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Tag Archives: Venture Capital

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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TriPoint Global Equities Announces New Crowdfunding Title IV Reg A+ Platform, BANQ.co, Which Is Now Seeking Equity Issuers

14 Jul

The BANQ.co site offers access to registered public offerings, such as IPOs and secondary offerings, private placements and now Reg A+ transactions

By Robert Hoskins

New Y0rk City, NY – TriPoint Global Equities, LLC (“TriPoint”) announced that a new fin-tech trading platform BANQ.co, which is now accepting Crowdfunding Title IV Reg A+ issuers looking to raise capital.

TriPoint Global Equities Launches Banq.co Title IV Reg A+ Crowdfunding Platform

TriPoint Global Equities Launches Banq.co Title IV Reg A+ Crowdfunding Platform

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved the final rules to activate implementation of Regulation A+ which is Title IV of the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act. The approval of Regulation A+ allows startups and small businesses to raise a maximum of $50 million under this law.

The newly approved Regulation A+ allows these funds, subject to certain limitations, to be raised from the general public. This means that startups and small businesses can now accept investment in small Initial Public Offerings from the general public, even if the investors are non accredited.

TriPoint’s new online investment banking division, BANQ.co, aims to provide individual investors with direct access to the primary and secondary equity markets. BANQ’s platform takes the entire public and private offering process online and provides instantaneous confirmation of all investment transactions.

BANQ offers access to registered public offerings, such as IPOs and secondary offerings, private placements and now Reg A+ transactions. In addition, BANQ offers low-priced trading commissions, as low as $0.99 and $3.95 per trade. By charging a low commission, BANQ is making investing even more accessible to the growing number of individual investors.

“Reg A+ potentially is the greatest innovation in capital raising since Reg D itself in early 1980s. It allows a company to raise money and create immediate liquidity for its shareholders and now thru BANQ, issuers have a platform to reach the investing community,” stated Mark Elenowitz, CEO of TriPoint Global Equities. “We are excited about Reg A+ and look forward to seeing the Small Cap IPO return.”

TriPoint provides companies of up to $500 million in revenue with access and entry to the U.S. capital markets via its specialized practices in: equity capital markets (IPOs, SDOs, private equity, venture capital, etc), specialty finance (senior and junior debt, mezzanine, etc.) and corporate advisory.

TriPoint created www.banq.co to become an electronic investment banking platform that streamlines the matching of investors with quality growth companies and alternative investment opportunities. BANQ widely markets its U.S. offerings utilizing the new general solicitation and advertising rules promulgated by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, in response to the passage of the JOBS Act of 2012.

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SEC and SBA Announcements Lay the Foundation for Training Small Businesses on How to Use Crowdfunding in the United States

19 Sep

SBA Partners with SEC to Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

By Robert Hoskins

Washington, DC – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will join the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in co-hosting a series of events around the country to help small business owners learn about new opportunities to raise capital under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.  The first event will be hosted by the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business on Sept. 25 from 2 p.m.to 4 p.m. EST.

SBA Partners with SEC on Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs Events to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

SBA Partners with SEC on Offer Nationwide Jumpstart Our Business Startups (Jobs) Act Training Programs to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Raise Startup Capital

“We believe that any new, inclusive and innovative paths that help small businesses gain access to the capital they need are good things, but these paths should be implemented with prudence and care,” said Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. “We’re happy to join forces with the SEC to have these important, interactive discussions with small businesses around the country about existing and pending capital raising options under the JOBS Act.”

The JOBS Act events are intended for existing and aspiring small businesses, including minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned small businesses to learn about opportunities to raise capital under the JOBS Act.  One change already in place under the JOBS Act allows firms to advertise certain private offerings and another pending change allows firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

Representatives from SBA’s Offices of Investment and Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development, will join representatives from SEC’s Offices of Small Business Policy, Investor Education and Advocacy and Minority Women Inclusion to cohost the events highlighting additional ways for small businesses to raise funds under current and proposed SEC rules.

The events are designed for existing and aspiring small businesses, including those that are minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned, and will discuss the JOBS Act, which expands the options that businesses may use to raise capital.  One change already in place gives firms the ability to advertise certain private offerings; a second that is pending will allow firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. The SEC is actively developing rules to implement JOBS Act provisions.

