Monthly Archives: March 2013

How crowdfunding made this Vancouver production a reality

Three Sisters

A Vancouver restaurant, pre-theatre crowd. A mother and daughter, dining on Middle Eastern food, deep in discussion. Daughter: “Mom, you should direct a production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. So who can we persuade in town to hire you to do that?” Mother: “Nobody, because Vancouver isn’t doing the classics any more. So forget it. I’m too old. I’m not self-producing any more. I’ve done too many co-ops and I can’t ask these people who earn their living in the theatre to do this for nothing and put up their own money.” Daughter (reluctant, but still enthusiastic): “I’ll produce it. And I know how we can…

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NASA trailer reaches crowdfunding goal, will be shown before ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’

NASA

“We are the Explorers,” an Indiegogo campaign that aims to create a 30-second trailer about the US Space Program, reached its crowdfunding goal of $33,000 this morning, just five days after launching. Created by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) of America, the campaign was inspired by a nearly three-minute video that NASA released last year. The clip, embedded below, gives a brief overview of NASA’s history and its latest developments in spacecraft technology, but federal law prohibits the agency from purchasing advertising time to air it. That will soon change, though, now that AIA — an aerospace trade group not affiliated with NASA — has…

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SEC gives blessing to FundersClub, opens the door for more crowdfunding

Security and Exchange Commission

The SEC just delivered a big gift to the nascent crowdfunding market by announcing that it would not pursue legal action against FundersClub, even though, technically, maybe, it’s breaking the law. FundersClub lets accredited investors put as little as $1,000 into startups, which list themselves on its website. FundersClub looks an awful lot like an investment advisory firm, but it’s not registered as such and thus isn’t making the same kind of disclosures that a normal broker-dealer would. FundersClub argues that it doesn’t actually provide any investment advice and never actually touches the money, merely acting as a middleman between investors and startups that lets…

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A Crowdfunding First for Chinese, and International Athletes

Jacqueline Lai

China’s National Equestrian Championship Gold-Medalist, and Hong Kong international, 22-year-old Jacqueline Lai today successfully completed one of China’s largest crowdfunding campaigns to date on FringeBacker. Hong Kong (PRWEB) March 29, 2013 FringeBacker, the world’s only English-Chinese bilingual crowdfunding platform, today announces the achievement of an historic first, both for Chinese crowdfunding and for international athletes to raise funding. China’s National Equestrian Championship Gold-Medalist, and Hong Kong international, 22-year-old Jacqueline Lai today successfully completed one of China’s largest crowdfunding campaigns to date. This is also probably the world’s largest by an international athlete. Working from her stables in Denmark, Lai’s global fundraising campaign on FringeBacker began…

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For broker/dealers crowdfunding presents new opportunity

Wall Street New York Stock Exchange Building

While start-up owners eagerly await the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulations for crowdfunding, a handful of broker/dealers are racing to be the first to capi­tal­ize on the phenomenon. An exemption in the Securities Act allows start-ups to conduct a version of crowdfunding today, as long it’s through broker/dealers — companies who buy or sell securities for themselves or customers and who are registered with the SEC. These intermediaries can issue securities to an unlimited number of accredited investors (typically, individuals with a net worth of more than$1 million, or whose income exceeded $200,000 in the past two years). A recent crop of broker/dealers are looking…

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As Crowdfunding Takes Off, SEC Greenlights AngelList’s Investment Platform

The Securities and Exchange Commission is making way for a number of startups and online investment platforms to enable startups to crowdsource investment. Early last week, Y Combinator-backed FundersClub received notice from the SEC that the agency would not pursue action against its crowdfunding platform. But it wasn’t alone: a few days later, AngelList received a similar letter from the SEC. [hat tip to Danielle Morrill] The regulatory response came after AngelList requested its own assurance from the SEC that the agency wouldn’t pursue enforcement action against its investment platform, AngelList Invest. In its letter to the agency, AngelList noted that it was going to…

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Italy Leads The U.S. — In Equity Crowdfunding

Last March 29, Italy’s Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), the equivalent of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US, submitted requests for public commenting on the equity crowdfunding rules currently considered. It seems that Italy will surpass the JOBS Act in the implementation of the first equity crowdfunding law in the world. One of the leading business angels in Milan, Alberto Giusti, commented that this crowdfund equity proposal has some limitations. “The definitions are not fully settled but right now only ‘innovative startups’ can be considered so brick and mortar businesses do not apply,” says Giusti. He adds that firms…

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HealthCare: When Crowdfunding Is A Matter Of Life And Death

healthcare

When Matt Fahey, a cameraman for Deadliest Catch, was diagnosed with colon cancer last November, he didn’t have health insurance. He nonetheless went through with surgery and got stuck with a $51,000 bill. Facing six months of follow-up treatments and a six-figure total cost, bankruptcy seemed almost inevitable. Instead, his cousin, Chuck Horton, a former professional fundraiser-turned-software-entrepreneur, stepped in and set up a Rally.org campaign called “Dumb Ass Cancer” to help pay for Fahey’s treatment. “We wanted something up and running quicker than a traditional fundraiser,” says Horton. “Matt has a lot of friends on Facebook. We have a large extended family. We knew it…

