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Tag Archives: Startups

United Overseas Bank Partners with OurCrowd to Offer Equity Crowdfunding Support for Startups Participating in UOB’s Singapore FinLab Accelerator Program and other Cities throughout Asia

17 Aug

With a full Capital Market Services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) OurCrowd is now able to market its equity crowdfunding platform in Singapore and other Asian cities

 By Robert Hoskins

Singapore/Jerusalem – United Overseas Bank (UOB) is deepening its commitment to helping startups grow into sustainable businesses by training its commercial bankers to provide clients with the most up-to-date information on alternative funding channels beyond traditional financing. More than 100 of its bankers have been trained so far.

United Overseas Bank Partners with @OurCrowd to Support Asian Startups and Small to Medium Enterprises Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding for Seed Investment Capital

United Overseas Bank Partners with @OurCrowd to Support Asian Startups and Small to Medium Enterprises Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding for Seed Investment Capital

The training is timely as the Bank’s strategic equity crowdfunding partner, OurCrowd, a leading global equity crowdfunding platform, was awarded a full Capital Market Services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) at the end of July. With the license, OurCrowd is now able to market its equity crowdfunding platform in Singapore. In March this year, UOB announced it had made a US$10 million investment in OurCrowd, which invests in startups with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services.

“We are proud of the rapid growth of our unique brand of equity crowdfunding and teaming up with UOB to advance the cutting edge of FinTech and the startup ecosystem in the region,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s CEO. “As we work together, innovative Asian companies with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services will be able to get access to another source of funding from a global investor network to jumpstart their international expansion and business development.”

UOB’s partnership with OurCrowd reinforced the Bank’s commitment in supporting Asian SMEs and startups with end-to-end financing needs. The range of support includes UOB’s accelerator program, The FinLab, to venture debt financing through to investment banking.

Ms. Janet Young, Head of Group Channels and Digitalization, UOB, said, “We understand the ambitions of startups and emerging enterprises and want to help them grow into sustainable businesses. In the last six months, we have trained more than 100 commercial bankers to identify and to understand the type of financing for which startups can qualify. Through our initiatives, we are well-equipped to support the startup ecosystem and help them realize their full potential.”

In addition, accredited investors among UOB’s clients will now have an opportunity to broaden their investments into OurCrowd’s portfolio companies and tap into a quality deal flow across the globe.

Mr. Denes Ban, OurCrowd Partner and Managing Director, Asia, said, “Our latest approval and licence in Singapore is further validation of OurCrowd’s global footprint and it’s exciting to see immediate and impactful results, thanks to our partners at UOB and the Sassoon Investment Corporation (SIC). Singapore-based investors will now have access to our portfolio of world-class startups and tap their growth potential.”

Launched in 2013, OurCrowd has raised more than US$250 million for investment in almost 100 companies, and has already had eight companies in their portfolio either acquired by a multinational or listed publicly. Unlike traditional equity crowdfunding platforms, OurCrowd invests its own capital alongside the crowd investors in each deal as testament to their confidence in the deal. By offering investors the same terms (valuation, liquidation reference and protection) as venture capital funds, it offers accredited investors access to unrivaled investment opportunities. OurCrowd also provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors.

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SEC’s Proposed Amendments to Approve Nationwide Intrastate Crowdfunding and Raise Limit to $5 Million for Small Business

31 Oct

SEC’s Proposed Amendments to Rule 147 and 504 to Facilitate New Intrastate Crowdfunding and the Sale of Regional Securities Offerings

SEC Staff Proposes Amendments to Rules 147 and Reg. D.,504

SEC Staff Proposes Amendments to Securities Rules 147 and Reg. D. 504

 By Robert Hoskins

 SEC’s Proposed Actions for Title III Crowdfunding

The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering whether to propose amendments to Securities Act Rule 147 and Rule 504 of Regulation D.  The proposed amendments would be part of the Commission’s efforts to assist smaller companies with capital formation consistent with its investor protection mission.

