RetireAmerica.com Announces Launch

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2013 /PRNewswire/ — RetireAmerica.com announced today the launch of its web-based capital protected equity crowdfunding portal. The launch is in beta form and is intended to become fully functional by year-end. Empowering Entrepreneurs, Protecting Investors, Creating Jobs. RetireAmerica.com (www.retireamerica.com) announced today the launch of its crowdfunding portal which will offer investors the opportunity to make equity investments in early stage companies through its unique financing structure that combines capital protection with an equity investment. Initially, investments on the platform will be limited to accredited investors, but will be expanded to non-accredited eligible investors following full implementation of Title III of the JOBS Act.

Steve Colmar, RetireAmerica.com’s CEO stated, “Everyone knows that early stage investing is risky. Our mission has been to develop a product that opens up investment opportunities in early stage companies to investors who want to minimize their risk of loss. And now the crowdfunding revolution has arrived, making equity investments in early-stage companies available to countless new investors through groundbreaking social media outlets or portals. But despite its transformational influence on capital markets, crowdfunding hasn’t solved how to reduce the risk of loss of capital in early stage investments. The RetireAmerica.com product addresses this problem through our unique capital protected structure. Our protection feature allows the investor to protect some or all of his or her investment, and, in some cases, to redeploy non-risk capital at the investor’s discretion by converting it into additional equity.”

“We believe our capital protected product, with its unique conversion feature, is advantageous for both parties to the investment equation. For the entrepreneur, it provides a ready pool of capital to further their growth plans. And for the investor, it provides an opportunity to protect capital and to make additional incremental investments if and when it suits their individual risk profile.”

For More information, go to http://www.retireamerica.com

About RetireAmerica.com
RetireAmerica.com is an Austin Texas based company. Developed by Business Ventures Corp. of Austin, TX and Santa Barbara, CA. Accredited investors interested in RetireAmerica.com’s capital protected investments are invited to visit http://www.retireamerica.com and register as users of the site. Registration is free, giving investors access to our investment opportunities and important updates regarding RetireAmerica.com. Entrepreneurs with companies looking for capital are encouraged to submit their company for consideration.

SOURCE RetireAmerica.com

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Direct Public Offerings & Crowdfunding

A photo of the Bulgarian First Investment Bank...
A photo of the Bulgarian First Investment Bank from Sofia, 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obviously this is not our standard review style post, we believe that in order to keep ahead of the crowdfunding trend we must devote a section of our site to Direct Public Offerings (DPOs). Going forward we will be researching and reaching out to firms that provide services allowing small companies to raise capital form the public without the expense of a Wall St. investment bank.
Over the last 25 years Direct Public Offerings have ebbed and flowed in both quantity of offerings and success with which those offerings have been received. Our belief is that with the growth of social media, crowdfunding coming mainstream and the passing of the JOBs Act, Direct Public Offerings will finally get the recognition they deserve as a cost effective and democratic means of raising capital for small business.
Over the next few weeks we will be providing reviews of various DPO service providers. The combination of Direct Public Offerings and crowdfunding will in our opinion eventually be the “winner” from the JOBs Act by combining the established secondary markets with the cost effective benefits of an equity crowdfunding style platform hosted directly on the issuing companies website.

 

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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

How to Pick A Crowdfunding Consultant

Editor’s Note: The following comes to us from Rose Spinelli, founder of The CrowdFundamentals, a crowdfunding consultancy. Spinelli offers newcomers some tips on how to choose a crowdfunding consultant that’s right for them. The original piece appeared on Spinelli’s blog, and we are reposting it here with her permission. Be sure to follow The CrowdFundamentals @TCFRose.

As trends go, crowdfunding is a toddler: all fired up and streaked with independence, in constant motion and grabbing at any shiny object put in its path, wobbly but growing more confident each day. If crowdfunding were a tactile thing, les enfants terribles would take a bite out of you.

But crowdfunding is not so new that it hasn’t birthed its own progeny—the crowdfund consultant. (I am referring to donor- and reward-based crowdfunding since, to push my metaphor one image too far, equity crowdfunding remains in a protracted period of gestation.) You could argue that the nature of crowdfunding defies such conventional paths, that part of its appeal is that every individual now has the tools and the potential audience to find her own way to success, middlemen be damned. Yet it’s a career track that’s found a foothold, and by the looks of the roster of individuals and companies identifying themselves as such, in my own niche capacity myself included, there are no signs the trend will slacken.

The truth is crowdfunding done well is really hard. It takes a diverse skill set. Creative types, who are big users of this new source of capital, are often weak on the communication, marketing and business end of things. Just scour a popular platform and you’ll see projects with great potential that don’t achieve their goal simply because they don’t know the space well enough to leverage it.

It also takes time to learn how to be successful at crowdfunding. Six months is a reasonable learning curve. Creators would rather be working on their art, innovators are immersed in inventions, and entrepreneurs seem to run on fumes as it is. So there is a need, and the vacuum is filling up, fast.

In an industry so untested, how is an individual or startup supposed to know whom to hire? Just saying you’re an expert doesn’t make it so. Since I spend an ungodly amount of time on the topic, I thought it would be helpful to share some tips I’ve picked up along the way. And since it would defeat the purpose to limit it to just one opinion, I contacted some of my colleagues, with whom I’ve formed a virtual salon on various LinkedIn crowdfunding groups, and asked them to weigh in.

Here’s what’s come of my research:

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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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Angel List Founder Naval Ravikant: “How I Changed The Jobs Act”

In perhaps the worst kept secret in venture history, SecondMarket and AngelList have teamed up to allow accredited investors to legally invest purely online on AngelList for the first time. Basically, it’s getting a head start on the JOBS Act while we wait for it to become law. It’s a far more conservative– and legal– approach than other early crowd funding efforts like FundersClub, because SecondMarket is an actual broker/dealer.

We got a preview of this last week, when we wrote about Transcriptic’s wild seed round — the first company that used the partnership to round out its already successful, mega seed round. Founder Max Hodak described the experience by saying, “The Internet was just trying to throw money at us.” He added, “I don’t know what (AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant) and SecondMarket are doing but they are clearly where the money is.”

Not every company will have such a barn-burner of an experience, but SecondMarket and AngelList are trying to replicate what worked in that case. Like Transcriptic, they are handpicking only companies that have a strong, well-known lead investor already, an easy to understand business, and some sort of momentum.

Read More Here

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/