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Tag Archives: Equity

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:

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How to Generate More Revenue for Co-Working Startups by Launching a Rewards or Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem

13 Mar

How Equity Crowdfunding Can Take College and University Co-Working Spaces and Incubators to the Next Level

By Robert Hoskins

Generating More Co-Working Revenue with Crowdfunding

Most major universities and colleges have set up on-campus Entrepreneurship Centers, Innovation Labs or co-working spaces to facilitate an environment that encourages students to use their creative minds to develop innovative ideas and turn them into successful startup businesses.

Joining a co-working space allows students setup an affordable office or working space to rub elbows with like-minded individuals and discover people who have the same set of goals and objectives as they do.  This provides a unique opportunity for new startup founders to cross pollinate each other and fertilize new ideas that sometimes leads to the decision to co-found a business together.

Part of the draw for co-working spaces are community lunch rooms, founder dating events, after-hours cocktail parties, social mixers and Meetup groups, all of which can provide access to great sources of well-educated, but very cost-effective labor pools.

All of these activities serve a useful purpose in allowing co-founders to find talented workers that will be needed to help their new businesses begin harvesting new ideas and business concepts, put them on paper and turn them into a high impact startup ventures.

In addition to people, co-working spaces provide cheap office space, meeting rooms to setup video/teleconferences, board rooms for team meetings, video production facilities to shoot pitch videos, access to data centers and hardware/software laboratories where new ideas can be tested on the latest and greatest smartphones, smartwatches, tracking tags and bracelets, tablets, laptops and wearable technology devices.

For larger audiences, a large auditorium or theater provides the perfect venue for visiting guest speakers, corporate presentations, pitch contests and many other type of large meetings with panel discussions.

Below is an example of what a well-planned co-working floor plan might look like courtesy of the T-Rex facility in Missouri.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

T-Rex Co-Working Facility in Missouri co-locates two venture accelerators, venture capital companies, an SBA-funded resource center, and a training and mentoring organization along with other incubator companies

Source: T-Rex Co-Working Facility in Missouri co-locates two venture accelerators, venture capital companies, an SBA-funded resource center, and a training and mentoring organization along with other incubator companies


Co-working spaces have the ability to offer very affordable working spaces for students and local entrepreneurs that want to start a student or family-owned business. Renting out space for $250 to $500 per month and serving 250 entrepreneurs would create potential monthly recurring revenue opportunity worth $62,500 to $125,000 or up to $1.5 million per year.

An average size cubicle is 75 sq. ft. so serving 250 co-workers would require approximately 18,750 sq. ft. to provide very comfortable dedicated working spaces, but many average co-working desks are much smaller.

Increase the facility’s size to accommodate a kitchen/lunch room, conference rooms, rest rooms and one large auditorium and the total space required would be around 25,o00 sq. ft.

Co-Work Space Business Plans

Thinking about opening a co-working space, but need help with writing a good business plan?  We Googled a bunch of business plans and here are three co-working business plans that we thought are worth a look:

If you want more examples, please check out this list of the Top 75 Co-Working Spaces in America.

Rewards or Equity Based Crowdfunding Platform

Once a co-working space has been set up, the next step in the process is to launch a rewards-based or equity-based crowdfunding ecosystem so that members of the co-working space can use the site to raise seed stage investment capital to get their companies up and running.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Need help setting up a co-working space?

Please fill out the form below to get started:

GridShare.com Opens New Clean-Tech Equity Crowdfunding Site in San Francisco to Fund Renewable Energy Startups and Community Solar Projects

26 Feb

Potential investors can peruse investment opportunities in a variety of renewable energy sectors, including: solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and small hydropower

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CA – GridShare.com announced the launch of its clean technology crowdfunding platform to help renewable energy and solar projects and clean-tech companies raise capital. By creating an online platform where investors can independently engage with project owners seeking funding, GridShare is positioned to be the leading force in crowdfunding for the alternative energy industry.