Proposed Title III Crowdfunding Amendments

Proposed Amendments to Rule 147

The proposed amendments would modernize Rule 147 to permit companies to raise money from investors within their state without concurrently registering the offers and sales at the federal level.  The proposed amendments to Rule 147 would, among other things:

  • Eliminate the restriction on offers, while continuing to require that sales be made only to residents of the issuer’s state or territory.
  • Refine what it means to be an intrastate offering and ease some of the issuer eligibility requirements in the current rule.
  • Limit the availability of the exemption to offerings that are registered in-state or conducted under an exemption from state law registration that limits the amount of securities an issuer may sell to no more than $5 million in a 12-month period and imposes an investment limitation on investors.

Proposed Amendments to Rule 504

The proposed amendments to Rule 504 of Regulation D would increase the aggregate amount of securities that may be offered and sold under Rule 504 in any 12-month period from $1 million to $5 million and disqualify certain bad actors from participation in Rule 504 offerings.  The proposed rules would facilitate capital formation and increase investor protection in such offerings.

 

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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.

AlgoValue Rolls Out Easy-to-Use “Enterprise Valuator,” a Highly Advanced Automated “N” Process which Valuates Both Private and Publicly Traded Companies

16 Sep

Its growing suite of solutions provides fast, accurate, and cost-effective valuations for accounting firms, VCs, private investors, startups, law firms as well as crowdfunding and secondary market platforms

By Robert Hoskins

New York City, New York – AlgoValue announced the latest product in the company’s unique line of valuation products and solutions: Enterprise Valuator. The easy to use Enterprise Valuator is based on a highly advanced automated “N” process which valuates both private and traded companies and uses the same methodology followed by valuation firms, investment banks, and major worldwide accounting firms, including the ‘Big 4’. The solution easily enables users to valuate any company – whether or not it is at seed stage, generating revenue, or profitable. With instant access to a database of current and historical multiples from over 11,000 comparable traded companies, Enterprise Valuator delivers results in minutes.

AlgoValue Rolls Out Easy-to-Use "Enterprise Valuator," to Valuate Both Private and Publicly Traded Companies

AlgoValue “Enterprise Valuator” for Both Private and Public Traded Companies

Founded in Tel Aviv in 2011 by former PriceWaterhouseCoopers valuation experts Raphael Meyara and Tsachi Hageg, AlgoValue is streamlining the way valuations are performed. The company has enjoyed a rapid rise in usership, with a wide client base that includes accounting firms, valuation firms, VCs, private investors, startups, and law firms – as well as crowdfunding and secondary market platforms. Its growing suite of solutions provides fast, accurate, and cost-effective results that empower users and bring transparency to valuations done for a wide variety of purposes (financial reporting, tax compliance, capital raising, negotiating term sheets, pricing private share placements and trades, management/board decision making, and more). Furthermore, all of AlgoValue’s products are AICPA, US GAAP, and IFRS compliant.

Schedule a demo with AlgoValue’s experts.

AlgoValue’s Enterprise Valuator perfectly complements the company’s other products: the Term Sheet AnalyzerTM, and the 409A/ASC 820 Compliance WizardTM. The Term Sheet Analyzer is a one-stop solution for calculating ‘what-if’ scenarios and simulations of equity financing events and the creation of investment waterfalls. The Compliance Wizard offers an efficient, comprehensive solution for performing and auditing valuations of equity securities of private companies for tax (409A) and financial reporting (ASC 820). Both products provide a complete solution which avoids costly Excel errors.

As with all of AlgoValue’s solutions, users can share the inputs and outputs of Enterprise Valuator in a secure, real-time environment with all parties involved in any valuation or transaction pricing exercise. Enterprise Valuator is attractively priced at $60 U.S. per month per user, including unlimited use of the software.

