2017 Crowdfunding Persons of the Year

 

unnamed-7

Sherwood Neiss, Jason Best. Principals Crowdfund Capital Advisors, LLC

Each year, Crowdfund Beat Media Group assesses the landscape of the crowdfunding industry to identify thought leaders and individuals significantly impacting the evolution of digital finance.   To culminate this search, the Group selects a Crowdfunding Person of the Year, whom it believes has made an indelible mark to advance adoption and growth of the crowdfunding effort.  With Title III of the JOBS ACT, effectively Regulation CF, went live past May, we have identified two individuals that have been working tirelessly and successfully in making crowdfunding a reality, and feel honored to recognize them as 2017 Crowdfunding Persons of the Year.

Jason Best and Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss are Principals at Crowdfund Capital Advisors, where they have advised government agencies, NGOs and global leaders on the merits of crowdfunding and its impact on entrepreneurial activity.   Prior to the expanse of their travels and relationships, including with the World Bank and InterAmerican Development Bank, they initiated Startup Exemption, with Zak Cassady-Dorion, which laid the foundation of the legislative framework that evolved into Title III.

2017-personoftheyear1

 

It is due to these past and ongoing contributions that Crowdfund Beat Media feels compelled and honored to award Woody and Jason 2017 Crowdfunding Persons of the Year.

By Jorge Sanchez, Crowdfund Beat Guest Editor,

Innovation and entrepreneurial activity is driven by entrepreneurs, their ideas, actions, and the relationships formed in the marketplace. While this has been the case for economic growth, the primary funding mechanism we have had in place is not a natural extension of these business processes. We have had a large proportion of the entrepreneurial class being underserved by the capital needed to fund or grow their ventures. This was because the current legal landscape prohibited it.  However, today if a tech startup or business needs capital they have modern technology at their disposal that enables them to leverage their social networks in order to fund their startup or grow their businesses.

As a result of the Great Depression, regulatory actions were taken that imposed limits on where entrepreneurs can seek funding. Fueled by fear and desperation, the risks and power of investing in our nation’s business opportunities were removed from the public and placed in the hands of banks and wealthy investors. Because most people did not have access to these investors, small business, and startup financing became a function of bankers and collateral, not innovation and market demands.

Fortunately, this flaw in our funding landscape has been mended. Through the actions of a few ambitious and determined men, decades-old financial regulation have been amended to reflect modern capabilities and economic reality. Today, markets don’t just function to determine which businesses survive, but also which businesses are born.

img_1681

Niess, Zak Cassady, Best

Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss, Jason Best, and Zak Cassady-Dorion are not politicians, they are not lobbyist, nor are they D.C. insiders. The men behind, perhaps the most important policy change of our lifetimes, are entrepreneurs. The three Thunderbirds are businessmen with experiences that awarded them with intimate knowledge about the needs of startups and the pains of raising capital. They did not just embark on a political journey, they instead created The Startup Exemption and to tackled head on the problem, making regulatory change. Their historic campaign lasted just 460 days, culminating in the framework that was adopted and signed into law by president Obama in April 2012.

The journey began with a problem that had been widely acknowledged, but was never addressed. The impact the group has and will continue to have is the direct result of their development of a solution with the collaboration of stakeholders and early thought-leaders like Kevin Lawton, Danae Ringelmann, and Steve Cinelli in the form of a framework that would later go on to become a part of the JOBS Act

In the halls of congress, the trio of entrepreneurs were an anomaly and there was doubt and pessimism that the group could accomplish their task at all, especially not with the absence of a large war chest and an army of lawyers. But perhaps that is exactly why the political neophytes were able to accomplish their lofty goal in a year and a half, instead of the five to ten policy experts predicted.

Those on The Hill turned out to be people that understood technology and how to leverage it, not the technological laggards that policy makers are commonly portrayed as. The group also discovered that they had tapped into a problem with universal support. During a time with an alarming unemployment rate, flat GDP growth, and a slowdown in the flow of cash from banks to small businesses, D.C. lawmakers were happy to be met with a solution for the biggest problem facing the nation.

img_3344

Sherwood Neiss, Karen Kerrigan , Jason Best, Douglas Ellenoff on May 16th, 2016 Capitol Hill in DC

In May 2016, Regulation Crowdfunding of the JOBS Act went live and the startup exemption become law. Over half a year later, we have seen a steady and methodical adaptation of the innovation. Jason and Sherwood are now principals at Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA), where they advise governmental leaders and stakeholders, like the SEC and the World Bank, on how to draft and implement crowdfunding in order to ignite job creation from the grassroots level.

