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Tag Archives: San Francisco

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

1 Sep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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420FundMe.com Launches Equity Crowdfunding Site to Tap $100 Billion Marijuana, Weed & Cannabis Industry

25 Aug

Aimed at cannabis related ancillary companies, which are not directly involved in the actual growing or selling of cannabis, 420fundme focuses on individuals that are bringing unique new products to the industry

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, California – The IPAmediagroup announced the official launch date of www.420fundme.com, a highly anticipated crowdfunding platform to crowdfunding for cannabis, marijuana and weed related projects. The site launch is set for September 15th and will enable individuals, groups and businesses to fund a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from individuals online.

420FundMe.com Launched a highly anticipated platform for crowdfunding cannabis, marijuana, and weed-related projects, startups and business expansion

420FundMe.com Launched a highly anticipated platform for crowdfunding cannabis, marijuana, and weed-related projects, startups and business expansion

Aimed at cannabis related ancillary companies, which are not directly involved in the actual growing or selling of cannabis, 420fundme focuses on individuals that are bringing unique new products to the industry. Working within a potential $100 billion industry, according to Economist.com, since August 1st the site prelaunch has allowed registration for new projects to be listed on launch day.

“We have beat all expectations and are already seeing a large influx of highly exceptional new products that are simply going to change the industry,” Jon Greene, 420FundMe’s Chief Operating Officer confirms.  “From lighting, security, paraphernalia, and grow products to research, genetics, publications and even real estate services as well as a number of artists, websites, glassblowers, and even filmmakers we can already see we created a necessary platform that is going to be well used.”

Centered on making certain each and every campaign is a success, 420fundme has implemented a number of unique solutions that are not only new to the cannabis industry but also new to crowdfunding and alternative financing. This includes facilitating inline promotional abilities and applying third-party partnerships directly through the platform.

With uninterrupted connections from the project page any campaign has direct access to high quality third-party marketing, publicity, advertising, and media services as well as packaging and branding services and solutions.

“It is a seamless partnership that will enable every campaign to create success at the same time providing our partners and advertisers a huge new market,” Greene added.

Visit 420FundMe.com to pre-register your project and to find out more about how to utilize crowdfunding to raise money to launch your cannabis, marijuana or weed related business or how to sponsor a campaign, become a partner, and explore advertising opportunities.

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WaterField Design’s Intrepid iPhone Travel Wallet Shatters Kickstarter Goal by Reaching 600% on First Full Day

24 Aug

New backers may pledge for the one-of-a-kind Intrepid iPhone Travel Wallet — an RFID-blocking wallet, play-through iPhone case and travel attaché — through Kickstarter until September 25

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, California –  The WaterField Designs new Intrepid Travel Wallet shattered its crowdfunding goal by reaching 600% within its first full day after launch. The Intrepid is a leather, all-in-one travel case with iPhone play-through capability for scanning QR codes and downloaded tickets, or for checking texts, emails, and apps. The interior includes Intuitive organization compartments for passport, tickets, foreign exchange and coins. Having now reached nearly 750% of its initial funding goal, WaterField continues to add pledge options to meet growing demand. The Intrepid Kickstarter campaign runs through September 25, 2016.

Intrepide iPhone Travel Wallet from WaterField Designs

Intrepid iPhone Travel Wallet from WaterField Designs

“We’re floored and gratified to have achieved such success with our first Kickstarter campaign in such a short amount of time,” explained Gary Waterfield, company owner. “The Intrepid iPhone Travel Wallet is more than just a wallet or a phone case; it’s really an amazing travel companion. Its play-through feature is incredibly useful and becomes quickly addictive as you begin to see how efficient you can be with it.”

The Intrepid Travel Wallet is at once a wallet, iPhone case and a travel attaché. As a wallet, two interior side pockets hold credit cards, hotel keys and metro tickets; its main compartment is large enough for domestic or foreign bills and a pen. Built-in RFID-blocking capability offers extra security while traveling about. An included zippered pouch, the Micro Wallet, fits inside the main compartment to secure coins or keys. As an iPhone case, the Intrepid’s revolutionary play-through, scannable screen allows users to access the phone for texts, emails and apps, and to scan a boarding passes without removing the phone.

