SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Seed Equity Ventures, LLC (“Seed Equity”), a registered broker dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, provides equity crowdfunding and investment-banking services to startups around the world, is excited by the SEC’s final ruling on Title III of the Jobs Act.
“Today’s landmark decision by the SEC will change the landscape for the options Startups will have in financing their businesses. We’re eager to open the Seed Equity Ventures platform to non-accredited investors who are interested in investing in startups under the SEC guidelines,” said Seed Equity CEO, Todd Crosland. “This ruling is going to allow our firm to really embrace the equity crowdfunding model and provide investment prospects to not only accredited investors and venture capitalists, but all individuals across the world.”
The regulations will mark the completion of the bi-partisan bill that was signed into law over three years ago.
Highlights of the Final Equity Crowdfunding Rules include:
By 2016, the crowdfunding industry could account for more funding than venture capital, according to a recent report by Massolution. The report states that global crowdfunding saw fast-tracked growth in 2014, expanding by 167 percent to reach $16.2 billion raised, up from $6.1 billion in 2013. In 2015, the industry is set to more than double once again, on its way to raising $34.4 billion.
According to a recent survey conducted by mattermark, 97% of U.S. respondents noted they would invest in startups given the opportunity. However, 63% of respondents don’t qualify as Accredited Investors ($200k/year in income or $1 Million plus in the bank). Title III now allows this large group of individuals the first opportunity to invest in early stage companies, which was once reserved only for the elite few.
Y Combinator and TechStars startups are among the companies that Seed Equity has raised equity capital for. Seed Equity has a global reach, having raised capital for companies in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other parts of the US. The online investment-banking platform currently has registered investors and entrepreneurs from 114 countries.
Crosland added, “The SEC passing Title III of the JOBS Act will be a watershed event for both startups and investors. Startups and the general investing public will be forever changed.”
About Seed Equity
Seed Equity Ventures, LLC is a registered Broker Dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a member of FINRA and SIPC. The firm is authorized to engage in private placement of securities and M&A advisory services. Seed Equity was founded to provide growth equity to Entrepreneurs and their Startups in exciting industries throughout the world. Seed Equity’s mission is to help find the best and brightest entrepreneurs and connect them with global institutional and individual investors. Seed Equity has members, investors and entrepreneurs from over 114 countries around the world.
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About FINRA and SIPC
To address the massive global inequity in educational access, Learning Equality, the nonprofit behind the successful learning app KA Lite, has launched a campaign to build their next-gen education app, Kolibri, for learners without Internet access.
Learning Equality announces the development of their next-generation education app Kolibri, enabling students and teachers to benefit from a vast range of content without requiring an Internet connection, using low-cost and low-power devices. Racing to bridge the digital divide for millions of children facing urgent educational needs, Learning Equality has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund this critical project.
Kolibri enables the creation of custom lessons for offline use, aligned to local curricular standards, and collaborative learning with instant feedback to empower students to work at their own pace, supported by mentors and peers.
One in every 3 children around the world lacks access to quality basic education. Despite the growing abundance of free, high quality educational resources on the Internet, and their potential to help fill this gap, the 60% of the world not on the Internet cannot benefit from them. In particular, with 90% of the people in the 48 poorest countries being offline, those who need these new opportunities the most are the least able to access them.
Three years ago, San Diego-based nonprofit Learning Equality launched KA Lite, an app that provides offline access to Khan Academy’s massive library of curated educational content. Millions of learners in over 160 countries have already benefited from KA Lite, in rural schools, orphanages, refugee camps, prisons, and community centers.
Learning Equality’s crowdfunding campaign for Kolibri runs on Indiegogo’s new charity site, Generosity.com, through December 15th, with a goal of raising $500,000 to support the development and deployment of Kolibri, and serve 10 million high-need learners by 2018.
Proposes Amendments to Existing Rules to Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities Offerings
Washington D.C., Oct. 30, 2015 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted final rules to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. The Commission also voted to propose amendments to existing Securities Act rules to facilitate intrastate and regional securities offerings. The new rules and proposed amendments are designed to assist smaller companies with capital formation and provide investors with additional protections.
Crowdfunding is an evolving method of raising capital that has been used to raise funds through the Internet for a variety of projects. Title III of the JOBS Act created a federal exemption under the securities laws so that this type of funding method can be used to offer and sell securities.
“There is a great deal of enthusiasm in the marketplace for crowdfunding, and I believe these rules and proposed amendments provide smaller companies with innovative ways to raise capital and give investors the protections they need,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “With these rules, the Commission has completed all of the major rulemaking mandated under the JOBS Act.”
The final rules, Regulation Crowdfunding, permit individuals to invest in securities-based crowdfunding transactions subject to certain investment limits. The rules also limit the amount of money an issuer can raise using the crowdfunding exemption, impose disclosure requirements on issuers for certain information about their business and securities offering, and create a regulatory framework for the broker-dealers and funding portals that facilitate the crowdfunding transactions.
The new crowdfunding rules and forms will be effective 180 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The forms enabling funding portals to register with the Commission will be effective Jan. 29, 2016.
The Commission also proposed amendments to existing Securities Act Rule 147 to modernize the rule for intrastate offerings to further facilitate capital formation, including through intrastate crowdfunding provisions. The proposal also would amend Securities Act Rule 504 to increase the aggregate amount of money that may be offered and sold pursuant to the rule from $1 million to $5 million and apply bad actor disqualifications to Rule 504 offerings to provide additional investor protection.
The SEC is seeking public comment on the proposed rule amendments for a 60-day period following their publication in the Federal Register.
A Letter from Fundrise CEO Ben Miller on Regulation Crowdfunding
This is a tremendously important day and I applaud the Securities & Exchange Commission for the adoption of Regulation Crowdfunding.
Many doubt the significance of the regulations adopted today. These critics are wrong.
Crowdfunding will fund a new era of super-innovation. The historic initiatives about to be put in place by the SEC and Congress address a fundamental flaw in capital markets: no one funds high risk – high reward endeavors and the sort of initiatives that results in innovations like the space program, penicillin, or the Internet — what I call the “Golden Swanicorns”.
The nature of super-innovation is a barbelled risk curve, where the vast majority of investments fail and the few that succeed revolutionize humanity. Much of this high risk/reward innovation has been abandoned as deep research has been de-funded and government and big business shift to prefer incremental over revolutionary change.
The crowd is a fundamentally new mode of investment and because of it, all sorts of wacky, out-there, and thus truly revolutionary projects will receive funding they otherwise would not have. There will be plenty of failures, but the successes will be fantastic and world-altering.
I truly believe that crowdfunding will fund a cure for cancer.
Here’s to what the future will bring!
CEO & Co-Founder, Fundrise
One of the largest community-based financing and investment campaigns in U.S. sports history unveiled for Keyworth Stadium
DETROIT (October 30, 2015) — Today, Michigan Funders, the state’s first homegrown equity crowdfunding platform to welcome both accredited and non-accredited investors, announced Detroit City Football Club (Le Rouge) as the first offering hosted on its platform since launching a redesigned portal in August. The website retooled to address the ever-changing landscape of intrastate crowdfunding regulations and to continue efforts to democratize the small business investment process. The platform provides another source of capital for local entrepreneurs and Michigan-based businesses, connecting them with residents who are able to make small security investments in them under the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (Public Act 264, 2013).
The community-based fundraising and investment campaign is Michigan’s largest community-based investment project to date, and one of the largest in U.S. sports history. Owners of the semi-pro DCFC team intend to raise the necessary amount of funding for rehabilitation of Hamtramck’s Keyworth Stadium, which Le Rouge plans to call home beginning in 2016.