When asked about the adoption of the regulation so far, the pair expressed optimism and satisfaction. They see success by how it is being embraced by the industry, thoughtfully and with care to ensure the integrity of the law is upheld and the balance of investor’s and entrepreneur’s needs and concerns are maintained. The crowdfunding community looks to amend the laws to further strengthen the fit between the needs of the entrepreneur and the laws regulating them.

Amendments to the original rules are coming to a boiling point. The Fix Crowdfunding act, proselytized by many within the crowdfunding world, aims to make the exemption more friendly and appealing to issuers by raising the limits on funds that can be raised, enabling the use of special purpose vehicles, and removing liabilities away from portals for the issuers who use their services. While any changes to the regulation are being carefully scrutinized to ensure adequate investor protection, Sherwood believes the regulatory bodies are motivated to support job growth by empowering entrepreneurs with access to capital. They will do so with the data and case studies that have been collected since the first iteration of the law went live in May 2016.

Jason and Sherwood’s outlook crowdfunding is bright, they see a thriving asset class which creates a new path to capital for underserved entrepreneurs who collectively make up the largest non government source of employment.

It is for these efforts and their continued commitment to the progression of Crowdfunding, that Sherwood Neiss and Jason Best are being honored as the 2017 Crowdfunding Person of the Year.

 

photo

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HEADLINE NEWS

People's Light launches crowdfunding campaign on play about sexual exploitationThe PhoenixMALVERN >> This month, People's Light launched a month-long crowdfunding campaign around the world premiere production of “Project Dawn,” a vital new play inspired by Project Dawn [...]

Crowdfunding launched for Cho-Sargent memorialLewiston Sun JournalA crowdfunding campaign on the popular site GoFundMe was launched late last week toward a memorial garden project in honor of Foley's son, Jayden Cho-Sargent, just a few days after the family was told the current m [...]

BenzingaPsychological Thriller 'Braid' Brought To You By Bitcoin CrowdfundingBenzingaThe team behind the movie is partnering with ConsenSys, a blockchain application development, to use its crowdfunding platform WeiFund to raise capital. Through the partnership with WeiFund, [...]

Danbury News TimesNoteworthy Chocolates turns to crowdfunding to pay for patentDanbury News TimesThe Sauvageaus are also no strangers to running successful crowdfunding campaigns, having raised more than $28,000 from 390 supporters on Kickstarter last spring to launch the business. Th [...]

Publishers WeeklyBritish Indie Tests New Biz Model with Crowdfunding CampaignPublishers WeeklyThe U.K.-based New Internationalist Publishing, which has been an employee-owned cooperative for decades, earlier this month launched a crowdfunding campaign that allows contributors to be br [...]

Is Crowdfunding Right For Your Organization?OPEN MINDS (registration)I'm always interested in news about crowdfunding, a method of raising money through the collective contributions of individuals on the internet. Crowdfunding is used by entrepreneurs to fund their new ventures a [...]

Crowdfund InsiderLocal crowdfunding platform to tap 'mass affluent' with easing of MAS rulesTHE BUSINESS TIMESLOCAL crowdfunding platform FundedHere, which has been offering crowdfunded equity and loans to wealthy "accredited investors" in Singapore, wants to open [...]

Crowdfund InsiderHow to Start a Real Estate Crowdfunding PlatformCrowdfund InsiderThose hoping to raise angel or VC capital for a real estate crowdfunding platform have, in my humble opinion, missed the boat by a couple of years. Today there are thousands of real estate crowdfunding p [...]

The SunCrowdfunding site raises thousands for policeman mowed down in London terror attack as he left awards ceremonyThe SunA CROWDFUNDING site has raised thousands for a policeman mowed down in the London terror attack as he crossed Westminster Bridge after an awards ceremony. The Ju [...]

Forbes4 Dirty Little Secrets Of Crowdfunding And Why You Should Still Do ItForbesI have supported friends' crowdfunding campaigns over the years, but never envisioned crowdfunding my own entrepreneurial endeavors. Then I met Karen Cahn, creator of iFundWomen, a new crowdfunding p [...]

CFB Finance

Marketwired

  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfund
  • Peer to Peer Lending
  • FinTech
  • Reg A+
  • Reg CF
  • Crowdfunding USA

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |