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The best source for news and information about crowdfunding for good.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: April 2016

From Farm-to-Table to Kitchen-to-Table: Glowpear Reimagines Local Food with Glowpear Mini Self-Watering Planter

Urban Farming Innovator Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Introduce Smart, Simple, User-Friendly Self-Watering Planter

Press Release – Melbourne, AU — Australian technology and design firm Glowpear has launched a Indiegogo campaign to introduce their latest product, Glowpear Mini: a smart, self-watering planter makes it easy, rewarding and fun to grow fresh, organic produce from the convenience of home.

With Glowpear Mini, Glowpear is setting out to revolutionize the way we grow food in urban spaces. The self-watering planter is designed specifically to give busy city-dwellers, who may not have the time or space to devote to a full-fledged traditional garden, the ability to grow their own fresh produce right in their kitchen, living room or anywhere else in their home.

Glowpear Mini features Glowpear’s signature “set and forget” self-watering technology, which automatically provides plants with the perfect amount of water for their needs, meaning users never have to worry about under- or over-watering their plants — or forgetting to water all together.

Glowpear Mini aligns perfectly with the growing trend toward farm-to-table food options and sustainable, locally grown ingredients. “You don’t get much more local than right in your own home,” jokes Glowpear co-founder Lloyd Fenn. “The past few years have seen the start of a really exciting urban farming movement all around the world, as people look for ways to reduce their environmental impact and get access to the freshest, most nutritious produce,” he continues. “With Glowpear Mini, people have everything they need to become part of that movement, and start growing fresh, organic, healthy produce right in their own homes.”

The Glowpear team knows firsthand how challenging it can be to fit home gardening into an already hectic schedule. Their own struggles with home gardening were what led them to develop Glowpear. “All of us live busy lives, and we all live in pretty small, urban spaces, and try as we might, we just couldn’t get plants to grow and still get on with life,” Fenn recalls.

The team’s interest in sustainable, organic home gardening solutions led them to the rapidly evolving vertical gardening market, where they quickly recognized the opportunity to innovate. “There are some really great vertical garden systems out, but they’re all geared toward ornamental plants, not edibles,” says Fenn. “Not only that, but they’re all notoriously time-consuming and expensive to install and maintain — not a great option for busy homeowners.”

Glowpear released their first product, the award-winning Glowpear Urban Garden, in 2014. But they knew that if they wanted to make home gardening an accessible option for people everywhere, they had to think smaller. “People all around the world are moving into urban centers and living in smaller spaces than ever before,” observes co-founder and Red Dot Design award winner Nathan Pollock. “So we knew we needed to create a solution that would work in even the smallest of spaces.”

At just 23.6” x 9.8” x 11.8”, Glowpear Mini is compact enough to fit comfortably into any space, whether indoors or out. Mini comes in three different styles — Bench, Wall and Rail — so customers can choose the version that fits their space — and their lifestyle. “We wanted to design a product that didn’t just work well, but looked beautiful as well, and would make a great addition to your living space,” says Pollock.

At its core, Fenn says, Glowpear Mini is about celebrating community, and the experiences that bring people together. “After all,” Fenn says, “nothing brings people together quite like food.”

The Glowpear Mini Indiegogo campaign launched on Monday, April 11 and runs through May 11. Backers can reserve their Glowpear Mini starting at the $79 pledge level. Rewards from the campaign are expected to ship to backers around the world starting in August 2016.

XTI Aircraft Exceeds $1 Million in Equity Crowdfunding Investments; Will Accelerate Development of TriFan 600 Prototype

Press Release – DENVER, Colo., April 21, 2016 — After capturing the imagination of the public with its TriFan 600 vertical takeoff airplane, XTI Aircraft Company (XTI) is accelerating its development program and redoubling efforts to translate excitement about the aircraft into $3 million in actual investments.

The $3 million milestone is essential to fund important next steps in an accelerated development program that includes flying a 65 percent subscale piloted technology demonstrator of the TriFan 600 within two years. “The move from a full-scale flying prototype to this subscale will trim a year from the development schedule,” said XTI’s Chief Engineer Dr. Dennis Olcott. “It will reduce cost and accelerate the return on equity to shareholders without compromising technical development or performance.”

An operational propulsion jet stand that will house the engine, drive train system, fans and flight controls is also planned for the short term, contingent on funding. XTI’s equity crowdfunding initiative has garnered more than $20 million in expressed interest and more than 700 individuals have converted that amount into $1 million so far, with investments ranging from $350 to $50,000 each.

“In order to fund these development plans, this phase of the campaign is focused on generating further participation from our supporters, increasing our conversion rate and reaching our $3 million goal,” said XTI founder and Chairman David Brody. “For everyone who is excited by this groundbreaking spectacular airplane and wants to get in on the ground floor of bringing the TriFan 600 to market, now is the time to invest.”

Brody added that all current and future shareholders will have the ability to buy and sell XTI shares, valued at $1 per share in the current offering, on a public market. This ongoing investment opportunity is not only open to those who had signed up and expressed interest in investing in XTI previously, but to all investors around the globe. Shares may be purchased at: www.startengine.com/startup/xti

By applying existing technologies in a revolutionary new configuration, the TriFan 600 airplane combines the speed, range and comfort of a business jet with the ability to take off and land like a helicopter.