GridShare Enables Everyday People to Invest in Renewable Energy Projects in the Clean-Tech and Solar Companies around the World

GridShare Enables Everyday People to Invest in Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind, GeoThermal, and HydroPower Projects in the Clean-Tech Industry around the World

GridShare is a unique online platform where renewable energy project developers and clean-tech companies from around the world post their funding needs. Potential investors can peruse investment opportunities in a variety of renewable energy sectors, including: solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and small hydropower. GridShare also intends to host funding opportunities for energy efficiency initiatives and early-stage clean technology ventures.

“Raising money has been a huge impediment to the growth of the capital-intensive renewable energy industry,” said Jack Jacobs, CEO and Co-Founder, GridShare. “Now, with GridShare’s help, a project developer or cleantech venture can tap into a new funding channel and, ultimately, spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on their core business.”

There are three different types of investment opportunities that a company may offer through GridShare: debt, equity, and donations. High net-worth individuals, or “accredited investors,” can browse projects online, read pertinent information about the venture, and then pledge funding in exchange for equity or interest. Non-accredited investors can donate funds to a project or company that offers this option. As soon as the JOBS Act crowdfunding rules are finalized, all users will be able to invest freely for equity online.

Posting a project on GridShare is free and easy. Once the GridShare team approves the project, it will be published online. Investors will then have the opportunity to review the project details, and pledge their financial support online. The offeror then contacts the investor to arrange payment and finalize investment terms.

“For too long, large banks have controlled which solar projects can be financed. Finally, project developers like Samba Energy can rely on GridShare to offer high quality solar investments to investors nationwide,” said Michael Hidary, Managing Partner, Samba Energy, a national provider of software and services for clean energy and commercial building energy efficiency. “Samba Energy can now complete more installations and private investors can gain strong, predictable returns from solar power projects.”

GridShare earns a commission from the offeror only if its funding goal is fully achieved. GridShare also offers optional services for users that prefer to sell securities through a registered broker/dealer, conduct legal transactions under the guidance of an experienced law firm, and/or develop their materials with the help of a marketing professional.

GridShare enables everyday people to invest in renewable energy projects and cleantech companies around the world. GridShare is an independent online crowdfunding platform for renewable energy projects and clean-tech companies seeking funding.  

Investors can engage directly and independently with owners and developers through the platform. By significantly expanding the funding options available to business owners and project developers, GridShare opens up the renewable energy industry to a much wider audience of investors.

The platform is clean technology agnostic, posting investment opportunities from all types of renewable energy projects and clean-tech companies.

GridShare allows renewable energy projects and clean technology companies to raise debt, equity and/or donations from investors. By diversifying the available investment opportunities, GridShare offers a more inclusive environment for non-accredited and accredited investors alike. 

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SEC and SBA Announcements Lay the Foundation for Training Small Businesses on How to Use Crowdfunding in the United States

19 Sep

SBA Partners with SEC to Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

By Robert Hoskins

Washington, DC – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will join the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in co-hosting a series of events around the country to help small business owners learn about new opportunities to raise capital under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.  The first event will be hosted by the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business on Sept. 25 from 2 p.m.to 4 p.m. EST.

SBA Partners with SEC on Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs Events to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

SBA Partners with SEC on Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

“We believe that any new, inclusive and innovative paths that help small businesses gain access to the capital they need are good things, but these paths should be implemented with prudence and care,” said Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. “We’re happy to join forces with the SEC to have these important, interactive discussions with small businesses around the country about existing and pending capital raising options under the JOBS Act.”

The JOBS Act events are intended for existing and aspiring small businesses, including minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned small businesses to learn about opportunities to raise capital under the JOBS Act.  One change already in place under the JOBS Act allows firms to advertise certain private offerings and another pending change allows firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

Representatives from SBA’s Offices of Investment and Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development, will join representatives from SEC’s Offices of Small Business Policy, Investor Education and Advocacy and Minority Women Inclusion to cohost the events highlighting additional ways for small businesses to raise funds under current and proposed SEC rules.

The events are designed for existing and aspiring small businesses, including those that are minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned, and will discuss the JOBS Act, which expands the options that businesses may use to raise capital.  One change already in place gives firms the ability to advertise certain private offerings; a second that is pending will allow firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. The SEC is actively developing rules to implement JOBS Act provisions.

Representatives from the SEC’s Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance, the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion will co-host the events with the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation and the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development.

The events will highlight additional ways small businesses may seek to raise funds under current and proposed SEC rules.  The events will also give small business owners an opportunity to ask questions of the SEC and SBA staff.

The events are free and will give small business owners the opportunity to ask questions of SBA and SEC staff members.  Those interested in registering for the Sept. 25 event at the University of Baltimore may do so: here.

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After Raising $6.2 Million for Pono Music on Kickstarter, Neil Young is Now Selling Piece of the Action So Fans Can Buy Equity Shares in the Company

20 Aug

In a move for what may become the “new norm” in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors can now purchase shares in PonoMusic for as little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the company

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CaliforniaPonoMusic’s revolution is stirring unprecedented interest in the music community’s high-resolution digital music market, as the startup’s successful Kickstarter campaign recently raised $6.2M from over 18,000 backers — the third largest Kickstarter campaign ever — far surpassing even the campaign initiated by Oculus Rift.

In a move for what may become the new norm in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors Can Purchase Shares in PonoMusic for as Little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the Company

In a move for what may become the new norm in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors can now purchase shares in PonoMusic for as little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the company

Now Neil Young and PonoMusic are continuing their crowdfunding momentum by launching an equity crowdfunding campaign exclusively on Crowdfunder.com at PonoMusic on Crowdfunder. Accredited investors can invest as little as $5,000 and become an equity owner in PonoMusic alongside Neil.

Neil and the team at PonoMusic are excited about democratizing the investment process of PonoMusic by giving their Kickstarter backers, and anyone who loves music, the opportunity to now invest and become an owner in Pono.

Oculus Rift previously raised over $2.0M via Kickstarter, then sold to Facebook for $2 Billion. If their Kickstarter backers had been given the opportunity to invest in Oculus Rift through equity crowdfunding, they would likely have seen a significant return on their investment, but they didn’t — which stirred quite a backlash at the time.

Neil Young conceived of the idea behind PonoMusic to breathe life back into the experience and quality of audio in the digital age of highly compressed, poor quality music files such as MP3s. There’s recently been a huge resurgence of analog vinyl records among music lovers desiring true, undistorted sound. Yet the true, organic, nuanced experience most vinyl delivers hasn’t been convenient or portable, until now. PonoMusic offers a complete digital ecosystem, including a premium portable music player paired with a comprehensive digital music store offering high resolution music files with up to 30x more sound data than low-res MP3 files. PonoMusic is supported by all major music labels and their huge growing catalogues of premium quality digital music.

Says Crowdfunder’s CEO, Chance Barnett, “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Neil and his team to democratize the opportunity to invest in PonoMusic. Neil and his team get it; that’s why they’re going the route today’s most successful startups follow: first validating their business through pre-sales of their product on Kickstarter, then raising investment via our leading equity crowdfunding platform and rapidly growing base of institutional and individual accredited investors.”

Says PonoMusic’s visionary, Neil Young, “Pono is an artist-driven movement to rescue music and the art of recorded sound for posterity. It’s about the people who make the music, about the way it sounds to the artists when they record it in the studio and about preserving the original sound created by artists over the history of recorded sound. It’s also about fans hearing what we hear and that hasn’t happened in a long time. We wanted music lovers everywhere to be a part of this from the beginning and have an opportunity to help us launch this new music ecosystem into the world, together.”