Representatives from the SEC’s Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance, the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion will co-host the events with the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation and the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development.

The events will highlight additional ways small businesses may seek to raise funds under current and proposed SEC rules.  The events will also give small business owners an opportunity to ask questions of the SEC and SBA staff.

The events are free and will give small business owners the opportunity to ask questions of SBA and SEC staff members.  Those interested in registering for the Sept. 25 event at the University of Baltimore may do so: here.

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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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Benelux Venture Forum Seeks Top 40 Early Stage Companies to Pitch Venture Capital Firms in Leuven

21 Apr

On June 18, 2014, the most promising entrepreneurs will be showcasing their business to an audience of Benelux and international strategic partners, venture capital and corporate investors

By Robert Hoskins

BVF 2014

The European Venture contest is seeking companies that want to raise investment capital.  Contestants can apply for one of the 40 pitching slots at the 14th annual Benelux Venture Forum held on the 18th of June in Leuven 2014. High-tech companies from across the technology sectors of Life Sciences, Clean Tech and Information Technologies are invited to apply for a free position on stage at the Forum.
Those selected will have the chance to present in 8 minutes their company and its unique strengths and gain the opportunity to network with investors and large corporate groups investing in their sector. In addition to their moment on stage, the Forum offers them the opportunity to request personalized meetings with investors of their choice as well as free access to the presentation dry-run (June 17), where they will be coached to critically improve their presentation. Each company presentation will be evaluated by a strong Investor Jury, consisting of venture capital investors and relevant senior corporate venturing & innovation people.
The jury, which totals over 40 members, includes people from Aster Capital, BASF, Capricorn Venture Partners, DOW, DSM, Finindus, Forbion, Gilde Healthcare, GIMV, Idinvest, Intel Capital, KLM, Newion Investments, PHS Fund, PMV, Prime Ventures, Oracle, Robert Bosch, Sofinnova Partners, Start Green and Time Equity Partners.
The full list of Jury members is listed on the event website. Next to the presentations by the presenting companies, the full-day program of the Benelux Venture Forum will feature panels on topics such as ‘Successful Growth & Exits’ and ‘Widening access to capital for entrepreneurs’ and features workshops on how to raise capital and work with different investors types, looking at corporate groups, business angels & family investors, accelerators and crowdfunding platforms and loan & guarantee facilities.
The program features many top speakers such as Prof. Dr. Herman Daems (BNP Paribas Fortis, KU Leuven, BARCO), Jurgen Ingels (Clear2Pay), Wim de Waele (iMinds) & Jos Peeters (Capricorn Venture Partners). Companies interested in applying for a presentation slot should register their company and create a profile on e-unlimited.com/bvf before April 27th.
The 10 best received companies at the Benelux Venture Forum will be among the top companies in the annual European Venture Contest, a pan-European that features over 500 companies each year. These Award winners received a guaranteed place on stage at the European Venture Summit that takes place in December in Dusseldorf. As the final event of the annual European Venture Contest, the Summit is one of Europe’s largest gathering points for high-tech entrepreneurs seeking investment capital and features over 120 award-winning companies and 100+ venture capital investors.

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SEC Lifts Ban on General Solicitation; Implements First Phase of JOBS Act for Reg. D, Title II Accredited Investors

22 Sep

SEC Lifts 80-Year Ban on the General Solicitation of Private Placement Equity Investments


By 
Robert Hoskins

Today, the United States finally inched its way toward the full implementation of the JOBS Act passed in April 2012, required by federal law to be in place by January 2013, but still not fully realized as intended by President Obama and the both houses of the U.S. Congress.

SEC Crowdfunding Call for Comments on November 15, 2013

SEC Crowdfunding Call for Comments on November 15, 2013

“We want this new market and the private markets in general to thrive in a safe and efficient manner, and these rules we adopted and proposed are designed to facilitate that objective,” said Mary Jo White, Chairwoman of the SEC. “As we fulfill our mission to facilitate capital formation and maintain fair and efficient markets, the Commission must always focus on strong investor protections.”

