Tag Archives: Title II

Financial Poise Announces “Equity Crowdfunding,” a Four-Part Webinar Series, Available On-Demand Now through West LegalEdcenter

23 Mar

Episode #1, entitled Title III, Regulation A+, and State Crowdfunding Regimes will feature Crowdcheck, CFX Markets, Crowdfunding Lawyers.net Riggs Davie in panel discussion moderated by Chris Cahill of Lowis & Gellen

By Robert Hoskins

Chicago, Illinois – The Financial Poise Webinar Series plans to explore the purchase of ownership shares in private companies via equity crowdfunding websites. “Crowdfunding” for this series refers both to investments made in this way by accredited investors – given greater scope by Title II of the 2012 JOBS Act – and those made by non-accredited investors under Title III of the JOBS Act.

Financial Poise Announces Equity Crowdfunding, a Four-Part Webinar Series, Available On-Demand Now through West LegalEdcenter

Financial Poise Announces Four-Part Webinar Series, Click Now => Available On-Demand

Episodes in the series address the modes of angel investing in a company during its early stages, the opportunities and perils of crowdfunding real estate investments, the money-raising entity’s perspective, and a close look at crowdfunding options under federal and state law.

The first episode of the Equity Crowdfunding series, Title III, Regulation A+, and State Crowdfunding Regimes, features Moderator Chris Cahill of Lowis & Gellen. He is joined by Jordan Fishfeld of CFX Markets, Andrew Stephenson of Crowdcheck, Amy Wan of CrowdfundingLawyers.net and Alex Davie of Riggs Davie.

“Crowdfunding” is an elastic term, covering general solicitation of accredited investors as well as equity investments in private companies available to all investors (Title III). Private companies within certain size limits may be able sell shares to all investors under Regulation A+. State crowdfunding laws may complicate the picture or afford more opportunities, or both. Panel discussions will look at a range of “crowdfunding” topics.

Each episode will be engaging, sometimes humorous, and filled with conversations designed to entertain as it teaches and will be of value even to seasoned crowdfunding professionals. And, each episode in the series is designed to be viewed independently of the other episodes, so that participants will enhance their knowledge of this area whether they attend one, some, or all of the episodes.

Future episodes of the series will include webinars discussing angel investing, real estate investing, and raising money for a start-up through equity crowdfunding. Each Financial Poise Webinar episode is delivered in plain English understandable to business owners and executives without much background in these areas.

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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.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

RCS Capital Announces Initiative to Establish Leading Crowdfunding Investment Platform

27 Jul

Acquires Assets of Trupoly, White-Label Investor Relationship Management Portal and Adds Key Executives to Crowdfunding Initiative

By Robert Hoskins

New York, NY – RCS Capital Corporation (NYSE: RCAP), announced that it is establishing a crowdfunding investment platform which it will brand under the name, “We R Crowdfunding.”

In connection with this initiative, RCAP acquired substantially all of the assets of New York based Trupoly, Inc., a white-label investor relationship management portal, which will be integrated into RCAP’s new crowdfunding investment platform.  RCAP also announced the hiring of Trupoly Founder and President, Ryan Smith, as well as other key Trupoly executives.

RCAP expects “We R Crowdfunding” to launch in September 2014 as part of RCAP’s integrated financial services platform under the direction of Michael Weil, RCAP’s President. “We R Crowdfunding” will deliver high-quality investment offerings by utilizing RCAP’s existing broker-dealer infrastructure, which includes investment banking, due diligence, compliance and research, as well as technology developed by Trupoly. “We expect ‘We R Crowdfunding’ to provide investors direct access to public and private offerings, including Regulation A and Regulation D offerings, mutual funds and closed-end fund offerings, in a variety of industries and sectors,” said Mr. Weil.

Mr. Weil continued, “‘We R Crowdfunding’ looks to the future of securities sales by adding an important element to our full-service retail financial services firm. The crowdfunding investment platform will permit investors, whether working with financial advisors or exploring investment opportunities on their own, to access, investigate and participate in a wide range of offerings from a vast pool of asset classes. We are making a small capital investment at this time to gain access to a significant potential market that we expect to develop over the next several quarters.”

“We are pleased to be joining the RCAP team and look forward to creating the market leader in direct-to-consumer investment offerings,” said Ryan Smith, Trupoly’s Founder and President.  Also joining RCAP are Charles Crnoevich, Trupoly’s Head of Sales, and Melanie Eitel, Trupoly’s Client Relationship Manager.

Crowdfund investing was established by Title II of the federal JOBS Act in 2012, which directed the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to relax rules prohibiting the general solicitation of investments.  Crowdfund investing relies on general solicitation, often via the Internet, to inform and attract capital to specific investment opportunities.  A 2013 study by the World Bank predicts that crowdfund investing could grow to become a $300 billion annual market in the U.S. over the next ten years.

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Top 10 Texas Equity Crowdfunding Sites (Portals)

22 Jul

Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Sites for Accredited and Non-Accredited Investors in Texas

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – We set out to write a story on the Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Sites in Texas, but according to Google there are only few rewards-based and equity-based crowdfunding sites (see lists below) that are planning to serve the Texas market place.

Suffice it to say that there is a huge opportunity for people with finance, legal and marketing experience to get into the Texas crowdfunding business.

Texas ranks #2 only to California by population with an estimated 26 million people, and approximately 20 million of those are 18+ years old.  When the Texas Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption Rule goes into effect in November 2014, unaccredited investors will be able to invest up to $5,000 per year in start-ups and existing businesses, which represents a potential investment capital pool of $100 billion.

If you’d like to explore what it takes to setup a crowdfunding site in Texas, please give us a call at (512) 627-6622.

Top 10 Texas Sites – Unaccredited Investors:

Rank © Front Page PR   Global Rank
#1 www.texas.trucrowd.com     485,665
#2 www.nextseed.com     992,563
#3 www.massventure.com  1,388,521
#4 www.texascrowdfunding.com  3,315,899
#5 www.investpeer.com  5,659,309

Source: Feb 2015 SimilarWeb Website Statistics

Top 10 Texas Sites – Accredited Only Investors:

Rank © Front Page PR   Global Rank
#1 www.seedinvest.com    184,226
#2 www.microventures.com    241,967
#3 www.investx.com    403,141
#4 www.dreamfunded.com 1,267,585
#5 www.texasenetworks.com 1,721,280
#6 www.realtywealth.com 2,647,893

Contact us at 512-627-6622 if you would like to add your Texas crowdfunding portal to our list.

More Top 100 Crowdfunding Lists:

 

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

16 Feb

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

SXSW Interactive March 7-11 Austin 2014 Crowdfunding Events

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

By Robert Hoskins

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

The “Real” Crowdfunding Investment

Friday, March 7
12:30PM – 1:30PM

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

Ethics & Future of Crowdfunding for Communities

Friday, March 7
12:30PM – 1:30PM

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

Make It Rain: The New Healthcare Funding Landscape

Friday, March 7
5:00PM – 6:00PM

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

The Original Gangsters of Crowdfunding

Saturday, March 8
12:30PM – 1:30PM

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

The Indie Science Revolution

Saturday, March 8
3:30PM – 4:30PM

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

DIY PR for Crowdfunded / Kickstarter Projects

Sunday, March 9
11:00AM – 1:30PM

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

Crowdfunding Global Entrepreneurship

Sunday, March 9
11:00AM – 12:00PM

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

FutureHood: Crowdfunding Innovators in Real Estate

Sunday, March 9
5:00PM – 6:00PM

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

The New Era of Investor Relations

Monday, March 10
11:00AM – 12:00PM

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

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

Viral Crowdfunding: Story, Team & Gamification

Monday, March 10
12:45PM – 1:00PM

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

How Crowdfunding Killed Hollywood

Tuesday, March 11
9:30AM – 10:30AM

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

Crowdfunding Real Change for Girls & Women

Tuesday, March 11
11:00AM – 12:00PM

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

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

Funded in Austin

Tuesday, March 11
12:30PM – 1:30PM

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

Reality Crowdfunding TV Show Launches New Meetup Group and Google+ Hangout News Casts to Schedule Events, Conduct Interviews and Raise Awareness for Equity Crowdfunding Industry