“The Enterprise Valuator – by using multiples of comparable companies – gives our team a highly effective, easy-to-use tool for the valuation of traded companies, private companies, and startups. And the pricing can’t be beat!”

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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.

 

Onevest Sets $2 Million Self-Crowdfunding Record; Uses Funds to Hire Top Talent

22 Aug

Financial technology company currently operates one of the leading startup investing marketplaces with over 80,000 entrepreneurs and 15,000 investors registered

By Robert Hoskins

New York City, New York – Onevest announced that reached $2M in financing for its Series A round after self–crowdfunding on its own platform.   The financial technology firm launched the 506c offering to celebrate the implementation of Title IV of the JOBS Act. In one month alone the company has been able to close what would normally take on average between 4 to 8 months in the offline world for a tech startup of its size.

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, OneVest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups in the United States

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, OneVest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups in the United States

The company is currently operating one of the leading startup investing marketplaces with over 80,000 entrepreneurs and 15,000 investors registered.

Onevest has a unique approach, as it captures deal flow at the formation stage via its cofounder matchmaking property site, CoFoundersLab, which gives Onevest six months to one year in advance to build the relationship with the company before the entrepreneur is ready to seek a round of financing. Via CoFoundersLab, Onevest is onboarding over 2,000 registered entrepreneurs to its ecosystem every month.

“Today we have put a dent in the universe by changing the game of fundraising online. We are lucky and honored to be part of an industry that is revolutionizing what has been an old and outdated model that clearly needed a healthy disruption,” said Onevest’s Executive Chairman Alejandro Cremades.

The company is already putting the capital to work as it has hired a new CFO, Barry Shereck. Barry has more than 30 years of experience in financial management with early stage companies and has taken four companies public.

Onevest also announced the hire of Erica Duignan as the Head of Deal Flow to hone in on bringing high quality startups on its marketplace and to build a world-class team of venture associates. Erica is joining Onevest from the renown accelerator program Dreamit Ventures, where she was a Managing Director focused on company recruiting, fundraising and developing investor relationships.

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OurCrowd Opens Equity Crowdfunding Office for Canadian Startups in Toronto, Ontario

14 Jul

To provide local venture capital and a portfolio of management consulting services, OurCrowd has hired David Shore to head the Canadian operations and partnered with Influitive’s Advocate Hub for mobilization of its large global investor community for startups

By Robert Hoskins

Toronto, Ontario – OurCrowd announced the launch of its new Canadian equity crowdfunding operations, which will be targeting startups seeking at least a $1 million investment and will be utilizing Canadian-based Influitive, which helps companies build teams of advocates that drive sales and create buzz through often-underutilized channels such as referrals, recommendations, reviews and more.

Israel’s OurCrowd Takes Lead in Equity Crowdfunding

Israel’s OurCrowd Takes Lead in Equity Crowdfunding

The OurCrowd office in Canada office will be headed by David Shore, a well-known Canadian technology venture capital executive with over 20 years of experience.

Influitive, founded by CEO Mark Organ in 2010, helps companies build teams of advocates to drive sales and create buzz through often-underutilized channels such as referrals, recommendations, reviews and more. A pioneer in B2B advocate marketing software, Influitive is already producing segment-leading revenues from more than 200 enterprise customers, including Acquia, Atlassian, DocuSign, HireVue, Hootsuite, HP Software, Marketo, and Oracle. Mark Organ’s prior startup company, Eloqua, was acquired by Oracle in 2013 for $871M.

OurCrowd is investing in Influitive because of its own use of the Influitive AdvocateHub product for mobilization of its large global investor community on behalf of its startups. OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved explained, “There is no better way to source an investment than to be a happy customer. The company and its product impressed OurCrowd, and we asked to be included as a funder. We are delighted to invest in Influitive as our first venture in Canada.”

“We are proud to be the first OurCrowd investment in Canada,” said Influitive CEO Mark Organ. “It is exciting to have an investor who came to us because they used and loved our product. This really is what advocate marketing is all about.”

OurCrowd’s new Canadian Director, David Shore, brings an impressive track record as a venture capitalist and was a top ranked equity analyst at Mackie Research, CIBC, and Desjardins. Shore will be responsible for building the Canadian investor base for OurCrowd as well as sourcing new deals for the platform.

“I am excited to be joining the OurCrowd team as it continues its growth into Canada’s burgeoning tech hub,” said David Shore, Director of Investor Relations, OurCrowd Canada. “The Canadian market presents a significant opportunity for OurCrowd since startup investing is on the rise in Canada and most investors until now have not had access to high quality deals such as those available on OurCrowd. I look forward to bringing additional trailblazers from the Canadian tech ecosystem onto the OurCrowd platform, and to opening up the global technology market to accredited Canadian investors.”

As the Managing Director of Terracap Ventures, David developed the firm’s overall corporate strategy. David also served as Head of the Technology Group for Mackie Research Capital in the Equity Research department covering Software & Media sectors. Additionally, David is consistently ranked as a leading technology analyst (software) in Canada, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Canadian Innovation Exchange.

Following a commitment made by Medved at the Canadian Crowdfunding Summit in March that OurCrowd would open an office in Canada, Hon Brad Duguid, MPP, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure said, “I’m thrilled to see OurCrowd’s landmark entrance into Ontario’s growing technology, health sciences and venture capital markets. OurCrowd is an innovative global equity crowdfunding leader, providing significant entrepreneurial and start-up opportunities to individuals and businesses. I look forward to their continued success and growth into our province, and to Ontario companies showcasing their talent and entrepreneurial skills to attract investment and strengthen our economy.”

OurCrowd is a leading global equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors to invest in Israeli and global companies. Managed by a team of well-known professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved,

OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal of their choice.

OurCrowd provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats. OurCrowd has raised over $140 million in equity crowdfunding for its 72 portfolio companies including Borro, BillGuard, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch, Abe’s Market and ReWalk (NASDAQ: RWLK), OurCrowd’s first portfolio company to complete a successful IPO.

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Crowdfunding PR Raising Money via Wells Fargo Project Work to Build the Very 1st Equity Crowdfunding Co-Working Space, Incubator, Accelerator and Training Facility Center in Austin, Texas

22 May

Click on this image to vote YES for our Crowdfunding Coworking Incubator Accelerator Training Facility

Click on this image to vote YES for our Crowdfunding Co-working Incubator, Accelerator and Crowdfunding Training Facility on Wells Fargo’s Work Project Contest for Small Businesses

Show our crowdfunding campaign some love by clicking here and simply voting “Yes,” and then share this story with your friends on social media. Your one vote will help us WIN!

  By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Front Page PR’s 2015 Mission is to teach local communities how to buy distressed properties such as vacant warehouses and strip malls and invest a little bit of money to turn these properties into crowdfunding co-working spaces where entrepreneurs and startups can congregate and dream up new product/service ideas.

The Wells Fargo Works Project for Small Business

The Wells Fargo Works Project for Small Business. Please Click to Vote YES!

Utilizing co-working spaces, Front Page PR can teach startups via crowdfunding training classes how to use a new finance tool called “Equity Crowdfunding” to raise the sufficient seed capital needed to setup a business, transform their creative ideas into prototypes, pay for the very first manufacturing production run, and then convert these companies from fledgling startups into successful revenue generating machines.

Equity Crowdfunding was legalized in 2012 by the JOBS Act. By October 2015, the SEC should release the final Title III equity crowdfunding rules. Startups will then be able to use General Solicitation market their investment opportunities to over 180 million non-accredited investors throughout the United States. The result? Leading finance experts and venture capitalists agree that the crowdfunding industry will grow quickly into a $300 billion per year industry.