“Pono” is Hawaiian for righteous. What righteous means to our founder Neil Young is honoring the artist’s intention. That’s why he’s been on a quest, for a few years now, to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music. Through Pono, you no longer have to choose between quality and convenience when listening to music — you can have both. This is the fundamental idea behind PonoMusic.

Pono’s mission is to provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite music. PonoMusic is not a new audio file format or standard. PonoMusic is an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music exactly as the artist created it, at the recording resolution they chose in the studio. PonoMusic is more than just a high-resolution music store and player; it is a grassroots movement to keep the heart of music beating.

Crowdfunder is where the power of crowdfunding meets investing. Entrepreneurs use the company’s platform to tell the story of their business and raise investment from a community of institutional and individual accredited investors. The company played a significant role in JOBS Act legislation, creating the new market for equity crowdfunding that brings private investing online and creates positive impact and economic opportunity.

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Crowdfunding Takes Center Stage at SxSW Event in Austin, Texas beginning March 7, 2014

16 Feb

Crowdfunding Experts Converge at SxSW to Highlight the Significant Advancements in Title II & III SEC Regulations for Entrepreneurs and Startups in the High-Tech, Bio-Tech, Clean-Tech, Real Estate, Film, Music, Non-Profits, Science Research and Healthcare Industries

SXSW Interactive March 7-11 Austin 2014 Crowdfunding Events

SXSW Interactive March 7-11 Austin 2014 Crowdfunding Seminars and Presentations

By Robert Hoskins

Our recommended list of Crowdfunding Presentations to attend during the South by Southwest event in Austin, Texas during the SXSW Interactive session from March 7th through March 11th, 2014.  Click here to register.

The “Real” Crowdfunding Investment

Friday, March 7
12:30PM – 1:30PM

Chris Tyrell and Jessica Randaza will be speaking about the widely anticipated Title III crowdfunding rules that were approved unanimously by the SEC and successfully completely the 90-day public comment period.  Now the entire United States is waiting to see what changes, if any, the SEC will make to the previously approved rules.  The new regulations will add approximately 229 million new unaccredited investors to the pool of potential investors that will soon be able to make investments in startups and existing businesses seeking venture capital in return for an attractive return-on-investment (ROI). Read more…

Ethics & Future of Crowdfunding for Communities

Friday, March 7
12:30PM – 1:30PM

David Neff and Miriam Kagan will cover crowdfunding models that range from self-starting “fund my trip” models to a more established national community foundation-led model that raised over $20 million in one day. Next they will cover crowdfunding industry growth, and the ethical questions that have surrounded old school “fundraising” by non-profits for many years.  How much money actually goes to the beneficiaries and where does the rest end up?   Session participants will led through an exercise that will allow the group to see the necessary requirements to build a thorough Crowdfunding Bill of Rights. Read more…

Make It Rain: The New Healthcare Funding Landscape

Friday, March 7
5:00PM – 6:00PM

Digital Health is a growing market for crowdfunding dollars, with relatively few prolific angel and venture investors, entrepreneurs are getting creative about ways to find alternative venture capital. This healthcare crowdfunding presentation will examine the funding options available for various healthcare entrepreneurs at any stage. Read more…

The Original Gangsters of Crowdfunding

Saturday, March 8
12:30PM – 1:30PM

This panel discussion will feature four social good crowdfunding platforms that are focused on donation-based crowdfunding missions to improve the world for social good.  These platforms allow the privileged to make tax deductible donations to those who are not lucky enough to have nutritious food, clean water, bathrooms with flushing toilets or weatherproofed housing.  It will humble you to learn what conditions many third world country people actually live with little hope for help from the outside world.  With your help, these organizations can help you help them change the lives of many and get a tax deduction for helping. Whether you attend this panel discussion or not, please make at $25 donation to one or all four of the organizations. Read more…

The Indie Science Revolution

Saturday, March 8
3:30PM – 4:30PM

An increasing number of brave researchers are venturing out from the ivory towers of academia to pursue their own independent research. This new culture of indie science attracts investigators with the freedom to develop their ideas without the confines of politics and bureaucracy often found in academic departments.  Read more…

DIY PR for Crowdfunded / Kickstarter Projects

Sunday, March 9
11:00AM – 1:30PM

This two and a half hour long workshop, designed for DIY crowdfunders, will go over some PR best practices, strategies and tactics on how to create interest for crowdfunded projects based on conversations with individuals who’ve run successful Kickstarter campaigns and their interaction with reporters. It will cover planning & strategy, timing, pitch writing, story angles, social media, approaching reporters, how to avoid “dead zone” during a campaign, and more. Read more…

Crowdfunding Global Entrepreneurship

Sunday, March 9
11:00AM – 12:00PM

Jason Best will address the outstanding opportunity for Crowdfunding that exists in emerging markets that have been cut off from international venture capital markets.  He will examine how giving third world countries access to billions of dollars of capital has the ability to challenge the United States’ ability to stay competitive in the global market place. Read more…

FutureHood: Crowdfunding Innovators in Real Estate

Sunday, March 9
5:00PM – 6:00PM

Neil Dipaola will focus on how risk capital has brought about significant change to the high technology industry for more than a generation. He will differentiate the opportunities that exist outside of the risky young 20-something millenials’ visionary gadgets. Even though high-tech gadgets generate many front page news stories, Neil will encourage attendees to take a close look at the real estate industry, which is much more established and offers more traditional and proven investment opportunities. Read more…

The New Era of Investor Relations

Monday, March 10
11:00AM – 12:00PM

  • Douglas Ellenoff, Partner & Owner, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP
  • Judd Hollas, CEO, EquityNet LLC
  • Judy Robinett, Angel Investor & VC Board Member

In 2013, the ban on general solicitation of accredited investors was lifted, causing the largest change to securities laws in decades. While everyone from startups to hedge funds will enjoy new liberties to begin marketing equity investment deals through advertising, marketing and PR campaigns, it’s critical that the new rules are followed to the letter in order to eliminate the chance for an exemption rescission. Read more…

Viral Crowdfunding: Story, Team & Gamification

Monday, March 10
12:45PM – 1:00PM

Matthew Bishop will address harnessing viral marketing to achieve a successful crowdfunding campaign. He asks, “So you want to raise money online and go viral?” Mr. Bishop’s SxSW crowdfunding presentation will help nonprofits, artists, and entrepreneurs learn how to create crowdfunding a project.  His subject matters will include how a tell a  story, manage a team and leverage game playing lessons that will help develop a viral buzz that may make or break the success fundraising campaigns. Read more….

How Crowdfunding Killed Hollywood

Tuesday, March 11
9:30AM – 10:30AM

Adam Carolla and Bill Zanker provide in inside look at how crowdfunding platforms like FundAnything are turning Hollywood upside down by completely changing the way movies are financed and produced. Like many entrepreneurs in Hollywood, Adam decided to circumvent the system by teaming up with Bill Zanker’s FundAnything and ended up raising $1.5 million that allowed him to create one the most downloaded podcast series in history.  Attendees will learn from Adam’s personal insights on how to use the right rewards to achieve the best results and why taping into your own crowd of social media contacts can deliver serious dividends. Read more…

Crowdfunding Real Change for Girls & Women

Tuesday, March 11
11:00AM – 12:00PM

Maz Kessler’s presentation will focus building a world of equality for all girls and women. Due to the fact that less than 7% of fundraising donations go to girls and women’s causes combined with the alarming news that one-in-four of women organizations that work on these issues are in danger of closing, Catapult.com was founded to keep the funding rolling in.