9 Feb

This week executives from OTT Communications, CommunityLeader, Smart Money Entrepreneurs and Pepper Hamilton Law Firm will discuss how to raise money via title II equity crowdfunding campaigns

 By Robert Hoskins

 The Reality Crowd TV Show, based in Hartford, CT,  announced that it has added two important marketing tools to help extend the program’s ability to reach the growing worldwide audience that wants to learn about the benefits of equity crowdfunding and how to use the process effectively to raise money to start or expand small businesses.

The first business development tool launched was a http://www.Meetup.com/RealityCrowdTV  Meetup Group, which is a social media networking site that allows the program to reach millions of members worldwide who are searching for weekly activities to attend based on their personal interests.  Meetups feature an activity calendar, discussion groups, email blasts and other communication tools that make it easy to schedule crowdfunding events and invite a wide range of members to attend.

Reality Crowd TV Crowdfunding Series introduces Title II Equity Crowdfunding to Entrepreneurs

Reality Crowd TV Crowdfunding Series introduces Title II Equity Crowdfunding to Entrepreneurs and Startups

The second enhancement includes creating one of Google’s recently released Google+ Hangouts. The Hangouts allow the Reality Crowd TV program to host a fully interactive video news broadcast, which allows viewers to ask pre-newscast questions to be answered during interviews; to share PowerPoint presentations and conduct polls during the broadcast; as well as access cool new social media marketing tools that allow the show to target the very hard to reach target audience of 18 to 34 year-old millennials.

Reality Crowd TV’s next Google+ Hangout, entitled “Introduction of Title II Equity Crowdfunding to Entrepreneurs,” will be held Thursday, February 13th at 6:00 pm Eastern Time.

Panelists can sign up for future shows at: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Reality-Crowd-TV-Crowdfunding-Hangout-7455927?home=&gid=7455927&trk=anet_ug_hm.

After the news cast concludes the video will be archived on both Google+ and Youtube.com.

Guest Speakers include:

  1. Manolis Sfinarolakis, Host, Reality Crowd TV
  2. Kelly Peterson, CEO, OTT Communications Inc.
  3. Joseph Barisonzi, CEO, CommunityLeader
  4. Jeremy Andrews, CEO, Smart Money Entrepreneurs
  5. Brian Korn, Attorney, Pepper Hamilton LLP

If your business would like to be featured on Reality Crowd TV, simply line up a panel of crowdfunding speakers that provide a good story and send us a media pitch at:

http://www.realitycrowdtv.com/contact-us-crowdfunding/

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Crowdfunding Press Center Encourages Small Businesses to Sign White House Crowdfunding Petition

4 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

Please join small businesses across America in signing the White House Crowdfunding Petition (http://wh.gov/vjao) to respectfully insist that the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) expedite issuing Title II and III Crowdfunding guidelines.  The Crowdfunding rules will provide access to investment startup capital, which is needed desperately by millions of entrepreneurs and small businesses that want to create new jobs.  These businesses are ready, willing and perfectly positioned to create millions of new American jobs, but cannot get a bank loan to expand operations.

Only 150 more signatures are needed to place the Crowdfunding Petition on the official White House website where millions of Americans can add their names a show support for the provisions signed into law last year by the JOBS Act on April 5, 2012.

The number one priority for President Obama, the U.S. Congress and the SEC is to create millions of new jobs, end to the economic crisis and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax revenue needed to end Sequestration.  The main roadblock that is preventing America’s recovery is the SEC’s failure to issue Crowdfunding guidelines, which were due, by law, on January 1, 2013.