The biggest marketplace challenge is that 99% of the population is unaware of crowdfunding and will need to be trained on how to invest in new startups and how to raise money using equity crowdfunding campaigns. Our crowdfunding classes are complete, but the biggest problem we face is how to pay for an actual crowdfunding training facility, converting it into a co-working space, staffing it with experts, and then marketing the facility to the general public.

We would like to spend the $25,000 Wells Fargo prize to start the process of setting up a Crowdfunding Incubator/Accelerator facility for small businesses and utilizing it over the next two to five years to teach people how to use crowdfunding sites to raise seed investment capital. The business model should fund itself in less than 12 months based on monthly co-working memberships alone, but we need enough money to get things started.

Our Incubator will provide a directory of crowdfunding experts that mentor entrepreneurs/startups on how to use donation-based or rewards-based crowdfunding to raise enough money on sites like GoFundMe.com, Kickstarter.com, or IndieGoGo.com to get a business up and running. Our crowdfunding training classes will show startups the step-by-step process of how to conduct successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Our Accelerator will provide a directory of legal, finance and securities experts that will help businesses take their companies to next level by selling equity shares or debt in their company to investors to raise even more money. The investor training classes will show new, non-accredited investors how to vet deals and ride the coattails of super angels by utilizing investment syndicates.

Once the Incubator/Accelerator is established and producing successful startups, we plan to license the business model so that others can replicate this crowdfunding training business template anywhere in the United States, providing a tremendous boost to the US economy.

Why launch a Crowdfunding Training Center? After serving as the Director of Corporate Communications for several Fortune 50 companies, I was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug and jumped off the corporate ship in 2001.

Since then I have thrived on the joy of building industries one small company at a time and the love for sharing my accrued knowledge gained from a vast array of B2B industries, international sales & distribution channels and working with media organizations to maximize publicity.

My track record includes building a broadband wireless industry in 2001 with the Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine, an Arizona solar industry in 2009 with the Arizona Solar Power Society and I have been working for the past three years on building a crowdfunding industry with Crowdfunding PR to score a hat trick in 2015 when the SEC approves the title III equity crowdfunding rules.

Please support our fundraising campaign to build the 1st Crowdfunding Co-Working Space, Incubator, Accelerator and Training Center in Austin, Texas. Click here and vote yes!

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Want to help us build a Crowdfunding Training Center?

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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GenYrator Launches Equity Crowdfunding Site for USC Startups Combined with an Entrepreneur Business Accelerator and Mentorship Program

6 May

GenYrator is the One of the First Mission-Driven Equity Crowdfunding Platform that Combines Real Returns with Real Impact by Investing in the Next Generation of USC Entrepreneurs

 By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, California – GenYrator launched its private beta for an equity crowdfunding site concentrating initially on startups from USC, the alma mater of co-founder Sean Nasiri. The GenYrator platform looks for emerging generation-y founded businesses with revenue that are not quite ready for institutional investors, and encourages regular people to get involved to fill that gap.

GenYrator Equity Crowdfunding Site for USC Startups

GenYrator.com Equity Crowdfunding Site and Business Accelerator for USC Startups

The company is currently being advised by notable figures from both the startup and USC communities. Current advisors include famous venture capitalist and USC Trustee Mark Stevens, former Managing Partner at Sequoia Capital, as well as Alex Cappello, former President of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors who also served as the only two-time international chairman of YPO. Other notable advisors include Rob Ukropina, former CEO of Overnite Express, who also served on USC Board of Governors, and Ryan Meyers, Managing Director of General Assembly LA and former CEO of AlumniFunder.

“The problem GenYrator is solving,” explains Nasiri, “is that too many good millennial founded startups end prematurely or stagnate because they lack the support they need to grow, and the only way to fix this is by getting everyone involved.” Millennials now have the largest presence in the workforce, but according to the Huffington Post, they are facing the worst job market in more than twenty years. “We are starting businesses out of necessity. There are just not enough opportunities out there for people our age, and we need the support of all generations to create more jobs and grow the economy,” Nasiri continues.