“We haven’t seen many deals of this stature and size on a national level yet. The DCFC deal actually offers prospective financial return, and exiting perks to its investors, so it combines elements of ‘classic crowdfunding’ too,” said Niles Heron, co-founder of Michigan Funders. “It is a perfect example of why community-based investing is an exciting model for fundraising. Le Rouge already has one of the most exciting fan-bases in the country. Imagine if those fans could go to the new Keyworth Stadium, knowing that they were a very real part of building their favorite team a new home, and being compensated for it. That’s the economic power of a great community.”
For the past four seasons, the team has played at Cass Technical High School’s 2,500-seat field, attracting sellout crowds, increasing by an average of 18% during this past season (3,500 fans per game), and garnering attention in the soccer world- driving the need for the club to play out of a bigger home venue. Keyworth Stadium will hold double the capacity of DCFC’s current home venue, accommodating 6,000 fans. “Michigan residents will have the opportunity to make history, by joining us to complete the largest community-financed project in U.S. sports history,” said DCFC co-owner Alex Wright. The goal is to have most venue upgrades completed by April 2016. To commemorate its groundbreaking campaign to rehabilitate historic Keyworth Stadium with community investments, next May DCFC will host FC United of Manchester, arguably the most celebrated supporter-owned club in Europe. Read more about DCFC’s plans to rehabilitate Keyworth Stadium here.
The Michigan Funders equity crowdfunding portal was born out of the idea that “ordinary” citizens should have as much access to investments as those who do so as angels or via venture capitalism. Michigan Funders empowers people from all financial standings to participate in startup, real-estate, and small business investing, and provides Michiganders the opportunity to take ownership stakes in homegrown innovations, fan favorites, and cutting-edge startups at an affordable buy-in rate. Because deals on Michigan Funders are limited to verified Michigan residents, the platform conducts zip code verification and IP address screening before new users can register to see diligence documents or offering terms. A full public-records residency verification is conducted prior to accepting any investment into escrow.
Jeff Aronoff of Sidewalk Ventures serves as a partner on this deal, acting as the broker and dealer of record. Based in Detroit, Sidewalk Ventures specializes in community-based investment offerings like DCFC’s, providing financial, legal and strategic advice and support to local businesses seeking capital to grow.
“Michigan Funders is excited to bring this deal to Michigan’s residents. DCFC as a perfect example of the kind of business that lives right in the sweet-spot for intrastate crowdfunding, or community-based investing, and we think it’s a huge deal for the industry at large that this deal is happening here in Michigan. This is evidence that there are really solid, community-based business opportunities here,” said David Tessler, co-founder of Michigan Funders. “We see parallel opportunities for deals like these to continue proving the power of communities.”
Earlier this year, Michigan Funders crowd-funded itself (Crowdfund Finance, Inc.), and closed the first residential real-estate raise in the City of Detroit in February. The latter of those investments has already paid back all investors (including debtor-interest). The site went offline to retool earlier in 2015, in order to address changes in the regulatory landscape for the relatively new legislation that frames Michigan’s Crowdfunding laws.
To officially launch the campaign, the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers presented the Keyworth Kickoff event at Fowling Warehouse, where more than 300 Michigan residents attended a night of free fowling, and to celebrate the growing community interest in the club and its dedication to the city.
After passing the Michigan Invest Local Exemption (MILE or Public Act 264) in 2013, in conjunction with the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, Michigan became one of only 15 states to allow intrastate Security and Exchange Commission exemptions for non-accredited equity crowdfunding. Essentially, the legislature has made investing accessible to the 99 percent of Michiganders whose gross income does not meet the minimum requirement for accreditation, $200,000. Investors are able to spend anywhere from $100 to $10,000, unless they are accredited, in which case there is no cap on the investment amount. However, in order to participate, interested parties must certify their citizenship and fill out a questionnaire. Those hoping to raise capital on MichiganFunders.com are required to meet the criteria set forth by the State of Michigan in MILE and if qualified, must create a campaign presentation on the portal that includes a summary of the investment offering, business plan, multimedia assets, and any additional pitch materials they wish to post along with their offering.
