The Rock Impacts Hollywood Crowdfunding

English: Dwayne Johnson at the 2009 Tribeca Fi...
English: Dwayne Johnson at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Photographer’s blog post about this photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Dwayne Johnson at the 2009 Tribeca Fi...
English: Dwayne Johnson at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Photographer’s blog post about this photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Hollywood is preparing for what could be a tectonic shift in the way it does business: crowdfunding. While it was locally made, independent films that were the first to latch onto crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter,Indiegogo, and Gofundme, the concept has moved up the film world’s power ladder with West Hollywood production company Five by Five Media forming a strategic partnership with a crowdfunding site called EarlyShares.com, with its sights set on equity rewards for funding films.

 

“Commercially successful entertainment comes from talented people receiving the money they need to execute on great ideas,” said Guy Zajonc, chief executive of Five by Five Media in a statement. “People who watch are about to become the people who invest and we are talking about millions of them. Crowdfunding will fundamentally change this industry and the perfect partner for us is EarlyShares.com”

 

With the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has 3.6 million Twitter followers, already signed on a a “partner” in the Five by Five Media project, the potential of a crowdfunded movies becomes readily apparent, even if it won’t be fully implementable immediately.

 

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The Top 10 Crowdfunding Platforms According To 3P

Whether he knew it or not, President Obama created a brand new industry when he signed the JOBS act into law on April 5th. Up until now, it’s been illegal for private businesses to offer equity to anyone other than accredited investors in exchange for funding. As a result, crowdfunding sites (like Kickstarter andIndiegogo) and the investment seekers that use them have been restricted to giving gimmicky thank you gifts and pre-selling new products in exchange for donations. Although this method of fundraising has proven successful for many artists, charities, and startups, the payback for the people who are giving away their money has been limited to cheap schwag and a few new toys.

The passing of the JOBS Act is about to change all of that. Once the rules are in place early next year, private businesses and startups will be able to use crowdfunding to give equity to investors who will get an actual monetary return instead of a sticker or T-shirt. This shift is expected to attract a huge influx of capital from regular Joes looking for better ways to invest than what is currently being offered by the stock market or the meager 0.5 percent interest from savings accounts.

Fred Wilson, co-founder of the venture capital firm Union Square Ventures (which has invested in TwitterTumblrFoursquare, and Zynga), predicts that once it gets up and running, the equity crowdfunding market will reach $300 billion and will be largely driven by families and individuals investing a small percentage of their assets via crowdfunding. As a point of comparison, a study from Crowdsourcing.org reports that about $1.5 billion was raised from 452 crowdfunding platforms in 2011.

The opportunity to cash in on this new industry by creating “next generation” equity crowdfunding platforms is substantial. Hungry tech entrepreneurs are scrambling to get out in front of this imminent boon; and the market is poised for saturation. To help you keep track of all the happenings in this space, here is a an overview of ten existing platforms that may be getting into the equity game, as well as the status of the newcomers that have been popping up daily.

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Shakeup at the SEC Could Expedite Equity Crowdfunding

You’d think a vacancy at the top at the Securities and Exchange Commission would cause further delays in new regulations implementing crowdfunding and other provisions of the JOBS Act.

But that may not be the case, according toKaren Kerrigan, who heads the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and helped lead the push on Capitol Hill for the JOBS Act.

This legislation was enacted in April to make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital. The SEC, however, has beendragging its feet on issuing the regulations needed to make the law’s provisions a reality.

SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro announced yesterday that she will leave the agencynext month. That could be be good news for crowdfunding regulations, Kerrigan said, especially since Schapiro never seemed to embrace this innovation, which will allow businesses to raise capital by selling equity to lots of investors through Internet intermediaries..

“Perhaps new leadership — even if it is an interim leader — will breath some enhanced productivity and energy into the SEC’s work,” Kerrigan said. “At the staff level, the SEC is very engaged on JOBS Act provisions, and with the right signal and leadership I think the process can accelerate.”

SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter will serve as the agency’s interim chairman until Schapiro’s replacement is named by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate — a process that could take months. Walter, however, appears to be more crowdfunding-friendly than Schapiro.

Crowdfunding advocates “showed up in force” at a Nov. 15 SEC forum on how to improve access to capital for small businesses, Kerrigan said.

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Crowdfunding Goes Local

When Jay Ducote, a husky Louisiana food blogger, entrepreneur and radio personality, received a $1,000 grant last May from local microfunding venture225 Fund, he knew already what he was going to spend it on: extra hard drives.

Ducote, a 2011 MasterChef competitor, had been creating an Internet TV series about his quest to become healthier while still making a living as a food and drink writer, and he had run into a problem. The high-definition digital footage his filmmaker was shooting took up a huge amount of hard-drive space. The money from 225 Fund allowed him to buy the extra space he needed.

“225 Fund is basically a group of 10 guys who believe in doing charitable things for our community, which is Baton Rouge, Louisiana,” says Tommy Talley, the videographer for Ducote’s show, who later became a member of the fund as his way of helping the businesses in his hometown. “Ten of us donate $100 a month and we hand it to them as $1,000 cash and walk away.”

The microfunding venture gives out one no-strings-attached grant nearly every month. “It’s young entrepreneurs putting money directly in the hands of go-getting entrepreneurs,” Talley explains. “No piles of paper, no jumping through a bunch of hoops.”