GenYrator has recently achieved proof of concept by helping two companies close their recent rounds. First is wearable technology startup, Loopd, with noteworthy lead investors Tim Draper and Marc Benioff, which closed out its $1M seed round. Second is triple bottom line Hawaiian water bottle company, Waiakea, which closed out its $1.6M dollar Series-A. GenYrator has since opened up its platform to all, but still requires a private beta access code to view deals. It is currently featuring a selection of promising USC-founded companies in “preview mode,” with more being added over the next couple of months.

While investing through equity crowdfunding is only accessible to accredited investors, GenYrator’s unique platform is also open to those who are interested in other ways of helping out, such as being a mentor, advisor, or service provider. The platform also plans to expand beyond just a university platform. “The long-term vision of GenYrator is to establish itself as the premier destination for the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders,” says Nasiri, “and to show people from all different backgrounds that they can add value and impact the success of a young startup.”

Founded with the mission to generate a more prosperous future through supporting entrepreneurship, GenYrator is the online platform that brings the benefits of the Silicon Valley ecosystem to the mainstream. GenYrator’s online community enables all interested parties, provided they are accredited in accordance with current regulatory guidelines, to directly participate in promising millennial founded businesses. Beyond simply crowdfunding, members and other supporters can lend guidance and mentorship.

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Crowdcube’s Spain Equity Crowdfunding Site Surpasses €1 Million for Six Startups

30 Mar

A Barcelona-based drone company,HEMAV, broke the record for the largest equity crowdfunding round in Spain raising €450,000 in just six days

By Robert Hoskins

Spain – Crowdcube opened its Spanish operation just nine months ago. Since it launched, over €1 million has been raised by its investor base who can invest anything from €10. The largest investment to date has been €112,000 and the average investment €3,290. The finance raised has funded six businesses operating in a range of sectors including food and beverage, finance and business services.

Crowdcube enables anyone to invest alongside professional investors in start-up early stage and growth businesses

Crowdcube.com enables anyone to invest alongside professional investors in start-up early stage and growth businesses through equity, debt and investment fund options

One of the businesses to raise finance on the platform was HEMAV, a Barcelona-based drone company, which broke the record for the largest equity crowdfunding round in Spain. The company raised €450,000 in just six days after attracting investment from more than 70 people.

The most recent business to successfully raise investments on the site was Zank, a peer-to-peer lending platform, which raised €245,000 from over 70 investors. As part of the round, the company also received funds from ESADE Ban, the business angel network of the ESADE business school . Zank was the first lending platform in Spain to secure funding through crowdfunding.

Crowdcube Spain has also raised investment for, Iberic Box, a company that sells traditional Spanish food; Eureka Startup Experts, a marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with advisors and industry experts; FoodintheBox, a subscription box service for cooking ingredients; Seedbox, a subscription box for growing vegetables at home.

Managing director of Crowdcube Spain, Pepe Borrell, commented, “There is a real gap in funding for start-ups and early stage businesses in Spain so I’m pleased that we’ve already been able to fund six businesses and that Spanish investors are embracing crowdfunding. The alternative finance sector has grown at a rapid pace in the UK and we’re now seeing the same trends emerge in Spain. There’s a huge potential market for crowdfunding in Spain so we’re excited about the future of Crowdcube Spain.”

Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube added, “Having a strong presence at a local level is key to the success of our overseas operation, and to ensuring Crowdcube’s remains the world’s leading investment crowdfunding platform; so it’s great to see Spain achieve these milestones at such an early stage.”

There are currently eight businesses on Crowdcube Spain pitching for a total investment of €995,000.

Crowdcube Spain is one of seven partnerships in Crowdcube’s overseas operation, the company now has platforms in Brazil, Sweden, Dubai, Poland, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.

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