“All small business associations need to join together and sign the White House Crowdfunding Petition to motivate the U.S Government to do what is right from our country,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding Press Center. “As soon as the Crowdfunding guidelines are issued, 98% more Americans can invest up to $2,000 per year in local businesses they know and trust in return for a payback from a portion of future profits. Please help us get America back on track!”

The Crowdfunding Press Center urges members of the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), National Business Association (NBA), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), National Small Business Association (NSBA), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) to sign the White House Crowdfunding Petition.

White House Crowdfunding Petition

21 Feb

Click Here to Add Your Initials to the White House Crowdfunding Petition

By Robert Hoskins 

On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law with full bipartisan support from the U.S. Congress. It was one of America’s most promising pieces of legislation to jumpstart America’s economy by providing a new pool of investment capital for startups and small businesses through a process known as Equity Crowdfunding.

Send a Clear Message to Washington, America Needs Crowdfunding Now, Not in Several Years

Send a Clear Message to Washington, America Needs Crowdfunding Now

The law allows 98% more Americans to begin investing in small local businesses they know and trust in return for an equity position that will provide a return on investment if the business becomes successful.

Right now there are approximately 260 million Americans that are 18 years or older. The JOBS Act will allow unaccredited investors to invest up to $2,000 per year in small businesses that promise to provide products and services they want to see introduced into their community.  If a mere 10% of unaccredited investors invested $2,000 it would inject $52,000,000,000 into the local economy.

Instead of incurring more tax payer debt, Americans for the first time in history would be able to steer the economy with their hard earned dollars.  They would invest in products they actually want to buy.  There would be zero red tape, pork barrel spending, or financial roadblocks that to date have preventing small businesses from getting access to the badly needed investment capital they need to startup or expand operations.  Crowdfunding is a financial tool that will create millions of jobs at zero expense to the U.S. Government or its taxpayers.

And since Crowdfunding investments are financing the creation of hundreds of thousands of small businesses that will not only create new jobs, but buying new tools, vehicles, office equipment, office space rentals, and of course, paying more taxes to the U.S. Government, why not make all Crowdfunding investments tax deductible?

This would be a great way to adjust the financial hardships that are now facing Americans in light of recent government failures to get America back on track.

Per the Small Business Administration small businesses accounted for:

  • 65 percent (or 9.8 million) of the 15 million net new jobs created between 1993 and 2009.
  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ about half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 43 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
  • Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
  • Hire 43 percent of high tech workers (scientists, engi­neers, computer programmers, and others).
  • Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters.
  • Pro­duced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.
  • Produced 16.5 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.

Why not make it possible for average Americans to fund the creation of more small businesses?

When the U.S. Congress passes a bill and the President of the United States signs it into law, all Americans are expected to abide by the law regardless of whether they feel it is right or wrong. Why then are the executives the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) allowed to break the JOBS Act law that clearly states that Crowdfunding guidelines be issued by January 1, 2013?

President Obama’s second term inauguration speech promised to help small businesses and get America back on its feet and recapture the #1 position of worldwide leadership.  Is it true the SEC has more power and clout on Capitol Hill than the President of the United States or the U.S. Congress?

It makes one wonder where is the current administration’s will power to do what America needs most, create new jobs and instill a sense of national pride that we are the still the best country in the world?

Crowdfunding naysayers point to the potential for fraud, but in reality this is just a political excuse not to shift the financial power from Wall Street to the average American for wealth creation. Why not give the average American a chance to make a good profit from wise, well-thought investment in local companies they know and trust?

If Australia and the United Kingdom have been doing Crowdfunding for years with zero cases of fraud, why is our government allowing our country to fall behind in the race for worldwide economic recovery? Soon Equity Crowdfunding will be legal in France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Italy, Hong Kong and South Africa, but not the United States.

Have America’s leaders lost the ability to think straight and put innovative policies in place that are clearly working in other countries successfully? If we are not smart enough to create our own rules, why not copy another country’s rules that are working well?

America used to be recognized as leader and a worldwide power, but our reputation is fading and the American public is sick and tired of politicians not doing what is right for the general population.  We need jobs right now, not several years from now.