The group’s mission is to work on the battle front to fight for the rights and the respect for girls and women around the world. And to date, Catapult has achieved incredible results by raising millions of dollars through its nonprofit partners, which are growing rapidly throughout the world. Read more…

Funded in Austin

Tuesday, March 11
12:30PM – 1:30PM

Funded in Austin features Founder/CEO’s of three technology startups who have pursued and secured investment in their entrepreneurial ventures – one from crowdfunding, one from angel funding, and one from venture capital – totaling more than $302 million in funding. Read more…

Fundable Research Pegs Crowdfunding Industry to Inject $65 Billion in 2014

12 Feb

Fundable Infographic Predicts Crowfunding Industry Growth in 2014 to Inject $65 Billion and Create 270,0000 Jobs

By Robert Hoskins

Fundable.com’s infographic below details some great facts for people who are writing business plans and reporters looking for some great stats to quote for blogs, online media outlets and print/broadcast media.  These numbers are going to grow as more and more people become aware of the booming crowdfunding industry.

This is just the beginning, but report reports, white paper and trade press articles continue to paint a rosy picture for the accelerated Crowdfunding industry growth rate that is predicted for the combined fundraising economic stimulus forecast for donation-based, equity-based and perks/rewards crowdfunding campaigns in 2014.

Fundable’s Crowdfunding Statistics predict that:

  • In 2014, Crowdfunding will add 270,000 jobs and inject $65,000,000,000 into the worldwide economy.
  • Crowdfunding companies create 1 new job for every $37,702 invested/donated.
  • For every $1 invested in Crowdfunding startups leads to $6.36 in revenue.
  • At this growth rate, Crowdfunding will contribute $500 billion in funding per year by 2020.
  • This $500 billion in funding will generate $3.2 trillion in economic value per year by
  • In tandem, Crowdfunding will create 2.2 million new jobs by 2020

Fundable Infographic reports that Crowdfunding will add 270,000 jobs and inject $65,000,000,000 into the worldwide economy# # #

RockthePost Predicts Legalization of General Solicitation Will Change Startup Investing Forever

21 Sep

The SEC general solicitation rule change washes away some limitations on promotion of fundraising campaigns that have been in place for 80 years

By Robert Hoskins

Many changes are going to take place in the startup investment industry as the SEC lifts its ban on general solicitation on Monday, September 23.  With this implementation, the startup ecosystem will see an 80-year-old securities law modified for modern times, allowing private companies – startups in particular – to publicly advertise that they are seeking investments.

Alejandro Cremades launches crowdfunding project as a solution to help save the U.S. economy.

Alejandro Cremades launches crowdfunding project as a solution to help save the U.S. economy.

Among the exciting developments, leading startup investing platform RockThePost will unveil the following, in conjunction with Title II of the JOBS Act taking effect on Monday:

  1. Prominent featuring of startups publicly announcing investment rounds
  2. Investor verification system that shifts the burden off startups
  3. Secure transactions where Escrow accounts act as a safe haven for early committed investors
  4. Full transparency – third party identity checks and legal business verification, crowdsourced due diligence, bank-level security
  5. Smart matching of investors to startup investments that match their preferences

RockThePost CEO, Alejandro Cremades, notes that “our startups have had mixed feelings on general solicitation, but the ones who are planning to take advantage of it are really excited about the exponential exposure from which they can benefit tremendously.”

According to the Center for Venture Research, only 258,000 investors have made an angel investment out of the 8.7 million accredited investor households eligible to invest in the U.S. The general solicitation ban lift will allow startups to publicly fundraise via methods such as equity crowdfunding, harnessing the power of the internet and social media to reach potential investors in all corners of the country. We expect a large jump in angel activity in the coming years as individual investors seek higher returns on investment and feel more comfortable investing in startups.

The nature of startup investing is risky, but to grow the nest egg, investor money has to be put to work. With a financial shift underway in which low yields and high interest rates are prevalent, investors are forced to look beyond traditional investment avenues to reach their financial goals.

A 2013 UBS report, Investment Strategy Guide, recommends that 7 to 11% of any given investment portfolio be allocated to new alternative investments, which includes buying equity in early stage companies (note that only accredited investors may participate in private offerings).