About Michigan Funders
MichiganFunders.com is the first homegrown equity crowdfunding platform in the state of Michigan. Following the passage of Public Act 264, co-founders David Tessler, local attorney Jeffery Freeman, and Niles Heron partnered to build the platform, which will for the first time, open up investment opportunities to Michigan-based, non-accredited investors. The site launched in February 2015 and is open to, both, prospective investors and entrepreneurs. For more information about how to sign up, visit MichiganFunders.com. MichiganFunders can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Detroit City FC
Detroit City FC is a grassroots football club working to satisfy the market for soccer in Detroit, represent the city in a positive light, and build community through the beautiful game. A member of the National Premier Soccer League since 2012, Detroit City has established itself as one of the most talked about soccer teams in North America.You can find Detroit City FC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #DCTID
StartEngine platform will be open to startups raising up to $1M via Title III crowdfunding
LOS ANGELES – October 30, 2015 – Today, StartEngine announced their support as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to finalize the rules of Title III of the JOBS Act, removing the ban on non-accredited equity crowdfunding and allowing startups to seamlessly raise up to $1M in capital. The SEC’s four commissioners voted 3-1 this morning to adopt the new rules, which are expected to take effect early next year, enabling companies to raise equity capital from their community without requiring SEC approval prior to accepting investments. In a historic decision for entrepreneurs, the regulations mark the completion of the bipartisan bill that was signed into law by President Obama and the SEC regulatory board over three years ago. To learn more, visit the StartEngine website.
“Title III represents the greatest advancement for entrepreneurship in a generation. Historically, the single biggest barrier to bringing new innovations to market is the difficulty of accessing capital. Title III levels the playing field, and could result in the creation of tens of thousands of lucrative jobs right here in America, ” said StartEngine CEO Ron Miller. “This is exactly what Congress intended when passing the JOBS Act over three years ago, and we’re proud to extend our support. I predict a wide range of startups will utilize the new funding options on day one, and that Title III campaigns will see momentous growth throughout 2016.”
StartEngine has registered over 30,000 unaccredited investors on its platform in the past 130 days, as well as dozens of companies looking forward to launching their campaigns when the rules go live early next year. Once Title III offerings become available, StartEngine will host these equity crowdfunding campaigns alongside the current slate of Regulation A+ Title IV campaigns available to investors on the platform. The new Title III option is perfectly tailored for startups, with a streamlined process and fewer restrictions to allow entrepreneurs to turn their business acumen into initial seed funding by engaging their passionate community.
“At StartEngine we’re striving to democratize capital, and this Title III ruling moves us one step closer to truly making the American dream a reality for everyone,” said StartEngine co-founder Howard Marks. “Women and people of color have historically received only a tiny percentage of startup capital, but with equity crowdfunding, that’s all about to change.”
In anticipation of the new Title III offerings, interested investors and small business owners are encourage to register for a free StartEngine account.
About StartEngine Crowdfunding, Inc.
StartEngine is the premier equity crowdfunding platform, connecting Millennials and aspiring investors with tomorrow’s progressive companies. Based in Los Angeles, the company was created in 2013 by Howard Marks, co-founder of Activision, and Ron Miller. StartEngine aims to revolutionize the startup business model by helping all people invest in private companies on a public platform, now viable for the first time in history, thereby helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
Learn more at http://www.startengine.com
Have you ever seen something truly tragic and thought as you passed by, perhaps leaving a few dollars, “someone should really do something”?
Gene and Arlene Rumley had an experience like that while visiting India and decided not to just leave a few dollars, but instead to really do something.
Gene explains what they saw. “It is estimated that there are 15-20 million orphans in India. Girls, especially, are considered almost worthless, especially the ones living in extreme poverty. Thousands of children are digging in garbage dumps, abused, abandoned and prone to child trafficking. It is also estimated that there are over 300,000 street children living in Mumbai, India alone.”
Gene and Arlene created Mission for Orphans to provide for the care and feeding of the orphans in India.
