First Silicon Crowdfund Valley Conference

indexover_01We invite you to the First Silicon Crowdfund Valley Conference which will bring together traditional private investors and crowdfunders. SVCrowdfund provides the participants with the unique opportunity to discuss current state of the industry, to learn from experts in venture capital, business angel and crowdfunding fields, to network and find new partnerships.

The Conference is held on April 4th – 5th, 2013 to celebrate the first anniversary of the JOBS Act signed by President Obama last year. You will hear from people who implement crowdfunding as a part of their current fundraising and marketing strategies and from those who work with SEC to make the equity crowdfunding legal in the United States.

Complete Conference program is being currently finalized and will be available on the website by the middle of February. If you want to get involved as a speaker, sponsor, vendor, advertiser or a volunteer, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Who will benefit from participating in SVCrowdfund?

  • Private investors (VCs and Business Angels) who want to learn about the opportunities crowdfunding creates for them
  • Startups and innovators examining their fundraising options
  • Crowdfunding platforms wanting promote their portals in the capital of innovation and private investments
  • Marketing Specialists, Legal Advisors, CPAs looking for new clients and partners
  • Students interested in getting involved in private investment or marketing business; or thinking about financing their new venture
  • Journalists and business bloggers searching for worthy topics
  • Anyone who is considering supporting crowdfunding projects or investing in businesses through crowdfunding

If you belong to one of these categories, join us at the SVCrowdfund!

Silicon Valley Meets Crowdfunders

CrowdFunding Conference | Thursday April 4 – Friday April 5, 2013 | Sheraton Hotel, Palo Alto, Ca

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Texas Crowdfunding Conference

The CrowdfundTX Conference featured an impressive assemblage of crowdfunding leaders from around the country. Organizer, Chris Camillo who sits on the board of the Crowdfunding Professionals Association, noted that bringing this group of “speakers together may never happen again.” The conference kept participants glued to their seats as real issues were discussed, leaving everyone feeling updated and excited about investment crowdfunding.

The top ten issues discussed at the conference were:

  1. Jobs: Investment crowdfunding was approved in 2012 when President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law; implementation still awaits regulations from the SEC and FINRA. The jobs, however, aren’t waiting. Heather Lopes, CEO ofEarlyShares, noted that the “JOBS Act has already created 1,500 to 2,000 jobs” from firms that have been launched to do investment crowdfunding and provide related services since the law passed. This represents a mere drop in the bucket compared to the potential jobs impact from unleashing investment crowdfunding, panelists suggested.
  2. Investment Crowdfunding: Perks or reward-based crowdfunding arguably goes back hundreds of years though its popularity on the internet goes back only about five years. Camillo noted that some companies can make little use of rewards-based crowdfunding, suggesting that a “If a physician has an idea for a new medical device, that is a better fit for equity.” Lopes also noted that the kindness that led to a New York community raising $75,000 to help a restaurant destroyed by Hurricane Sandy will also influence equity investments in crowdfunding.
  3. Race and Gender: Visiting one-on-one with Jonathan Sandlund of TheCrowdCafewhile being filmed for a segment in the upcoming documentary film Crowd of Angels, Sandlund agreed that crowdfunding would largely eliminate cultural biases observed in angel and venture capital financing, which are dominated by men making investments in businesses controlled by men. Crowdfunding deals go to women in the roughly the same proportion that women own businesses, according to The Crowdfunding Revolution. Sandlund expressed the belief that racial bias is also being eliminated by crowdfunding.  Rodney Sampson, author ofKingonomics, said, “If you don’t know what crowdfunding is, you can’t seek it out. We need an onramp of over-, over-education.” He added that for venture capitalists, crowdfunding “success will come first; race and gender will become secondary.”

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VentureDocs

logo_home_pageStreamline the document preparation and disclosure process for the companies that want to pursue equity-based crowdfunding transactions through your brokerage or registered crowdfunding portal. With the average equity-based crowdfunding transaction raising approximately $85,000 (source, crowdsourcing.org), what is the legal budget for preparing term sheets and definitive agreements to close the transaction? If the entrepreneurs who wish to crowdfund need to form a new entity, what is the legal budget for preparing the certificate of incorporation, bylaws and other corporate formative documents? What is the legal budget for the smaller transactions? Answer, a couple of thousand dollars, maximum. Otherwise, the transaction costs swallow the deal.

With our document generation API, VentureDocs integrates seamlessly with brokers and registered crowdfunding portals and delivers these key documents in execution form for a fraction of the cost of a corporate and securities attorney, and the customer never even has to leave the broker or crowdfunding portal’s site.

Go to http://venturedocs.com/

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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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]

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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