Until the general solicitation ban was lifted, hedge funds, VCs, and startups had to quietly raise that money, soliciting by word of mouth and other forms of private communication. Now companies can buy ads, launch PR campaigns, leverage social media and openly announce that they’re seeking investors.

The addition of general solicitation is expected to fuel a new cottage industry of investor matching-making websites that aim to broaden the investment pool to financial stalwarts outside the stanchly protected investment circles of Silicon Valley.

“With general solicitation it will be much easier for investors to find companies they are passionate about supporting,” said Mike Norman of crowdfunding website, WeFunder. The new rule will hopefully open up the capital-starved startup market to the majority of investors. According to WeFunder’s website, only 3% of the US’s 8 million accredited investors are active in the tech startup space.

For example, leading startup investing platform, RockThePost, announced last week that its equity crowdfunding website will provide the following equity crowdfunding investment services:

  1. Prominent featuring of startups publicly announcing investment rounds
  2. Investor verification system that shifts the burden off startups
  3. Secure transactions where Escrow accounts act as a safe haven for early committed investors
  4. Full transparency – third party identity checks and legal business verification, crowdsourced due diligence, bank-level security
  5. Smart matching of investors to startup investments that match their preferences

Equity crowdfunding sites such as AngelistCircleup, CrowdfunderFundersClubRockThePost and Wefunder are important the nascent industry because according to the Center for Venture Research, only 258,000 investors have made an angel investment out of the 8.7 million accredited investor households eligible to invest in the U.S.

The general solicitation ban lift will allow startups to publicly fundraise via methods such as equity crowdfunding, harnessing the power of the internet and social media to reach potential investors in all corners of the country.

According to a Forbes article, many states have decided not to wait on the SEC. Kansas, the first state to enact laws requiring the registration of sales of securities to the general public 100 years ago, turned out to be the first in the U.S. to enact an “intrastate” Invest Kansas Exemption law. The state of Georgia passed the Invest Georgia Exemption that provides even more freedom for crowdfunding than the Kansas exemption. North Carolina’s House passed a crowdfunding bill that is expected to move to the full legislature in an updated form and be signed into law next year. The state of Washington is currently teeing up crowdfunding legislation and other states will likely follow suit.

Tanya Prive, a co-founder of RockthePost, points out that “One of the other issues I’ve seen is that there are plenty of startups with a large customer base that they cannot tap into for capital support under existing regulations. These people are the biggest fans and evangelists of the brand, who might be first in line to invest. Once the user base is able to engage with their beloved company in fundraising mode via an investment crowdfunding platform, the company will be able to capitalize on the crowd’s interest in their success and accelerate the fundraising process by converting customers into investors.”

“So although there are strings attached to the ruling, lifting the ban on general solicitation – an 80-year-old rule – will help investors connect with entrepreneurs, and vice versa. The decision also weighs in the favor of entrepreneurs and investors who live outside places like Silicon Valley, where old-school networking and personal connections are how financing deals typically happen,” said Eric Markowitz, crowdfunding reporter for Inc. Magazine. “By lifting the ban, entrepreneurs living outside traditional tech hubs may find it easier to connect with investors, raise money, and grow their start-ups without having to necessarily relocate.”

Although large players like private equity firms Bain Capital and Blackstone Group LP could take advantage of the chance to use television ad campaigns, many lawyers and regulators close to the industry have said that they expect smaller funds with fewer resources to test the new rule first.

“By allowing issuers to solicit to a broader group of potential investors, the SEC has showed its commitment to democratizing the investing process and putting an end to yesterday’s ‘old boy’ investor networks,” said Barry Silbert, founder and chief executive of SecondMarket Inc., a marketplace for private shares.

The next important date to watch for is October 31, 2013, when the 2nd wave of SEC crowdfunding guidelines are expected to be issued for Title III investors that will allow unaccredited investors to participate in private placement investments.