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Capitalism 2.0, The Amazing Promise of Crowd-Funding

The Promise of Crowd-Funding Years ago, when a friend and I were raising money for a technology company we had founded, a venture capitalist told us, ‘We don’t bet on the horse. We bet on the Jockey’. He was saying that if Bill Gates presented to him a terrible idea and an unknown teenager presented him with a terrific idea, Bill Gates was going to walk away with his money. The rich get richer because they have ‘proven’ their ability to create a profit. Creating Success But how do you break the cycle, creating success so that you are then deemed worthy of further chances?…

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Crowdfunding for Minorities: An Opportunity to Level the Playing Field

Almost five years past the Wall Street melee and the banks have largely positioned back into a steady recovery. Within the last two years, banks have had consistent profitable net returns with a market that is outperforming expectations. Though Wall Street has positioned back on track, the much more unfortunate circumstance remains on main street were small businesses are still trying to position themselves into a positive operating capacity. Of the small businesses that were fortunate to survive through the recession, many of them are now having problems with acquiring capital to expand their businesses to thrive in today’s economy. When it comes to access…

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Crowdfunding hopefuls still waiting for rules

The implementation of equity crowdfunding, a way for small businesses to raise capital, has been delayed again. In my column last week, I said that the rules for launching the JOBS Act, which legalizes equity crowdfunding, would probably be finalized by this spring. That is not likely now. According to David Marlett, founder of the National Crowdfunding Association, “Now we are hoping for by end of 2013.” The trade association’s website, nlcfa.org, says that it is both an opportunity and a risk for investors to “invest money into or loan money to small entrepreneurial companies.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is trying to minimize…

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Aerospace Industries Association Crowdfunding Campaign to Advertise for Space Program

Aerospace Industries Association

The Aerospace Industries Association is leading a first-of-its-kind crowdfund campaign to showcase to students and young people the exciting new era of U.S. space exploration. If the IndieGoGo campaign reaches its funding goal of $33,000 by May 1, AIA will buy advertising time for an ad trailer on NASA’s new exploration programs in more than 50 movie theaters. The ads will premier alongside the highly anticipated film, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” and run for eight weeks thereafter in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Should the campaign go beyond its goal, more placements will be bought around the country. As the voice of…

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HEADLINE NEWS

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NPRAfter Outcry, Crowdfunding Site Patreon Backs Off Plan To Raise ...NPRThe popular crowdfunding service Patreon has backed off plans to change its payment structure, after widespread, vocal and passionate opposition from creators and their fans. Last week, the site announced it woul [...]

TechCrunchHow hate speech crowdfunding outfit Hatreon crept back online ...TechCrunchIf you want to make a living creating white supremacist content, you're probably not going to do it via sites like Kickstarter and Patreon, which prohibit hate speech. Fortunately there's Ha [...]

EntrepreneurWhy Some Small Business Owners Are Turning to Crowdfunding to Save Their CompanyEntrepreneurMany owners of beloved local businesses, especially in pricier cities, have been forced to swallow their pride and appeal to their customers in times of crisis -- a process streamli [...]

CoinDeskKickstarter ICO? Don't Count On It Says Crowdfunding Leader ...CoinDeskThe company most widely associated with crowdfunding, Brooklyn-based Kickstarter, has no plans to get into the initial coin offering (ICO) business. Coming in response to the news yesterday that compet [...]

ForbesCrowdfunding Do's And Dont's From iFundWomen's Karen CahnForbesDuring our conversation, she was transparent in sharing that her first software company, VProud, failed because she “did everything backwards” and spent too much time trying to perfect the product. “Pe [...]

CryptoCoinsNewsCrowdfunding Giant Indiegogo Looks to Make ICOs MainstreamCryptoCoinsNewsCrowdfunding platform Indiegogo has a plan to help initial coin offerings (ICOs) break into the mainstream, even as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is ramping up its oversight of [...]

WRAL Tech WireBack story: How, why investor Mark Easley brought crowdfunding platform Localstake to NCWRAL Tech WireRESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Earlier this week, WRAL TechWire broke the news that Triangle investor and crowdfunding advocate Mark Easley was bringing Localstake, a crowdfun [...]

Crowdfunding via Customers: Is This The New Startup Capital?Customer ThinkWith more and more companies in a variety of sectors developing new crowdfunding campaigns, it makes sense to ask whether crowdfunding is likely to replace startup capital in the near future. Crowdfunding is qui [...]

TechCrunchFormer Gawker employees are crowdfunding an effort to buy Gawker.comTechCrunchWhile Univision acquired most of Gawker Media's sites last year (and renamed them as the Gizmodo Media Group), the deal didn't include Gawker itself. In fact, BuzzFeed reported last month [...]

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