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Equity Crowdfunding: Analyzing Title III's 2016 Results

By Mara Schmid on April 03, 2017

In July we reviewed some preliminary information about how Reg CF was doing; now that the calendar year is over, the SEC’s Office of Corporate Finance has released a white paper reviewing the Reg CF offering data from 2016. Let’s take a look.

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How To Invest In Startups: A Lesson From Professional Athletes

By Matthew Lebo on July 28, 2016

Read Time: 5 minutes

Successful entrepreneurs know that a solid strategy is the foundation for success. When putting together our last piece on what a successful invesment strategy may look like, I also saw the ugly side of investing. Reading through an abundance of horror stories, I started to notice something. Athletes seem to have an amazing penchant for bad investments.

Check out our list of some of the best and worst athlete investments, and make sure to check out our tips for how to invest in startups.

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Crowdfunding for New Investors

By Matthew Lebo on July 22, 2016

Read Time: 10 minutes

In its first 5 years, Shark Tank pulled in an average viewership of 6 million. The show promotes innovation and helps young entrepreneurs who are hungry to succeed. With its success it’s also created two big aspirational goals for Americans to strive for: running your own business and becoming a successful investor. With the launch of Regulation CF, you would think that same fervor would translate into Americans making a big splash in investor crowdfunding. While startups raising capital under Reg CF have seen over $1,000,000 in funding, we wonder if the rest of America will catch on. Is it lack of awareness, or a lack of confidence?

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Has Equity Crowdfunding Found A Niche?

By Matthew Lebo on July 15, 2016

Read Time: 5 minutes

Since funding started in May, the adult beverage industry has seen the biggest cumulative amount of investment dollars. Alcohol, along with other heavily regulated industries, haven’t had this type of success with traditional crowdfunding, which makes us wonder why equity is changing that narrative.

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The Millennial Strategy Meets Investing

By Matthew Lebo on July 08, 2016

The investment world has finally caught up with the mainstream, slapping the word millennial onto gobs of daily content. Being of the said generation, where home loans have been replaced by student loans, I was shocked. Call me pessimistic, but I tend to lean toward the glass is “exactly this full” approach. If we look into the data behind those 80 million Americans, there is a story that becomes very clear. Many millennials don’t have money.

The average income for a 20 - 30 something comes in at $30,000, and is most likely coupled with long or short term debt, and a -1% savings growth. How do these new adults actually live? The stats provide a pretty bleak short term outlook for new investors. They also show that marketers are vying to reach an audience that is about the size of the population of Washington. Whether this marketing strategy is brilliant or misjudged is yet to be seen. But there is a silver lining for a long term outlook, and for equity crowdfunding platforms looking to grab a larger piece of the investment market.

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Equity Crowdfunding Progress Report

By Matthew Lebo on July 01, 2016

May 16th, 2016 marked the launch of equity crowdfunding. Like any new opportunity, Title III saw its fair share of critics and promoters. Instead of arguing about something that hadn't actually started, we decided to wait and look at what the numbers said.

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Equity Crowdfunding: Investors Edition

By Matthew Lebo on June 23, 2016

Since the launch of equity crowdfunding, we’ve put the majority of our focus towards startups looking to raise capital. But ever since the launch, investors have been the group with the most questions. The most frequently asked question we've heard from people looking to invest in startups is “What’s the return on my investment, and how will I get paid?”

Before we get into the different avenues of seeing potential returns:

  • Do your research on the company, industry, and team
  • Try to invest in businesses you use or have a thorough understanding of
  • While not foolproof, try to manage risk by diversifying their portfolio
  • Understand that there will never be a guaranteed return on any investment

Unlike the stock market, you don’t have the ability to sell your shares with the click of a button. In most cases, equity funding will be a long term investment. The best case scenario is that you can make a potentially healthy return on a startup you choose to invest in, while the worst case scenario is losing all your money on investments that don’t pan out.

Now that you have a better understanding of how things work, let’s look at the different ways a company could “exit” and possibly return capital to equity investors.

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Investing in Franchises Using Equity Crowdfunding

By Matthew Lebo on June 16, 2016

Franchise Outlook

Did you know that there are more than 750,000 franchises, employing over 18 million people in the U.S., and generating $1 trillion in annual sales?

Franchising has been coined as “An American success story”. IFA president Steven Caldiera said “Independent, locally owned small-business men and women, including more veterans and minorities, who own and operate establishments...are growing faster than other businesses. They are creating more jobs at a faster pace than other businesses and they are also producing more sales growth than other businesses."

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Equity Crowdfunding vs Kickstarter and Indiegogo

By Jackie Feiler on June 07, 2016

If you’re a tech enthusiast interested in options for supporting startups, you might be trying to discern the difference between Kickstarter or Indiegogo and equity crowdfunding. Traditional equity crowdfunding sites facilitate the ability for “backers” to donate money to campaigns in exchange for perks, like sample products or tee shirts. Platforms using Regulation CF facilitate the sale of a form of equity in private companies to investors.

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Equity CrowdFunding Opens Up a New Frontier in Raising Capital

By Jackie Feiler on May 24, 2016

Raise money directly from customers to create evangelists and diversify your sources of capital.

  • Raise money from 230 million American adults thanks to new regulations.
  • Access the most diverse pools of capital ever available.
  • Create evangelists while maintaining control of your business.
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