Ducote isn’t the only one benefiting from local investment. Around the world, grassroots microfunding ventures are springing up to support entrepreneurs and creative people in their communities. Whereas crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo accept almost any kind of campaign and permit donations from all over the world, microfunding operations deal with smaller amounts of money and seek to have a more local impact.

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Crowdfunding Industry Briefing

Crowdfunding Capital Advisors is proud to announce the first of a monthly series of Crowdfunding industry briefings on November 19, 2012.

Access to information is the difference between success and failure—this rings especially true in a nascent industry. In an environment where companies are making decisions based upon regulations that are not even written yet—up to date information and access to insiders will mean the difference between success and failure.  For those who wish to participate in crowdfunding this is of particular importance.

As the leading crowdfund analysis firm and the group at the center of the launch of this global movement, we are being asked on a daily basis for briefings on what is occurring at the highest levels of this global movement. In response to overwhelming demands, beginning November 19, the Principals of Crowdfund Capital Advisors will be launching a monthly briefing on the state of the crowdfunding industry. Here is the link: http://crowdfundingindustrybriefing.eventbrite.com/#

This briefing will provide information and behind the scene updates on:

  • Regulatory changes and updates on the status of the JOBS Act implementation.
  • A global update on regulatory occurrences—what other nations are doing and how to benefit from these changes.
  • Breaking news and data—CCA is a leader in crowdfunding research, all new data produced will be released at these meetings.  Participants will have early access to the full reports before anyone else. These surveys and peer reviewed research papers will give insight into the market data (that has be reviewed and verified by leaders in top tier institutions.)
  • Current industry analysis—no other organization has the view that the CCA team has. We are speakers at all of the major conferences, know all of the participants and see what is occurring from an insider’s perspective. These briefings will provide an overview of the industry with key insights on opportunities to benefit and other information that will give those interested in participating in crowdfunding a true competitive advantage.

This month will be one of our biggest updates. Over the last two months we have or will be:

  • Worked with leaders of the Italian government, entrepreneurial and investment communities. Italy legalized crowdfund investing on October 6, 2012.
  • Worked with leaders of the Colombian government, entrepreneurial, and investment communities.
  • Advised entrepreneurial, government and industry leaders in Canada regarding crowdfund investing.
  • Speaking at events at the White House, UC Berkeley and SEC.
  • Revealing original data on the size of the crowdfunding market.

Up-to-date information gives you the completive advantage you need to thrive in today’s market. Please join us for an in-depth look at the crowdfunding industry. To facilitate discussion during our Q&A period we will be limiting the number of seats for this virtual event.

Who Should Attend:

  • Crowdfunding Platforms
  • Crowdfunding Service Providers
  • Investment Industry Professionals
  • Governments exploring crowdfund investing initiatives
  • Investors seeking trends for identification of investment opportunities
  • Legal, Accounting, and other professional service providers looking to help clients with new information

Need original research?  The CCA team works with a number of organizations producing original reports, analysis, conducting independent crowdfund audits, and consulting services. For more information contact us at Richard@theccagroup.com.

SEC to Hold Annual Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation

Seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commi...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2012-194

Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2012 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it will hold its annual SEC Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation on November 15 at its Washington, D.C. headquarters.

This year’s forum will begin with panel discussions on the implementation of the recently enacted Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, and on small business capital formation issues not addressed by the JOBS Act. During the afternoon, participants will work in groups to formulate specific policy recommendations.

The forum begins at 9 a.m. ET with the panel discussions, which will be webcast live on the SEC’s website. The afternoon breakout group sessions will be open to the public and accessible by teleconference, but will not be webcast. Anyone wishing to participate in a breakout group, either in person or by teleconference, must register online by November 12.

The names of panel participants and the full agenda for the forum will be announced at a later date and posted on the SEC’s website. Members of the public are invited to make suggestions for recommendations or topics to be discussed at the forum. These suggestions, and any questions about the forum, should be e-mailed to the SEC’s Office of Small Business Policy atSmallBusiness@sec.gov. For more information, call (202) 551-3460.

Yesterday’s Crowdfunding Seminar By CJ Cornell of Propel Arizona at SMAZ6

At yesterday’s Social Media Arizona #smaz there were many speakers covering different social media related topics and the one that interested me the most was the Crowdfunding seminar presented by CJ Cornell of Propel Arizona

CJ Cornell is an ASU Professor and the founder of Propel Arizona.

In a nutshell, Propel Arizona is a Crowdfunding platform for Arizona Entrepreneurs.

But it’s much more than funding, Propel Arizona is a way to get all of Arizona involved with innovation, and helping to build the next Google, Apple or Facebook.

Propel Arizona is a broad initiative designed to help drive economic growth in the state of Arizona by providing an environment where people can support and help the entrepreneurial ventures, innovative ideas, projects and the entrepreneurs that build them.

Online, Propel Arizona allows entrepreneurs with projects or ideas that one day may be wildly successful, to engage with the community and enlist their support – financial support and other kinds of important support.

Specifically, Propel Arizona is about “Crowdfunding” entrepreneurs and innovative projects that have the potential to become wildly successful – perhaps in the Facebook-Google-Amazon kind of way that generates jobs, wealth and inspires even more entrepreneurs and new ventures.

Members of the Arizona community can get involved with the excitment of the entrepreneurial startup – from concept to product to market – and become early funders of promising projects.  In the end, helping these potentially high-growth entrepreneurial projects become successful, will help contribute to the overall economic growth and prosperity of all Arizona.  Every Propel Arizona member gets to fill out their own profile page (1), can add projects needing funding and post a blog post promoting their projects.

(1)