Steve Case Hailed as JOBS Act Hero

Steve Case Hailed as JOBS Act Hero

April 6th, 2012 by Posted in AOLJOBS ActObamastartupSteve CaseWall Street Journal

On the heels of President Obama signing theJOBS Act (which loosens regulations on small businesses, making it easier for startups to grow), the Wall Street Journal published an article Thursday afternoon attributing much of the success of the bill to Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and venture capitalist.

Case co-chaired the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship and was a member of the President’s Council on Jobs & Competitiveness.

“He’s really been pivotal in terms of being able to present a case for why we need this bill, why we need to get rid of red tape that’s blocking start-up companies to begin and to grow,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) told the Wall Street Journal.

Case wrote about the virtues and complexities of the JOBS Act, the goal of which is to “provide better access to capital for a wide range of companies, in a variety of sectors and regions – and provide new options for accessing capital at each stage of a company’s lifecycle,” he explained.

In his post, Case explained that startup growth has declined due to an inability to secure investors and funding. “But access to capital was critical,” his post says, “and that’s why I’ve spent time in recent months helping to build bipartisan support for the JOBS Act.”

[Image via whitehouse.gov]

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New Crowd-Funding Rules Could Affect You

 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently proposed a set of rules that would somewhat relax the bans on companies advertising for investors as part of the mandated rules for crowd-funding.

The agency has until Dec. 31 to come up with rules for small-time investors, the target of the crowd-funding concept.

Until now, crowd-funding in this country has been mainly limited to small businesses that raise capital through small contributions from investors who, in return, get items from the businesses ranging from coffee mugs and t-shirts to mentions in books.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) signed in to law by President Obama last spring mandated an easing of the rules governing how businesses seek funding to try to spur business growth and job creation.

The SEC has been charged with developing those rules. Let’s take a look at what’s been done so far.

The Proposed Changes

The SEC has proposed allowing companies to solicit and advertise their securities for sale to accredited investors.

The agency currently requires companies that want to sell securities to register their offerings through the SEC or use a registration exemption, which prohibits them from advertising the securities.

Part of the JOBS Act mandated the SEC remove the ban on advertising to accredited investors. The act also required businesses to make reasonable attempts to ensure investors who buy the securities were accredited. The SEC is taking comments on the proposed rules through the end of the month.

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A Crowdfunding Pioneer Psychoanalyzes Crowdfunding’s True Believers

Paul Spinrad is the guy who gave the movement for a crowdfunding exemption in the U.S. its first big shove towards becoming law. In the first part of this exclusive series on Crowdsourcing.org, he recalled those early days and the efforts that have since begun to blossom in the form of the JOBS Act. Below, in the second half of the series, he also gives us an inside look at the fanatical devotion of some of crowdfunding’s true believers.

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Don’t want to wait for the regulations to crowdfund?

 

Courtesy of Upstart Business Journal

Companies don’t need to wait until the beginning of next year and new federal rules to start raising money over the Internet. And they don’t have to offer perks or products to supporters.

A handful of upstarts are working to make crowdfunding a reality—now. They’re creating platforms using existing rules that give businesses the chance to raise money online, and offer investors a chance to roll the dice on private companies, no matter what the Securities and Exchange Commission does as it writes new national rules for companies to sell shares socially. These entrepreneurs are aiming at niche markets opened by technology rather than regulation.

The SEC is writing rules expected to go into effect in early 2013 that will allow private companies to sell shares worth up to $1 million over the Internet. Already, sites like Kickstarterand Indiegogo have opened the way for individuals and companies to raise money by offering rewards such as a signed edition of a book or an early version of a product.

But there are other ways for small businesses to raise money, and startups are rolling them out.

Continue Reading Here

 

Funding Launchpad Empowers Investment Crowdfunding History!

Earlier last month mobile scanner manufacturer Couragent Inc. announced they were launching an equity crowdfunding offering. Legally able to raise money from residents of Colorado, Illinois, New York, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, this makes Couragent the first American company to legally use investment crowdfunding. We are excited and thankful that Couragent chose to use Funding Launchpad’s crowdfunding technology to power their fundraising efforts.

We recognize that over the past few months, several platforms have claimed to be legally crowdfunding securities today. As far as we can tell, absolutely none are. Only Couragent’s offering, utilizing Funding Launchpad’s proprietary technology, meet three standards that are the hallmarks of investment crowdfunding:

  1. The ability to generally solicit (i.e. openly advertise that a company is raising money).
  2. The ability to sell securities to all investors, not just wealthy Americans and financial institutions.
  3. Utilization of a centralized internet platform to conduct the offering (that’s where our technology comes in!).

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The Crowd Goes Wild: First Annual Film Crowdfunding Awards Announced (via PR Newswire)


The Crowd Goes Wild: First Annual Film Crowdfunding Awards Announced (via PR Newswire)

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With the sources of film finance changing as rapidly as the weather in the Gulf, crowdfunding has appeared on the scene with great promise and long-term staying power.  As a result, the Film Finance Awards (www.FilmFinanceAwards.com) and Premier…

Continue reading “The Crowd Goes Wild: First Annual Film Crowdfunding Awards Announced (via PR Newswire)”

Crowdfunding Risky but Rewarding (Venturebeat)

 

Illustration by Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Last month, Amazon pulled the plug on the e-book crowdfunding site unglue.it and a number of other similar sites. Amazon says it is no longer able to support certain crowdfunding or social fundraising sites, despite the wild success of Kickstarter, which was built on Amazon’s platform. (Kickstarter still utilizes Amazon.com payments, however.)

But why? Although standout campaigns have served as great proof-of-concept for crowdfunding’s worth, like the Pebble wristwatch raising $10.2 million on Kickstarterseemingly overnight, the challenges that come along with the medium are almost too overwhelming to enumerate.

To name a few:

 

  • Fraudsters capable of producing a slick video or business plan can now dupe thousands of people into buying vaporware or investing in a ghost company;
  • Incompetent entrepreneurs can fail to deliver on their promises, spending millions of dollars of other people’s money in the process;
  • Unsatisfied customers or investors can dispute their purchases or investments, amassing huge liabilities for the businesses, platforms, and payment processors;
  • Insecure and non-compliant platforms can risk cardholder data, misappropriate funds, and violate federal and state statutes.

I can’t necessarily blame Amazon for wanting to avoid the regulatory and compliance issues that come along with processing payments for other platforms. Amazon Payments, Google Payments, and PayPal (eBay) were built to support merchants within those respective marketplaces. It does not make sense to shift their focus to a more complex and labor-intensive niche, regardless of its promise.

 

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