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More News on the SEC’s New General Solicitation Rules:

  1. SEC Lifts Ban On General Solicitation, Allowing Startups

  2. SEC Approves JOBS Act Requirement to Lift General Solicitation Ban

  3. Starting Today, Startups Can Broadcast Their Fundraising From the Rooftops

  4. The General Solicitation Ban Lift Can Change Startup Investing Forever

  5. Crowdfunding Will Flourish Regardless Of What The SEC Does

  6. Game Changer: SEC Lifts General Solicitation Ban

  7. Boon for Start-ups: SEC Lifts Ban on General Solicitation

  8. SEC lifts longtime advertising ban for hedge funds, others

  9. SEC Lifts Ban on General Solicitation in Certain Private Placements

  10. S.E.C. Lifts Advertising Ban on Private Investments

  11. SEC Votes to Ease 80-Year-Old Ban on Private-Investment Ads

  12. SEC Lifts Ban on Hedge Fund Ads

  13. SEC Lifts 80-year-Old Ban on Advertisements for Private Investors

  14. SEC lifts advertising ban on private investments: How it affects you

  15. SEC Votes to Lift Ban on Hedge Fund Advertising

RockthePost Predicts Legalization of General Solicitation Will Change Startup Investing Forever

21 Sep

The SEC general solicitation rule change washes away some limitations on promotion of fundraising campaigns that have been in place for 80 years

By Robert Hoskins

Many changes are going to take place in the startup investment industry as the SEC lifts its ban on general solicitation on Monday, September 23.  With this implementation, the startup ecosystem will see an 80-year-old securities law modified for modern times, allowing private companies – startups in particular – to publicly advertise that they are seeking investments.

Alejandro Cremades launches crowdfunding project as a solution to help save the U.S. economy.

Alejandro Cremades launches crowdfunding project as a solution to help save the U.S. economy.

Among the exciting developments, leading startup investing platform RockThePost will unveil the following, in conjunction with Title II of the JOBS Act taking effect on Monday:

  1. Prominent featuring of startups publicly announcing investment rounds
  2. Investor verification system that shifts the burden off startups
  3. Secure transactions where Escrow accounts act as a safe haven for early committed investors
  4. Full transparency – third party identity checks and legal business verification, crowdsourced due diligence, bank-level security
  5. Smart matching of investors to startup investments that match their preferences

RockThePost CEO, Alejandro Cremades, notes that “our startups have had mixed feelings on general solicitation, but the ones who are planning to take advantage of it are really excited about the exponential exposure from which they can benefit tremendously.”

According to the Center for Venture Research, only 258,000 investors have made an angel investment out of the 8.7 million accredited investor households eligible to invest in the U.S. The general solicitation ban lift will allow startups to publicly fundraise via methods such as equity crowdfunding, harnessing the power of the internet and social media to reach potential investors in all corners of the country. We expect a large jump in angel activity in the coming years as individual investors seek higher returns on investment and feel more comfortable investing in startups.

The nature of startup investing is risky, but to grow the nest egg, investor money has to be put to work. With a financial shift underway in which low yields and high interest rates are prevalent, investors are forced to look beyond traditional investment avenues to reach their financial goals.

A 2013 UBS report, Investment Strategy Guide, recommends that 7 to 11% of any given investment portfolio be allocated to new alternative investments, which includes buying equity in early stage companies (note that only accredited investors may participate in private offerings).

Startup investing involves high risk. However, investing early in startups has the potential of yielding high returns as seen below.

  • $1,000 in Facebook in 2005 = $624,500 today
  • $1,000 in Airbnb in 2009 = $589,667 today
  • $1,000 in Dropbox in 2008 = $391,500 today

RockThePost does believe that openly fundraising in the startup investing world could significantly help startups gain access to capital in an economic environment in which investors are more readily looking for high-return investments.

General solicitation will potentially increase the number of transactions happening between investors and startups. RockThePost expects these changes to drive the U.S. economy as small businesses have created almost 65% of the net new jobs for the past 17 years.

By democratizing access to startup capital for entrepreneurs and bringing startup investment opportunities to a new investor demographic, RockThePost aims to be the go-to destination for both startups and investors.