The Travel Wallet holds all this plus a passport in a custom-sized pocket in one organized place, as any good travel attaché should. The Travel Wallet saves time at TSA checkpoints and fits neatly in an airline seat-back pocket for easy access to in-flight necessities.

The Intrepid Travel Wallet is available in two sizes, one designed for the imminent iPhone 7 or similarly-sized phones and one for phones the size of the iPhone 7 Plus. An Ultrasuede ® liner keeps phones and other contents scratch-free and a handsome and heavy-duty G2 metal zipper keeps contents secure. A designated iPhone enclosure with transparent play-through screen, a special passport pocket and dual card pockets keep travel-related needs neatly organized.

Supporters may choose a black or brown premium full-grain leather exterior. Through this — its first Kickstarter campaign — WaterField builds on a seminal aspect of its business by allowing pledged supporters the opportunity to help determine final design details: an additional color and other features may be added based on backer’s feedback.

The WaterField Designs Intrepid Travel Wallet is available as a reward via the WaterField Designs Kickstarter page. Supporters may pledge until September 25, 11:59 PST and the first production run ships October 2016.

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RealtyShares Taps 75 Investors to Raise $1.5 Million for 192-Unit Family Apartment Complex in Columbus, Ohio

23 Aug

Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Funds Cardinal Creek Townhomes, which has a 70% Occupancy Rate and Close Proximity to Major Employment Centers and Adjacent to a New School/Sports Complex

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CA – RealtyShares has raised $1.5 million dollars for a 192-unit multi-family complex in Columbus, Ohio from its national network of investors. The deal was sponsored on the platform by Hamilton Real Estate Capital, a value-oriented investment firm focused on medium to large apartment complexes. More than 75 investors took part in the raise for the Cardinal Creek Townhomes in Bexley to fund the renovation, maintenance, and management of the 35 buildings on the $5.9 million property.

Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Used to Fund Cardinal Creek Townhomes, which has a 70% Occupancy Rate and Close Proximity to Major Employment Centers and Adjacent to a New School and Sports complex

Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Funds Cardinal Creek Townhomes, which has a 70% Occupancy Rate and Close Proximity to Major Employment Centers and Adjacent to a New School/Sports Complex

“We believe this project will provide our investors with an attractive return profile given the risk,” said Eli Glanz, Principal at Hamilton. “Working with RealtyShares has given us access to a new group of investors in a straight-forward and quick process. We felt the amount of equity needed and the rationale for the investment was the perfect fit.”

Since this is an equity deal, the return ultimately realized by investors will depend upon the distributions from the project and the value of the property whenever it’s sold. While this is the first deal on the platform for Hamilton, it is the second notable crowdfunded project in Columbus in recent months. In June, 80 of RealtyShares’s investors funded over a million dollars of joint venture equity for the purchase of Courtyard by Marriott Columbus West.

“Columbus, and Bexley in particular, is seeing tangible rent growth and a falling vacancy rate with minimal new inventory slated to open,” said Bryan Shultz, Vice President of Commercial Equity at RealtyShares. “The Cardinal Creek Townhomes location is intriguing, with close proximity to major employment centers and adjacent to a new school and sports complex. The property already boasts a high occupancy rate, with more than 70 percent of the units recently renovated. Most importantly, our investors are often compelled by strong track records, and Hamilton has owned or advised on over $350 million in assets like this since 2005. It is an ideal partner for a deal like this.”

RealtyShares, one of the top real estate crowdfunding sites,  is transforming the real estate investment landscape by connecting borrowers and sponsors to debt and equity capital from accredited and institutional investors, across an array of financing products. Private investments are highly illiquid and risky and are not suitable for all investors. Through the RealtyShares website, these investors can browse investment opportunities, perform due diligence, invest online and have 24/7 access to an investor dashboard to watch how their investments are performing.

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POMM Inc. Quickly Raises $812,220 With Title IV, Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding Campaign; Investors See Huge Opportunity to Tap $81.5 Billion Mobile Accessories Marketplace With Smartphone Security Case

18 Jul

Due to an Overwhelming Response From Equity Investors, POMM’s Management Team Is Now Seeking a High-Technology Investor Relations Team With Smartphone & Cyber Security Experience

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CaliforniaPOMM Inc. announced that its equity crowdfunding has successfully raised more than $812,220 for its recently launched Title IV, Reg. A+ equity investment crowdfunding campaign. Accredited and non-accredited investors are recognizing the investment opportunity made possible by the growing demand from consumers and businesses that want privacy and security for their smartphones and to guard against hackers that try to pry into cell phones and Internet backup storage clouds to steal sensitive texts, emails, photos, videos, medical records and credit card information.

POMM Inc. Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunties Start at $500 for Biometric Smartphone Security Cases

POMM Inc. Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunties Start at $500 for Biometric Smartphone Security Cases

“According to a Smartphone Case Segmentation Research Study more than 75% of all buyers purchase an impact resistant case to protect their cell phones. In addition many users also like to buy smartphone cases that provide either extra battery life for longer time periods between charging or that offer much higher data storage capacity,” said David Freidenberg, POMM’s CEO. “And with the growing problem of malware being downloaded accidentally from popular cell phone apps or hackers breaking into internet backup storage clouds, more and more customers are now seeking better privacy and security measures that guard against hacking attacks. Our POMM delivers all of these benefits and more.”

The POMM is a combined software and hardware solution that enables smartphone users to launch a set of secured applications to manage and share private information. It is implemented via a mini quad-core computer embedded in the smartphone case offering biometric and biologic authentication layers; significant secure storage area and a 50% increase in battery life.

In 2015, the U.S. smartphone industry alone sold $81.5 billion of mobile add-on accessories to a marketplace that has over 2 billion iPhone and Android cell phone customers. Considering the fact that more than 70% of the world’s population will own a smartphone by 2020, it is easy for investors to see the huge growth potential for selling POMM Biometric Smartphone Security Cases to new and existing cell phone owners on a worldwide basis.

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the POMM Smartphone Security Case will be $200 for 64GB of storage, $275 for 128GB, and $350 for the 256GB and commercial quantities for volume buyers that should be available in Q4 2016.

To generate a 10x return-on-investment for investors over the next 3 to 5 years, POMM would only need to sell 500,000 units at $200 per unit or less than 285,715 units at $350. Once POMM units are carried by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint and other wireless carriers, dealers and resellers as well as big box consumer electronics retailers like BestBuy, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Apple Stores, Target, CDW and others, POMM will be positioned to issue a very attractive Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Equity crowdfunding investment opportunities start at $500 and require reading through the full Title IV, Reg. A+ Equity Crowdfunding Offering Circular located at http://pommoffering.com or call David Freidenberg at (917) 300-0651.

Read more at:
http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/pomm-inc-quickly-raises-601714-with-equity-crowdfunding-campaign-investors-see-huge-2143059.htm 

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


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Mr. Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Mr. Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

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

29 Oct

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

By Robert Hoskins

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

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

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

Crowdfunding Social Media Campaigns

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

Crowdfunding PR Campaigns

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

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

“Next, most investors/donors will do a Google search to see what they can find online for both the company and its team members,” Hoskins continued. “With a two-month crowdfunding prep work campaign there will be several pages of search engine results that link to the client’s website pages, their social media posts/profiles and the crowdfunding campaign’s temporary landing page until the GoFundMe.com, Indiegogo.com,Kickstarter.com or Title III equity crowdfunding campaign goes live.”

Crowdfunding PR Campaign Consulting

If you would like to speak with a crowdfunding PR, social media and/or marketing expert regarding your crowdfunding campaign please call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622 or fill out the contact form at: https://crowdfundingpr.wordpress.com/about-crowdfunding-pr-campaigns/ to setup a telephone consultation appointment.

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


Mr. Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

Wells Fargo Announces Four-Point Plan to Expand Credit Coaching Programs and Offer $75 Million in Investments, Grants and Micro-Lending for Small Businesses in the U.S.

21 May

To help business owners learn how to obtain credit, as well as better understand the reasons for a decline and learn how to prepare to reapply, Wells Fargo has launched a new Credit Coaching program

  By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, California – To gain more insight into the experiences of diverse business owners in the areas of lending and operating their businesses, Wells Fargo commissioned Gallup to conduct a national study of small business owners. Today, as Gallup releases the findings (on Gallup.com), Wells Fargo is announcing a four-point plan to address needs identified in the study. The plan will help more diverse small businesses become credit-ready and gain access to credit. The Gallup survey included findings of business owners in six segments – African American, Asian American, Hispanic, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), military veteran, and women.

Please click on this banner to vote yes for Crowdfunding PR's business plan to open up Crowdfunding Training Facilities Nationwide

Please click on this banner to vote yes for Crowdfunding PR’s business plan to open up Crowdfunding Training Facilities nationwide in tandem with co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators

“Serving diverse communities has long been a focus area and priority for Wells Fargo, yet we know there’s more work to be done, and it starts with gaining a deeper understanding of the experiences of diverse small business owners working with financial institutions,” said Lisa Stevens, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo. “For this reason, we commissioned the Gallup study, which gave us new insight into the perceptions and experiences of diverse business owners working with banks, and how we can improve as a company and as an industry.”

Overall, the national study revealed there are more similarities than differences between small business owners in all diverse segments and those in the general population. It also shows specific areas in which the financial services industry can provide more support for diverse business owners.

Credit Coaching Program

In the Gallup survey, diverse-owned small businesses were more likely to respond that they have been declined for business credit – about one in five African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners said they faced a credit decline in the past (14 percent of general market respondents said they faced a decline). After being declined, a higher percentage of African American business owners (64 percent) said they did not apply for credit again than their peers in the general small business population (47 percent). African American (14 percent) and LGBT (15 percent) business owners also reported greater personal credit challenges than the general market (5 percent).

To help business owners learn how to obtain credit, as well as better understand the reasons for a decline and learn how to prepare to reapply, Wells Fargo has launched an enhanced Credit Coaching program. It offers expanded support to business owners who have been declined business credit. The phone-based program has been rolled out to small business owners who apply for Wells Fargo Business Direct credit products (primarily credit products under $100,000 sold through its retail banking stores). Business owners who use the program will be connected with a credit specialist who will review the business’ credit profile, explain why the business was declined credit, and share resources that can help the business strengthen its credit profile and improve the likelihood of being approved for business credit in the future.

In addition, while the majority of business owners surveyed across all segments said they did not feel a perception of discrimination from a financial institution impacted their chances of obtaining business credit, 22 percent of African American and 11 percent of LGBT business owners reported that perceived discrimination impacted their chances of obtaining credit for their business, compared to 5 percent of the general small business owner population. The Credit Coaching initiative will be one way Wells Fargo will further increase transparency of credit decisions and facilitate conversations that build trust with all customers.

“We take pride in the fact that diversity and inclusion has long been one of our core values in every aspect of our business, and at every level of our organization,” said Stevens. “We want to make sure all customers feel welcome, respected, understood, valued and appreciated. The actions we’re introducing today are the next steps for Wells Fargo to better serve and connect with diverse-segment business owners.”

Community Development Financial Institutions Investments, Grants

Another key finding in the Gallup study is that African American, Asian and Hispanic small business owners are more likely to be in the start-up and growing stages of their business, compared to the small business population in general, and as a result may not qualify for many conventional bank loan products. In addition, 49 percent of African American-, 47 percent of women- and 45 percent of LGBT-owned businesses in the survey reported annual business revenue of less than $50,000, compared to 36 percent of small business owners in general.

To help newer, smaller and start-up businesses access the appropriate business financing and support they need, Wells Fargo will extend $50 million in investments and $25 million in grants to organizations called Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that serve small businesses and entrepreneurs. The investments and grants will be directed to CDFIs that help small businesses get started and established by providing flexible capital and technical assistance. Wells Fargo will work with existing and new CDFI customers in diverse communities across the country to deploy this capital and measure its impact.