Arlene explains, “For over the past ten years we have been raising funds to help feed, clothe and help educate the orphans and street kids, working with a family in India that we’ve known for almost 30 years. Presently, we are raising funds to complete the building of a Girl’s Home for 150 orphaned girls and a separate housing for 50 babies. We partner with Vision Rescue in India. This on the ground team works in the slums of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai feeding, clothing, educating and offering medical support.”
“We are reaching out and helping to rescue boys and girls from lives of hopelessness and despair to lives with a future filled with hope. Mission for Orphans will help transform the hearts and future dreams for desperate children that have lost both parents. The goal is to build homes where girls and boys are loved, educated, and grow up as responsible citizens through breaking the cycle of poverty and discrimination,” Arlene concludes.
Right now they are crowdfunding on Indiegogo in hopes of raising enough money to build a home for girls.
On Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Gene and Arlene will join me for a live discussion about their work in India and the crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the home for girls. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Mission for Orphans:
Mission for Orphans is a non-profit organization that started in 2004. Mission for Orphans has One Purpose, One Passion, One Mission…..to Rescue the Children, primarily in India. Mission for Orphans is a grassroots organization that is raising funds to rescue children out from extreme poverty and give them a future filled with hope.
Gene & Arlene are the founders of Mission for Orphans, Inc. They are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of orphans & street children in India. Their vision is to raise finances & help rescue the suffering children from abuse, hopelessness & child trafficking.
They have worked in global marketing, conducting leadership & personal growth training to thousands of men & women over the past 40 yrs. Gene is a certified trainer/coach with the John Maxwell global team. Their greatest joy is to see children free from bondage, hopelessness, abuse, and even child trafficking. Presently, they are raising funds to complete the building of a new Girl’s Home that will house 150 orphaned girls. Facts show that there are over 153 million orphans worldwide and approximately 20 million living in India.
Over the past 10 years, Mission for Orphans has helped support a Vision Rescue Team, on the ground in India, that feed over 1,200 street kids, one meal a day. They also give them basic education on 4 converted school buses. Gene visits the orphanages and street kids in the worst of slums. Mission for Orphans also supports 5 orphanages with over 200 children.
If you’re a social entrepreneur chances are good that you get this. Launching and running a social venture can be lonely. That’s why around the world so many of us have found ourselves working an Impact Hub.
Kyle Ashby is the founder of Impact Hub Santa Barbara. He notes, “Impact focused entrepreneurs often work alone, in locations where collaboration is not available. They also have difficulties finding mentors, associates, financing and the resources needed to grow their business.”
Enter Impact Hub Santa Barbara, right on cue. “The Impact HUB Santa Barbara will enable entrepreneurs, startups, and organizations to coordinate efforts and thrive in a central meeting point for those who want to make our community and world a better place. This will be done through a community focused collaborative work space and center for learning and growth for entrepreneurs and change makers.”
Kyle’s vision for the Hub is inspiring. “The Impact HUB Santa Barbara will create deeper connections, establish a platform to build on, and foster new initiatives for the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders and companies to solve social problems through innovative ventures, and define and change the future of our community and the world.”
At the moment, Impact Hub Santa Barbara is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise the money needed to open.
On Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Kyle will join me here for a live discussion about Impact Hub Santa Barbara’s crowdfunding campaign and pending launch. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Impact Hub Santa Barbara:
Impact Hub Santa Barbara is a collaborative work and event space providing impact entrepreneurs, startups and organizations with the networks and community they need to thrive. Based in Downtown Santa Barbara the 11,500 space will feature offices, co working, a physical product lab and more. It will also be home to events, programming and ultimately an accelerator to educate and connect conscious entrepreneurs.