The U.S. Government has done their job to put a law in place that will empower our nation to become great again.  It is now time for the SEC to follow suit and get the Title II and Title III guidelines issued as soon as soon as possible so that America  can get back to work.

Sign the White House Crowdfunding Petition

If you support the Crowdfunding industry and would like to send a message to the White House that America needs more jobs now, not in a year or two, but right now please add your name to this White House Crowdfunding Petition by March 30, 2013.

How to Contact the SEC Directly

1. Via Email:

TBD, SEC Chairman
chairmanoffice@sec.gov

Luis A. Aguilar, Commissioner
aguilarl@sec.org or aguilarlu@sec.org

Daniel M. Gallagher, SEC Commissioner
gallagherd@sec.gov

Troy A. Paredes. SEC Commissioner
paredest@sec.gov

David Marsh, SEC Staff
marshd@sec.gov

2. Via Postal Mail:

Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)
Attn.: JOBS ACT/Crowdfunding Guidelines
100 F Street NE
Washington, 20549

3. Via Phone:

Tel: (202) 942-8088

4. Online Comment Form:

https://tts.sec.gov/oiea/QuestionsAndComments.html

Injecting Credibility and Accountability into the Equity Crowdfunding Industry

7 Feb

How a Crowdfunding Audit Bureau Could Give the Crowdfunding Industry Instant Transparency

By Robert HoskinsCrowdfunding Press Center

While most of the Crowdfunding industry is waiting to see what type of guidelines the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) will issue for Title II, Reg. D accredited investors, it would be a good time for the Crowdfunding industry to start discussing a list of recommended solutions that would make it easier for the SEC to roll out some proposed rules for Title III unaccredited investors.

The Crowdfunding industry needs to start sharing their thoughts on exactly what hurdles are preventing the SEC from issuing the Crowdfunding guidelines in the news media so that everyone in the industry can put their heads together and come up with a creative solution that will make everyone happy.

The average American has no idea how to look up items placed on a Government docket, much less get involved in filing public comments with the SEC to help steer the public policy decisions that will be made soon for the Crowdfunding industry. One thing that would be helpful in bringing the general public up to speed on Crowdfunding is to begin holding open meetings that include journalists, industry analysts and industry experts from other industries that have well established sales, distribution and venture capital investment channels.

There are many venture capitalists and angel investors that have been working in the high-technology industries such as security, application development, data mining, data warehousing, wireless mobility and social networking channels that would make great speakers for these events and could provide a wealth of information that would benefit up and coming Crowdfunding Service Providers (CSPs).  Not only would these types of events be good for networking, but they would generate lots of positive news coverage.

The more informative new articles that are shared via mass media outlets, the quicker the momentum will begin to  pick up for the Crowdfunding industry.  The Crowdfunding industry really needs to work closer with experts in the information technology and computer networking hardware industries to start publicizing how various flavors of technology can be harnessed to resolve many of the industry’s concerns.

For example, most people, including the media, seem to think that the SEC is extremely worried about the opportunity for fraudsters, but in reality, they are probably a lot more worried about how much money and how many employees they will need to police 10,000 Crowdfunding portals.  Or how will they regulate the 226 million potential investors that are 18 years or older in the United States that are only allowed to donate a maximum of $2,000 per year to Equity Crowdfunding platforms?

Some great ideas that have already popped up on the radar screen for consideration include crowdfunding credit checks, credit bureaus and accreditation credentials.  The problem is that most of the technical details for how these ancillary businesses will conduct their operations has not been made public or talked about in the industry trade press. Portals and eCommerce centers have been around for a long time and the technology to automate and ensure security is very mature.

Another tool  that has not been talked about yet, but has served as a very useful role in the advertising industry might include establishing a Crowdfunding Audit Bureau that audits a Crowdfunding Intermediary’s subscribers.  Audit statements have been used by print media buyers for decades to determine whether or not a publication was worth investing $25,000 to buy an advertisement to reach a specified target audience of potential buyers. Why not audit a Crowdfunding intermediary’s investors?

Audit statements served as a very useful tool because they broke down the publication’s subscriber’s demographics and presented the information in a standardized format that made it very easy to compare one publication’s subscribers versus all of their competitors on an apples to apples comparison. Crowdfunding Audit Statements would hold Crowdfunding sites and their investors accountable for the integrity of their data and put the burden of monitoring 10,000 Crowdfunding industry portals on a non-profit organization, not the SEC.

Using Crowdfunding Audit Rules each intermediary would publish a Crowdfunding Audit Statement, which is then audited by a non-profit, third-party vendor.  This process would make it fairly easy to keep track of the industry and its players. Audit statements would allow new intermediaries and the SEC to analyze in great detail what type of investors and investments each portal was generating by looking at the demographic, psychographic and financial characteristics reported for its subscriber base via the audits.

There are several auditing organizations that have been around for many years such as the Alliance for Audited Media or Business Publications Audits (BPA) Worldwide that were originally setup to audit statements from newspapers and magazines so that advertising agencies could analyze that value of a publication’s target audience before investing millions of dollars to advertise to reach their respective readers.

Audit statements were not required by the government, but they served a very useful purpose. Without an audit statement a media buyer always knew immediately that buying advertising in that publication would not be worth the risk. So why not implement a Crowdfunding audit system what that would allow investors and Crowdfunding campaign managers to select Crowdfunding intermediaries based on their audit statements?

Using qualification forms similar to old-school business reply cards, all Crowdfunding intermediary members should be required to fill out in-depth qualification forms that ask many questions related to what type of investor they are, what types of investments they are seeking and how much investment capital they are authorized to make during a given calendar year.  Other questions could probe into what type of company they work for, what vertical business segments they have experience with,  their job function and title,  yearly salaries, etc.  Call centers using data warehouses and financial data mining techniques could then verify the validity of this information.

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter are already doing a good job at reporting what industry segments are using their sites, what industries are receiving the largest Crowdfunding donations, as well as what industries have the highest success rates, but they really don’t provide much information on the pool of Crowdfunding donors/investors their site retains. With Kickstarter this is not really an issue, but for the hundreds of smaller Crowdfunding sites knowing for sure what pool of donors/investors they have in their subscriber databases would be great information to have in order to make a wise Crowdfunding campaign decision.

In addition, audit statements should go into great detail about how a Crowdfunding site generates their investor base.  Did investors sign up because the site is a leading Crowdfunding platform, or did the site offer them a free tablet to join their ranks?  A site with 20,000 serious investors that are there to invest will provide a much better return-on-investment than a site with 1,000,000 amateur investors that only signed up to get a free prize.

Among other things this process would shine a light on the rise and fall of registered investors per site, the platform’s success rate for Crowdfunding campaigns as well the growth rate by industry, average investment size and percentage of accredited investors versus unaccredited investors.  Perhaps Crowdfunding intermediaries should be required to exceed a 50-percent or better success rate for their campaigns by providing Business Partner Programs to provide professional assistance and improve investment performance ratios.

Using an audit statement process also would make it easy to educate investors and Crowdfunders to always ask Crowdfunding intermediaries for their Crowdfunding Audit Statement in a similar manner to how car buyers have been trained by the media to request a CarFax before buying a used car. Not having a CrowdFax Audit Statement would be a very easy way for inexperienced investors and Crowdfunding campaign managers to recognize sub-standard Crowdfunding platforms.

Everyone seems to have a general consensus that Crowdfunding will be extremely beneficial for the America economy because it will provide startup capital to millions of new and existing businesses where none has been available for the last five years. So it would be in the Crowdfunding industry’s best interest to do a better job at publishing whitepapers and industry research reports that detail how leading technology and standard operating procedures can be used effectively to protect all entities from fraud.  Instead of blaming the SEC for moving slowly, we should make their job easier by recommending relaxed, but fair rules that facilitate the ability for 98% more Americans to start investing in our future by placing well-thought-out Crowdfunding investments and receiving a good return-on-investment.

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