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Tag Archives: Shark Tank

Freaker’s Founder Returns to Kickstarter to Launch $250k Crowdfunding Campaign to Fund New Line of Freaker Socks

5 Jan

When millions of people saw Freaker USA founder Zach Crain on ABC’s Shark Tank, the first thing they noticed were his zany antics, his wild beard, and his rambunctious yet business-savvy charm. What they may have missed is his commitment to keeping jobs in the US!

By Robert Hoskins

Wilmington, North Carolina – One of the wildest contestants ever on ABC’s Shark Tank, Zach Crain, founder of Freaker USA is returning to Kickstarter, where his 2011 video was hailed as “the holy grail of Kickstarter videos” by the crowdfunding site itself. Starting New Year’s Day, Freaker USA aims to raise $250,000 on Kickstarter in 40 days to begin production on Freaker Feet, the company’s high-quality line of socks that are 100% designed, sourced, and manufactured in the USA. The 6-minute video pitch is the company’s most outrageously entertaining video production yet.

Freaker Feet, the company’s high-quality line of socks that are 100% designed, sourced, and manufactured in the USA

Freaker Feet, the company’s high-quality line of socks that are 100% designed, sourced, and manufactured in the USA

Freaker USA’s quirky line of ultra-stretchy beverage insulators, called Freakers and also made in the USA, can now be found everywhere from independent gift shops and boutiques to major national retailers. The company is expanding into socks, an import-dominated industry, in order to further support manufacturing in America.

Freaker Feet’s Kickstarter page shows the anatomy of their domestically produced socks, with the names and locations of the American cotton spinners, mills, dyers, and packagers that will create them—and who will ultimately reap economic benefit from the campaign.

“Let’s team up! Let’s go after the sock industry that’s 99% overseas,” says Freaker USA founder Zach Crain. “Socks don’t need to have a 20,000 mile footprint. Let’s bring these jobs home.”

Freaker Feet will have 127 sock designs in total, including officially licensed collegiate, boutique styles, a design for each of the 50 States, and one for almost every football fan.

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Equity Crowdfunding Platform, MicroVentures, Touts Track Record of Raising More than $50 Million for New Pre-IPO Startup Companies

21 Oct

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world’s leading equity investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas –  Online venture capital platform, MicroVentures, announced that the company has raised more than $50 million directly for its portfolio companies, while generating positive returns for its investors through successful exits, such as the recent acquisition of Space Monkey, a cloud data storage company, by Vivint, on of the the largest home automation services provider in North America.

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world's leading investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world’s leading investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

Accelerated growth of MicroVentures will be fueled by new investment opportunities that cater to investors’ rising interests, such as late stage pre-IPO companies and real estate. The company’s focus includes investments in internet technology, media and entertainment, software, green technology, mobile, social and gaming.

“We set out five years ago to create the user-friendly platform that connects investors and startups at the seed stage,” said Bill Clark, founder of MicroVentures. “Today MicroVentures not only connects, but leads investment rounds for our portfolio companies – the first equity crowdfunding platform to play this role. This milestone showcases the viability of the equity crowdfunding business and we look forward to continuing to grow alongside our investors and entrepreneurs.”

The more than $50 million raised to date includes investments in successful companies such as Twitter (IPO), Facebook (IPO), Yelp (IPO), Republic Project (acquired), LaunchRock (acquired), and Loom (acquired by Dropbox). Other notable start-ups that are currently part of the MicroVentures’ portfolio include Structured Polymers, Soldsie, Biomeme and Oru Kayak, who was featured in the last season of Shark Tank and is actively raising capital via the MicroVentures platform today.

“MicroVentures gave us the opportunity to pitch in front of over 20,000 global investors,” said Nathan Derrick, CEO of Supplyhog. “This allowed us to spend less time raising capital and more time growing our business.”

Since establishing itself in 2010 as one of the first equity crowdfunding platforms that is a FINRA registered broker-dealer, MicroVentures has grown its investor community from 200 individuals to more than 22,000 individuals. The company has done so through building expertise, security, selectivity, due diligence, personalized customer service and accessibility for both accredited and non-accredited investors. The MicroVentures team is committed to providing confidence for both startups and investors through its dedication to rigorous due diligence and to personal relationships with investors.

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New BioMetric, Predictive Video Analytics Tool to be Unveiled at SXSW Sports to Enable NFL, NBA, MLB Coaches, Scouts and Recruiters to Shop for New Players 24×7 from Anywhere

5 Mar

Austin-based sports social media network for student athletes to be introduced at press event with ESPN, college/major sports stars and coaches, sportscasters and major league sports executives

 By Robert Hoskins

ScoutsViewSports.com selects SXSW Sports to introduce its new biomechanics, predictive video analytics tool that allows high school, college/university, NFL, NBA and MLB coaches, scouts and recruiters to analyze student athletes’ performance from anywhere in the world.  Endorsed by Fred Akers, former University of Texas Coach and Roberto Clemente, Jr., ESPN TV broadcaster and former baseball player, the new sports social media network is targeting student athletes 13-years-old through pro-level athletes, who can build profiles that catalog their sports career, game performance stats, collegiate standings and much more.

Shark Tank Winner, ScoutsView Sports, Unveils New Biomechanics, Predictive Video Analytics Tool to Help NFL, NBA and MLB Scouts, Recruiters and Coaches Evaluate Student Performance at SXSW

Shark Tank Winner, ScoutsView Sports, Unveils New Biomechanics, Predictive Video Analytics Tool to Help NFL, NBA and MLB Scouts, Recruiters and Coaches Evaluate Student Performance at SXSW in Austin, Texas

Who:

ScoutsViewSports.com, an Austin-based Shark Tank Winner, recently pitched and won an investment from Kevin Harrington, an original Shark Tank Investor, at the Shark Tank Feb. 6th event held in Austin, Texas.  ScoutsView has an equity investment deal with Mr. Harrington on the table and will receive access to his global TV network distribution, rolodex and the As Seen on TV brand name.

What:

Student athlete social media network that records lifetime achievement, builds a large fan base and provides a huge database of biometrics, predictive video analytic clips where college, university and NFL, NBA, MLB major league scouts can analyze student athletes’ skills, performance and stats from anywhere in the world and shop for players that meet their exact team requirements.

Where:

Shiner’s Saloon located at 422 Congress Ave. #D, Austin Texas 78701 or call (512) 448-4600, which is located next door to the Driskill Hotel, which is the headquarters for SXSW Sports.

When:

ScoutsView Sports and ESPN’s “Laying Down the Law” program will be at Shiner’s Saloon everyday from 3/7/14 to 3/10/14 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The team will be interviewing the following list of famous sport celebrities, college and major sports stars and coaches, sportscasters and major league sports executives, plus many more impromptu interviews and unscheduled appearances.

(other sports journalists and reporters are welcome and encouraged to attend and interview guests)

Interview Schedule with Steven Foster, ESPN and Michael Richardson, CEO ScoutsView Sports

Friday, March 7th from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm:

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

  • Fred Akers, former University of Texas Coach
  • Dan Akers, son of Fred Akers
  • Michael Richards, ScoutsView Sports CEO

Special VIP Guests:

Saturday, March 8th from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm

4:00 pm – 5:00 pmJeff Beckham – SXSW Sports Organizer, NY Times and Wired Reporter

5:00 pm – 6:00 pmMike Vasquez – SXSW Speaker from Tribal Science

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Open, please call (512) 627-6622 to setup ESPN interviews

Sunday, March 9th from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm

3:00 pm to 4:00 pmPress Conference with Mike Richardson, ScoutsView CEO

Press members please RSVP at (512) 627-6622 to attend.
Remote reporters can also dial-in and walk through online demo
by calling conference number (213) 493-0358; use PIN: 29804 

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Jennifer Welter, first female running back with men’s pro football team

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Open, please call (512) 627-6622 to setup ESPN interview

Monday, March 10th from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm –  Kai Sato – FieldLevel social network for coaches and Entrepreneur reporter

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Open, please call (512) 627-6622 to setup ESPN interview

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Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran Joins RockthePost Equity Crowdfunding Board of Directors

24 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

One of the leading equity crowdfunding platforms, RockThePost, announced that Barbara Corcoran, one of the Shark Tank‘s stars, will be joining its Board of Directors.  RockthePot is an investment crowdfunding platform that connects high quality entrepreneurs with accredited investors interested in investing in exciting new start-up companies. The site aims to be a resource for both entrepreneurs and investors by streamlining the capital raising lifecycle and providing crowdfunding support during the fundraising process.

Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank Billionaire Joins RockthePost Crowdfunding Board of Directors

Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank Billionaire Joins RockthePost Crowdfunding Board of Directors

Via its services, RockThePost aims to be a resource for both entrepreneurs and investors by streamlining the capital raising lifecycle and providing the needed support during the fundraising process. The company’s mission is to democratize the fundraising practice.

In this regard, Barbara is one of the “Sharks” starring in the hit ABC TV show Shark Tank, where she has personally invested in over 20 startups. She converted a $1,000 loan into a $5 billion dollar real estate empire. In addition, Corcoran is a contributor to the NBC’s Today Show, and hosted “The Millionaire Broker with Barbara Corcoran ” on CNBC.

“It seemed like a natural fit for me to join RockThePost’s board and help them flourish in the brave new world of online capital raising. Startups are having a lot of difficulty getting their hands on the needed capital to start and grow their business and RockThePost changes all that. With the new Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”) signed and once the SEC finalizes its rules, the days of start-up capital only coming from accredited investors are over. Now Joe and Sue from down the street will soon have the opportunity to also invest in startups and participate in deals previously only offered to accredited investors,” added Barbara.

With this new addition to the Board of Directors, RockThePost is establishing itself as one of the leaders in the equity crowdfunding space. On the platform, startups can raise money in 60-90 days, without having to do the offline roadshow of 8 months. They accommodate raises anywhere between $100K to $5M for early stage companies that have a minimum viable product with some market validation in the hardware, tech, healthcare and consumer product verticals.

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

16 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida Gives Birth to Yet Another Crowdfunding Platform, ClickStartMe

17 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

The funding craze that’s sweeping the globe is receiving a complementary makeover thanks to the genius of Tess Hottenroth, COO of ClickStartMe, the newest addition to the Crowdfunding scene. ClickStartMe is the first Crowdfunding site to offer individuals and businesses everything they need to realize their dreams, including a platform to attract supporters and raise funds, an e-commerce storefront, social media tools, expert guidance, and the added bonus of site-sponsored contests offering amazing perks and prizes.

ClickStartMe Launches Crowdfunding Platform in Florida

ClickStartMe Launches Crowdfunding Platform in Florida

Crowdfunding exploded across the Internet in 2009 as the latest and greatest way to generate support for funding-worthy projects, but the industry was fragmented and none of the emerging platforms offered would-be fundraisers a clear and comprehensive blueprint for success.

When Hottenroth recognized the need for a fundamental change in the Crowdfunding concept, she knew she had to revolutionize the industry by establishing her own innovative site. She now stands out as one of only a handful of women entrepreneurs in the male-dominated tech sector. According to the New York Times, women account for only 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and only 8 percent of venture-backed technology start-ups.

While Hottenroth takes on the challenge of being a groundbreaker with aplomb, she doesn’t see gender as an issue that will make or break a deal for crowdfunders. “People and businesses who need to raise money through crowdfunding don’t care if the person running the site wears a tie or slips on Louboutin pumps every day,” Hottenroth says. “People want a user-friendly experience that works and is fun, and we give that to them with ClickStartMe.”

Hottenroth does believe that being a female entrepreneur gives her certain advantages over her male counterparts in the Crowdfunding world. Her creative flair and her intuitive sense of public perception led her to design ClickStartMe in a way that makes the process of Crowdfunding uncomplicated and user-friendly.

“And let’s not forget fun,” Hottenroth says. “While Crowdfunding a project you’re passionate about is serious business, we all want to have some fun in our lives, and ClickStartMe definitely puts the fun in Crowdfunding.”

To inject a healthy dose of fun into her cutting-edge startup, Hottenroth took her cue from the public’s fascination with televised reality and talent contest shows like The Voice, America’s Next Top Model and Shark Tank and added contests for anyone who creates a ClickStartMe project. Each contest offers cash prizes, trips to fun locations and other valuable rewards for participating.

“Our Spokesmodel contest winner gets $5000. We are flying 10 models to Las Vegas for a finale on stage at the hottest club in the country,” Hottenroth said. “In our invention and product category, the contest winner gets a national distribution deal for their product and a television commercial produced for them. The perks make it fun for users and give them the opportunity to make their product widely visible, but they also add to the experience for donors – instead of just being funders, they become active supporters cheering on their contestant.”

It was after she returned to America and took the helm of a Florida media firm that Crowdfunding first caught Hottenroth’s attention. “Most of our media clients were small businesses, and as the economy continued to plummet, it was disheartening to see phenomenal ideas that were going nowhere because of the bad economy, and dreams that weren’t taking flight because traditional funding sources had dried up,” Hottenroth says. The 2012 JOBS Act put equity Crowdfunding on her radar as an alternative for small business, and she began to view the concept as the potential antidote for a multitude of financing woes.

The Crowdfunding platform Hottenroth envisioned wouldn’t kick people off once a funding goal was reached – it would encourage them to network, stay in touch with supporters and contribute to other projects. People would be able to sell the products they developed, the art they created, or the music they produced through an on-site store. They would also have easy access to key resources like accountants, patent lawyers, manufacturers and marketing experts to help them along their road to success.

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