Kyle Ashby is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Impact Hub Santa Barbara, a collaborative work space for Impact Entrepreneurs, Startups and Organizations in Santa Barbara, California. He is also the founder of StartupSB an community organization that focuses on creating opportunity for entrepreneurs and startups. Kyle has visited and interacted with 100s of startup communities around the world as a Startup America Champion, and global facilitator for Startup Weekend. Kyle has 15+ years experience in marketing for tech and product based companies and has also taught classes in marketing, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Technology Management Program at the University of California and at Antioch University in Santa Barbara. He has an MBA from Babson College, in the Boston Massachusetts area, and undergraduate degrees in Film Studies and Geography from UC Santa Barbara.
October 26, 2015 (MIAMI,FL) – The New Mexico affiliate of Communities in Schools serves over 5,000 students in the Santa Fe public school system. Now it will be able to deliver its programming more efficiently using ClassWallet.
There are a myriad of needs for students in order to succeed in the classroom that extend beyond course curriculum. These may include eye glasses to see better, access to technology at home and more.
Communities in Schools fills these types of voids that often are not addressed by traditional school system resources. In doing so, Site Coordinators are tasked with having to purchase resources out in the field.
“ClassWallet makes it easy for our organization to enable our Site Coordinators to meet student needs quickly and efficiently,” says Executive Director Julia Bergen. “Our current system is paper intensive with receipts, invoices, and reimbursements. ClassWallet removes all the paperwork so we can spend more time on programming and not on administration.”
ClassWallet’s CEO Jamie Rosenberg is no stranger to nonprofit administration. Before launching ClassWallet, Jamie founded AdoptAClassroom.org in 1998 and funding $25 million to teachers in 30% of US schools. “Working with Communities in Schools is particularly exciting. I’ve always had so much respect for the work they do, and now that I can help them with ClassWallet brings me a great deal of satisfaction.”
In addition to taking advantage of ClassWallet’s full suite of funds disbursement, spending and tracking, Communities in Schools New Mexico will be utilizing ClassWallet’s newest feature, a prepaid debit card.
ClassWallet is the leading solution for schools and nonprofits that manages funds disbursement, e-commerce and tracking in a single digital platform designed for maximum simplicity and accountability. ClassWallet brings unprecedented efficiency to billions of dollars transacted by checks, purchase orders, reimbursements and receipts. As a result, ClassWallet saves everyone time and overhead costs, provides easy transparency to funding and spending and reconciles transactions in a completely paperless environment. For more information visit www.classwallet.com
The Live Time Closed Captioning System is a revolution in assistive technology for the hearing impaired. They are raising money on Indiegogo for this purpose. Recently, I caught up with Daniil Frants to learn more about the effort; here’s what he told me:
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
Hearing Loss affects 48 million people in the United States alone. One of the biggest challenges that comes with being hearing impaired is the inability to communicate with your loved ones, or even strangers. A simple conversation, an essential component of human interaction, can in many cases become impossible, even with advances in treatment and technology.
The LTCCS is completely dedicated to providing closed captioning, so it is perfectly suited to keep up with a real, live conversation. In doing so, it restores the user’s ability to engage in a naturally flowing conversation, which can restore relationships with close friends and family members.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
We hope to raise $400,000.
$32,000 gets taken by IndieGoGo.
$150,000 goes to fine-tuning the LTCCS and further development- we need this to be perfect.
$80,000 to cover perk expenses.
$100,000 first round manufacturing.
$38,000 to act as reserve in case anything comes in overbudget. After all above are completed that and any remainder from the others will go towards establishing relationships with organizations for the hearing impaired and medical providers, to ensure further distribution.
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
We are trying to help the millions of hearing impaired individuals whose relationships with their friends and family are damaged by their inability to converse. The on head wearable LTCCS allows these people to participate in a naturally flowing conversation. Regaining this ability can in many cases allow the user to restore relationships that had been damaged by their disability.
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
We are offering a number of promotional perks such as stickers, T-shirts, etc.
We are also offering plaques that thank the supporter for their donation (there are several tiers).
Also, we are taking pre-orders for the LTCCS.
Lastly, we are offering a corporate sponsor “mega-perk” in which in exchange for a large donation an individual or company can have their logo featured on our product.
Check out the campaign: