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Tag Archives: Silicon Valley

Legion M Closes Over-Subscribed, Record-Setting $1 Million Equity Crowdfunding Campaign on Wefunder Portal

16 Aug

World’s first fan-owned entertainment studio leads the JOBS Act field with 3,000+ investors and significant demand above and beyond the $1 million cap allowed by the SEC’s JOBS Act Regulation CF

 By Robert Hoskins

Silicon Valley, CA – Legion M, the world’s first crowdfunded and now fan-owned entertainment company, announced they have raised one million dollars via their Title III crowdfunding offering on Wefunder. The Company raised the funds in less than three months from a record breaking 3,000+ investors, making it the most popular Reg CF company in the short history of Title III of the JOBS Act. At the time of closing, Legion M was also the number one company in terms of total investment interest and demand, with significantly more demand above and beyond the $1 million dollar funding cap allowed by the SEC, which leaves outstanding appetite for Legion M stock even after the round is closed.

Legion M Closes Oversubscribed, Record-Setting $1 Million Equity Crowdfunding Round on Wefunder

Legion M Closes Oversubscribed, Record-Setting $1 Million Equity Crowdfunding Round on Wefunder

“Legion M shareholders worldwide are celebrating this significant milestone we achieved together. We are truly inspired by their energy, passion and unbridled support. This Legion of dedicated fans have rallied behind us and our movement to make our mark entertainment industry,” said Paul Scanlan, CEO and co-founder of Legion M. “We are grateful to the JOBS Act for the innovative reforms that make this possible. Today we made history, and this is only the beginning.”

 Legion M’s creative partners currently include Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the team behind Robot Chicken, 42 Entertainment, Meltdown Comics and Alamo Drafthouse.

 “I was impressed with how Legion M’s fans rallied to help them hit the one million dollar milestone eight days early,” said Nick Tommarello, CEO and co-founder of Wefunder. “We designed Wefunder for companies looking to build a stronger relationship with their most passionate customers, who are eager to help their favorite companies succeed. It was great to see how well it worked with Legion M’s well over three thousand investors.”

 “With more than three times the number of investors as any other Reg CF offering, Legion M has set the bar for Title III,” says Sara Hanks, a definitive authority on the JOBS Act and CEO of equity crowdfunding specialists CrowdCheck. “The real power of equity crowdfunding is having an investor base that can increase the value of your company, and Legion M is one of the best illustrations of that so far.”

“Having raised in excess of $100 million from VCs and angel investors for previous companies, we can attest that equity crowdfunding is a game changer,” said Jeff Annison, Legion M president and co-founder. “It’s not just a way to raise money–it’s a whole new paradigm for building a company.”

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

15 Mar

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

By Robert Hoskins

Providing Easy Access to Investment Capital 

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Equity Crowdfunding Surges in Israel; OurCrowd Raises $60M for 46 Different Startups

15 Jul

Producing a better track record than Silicon Valley, twenty of these companies have already raised more than $1 million each in investments

 By Robert Hoskins

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd announced has successfully raised $60 million in the aggregate to date over its platform for its 46 portfolio companies. Twenty of these companies have already raised more than $1 million each in investments, and four companies have raised over $3 million through the OurCrowd platform.

OurCrowd Equity Crowdfunding in Israel

OurCrowd Equity Crowdfunding in Israel

OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved stated, “We are proud to have raised these amounts in just 16 months since launching. These numbers demonstrate that our model works and can be effectively used for major funding rounds. The fact that OurCrowd has deployed more money for our companies than our Silicon Valley competitors proves that we are indeed at the forefront of equity crowdfunding innovation.”

Larry Jasinski, CEO of OurCrowd’s portfolio company ReWalk Robotics, which recently filed for its IPO, said, “OurCrowd did their diligence thoroughly, effectively and quickly which was appreciated and valuable for an operating company. Their team has a combination of deep experience, meaningful skills and enthusiasm for their mission. They also have provided key contacts in the US and in new areas for us such as Australia.”

OurCrowd, and its team of experienced investment professionals, provides a new and innovative way to invest in Israeli and global early-stage companies. The company has emerged as a leader in the increasingly competitive equity crowdfunding space. Earlier this year, OurCrowd announced the closing of a $25 million Series B funding round. OurCrowd continues to grow its investor base and team.

OurCrowd is a hybrid VC-equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors who wish to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. Managed by a team of well-known investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. Members choose those deals they invest in via OurCrowd-managed partnerships.

OurCrowd provides post investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats. OurCrowd has raised over $60 million in equity crowdfunding for its 46 portfolio companies which include leading companies, such as: ReWalk, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch and Abe’s Market.

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Israel is Now the Most Likely Place for People to Start a Tech Firm, States a Recent Economist Article Featuring a World Startup Report

20 May

Upround Ventures Announces First Series A/B Mentor Exchange and Upcoming Innovation Summit Events to Help Startups Cross the Series A Investment Chasm 

 By Robert Hoskins

Tel Aviv, Israel – Upround Ventures announcing two new events, Mentor Exchange and Innovation Summitthat will be held in Israel. Upround Ventures targets the gaps that exist after startups graduate accelerator programs or are initially funded with crowdfunding or angel sources. The firm engages qualified Israeli-based technology startups with a broad spectrum of financial and strategic capital from Europe, Asia, The United States, and Russia, helping to build relationships, create long-term value and grow networks worldwide.

Upround Ventures engages qualified, premium start-ups with active, global investors — to help address the Series A crunch.

Upround Ventures engages qualified, premium start-ups with active, global investors — to help address the Series A crunch.

“There is a chasm in the ecosystem today for Series A — the new Series B startups that are outside the Silicon Valley cocoon. Upround Ventures was launched based on feedback from both high-caliber entrepreneurs seeking more choices for capital globally, as well as investors in various parts of the world, who have been asking for smarter ways to reach new premium deal flow,” said Esther Loewy, founder and CEO, Upround Ventures. “It’s about democratizing the playing field and providing a continuum of process, funding and guidance.”

With an estimated 375 startups per million inhabitants, versus 190 in America, Israel is now the most likely place for people to start a tech firm, states a recent Economist article featuring a World Startup Report. Upround Ventures has already begun to identify and cultivate the game-changing technologies born in this region, then pair promising entrepreneurs with a network of VCs and other strategic investors who can fuel their sustained growth, and in turn, a thriving innovation economy globally.

Series A/B Mentor Exchange
A first-of-its-kind, Upround Venture’s Series A/B Mentor Exchange offers a network of experienced serial entrepreneurs and veteran executives to guide innovative early-stage technology companies in getting to the next stage. Mentors include Bruce Haymes of Nielsen, Ornit Shinar of Citi, Zohar Levkovitz of Amobee, and Ben Enosh of Plymedia, among others, who bring expertise spanning sales and marketing to financing and patents, to qualified post-seed-stage companies in the Network. The Mentor Exchange is the first of several initiatives to be kicked off this year that further reinforce the value proposition for Series-A-ready startups, as well as partners and investors.

“After startups graduate from incubators and accelerators they are often left in a ‘black hole’ without the support or expert advice they had while incubating. Upround’s Mentor Exchange provides entrepreneurs with an added edge at this critical stage; expert resources needed to hone their product, gain traction, build awareness, and network with global investors and partners,” commented Stephan Paternot, CEO of Slated, Inc. and advisor to Upround Ventures.

Upround Innovation Summit (Twitter #UproundSummit2014)
On May 19th, Upround Ventures will gather many of the world’s rising startups with global investors and corporate development executives looking for high-value, pre-screened companies.

To be held at IBM’s Innovation Center in Israel, the Upround Innovation Summit will feature:

  • Globally renowned speakers from Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, France and other regions (see Agenda)
  • The hottest technology startups in Israel, with innovations in mobile, media, big data, and Internet of Things, seeking strategic partnerships and global investment
  • Active investors from the U.S., Europe and Asia, including Runa Capital, Benhamou Global Ventures, Alsop Louie, Culturecom Holdings, BMW i Ventures, Alcatel-Lucent, Honda, H-Farm & Orange Capital
  • Sponsors and partners, including InvestHK, IBM, Herzog Fox & Neeman, Plymedia, CICC, TEICC, and StarTAU

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I-Bankers Direct Hires Silicon Valley Executive to Mine California’s High-Technology Crowdfunding Gold Mine

17 Jun

As Managing Director, Mr. Humphrey Polanen, brings decades of experience as a technology executive, entrepreneur, venture investor and international corporate attorney to I-Bankers Direct management team

 By Robert Hoskins

I-Bankers Direct announced that Humphrey Polanen has joined the company as a managing director. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Mr. Polanen is widely recognized for his decades of experience as a technology executive, entrepreneur, venture investor and international corporate attorney. He currently focuses on building the company’s ecosystem, identifying and evaluating fundraising opportunities for placement on the I-Bankers Direct equity crowdfunding platform (www.ibankers.com), and establishing relationships with associations of high net worth investors and with the venture and angel investor community.

“What they lacked is access to a reliable source of deals. We also know from experience how challenging it can be for small, growing businesses to raise capital. I-Bankers Direct was created to address these needs.”

“What they lacked is access to a reliable source of deals. We also know from experience how challenging it can be for small, growing businesses to raise capital. I-Bankers Direct was created to address these needs.”

With 24/7 online access to video presentations, offering documents, management conference calls, company slide decks and other decision-making support, the I-Bankers Direct platform provides accredited individual investors with the ability to evaluate and invest in promising business opportunities, based on their own schedule and from any Internet-connected device.

“We view Silicon Valley as a key region for I-Bankers Direct, both from the standpoint of sourcing investment opportunities for our platform as well as sourcing high-net-worth investors for the transactions,” said Mr. Polanen. “Companies in Silicon Valley received 41% of all U.S. venture investment in 2011 and, on a per capita basis, the area is home to the country’s greatest concentration of wealth and of savvy technology investors. The I-Bankers Direct platform aims to provide access to capital for emerging growth-stage businesses. I am excited that our platform will enable promising entrepreneurial companies led by great teams to build great companies.”

Mr. Polanen currently serves as a director of two public companies, Edgewave Software, which he took public as CEO, and Heritage Commerce Corp., a bank holding company of which he was a co-founder. He is also on the board of several private companies, including uCirrus Corp., a venture-stage company focused on real-time data management, and Punchlime, an accelerator for early-stage companies. Previously, Mr. Polanen founded and was Managing General Partner of Internet Venture Partners, a European venture capital management firm for technology companies. Prior to that, he was General Manager of two divisions of Sun Microsystems, where he led the Internet Commerce Group and the Network Security Division. He also held executive positions at Tandem Computers, where he oversaw corporate ventures and emerging market development. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he started his career as an international corporate lawyer.

Headquartered in Stamford, CT, I-Bankers Direct maintains offices in New York, Palo Alto, and Lugano, Switzerland. Interested accredited investors are invited to visit www.ibankers.com to register as users of the site. Registration is free, quick, and permits investors to receive regular updates regarding investment opportunities as they become available on the platform. Growth-stage companies with an interest in raising capital via the I-Bankers Direct platform can click here to submit a proposal for consideration.

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Crowdfunding Industry Rolls Out the Red Carpet to Hollywood and Indies with First Crowdfunding Film Festival in California

29 May

Crowdfunding Film Festival Set to Roll Out the Red Carpet to Hollywood and Independent Filmmakers to Promote Revolutionary New Public Equity Crowdfunding Finance Tool

By Robert Hoskins

The First Annual International CrowdFunding Film Festival will be held October 2-6, 2013 in San Francisco. The film fest will bring together artists, filmmakers, entertainment and video game creators to showcase their craft, network and  raise money through the new crowdfunding finance tool. The film festival has plans to collaborate with film schools in New York, London and Paris.

Crowdfunding Film Festival Set to Roll Out the Red Carpet to Hollywood and Independent Filmmakers to Promote Revolutionary New Public Equity Finance Tool

Crowdfunding Film Festival Set to Roll Out the Red Carpet to Hollywood and Independent Filmmakers to Promote Revolutionary New Public Equity Crowdfunding Finance Tool

Film students from universities all around the country are increasingly looking to crowdfunding to find backing for their projects. With over countless films successfully funded through crowdfunding portals such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, Hollywood is now paying close attention to all this movement.

Director/Writer Rob Thomas has raised over $5.7 million for his movie “Veronica Mars” while Zach Braff’s feature “Wish I Was Here” has raised $2.6 million in donations. San Francisco State Student Sterling Cook keen on exploring crowdfunding of finance for production projects.

“I see in these directors, writers, and cinematographers, the same core passion for innovation. They are not only artists but more importantly, entrepreneurs – they are seeking to touch the world and make a difference through their films. We know of their struggle to find financial backing and I believe crowdfunding will be the answer,” stated the ICFFF’s organizer Sydney Armani.

A film production involves collaboration between dozens of creative groups and getting all the individual pieces to fit together is similar to managing a business. Crowdfunding is changing the production landscape and the movie industry is currently experiencing a real game changer

Ted Hope, advocate of America’s Independent Cinema Movement and Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society, provides deeper insight into the current state of the film industry in his blog post “Why I Left New York for the San Francisco Film Festival.”

He said, “Our entertainment economy and the art it supports, was built upon the concepts of scarcity and control, but today’s reality is one of super-abundance and access – the exact opposite. To survive and flourish, today’s artists/entrepreneurs–and those who support them–must all embrace practices that extend beyond the core skills of development, production, and post-production of their art and reach beyond the attention and practice of marketing and distribution.” The meaning behind Hope’s words echoes the exact spirit and foundation that is the core of Silicon Valley’s passion for entrepreneurship and reflects the same spirit represented by the film festival.

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Jeff Pulver’s Zula Equity Crowdfunding Campaign Pushes Israel’s OurCrowd into the Worldwide Lead of Broker/Dealer Crowdfunding Deals

28 May

Israel-based OurCrowd overtakes Silicon Valley’s Lead in Worldwide Equity Crowdfunding Platforms

By Robert Hoskins

Israel’s hybrid VC-crowdfunding platform OurCrowd announced that it closed financing for Jeff Pulver’s latest startup, Zula, pushing its total raised for early stage companies above $12 million. This $12 million is in addition to the $5.5 million in funding OurCrowd raised for its own platform in February this year. Zula is OurCrowd’s 18th completed funding round.

Israel’s OurCrowd Takes Lead in Equity Crowdfunding

Israel’s OurCrowd Takes Worldwide Lead in Equity Crowdfunding overcoming Silicon Valley

OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved says “Passing this funding milestone makes OurCrowd this year’s fastest-growing vehicle for angels and accredited investors to find and back early stage companies online. From our roots in Israel we have actually taken the global lead in funds raised.”

Zula co-founder Jeff Pulver said, “I am excited about the value that OurCrowd brings to early stage investors who invest in startup companies. Not only did we raise our seed round online in less than a week, but we had people from all over the world invest in Zula thanks to this platform.” Zula provides an innovative cloud-based mobile collaboration platform for teams. It is lead by Jacob Ner-David, who co-founded DeltaThree, and Pulver, who is a well-known early investor in Twitter and FourSquare.

“While initially focusing on the Israeli early stage ecosystem, OurCrowd has now brought together investors and companies from around the world,” explained Medved. “The fact that this year we have raised more money for our companies than our Silicon Valley competitors is a vote of confidence that the Start-up Nation is indeed a global innovation leader.”

OurCrowd identifies companies seeking early stage investment and brings the best of these opportunities online, where only accredited investors may participate in specific venture capital funding rounds. This extensive and active global network of investors and mentors has allowed OurCrowd to also provide critical support to its startups. In order to increase involvement in the platform, OurCrowd has recently completed a series of face to face meetings around the world with thousands participating in meetings held in Israel, South Africa, UK, Norway, and multiple US cities such as Boston, Chicago, Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles.

OurCrowd is a hybrid VC-crowdfunding platform for accredited investors only who wish to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. Managed by a team of well-known investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. Members choose those deals they invest in via OurCrowd-managed partnerships. OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal. OurCrowd provides post investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats.

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