty and alumni can become equity investors in new startups.

Equity-based Crowdfunding – Setting up equity-based crowdfunding websites will allow schools to play the role usually enjoyed by Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists and/or Broker-Dealers. They will allow students to raise money for startups by selling debt, such as convertible notes, or selling equity shares for a certain percentage of the company to raise enough seed investment capital to produce prototypes, fund early manufacturing runs, setup distribution agreements and hire manufacturer representatives. 

Other types of equity crowdfunding involve sharing 20% of the gross profits with investors or making royalty payments on a per item sold basis until the investors receive a 3x to 5x payback on their initial investment.

Investing in startups is a risky business, but with the right education and building a small group of experienced Super Angel investors to follow, a large group of novice accredited investors can invest smaller amounts of money along side seasoned experts with a proven 25-30 year track record.

In states like Texas, Michigan, Georgia and 11 others non-accredited investors can also pool their money together to purchase equity shares of stock. This is something that has been illegal for the past 80 years, but intrastate crowdfunding exemption laws are now allowing average people to begin investing in startups just like angel investors and venture capitalists.

The aggregation of novice accredited and non-accredited investors are known as Investment Syndicates, which is the process of following expert investors.  This allows students, faculty members and the general public to learn the equity investment business and enjoy the benefits of being an insider when a great business idea is transformed from a startup company to an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

For example, a $300 investment for a single share of stock and pair of Oculus virtual reality goggles would have paid investors a return on investment of $45,000 when Facebook bought the company for $2 billion dollars.

Equity-based crowdfunding is much more complicated than rewards-based crowdfunding due to the stringent requirements needed to meet the SEC and state securities board regulatory requirements.

Unlike rewards-based crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding provides a great opportunity for business administration, legal and finance students to get hands-on experience writing business plans, structuring deals, protecting intellectual property (IP) and planning real world product/service launches that are part of every single equity crowdfunding campaign.

Working alongside experienced angel investors and venture capitalists is also a great way for students and faculty to learn the finance industry from the inside out.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

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Want to learn more about crowdfunding campaigns or how to setup a crowdfunding platform?

Please fill out this form to get started:

Equity Crowdfunding Provides Colleges and Universities with Easy Access to Early Stage, Seed Round Investment Capital

15 Mar

How Colleges / Universities Can Provide Easy Access to Seed Investment Capital with Equity Crowdfunding Platforms

By Robert Hoskins

Providing Easy Access to Investment Capital 

Providing easy access to seed investment capital is a great way to encourage the creative thinking of young innovators. When money is hard to get, there isn’t much point in trying to be creative. But when students realize that there is a better than average chance of putting together a good business plan and actually being able to raise money to fund their ingenious ideas, Equity crowdfunding will serve as the catalyst that stimulates economic development.

The payoff for students, faculty and universities can be tremendous. It only takes a couple of home run investments to generate a billion dollars in revenue when one of their startups is purchased or takes their company public.  

If you look at the current crop of Angel investors, the large majority got their start by working for a company that went public. Once entrepreneurs strike it rich, they want more.  They don’t cash out and retire.  They reinvest the $10 million they earned into a new pool of startups to help them achieve the same success.  This is what most people mean by mentors.

Successful entrepreneurs love to share their success stories with the next generation. The most important step is to create the first wave of entrepreneurs even if it means a small town in nowhere Texas has to pay Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists from California and New York for their consulting services to get the ball rolling.  All it takes is a small college, smart professors, a few successful investors, a Rewards or Equity-based crowdfunding platform and a team of marketing experts that understand advertising, email marketing, PR and social media.

One company that creates a 1,000 millionaires has the capability to investment up to a billion dollars back into the next round of startups. This is precisely how Silicon Valley was built. For colleges/universities that decide to add an Equity-based Crowdfunding ecosystem, it has the potential to start a huge investment domino effect that will result in a wide-spread, long-term return-on-investment for universities, its faculty, their students and the community around them.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Using Equity Crowdfunding Sites to Finance Incubators and Accelerators at Leading U.S. Colleges and Universities

15 Mar

Launching an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem to Fund College / University Incubator and Accelerator Programs

By Robert Hoskins

Financing Incubators & Accelerators

Most large colleges and universities in the United States have an Entrepreneurship Center or something similar, but schools in smaller population centers lack the presence of well-staffed Incubators and/or Accelerator programs that are necessary to provide students with access to professional, seasoned business, finance, investment and marketing mentors. The value of providing wisdom gained over 20 to 30 years of real world experience from subject matter experts is a critical part of the startup mentoring process.

And even with the right team of mentors in place, these incubator and accelerator programs will need their own investment syndicate to a yield sufficient pool of investors to amass enough investment seed capital to fund startups that advance from an incubator to an accelerator program.

The benefits of providing investment capital are clear to everyone but sometimes the biggest challenge for smaller communities is aggregating the first million dollars to get started and maybe another 4 million dollars to keep the program funded until startups progress far enough to be purchased by a larger company or go through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The minimum startup capital needed to finance 10 startups per year at $100,000 each will require at least a million dollars. Sometimes there simply are not enough local resources to achieve this goal.  This challenge showcases the value of equity crowdfunding sites and how marketing equity crowdfunding sites on the internet can make it possible for remote angel investors and venture capitalists to shop for potential investment opportunities at your school from anywhere in the world.

SBIR/SBTT Technology Transfer Programs

Colleges and universities can also tap into federal funding via Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) programs that offer up to $2 billion per year of funding for university incubators and accelerator programs.  Competition is fierce for this funding, but with right application it is possible to obtain funding.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Setting Up a New College – University Equity Investment Crowdfunding Site to Take Advantage of the Growing U.S. Investor Network Suffering from a Lack of Deal Flow

14 Mar

Schools that Launch Equity Crowdfunding Sites Now Will Learn How to Market Investment Opportunities to Accredited Investors and Get a Head Start on the Vast Amount of Money that Will Flood the U.S. when the SEC Finally Approves Title III Crowdfunding Guidelines

By Robert Hoskins

Investor Surplus, Deal Flow Shortage

Believe it or not, there is a growing surplus of angel investors, accredited investors and venture capitalists that have the money to invest in new startups, but cannot find enough good deals being circulated by entrepreneurs and startups that need investment startup capital.  

A recent member of the San Francisco Angel Group member recently said that there many startups in San Francisco currently receiving seed investment that really are not worthy of seed investment capital, but are getting lucky because there is a surplus of money and a shortage of good deals. 

The good news is that college and universities can now take advantage of a new rule passed as a part of the JOBS Act, which approved something known as General Solicitation. For the past 80 years it has been illegal to advertise or market private equity deals to the general public, but that ban has been lifted. 

In November 2014, a new SEC rule was passed that makes it possible to advertise private placement memorandums (PPMs) to approximately 8.7 million accredited investors throughout the United States and abroad.  This is great news because only about 3% of all accredited investors are active angel investors. This means that 97%  of this group has never been approached by startups seeking investment capital. 

This means that any school can setup an equity crowdfunding platform and start marketing their local community’s entrepreneur and startup business plans to a nationwide or global network of accredited investors.  Once a platform is setup, investors with the right credentials can search through the platform’s online equity investment opportunities on a 24x 7 basis.

And then, hopefully in October 2015, the SEC also will pass the final rules that open up Title III equity crowdfunding to every adult in the United States who is 18 years or older. When that happens, the same equity crowdfunding site will have the ability market deals to every adult in America or approximately 180 million new investors.  Take that with a grain of salt because the new Title III rules are three years overdue, but if they do make it to the Federal Registry there will be flood of money seeking great business plans and startups who need startup capital.

In order to leverage the growing pool of accredited investors now, colleges and universities should begin the process of setting up a streamlined equity crowdfunding ecosystem as soon as possible. It will open up schools to a nationwide and/or global network of angel investors now and help them get a head start on the vast amount of money that will flood the marketplace when the SEC finally approves the Title III crowdfunding guidelines.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Starting a University Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem to Build Better Alumni and Local Community Relationships

12 Mar

Crowdfunding Sites Provide Alumni with a Personal Way to Begin Investing in their Alma Maters’ Promising Startups and Reap the Benefit of Making a Lot of Money if They Invest in the Right Projects

By Robert Hoskins

Stimulating Alumni and Local Community Engagement

Establishing an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem is a great way for colleges and universities to reconnect alumni with their alma maters and engage them to begin investing in the school’s future.  

Unlike giving donations to a school with no idea of how the money is going to be spent, investing directly in equity crowdfunding campaigns not only gives alumni a way to give back to the university that that helped launch their careers, but also provides them with a personal way to begin investing in creative projects that are near and dear to their hearts as well as reap the benefit of making a lot of money if they invest in the right projects.

Building an Equity Crowdfunding site to market college and university projects to alumni and the rest of the world can help:

  • Build Better Relationships with Alumni;
  • Migrate Alumni from Blind Donations to Targeted Equity Investments;
  • Generate Substantially More Revenue to Finance School Programs;
  • Increase Long-Term Return on Investment; and
  • Produce Much Better  Global University Marketing Opportunities.

Equity Crowdfunding Sites are Great Marketing Tools

Not only do crowdfunding campaigns provide a great opportunity for students to raise money for their startup companies, but the marketing that is done to drive investors to their crowdfunding profiles is a great way for colleges and universities to market their school’s brand name and recruit new students in a similar manner to running TV advertisements during college football and basketball games.

The difference, however, is that instead of producing a bland 10,000 ft. overview of a college’s academics, research and development facilities and a fly over of the university campus, each equity crowdfunding campaign has the opportunity of demonstrate exactly what is actually going on inside their R&D departments, computer science data centers and bio-tech wet labs. It is a new way to streamline the Technology Transfer process.  

Equity Crowdfunding is a much more cost-effective way to bring new technology and businesses to market and can earn schools substantially more money via equity investments than licensing agreements or royalty deals. 

Entrepreneurship Centers, Incubators and Accelerators

In addition, crowdfunding sites allow schools to promote the fact that they are now offering entrepreneurship centers, co-working spaces, incubators with mentorship programs and accelerators that can help raise money to fund new startups.  Equity crowdfunding ecosystems and alumni angel networks will make is possible to attract more millennials, smarter entrepreneurs and aggressive startup high-tech and bio-tech companies seeking a fertile environment in which to launch their business ideas.

For example, look at the successful marketing campaigns that the Coolest Cooler or the Pebble Time SmartWatch crowdfunding campaigns are generating for Kickstarter.  Not only are they transforming Kickstarter into a global brand, but with 18 days left to go the Pebble Time SmartWatch has raised over $17 million. These marketing, PR and social media campaigns have generated massive amounts of free, positive and credible publicity. The same type of exposure can be generated for any college that has startups marketing their university’s equity crowdfunding campaigns via the internet and social media networks.  

Equity Crowdfunding Generates Nice Revenue Streams

Not only is the free, positive publicity great for promoting a school’s brand name, but collecting a fee similar to Kickstarter’s five-percent crowdfunding site commission fee is also a great way to make money to fund the school’s incubator and accelerator programs.

For example, the Pebble Time SmartWatch crowdfunding campaign’s site commission fee will deposit more than $1,000,000 into Kickstarter’s bank account for doing little more than setting up an e-commerce site. A simple task for any computer science college. 

College and university crowdfunding sites will start slow at first like Kickstarter did but given the strength of the university’s mass communication department, it could be much quicker.  Regardless, over a five-year period, a school’s crowdfunding site has the same opportunity to create a massive crowdfunding ecosystem like Kickstarter’s which to date has collected almost ~$2 billion in investment seed capital over the past 5 years.  

It you are a school administrator, what would injecting $2 billion into your Technology Transfer Office do for your college or university?  And that is straight rewards-based crowdfunding.  What would the same $2 billion return if just 10% percent of your startup companies went public and raised $100 million each? Once the first several dominos fall the financial returns would sufficient enough to continue growing a stronger pool of wealth with each generation of graduates. This method is precisely how Palo Alto, San Jose and San Francisco built the Silicon Valley in California into a global angel investor and venture capital powerhouse.

Alumni, Mentors and Future Students

Future students, leading mentors and disconnected alumni will suddenly have a purview into exciting projects and developments that are percolating behind the scenes in a very similar manner to Kickstarter. Crowdfunding will make it possible for the local community and general public to see the huge innovations that are going on behind the scenes, which will create the desire to get involved in the process so they too can strike it rich. Suddenly, alumni will be very motivated to keep in touch and invest often. 

Conclusion:

The crowdfunding industry is clearly fueling a new generation of makers that realize that it is more possible now than ever to bring their creative ideas to life with other people’s money, not just on the east and west coasts, but anywhere in America.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Want to setup an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem for your college?

Please fill out this form to get started:

Vignet’D Lauches Record $2.9M Equity Crowdfunding Campaign for Investors on Symbid in the Netherlands

8 Dec

The company has already completed funding from informal investors, but now seeks the participation and knowledge of Symbid’s 27,000 active investors

By Robert Hoskins

Rotterdam, The Netherlands – Vignet’D plans to break records on the Symbid (OTCQB: SBID) equity crowdfunding platform by seeking $2.9 million (EUR 2.3m) in investment from Symbid’s investment community. Symbid became the first publicly listed crowdfunding platform worldwide in December 2013.  If successful, this will be the largest campaign ever at Symbid, one of the first investment crowdfunding platforms worldwide, while also ranking among the largest equity crowdfunding campaigns globally. Vignet’D expects to build on the success of their campaign by going public on the AIM London Stock Exchange in 2015.

The Vignet’D has a digital agency specialising in mobile strategies & concepts that ensures deep engagement with your customer. Scanning the product package or using AR techniques allows you to use multimedia to further enhance your product’s message.

The Vignet’D has a digital agency specialising in mobile strategies & concepts that ensures deep engagement with your customer. Scanning the product package or using AR techniques allows you to use multimedia to further enhance your product’s message.

Unlimited Crowdfunding Potential
By fluidly integrating digital codes into packaging designs, Vignet’D aims to transform a simple box or carton into a powerful marketing communication tool. While scanning codes with a smartphone is not necessarily new, the company’s emphasis on the whole user experience from shelf to social media is revolutionizing consumer packaging. Vignet’D specializes in an integrated approach to marketing strategy, app development, interactive and package design.

The company creates everything in-house to ensure that the final experience is both beautiful and engaging: consumers are stimulated to access additional content, ranging from nutritional information to online games. The invisibility of the code means manufacturers can also use Vignet’D technology to prevent product imitations. The commitment to a fully interactive design, with safeguards against fakes, means Vignet’D is able to take retail packaging into new directions which traditional 2D barcodes (like the QR code) could not.

Although a young company, Vignet’D has already had several successful demo projects with global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers and retailers. Game developers and publishers, including Rovio (Angry birds) and Triangle Studios, are pursuing the Vignet’D technology because of its clear potential for merchandising.

The Added Value of Crowdfunding Campaign Launches
Vignet’D is now seeking funding to further develop this groundbreaking technology and scale up their marketing and sales activities globally. The company has already completed funding from informal investors, but now seeks the participation and knowledge of Symbid’s 27,000 active investors: the crowd.

“With our solid partnerships and tested products, Vignet’D has already been validated by the market for its huge global potential,” said CEO Martin Bril. “For us this campaign is about more than just finding investment. We want the crowd’s involvement, their experience, their ideas and ultimately the extra value this generates. Together with Symbid we want to give investors large and small the opportunity to buy a stake in our company’s future.”

The sheer business potential of Vignet’D is a sign that the investment crowdfunding industry is making significant progress, with Symbid leading the way.

“After the exponential growth we’ve been seeing here at Symbid, for us this campaign is a large cherry on the cake,” said Korstiaan Zandvliet, Symbid CEO and co-founder. “As crowdfunding matures and people begin to realize its true potential, it’s crucial that Symbid continues to attract innovative, high-growth startups like Vignet’D. We see 2015 as a big year for the Symbid funding platform.”

International Ambitions
When the $2.9m funding target is reached, Vignet’D will not only become the largest Symbid campaign ever, but also one of the largest investment crowdfunding campaigns worldwide. However, in line with their strategy of international expansion, the company plans to complete another crowdfunding campaign in Germany with Symbid.

Founded in April 2011 as one of the first investment crowdfunding platforms worldwide, Symbid allows non-accredited investors to invest online in start-ups and SMEs with as little as EUR 20 in exchange for shares in those companies. Based in the Netherlands, Symbid has emerged as a global leader in investment crowdfunding due to our innovative technological infrastructure, user-friendly interface and commitment to providing a secure funding environment for both investors and entrepreneurs.

The Symbid team’s extensive experience with start-ups means entrepreneurs choosing our platform receive all the coaching and advice necessary for a successful campaign. This, in turn, ensures that investors using the Symbid platform can be confident in the profitability of their investment.

As of December 2014, Symbid has successfully funded over 65 start-ups for a total capital sum of $7,000,000.

In 2015 the company is expected to expand its product portfolio with several new (alternative and traditional) financial services in order to develop the Symbid platform towards an online fundraising network. Meanwhile, Symbid anticipates a European roll-out of its investment crowdfunding platform beginning in Q4 2014.

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