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More News on the SEC 80-Year Ban on General Solicitation:

BlazeFund Launches New Innovative Equity Crowdfunding Platform

20 Aug

Entrepreneurs Gain Alternative Online Equity Crowd Funding Platform From BlazeFund For Securing Growth Capital, Investors Gain Access To Uncorrelated Asset Class

By Robert Hoskins

BlazeFund, Inc. launched a new equity-based crowdfunding platform for accredited investors to find a portfolio of potential investment deals through an online marketplace. The user-friendly platform offers a secure environment and ecosystem that simultaneously connects individual and strategic institutional investors with start-up entrepreneurs and growing private companies.

 Entrepreneurs Gain Alternative Online Equity Crowd Funding Platform From BlazeFund For Securing Growth Capital, Investors Gain Access To Uncorrelated Asset Class


Entrepreneurs Gain Alternative Online Equity Crowd Funding Platform From BlazeFund For Securing Growth Capital, Investors Gain Access To Uncorrelated Asset Class

BlazeFund’s platform focuses on listing ventures in technology, business services and healthcare/life sciences. These companies are beyond the seed stage and have proven business models, products and markets. Most of the venture listings will target a minimum average capital raise of $0.5M.

BlazeFund is the first equity crowd funding portal with multiple international offices located in developing economic regions. As a result, start-ups and growing private companies listed on BlazeFund receive greater exposure for their listings. BlazeFund also assists companies interested in potential cross-border joint ventures.

Aaron Sanders, founder and CEO of BlazeFund, believes that the portal delivers an added value to each of the three groups – entrepreneurs, institutions and investors that are connected to the platform. “Our mission is to help extraordinary entrepreneurs find the capital they need to grow their businesses from our private network of strategic investors. The end goal is to make the overall process more efficient and transparent for both investors and companies,” states Sanders.

BlazeFund’s portal has patent-pending features that reduce investor risk by:

  • Providing a two-step investment mechanism that splits the investment exposure of the crowd and links the release of raised capital to a company achieving predetermined milestones.
  • Facilitating private-equity/venture-capital style due diligence by the crowd/analysts, enabling potential investors to access independent reviews.

With equity crowd funding growing rapidly and market size projections of $6.3B over the next five years, Sanders believes that, “Investors can easily diversify a small percentage of their portfolios through this new investment class which has the potential to produce significant returns — perhaps multiples of their original investment.”

Mr. Sanders has a BS Chem. E. (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) and an MBA (Univ. of Rochester). His expertise is in strategy, operations, business process, CRM and ecommerce solutions. Sanders has been granted a number of US patents and is co-inventor of BlazeFund’s patent-pending innovations.

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CareerFuel Launches Crowdfunding Education Site For Entrepreneurs

15 Aug

On September 23, 2013, entrepreneurs will have a new way to reach accredited investors with private offerings—advertising.

By Robert Hoskins

Stemming from Title II of The JOBS Act and the recent regulations released by the SEC to support it, this is intended to make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital for their new businesses and create jobs in the process.

According to CareerFuel it will now be easier then ever before to raise capital for new businesses.

According to CareerFuel it will now be easier then ever before to raise capital for new businesses.

There are approximately 8.6 million accredited investors in the U.S. and they fund 3% of startups/small businesses. During 2012, an estimated 260,160 angels collectively invested $22.9 billion in 67,000 companies. An additional $26.5 billion was invested by venture capitalists in 3,698 companies. Advertising to these wealthy individuals has the potential to significantly expand the market of accredited investor small business capital.

Later this year, it is anticipated that the SEC will release the rules for Title III of The JOBS Act, enabling entrepreneurs to offer securities (debt or equity) to unaccredited investors in exchange for investment in their early-stage companies.

This new fundraising tool known as equity crowdfunding comes with a myriad of regulations that will have to be met. While potentially transformative for entrepreneurs, it is one of many ways available to raise money for new businesses. The primary options today include: personal savings, friends and family, donation crowdfunding, angel investment, venture capital and institutional investment.

To educate entrepreneurs about this exciting option—how it works, whether it is a good fit for their business and how to utilize it—CareerFuel has launched a comprehensive crowdfunding site for entrepreneurs. Free for their use and regularly updated, CareerFuel is the go-to place for the crowdfunding education “issuers” will need.

CareerFuel is one of the only sites that offers job seekers and aspiring entrepreneurs the direction, inspiration and job listings needed to find a job or start a business.

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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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