Startup investing involves high risk. However, investing early in startups has the potential of yielding high returns as seen below.

  • $1,000 in Facebook in 2005 = $624,500 today
  • $1,000 in Airbnb in 2009 = $589,667 today
  • $1,000 in Dropbox in 2008 = $391,500 today

RockThePost does believe that openly fundraising in the startup investing world could significantly help startups gain access to capital in an economic environment in which investors are more readily looking for high-return investments.

General solicitation will potentially increase the number of transactions happening between investors and startups. RockThePost expects these changes to drive the U.S. economy as small businesses have created almost 65% of the net new jobs for the past 17 years.

By democratizing access to startup capital for entrepreneurs and bringing startup investment opportunities to a new investor demographic, RockThePost aims to be the go-to destination for both startups and investors.

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More News on the SEC 80-Year Ban on General Solicitation:

Arizona Attorney Publishes New Book on Equity Crowdfunding: “Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners

18 May

Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners now available from Amazon.com

By Robert Hoskins

Arizona Attorney Jonathan Frutkin of The Frutkin Law Firm recently published a new book about this new source of finance, known as “equity crowdfunding.” According to Frutkin, the same power of online funding will soon let local companies raise capital online – and more importantly, make customers into owners, increasing the market share of businesses that successfully leverage this new opportunity.

Jonathan Frutkin, CEO of Cricca Funding

Jonathan Frutkin, CEO of Cricca Funding

The book, titled Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners, provides insight into how business owners can turn their customers into loyal customers while raising money for their company. It is now available for print and digital purchase on Amazon.com.

“Equity crowdfunding is the single largest marketing opportunity for local businesses to transform mere customers into loyal owners,” Frutkin said when describing the concept. “By resetting the relationship between corporation and patron, the new rules for crowdfunding are going to fundamentally shift the way entrepreneurs think about both raising capital and creating long-term engagements with their customers.”

Interest in crowdfunding drastically increased after President Barack Obama signed the JOBS Act (Jumpstart our Business Startups) in 2012 legalizing equity crowdfunding, subject to new rules being agreed by regulators. A total of $2.7 billion was provided through crowdfunding by individual donors last year, according to reports by research firm Massolution — up 81% from 2011. This space is only going to heat up further when SEC rules for the JOBS Act are released this year, paving the way for equity crowdfunding.

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Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

18 May

Ingenious Britain, the small business campaign, community and advice and information portal, has announced that it is launching a crowdfunding initiative to raise a £500,000 investment in return for a combined 25% equity stake in the business.

By Robert Hoskins

Ingenious Britain announced that it is launching a crowdfunding initiative to raise a £500,000 investment in return for a combined 25% equity stake in the business.

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

The investment will be used to fund, among other things, a more dynamic portal suited to the needs of small businesses, an enhanced digital marketing and content strategy, a fourth print (and digital) Ingenious Britain magazine each year, an expanded personal support network to SMEs online, by telephone and by email and, most excitingly, the launch of ‘Ingenious Britain Live,” which will be the UK’s most interactive and vibrant small business event.

“We are practicing what we preach and are taking Ingenious Britain to the crowd. With the investment we’re planning exciting and innovative multimedia content and events in the space which will prove invaluable to the UK’s five million small businesses,” commented Mark Moore, Ingenious Britain CEO.

“People can pledge as little or a much as they wish and we will work as hard as we can to make sure their investment reaps dividends for us, for them and for Britain’s small business community.”

The crowdfunding campaign is available to be viewed via Crowdcube by clicking here.

The UK’s five million small and medium-sized businesses make up 99.6% of all British businesses; they employ 54.5% of our workforce, and account for 49.5% of our annual GDP. Ingenious Britain has reached hundreds of thousands already, providing advice, information and support through events, social media feeds, its online portal, community and magazine.

“Encouraging them and helping them to perform better will have significant economic benefits for the UK economy,” adds Moore.

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