“We know that in order to address the range of financial needs within all of our communities, we need to support and work with the ecosystem of organizations that serve small businesses,” said Jon Campbell, executive vice president, government and community relations for Wells Fargo. “Through this increased investment and connections with community lending organizations, we are making meaningful strides toward increasing access to capital for small businesses, as well as helping more business owners get the coaching and educational resources they need to succeed financially long-term.”

Nationwide Referral Network

In the Gallup study, more African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners reported they were unable to obtain all the credit they needed in the past year than the general business owner population, yet the majority of small business owners in all diverse segments said they did not need credit in the last year. At the same time, nearly one in four African American, Hispanic and Asian business owners plans to apply for credit in the next 12 months, higher than the general small business owner population planning to pursue credit (15 percent). Businesses in the startup and growing phases in general expressed more intentions to apply for new credit.

To ensure business owners are aware of and accessing the full range of financing options available to them, Wells Fargo recently established referral relationships with more than 20 nonprofits and other lenders in cities across the country that are participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Advantage program. Participants in the SBA’s program specialize in providing hands-on guidance to small businesses and offering credit to qualifying businesses in underserved markets. Wells Fargo, the nation’s No. 1 SBA lender 7(a) in dollar volume for six consecutive years (U.S. SBA data, federal fiscal years 2009-2014), established these relationships with the intent of providing small business owners with an additional financing solution that may better meet their lending needs.

Chamber Training Institute

On the topic of business education, the Gallup study showed that African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners were more likely than business owners in the general population to be extremely or very interested in learning how to build a strong business credit application, choose a credit product, and develop a business plan. To meet this demand, Wells Fargo is supporting a Chamber Training Institute that trains leaders of diverse-segment chambers of commerce on key business and leadership topics for their members, such as how to access business credit and craft strong business plans. This cross-chamber initiative builds on Wells Fargo’s strong working relationships with chambers nationwide that specifically serve and represent African American, Hispanic, Asian American and LGBT business owner interests.

“There’s no single answer to the challenges reflected in the study, just as the challenges facing all diverse-owned businesses are broader than any one financial institution can address,” Stevens said. “As America’s leading small business lender, we have a responsibility to do more. We believe the steps we’re taking will make a difference, help us foster more lifelong relationships, and move us closer to our goal of helping every business we serve succeed financially. We want to contribute to a national conversation, involving the public and private sector, industry stakeholders and small business owners, about how to better support small businesses in every community.”

Additional Gallup study findings

Other key findings in Gallup’s industry study included:

  • Only about half of small business owners say they have ever borrowed money for their business, including the general population of small business owners (50 percent), Asian (53 percent) and Hispanic (51 percent) segments, while the percentage of African American business owners who have used credit (42 percent) is somewhat lower.
  • African American (21 percent) and Hispanic (18 percent) business owners were more likely than their counterparts in the general population (10 percent) to be in the startup phase.
  • Nearly half of Asian-owned business owners (49 percent) said they were in the growing phase of their business, a higher percentage than the general population of small business owners (37 percent). Also, 38 percent of Asian-owned businesses reported annual revenue of $250,000 or more, compared to 22 percent of businesses overall.
  • A higher proportion of veteran-owned businesses (24 percent) reported being in the winding down phase – preparing to retire, sell or transition their businesses – than small business owners in general (15 percent).
  • Just 9 percent of women business owners reported plans to apply for new credit in the next 12 months, compared with 20 percent of men surveyed.

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Crowdlending Site, Kiva, Launches “Dreams” to Support Equality for All Women

6 Mar

On March 8th, Help Kiva Make a Difference by Backing the Dreams of Women around the World to Honor and Support International Women’s Day

 By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CAKiva.org wants millions of people worldwide to celebrate the 104th International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015. While many gains have been made, the dream of women’s equality is still far from reality. The truth. In the year 2015 inequality is still all around us. Opportunity is not equal. Education is not equal. Wealth is not equal.

But dreams… the dreams of all women are created equal. And that’s where you can start.  In honor of International Women’s Day – and the days that follow – Kiva has launched Kiva.org/Dreams to spotlight the power of women to create sustainable change when everyday people lend their support.

Please visit Kiva.org/Dreams to vote on which woman Kiva’s team should pick to lend $25 to enable her dream to come true. There is no cost to you. By choosing her, you help her to follow her dream of starting or growing her business, sending her children to school, and gaining financial independence.

 

Or search through Kiva’s portfolio of women entrepreneurs and select a woman and donate $25 in countries where any amount of money will make a huge difference in her daily life. Supporters will receive great satisfaction in knowing that they made a difference in someone’s life that really needed the money.

Without access to resources to attend school or grow a business, their dreams are far too often out of reach. This affects us all.  Women’s empowerment means economic growth for their families, communities and the world. A case in point: if women farmers had equal access to farming assets and finance, they could increase their crop yields up to 30% and 150 million people who go hungry every day would be able to eat.

By contributing to the success of an entrepreneurial woman who has overcome obstacles most of us cannot even truly imagine, we discover so much more about our own resiliency, possibility, and potential. Each of us has a part to play and together we can make dreams a reality for thousands of women around the world.

So, in honor of International Women’s Day and the power of women to create lasting change, please back a dream at Kiva.org/Dreams.

Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, more than 1.6 million people turned their dreams into reality because 1.3 million people backed their dream on Kiva. Together, more than $675 million in loans have been crowdfunded, with a 98% repayment rate.

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RE-volv’s IndieGoGo Crowdfunding Campaign Successfully Raises $50,002 to Fund 36-kW Community Solar Project to Power Organic Food Cooperative in San Francisco 

4 Mar

“Solar Seed Fund” finances solar clean energy projects for non-profits and cooperatives by crowdfunding tax deductible donations to fund 20-year solar leases that give back to the community

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, California –  RE-volv, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, successfully completed its third crowdfunding campaign on Thursday, raising over $50,000 to finance a 36-kW solar array for the Other Avenues Food Cooperative in San Francisco. RE-volv’s innovative solar financing model, the Solar Seed Fund — the first of its kind — uses crowdfunding to grow a revolving fund that’s continually reinvested in community-based solar projects.

SolarSeedFund Raises Money on Indiegogo to Support Community Solar Project

SolarSeedFund Raises Money with Crowdfunding to Build Community Solar Projects

“People are sick of waiting for leaders to take action on climate change. They want to lead the way in their own communities and RE-volv is giving them a tool to do that.” said Andreas Karelas, Executive Director of RE-volv. “Having completed three successful campaigns, we see that this model is replicable and poised to grow rapidly.”

During its first three Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns, RE-volv has raised over $121,000 from close to 900 donations from people in 38 states and 22 countries. This money is being utilized to finance three community-based solar projects amounting to 68kW of solar capacity.

RE-volv finances solar energy projects for non-profits and cooperatives that serve their community. RE-volv covers the initial costs of a 20-year solar lease by crowdfunding tax deductible donations.

As communities pay RE-volv back through a solar lease over time, RE-volv reinvests those funds plus interest into new projects for nonprofits and cooperatives creating a revolving fund for solar energy that serves the community.

“I’ve been working on this project for eight years, and it’s been difficult to find the right fit for financing this solar project,” said Other Avenues president Darryl Dea. “So when RE-volv came around it was a perfect fit for us because not only do they work with nonprofits and co-ops, but we’re able to contribute to this fund which will further create more solar projects.”

Leading up to Global Divestment Day last week, Bill McKibben, author and founder of 350.org, added, “As everyone’s divesting, might be worth donating a little money to this Solar Seed Fund” which resulted in increased donations for the campaign.

Another factor that helped RE-volv reach its crowdfunding goal was being selected as a winner of the OpenIDEO Renewable Energy Challenge two weeks ago.

As a result, RE-volv will receive resources and support from innovative design firm IDEO and leading environmental foundation, the 11th Hour Project. Open IDEO described RE-volv’s model in this way: “The Solar Seed Fund isn’t your grandma’s crowdfunding platform… It’s a positive feedback cycle that encourages communities to rapidly transition to solar.”

Winning the OpenIDEO challenge adds to a growing line of support for RE-volv. RE-volv has received support for its work from Audubon’s Toyota TogetherGreen program, the San Francisco Foundation, the Rose Foundation, the Yahoo Employee Foundation, Patagonia, KIND Healthy Snacks, Aveda, and Whole Foods.

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MicroVentures Opens “500 Startups Fund III” Equity Investment Opportunity to Fund 4-Month Startup Accelerator Programs

27 Feb

Equity Crowdfunding Site Now Seeking Investors to Invest up to $10,000 in Multiple e-commerce, cloud services, mobile, education, digital health, payments and Internet startup companies

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – MicroVentures, an online equity crowdfunding portal based in Mountain View, California and offices in Austin, Mexico City and San Francisco, announced the launch of a new equity crowdfunding investment fund called “500 Startups Fund III,” which is seeking to sign up accredited equity investors to invest a minimum of $10,000 or more in early stage capital investments. The 500 Startups Fund III makes investments across multiple industry verticals, including e-commerce, cloud services, mobile, education, digital health, payments and Internet among others.

MicroVentures Equity Investment Network of 25,000 Global Investors to Date Have Invested $125 Million in Approximately 900 Startup Companies

MicroVentures Equity Investment Network Has Invested   $125 Million in Approximately 900 Startup Companies

Founded by Bill Clark in 2009, MicroVentures recruited Tim Sullivan, Garrett Paul and Jaclyn Strife from SharesPost in 2012, which is renowned for taking Facebook through its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and went on to found Oceanic Partners. The firm runs something commonly referred to an investment syndicate, where accredited investors who are new to the Angel and Venture Capital investment process follow seasoned, experienced lead investors.

“Over the years, MicroVentures has built a platform that gives investors the ability to diversify investments in early to late stage opportunities. Our level of due diligence and customer support are unique resources angel investors previously did not have access to,” stated Bill Clark, Founder and CEO of MicroVentures. “Investors are increasingly seeking diversification and international exposure. MicroVentures through the 500 Startups Fund III provides both, while reinforcing its long-standing commitment of supporting investor demand for diversified opportunities.”

Using this growth strategy MicroVentures had amassed more than 4,000 investors by the end of 2012 and over the past three years it has grown 625% to a very large pool of more than 25,000 global investors who have invested approximately $125 million in 900 companies.

Unlike typical broker dealers, which only solicit investments ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 and up, the MicroVenture site allows accredited as well as non-accredited investors to invest in a wide variety of funds that range from investments of $1,000, $3,000, and $10,000 and up. This allows investors to diversify their portfolio and spread their eggs across multiple startup baskets, which reduces risk and increases the chance of being able to discover and participate in the next Facebook, Oculus, or Pebble Time Watch at a very early stage.

The 500 Startups runs a four-month Accelerator Program for Startups that culminates in a private, invite-only Demo Day where each startup presents to a group of select investors in an effort to attract additional seed funding. About 30 companies participate in each four-month program offered at its various locations.  Batch 12 began January 2015 in San Francisco.

In addition to investing through its accelerator program, 500 Startups invests globally in early-stage companies through various seed-stage investment funds.

Across numerous funds, 500 Startups has committed approximately $125 million to over 900 portfolio companies.

The inaugural investment fund, Fund I, was formed in July 2010 and achieved an ultimate fund size of $29 million. As of September 30, 2014, the internal rate of return for Fund I stood at 18% with investment exits worth approximately $13 million.

Fund II was formed in April 2012 raising almost $45 million. Fund II has achieved $2 million in exits and a net internal rate of return of 27% as of September 30, 2014.

While Fund I and Fund II are closed to new investments, the 500 Startups is the fundraising process for four other funds: Fund III, Annex Fund, 500 Luchadores and 500 Durians.

Under its status as a FINRA-registered broker-dealer, MicroVentures offers both primary and secondary investment opportunities through their user-friendly, online equity crowdfunding platform. Series 7 licensed brokers develop personal relationships with Accredited and Sophisticated Investors to provide high-touch customer service, and support investment in startups with confidence.

The crowdfunding portal provides access to a flow of curated, vetted startup investment opportunities and allows novice investors to review due diligence, disclosures and speak with experienced licensed financial professionals prior to making an investment.

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