ABOUT XTI

XTI Aircraft Company is a privately owned aviation business based in Denver. XTI is guided by a leadership team with decades of experience, a deep well of expertise, and success bringing new aircraft to market. XTI is founded on a culture of customer-focused problem solving to meet the evolving needs of modern travelers.

For information and updates about XTI Aircraft Company and the TriFan 600, visit www.xtiaircraft.com. To invest, go to www.startengine.com/startup/xti

VirZOOM Announces Launch Date For 506c Equity Crowdsourced Offering

Virzoom Announces Seed Round Top-Up Offering To Acredited Investors Planned For April 18, 2016

Press Release – Cambridge, MA (April 18th, 2016) – VirZOOM, maker of the VirZOOM VR Motion Controller and VR Exercise Games designed by award-winning game veterans today announced that it will offer $750,000 to top up it’s $3.5M Seed Round. Using the SeedInvest crowdfunding platform, VirZOOM is targeting a $500,000 fundraise, with a maximum round size of $750,000 authorized. VirZOOM expects to launch it’s fundraise on April 18, 2016. So far VirZOOM has received $2.75 million in funding from private investors in its seed round.

“VirZOOM is pleased to expand its community of accredited investors to include Virtual Reality industry savvy SeedInvest community members,“ said Co-founder and CEO Eric Janszen. “We believe these new investors will be impressed by the VirZOOM team’s accomplishments to date and share the confidence of existing investors in the company’s growth prospects.”

Since the founding of the company in February 2015 VirZOOM has developed its VR Exercise Game Platform. The proprietary hardware and software platform makes fitness equipment fun by harnessing the emotional power of VR to motivate physical reactions, resulting in exercise. Patent-pending motion controls limit locomotion discomfort even in VR games that entail sharp turns, flight, and other challenging forms of VR motion.

“The VZ Controller connects wirelessly to PC and PS4 VR games for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PSVR. VZ exercise games are arcade-style games that are designed to keep you moving,” said VirZOOM Co-founder and CTO Eric Malafeew. “The faster you pedal the VC Controller, the faster you move in VZ Games. Controlling your virtual body in the virtual world by pedaling and leaning feels comfortable and natural.”

VirZOOM’s development team, which includes some of the creative minds behind such hits as Dance Central, Rock Bank, and Guitar Hero, creates specialized exercise games that ship with the VZ Controller. In the games you power a tank in battle, a Pegasus though a Canyon, or an Apache helicopter in a firefight, among five games that will initially ship with the VZ Controller. The VZ SDK lets 3rd party developers modify existing VR games and create entirely new VZ-enabled games. Motion controls embodied in the free VZ SDK give VR game developers access to the same patent-pending techniques that the VirZOOM development team uses to move users comfortably through virtual worlds. These techniques open up a world of new game mechanics and game play possibilities.

“The combination of the VZ Controller and patent pending motion controls in VZ Games delivers the unique ‘VirZOOM Experience’ that has to be tried to be believed,” said Janszen.

The company recently started to take pre-orders for VirZOOM online from its web site for $399.95 and plans to ship Early Access units by the end of June 2016. The company is in discussions with multiple parties to expand sales via retailer distributors later this year. The company is also engaged in ongoing discussions with potential OEM partners to deliver a range of fitness and gaming applications for its VR Exercise Game Platform.

About VirZOOM

Co-founded by CEO Eric Janszen and CTO Eric Malafeew in February 2015 and headquartered in Cambridge, MA, VirZOOM is compatible with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PSVR VR headsets and virtual reality content. It is currently available for pre-order for $399 per unit at virzoom.com.

ClassWallet Closes $1.5 Million Series Seed Round

Idea Bulb Ventures Leads Round; ClassWallet Breaking New Ground at the Intersection of Financial and Education Technology Sectors

MIAMI, April 17, 2016 — ClassWallet, fast-becoming the leading platform for school funds disbursement and tracking, has closed a $1.5 million round of seed financing. Total funding raised to date is $4.03 million.

The priced round was led by Idea Bulb Ventures. Idea Bulb Ventures is the U.S. based Investment company working with China’s Innovation Works, the early stage venture capital firm established by the founding President of Google China Dr. Kai-Fu Lee. Other investors include Techstars Ventures and William Guttman, as well as several education and financial technology angel investors.

ClassWallet’s patent-pending technology combines a virtual wallet with an online marketplace. Partners such as Amazon, Office Depot, School Specialty, Scholastic, Nearpod and many more are in the ClassWallet marketplace and accept ClassWallet as form for payment. What’s unique about ClassWallet is that partners return SKU-level data to ClassWallet, affording school administration and funders with detailed reporting and pre-approval permissions on every item purchased, otherwise obtained through paper receipts or laborious purchase order processes. In addition, DiscoverCard and Marqeta, the program manager behind Facebook and eBay’s card platforms, joined forces with ClassWallet to power the ClassWallet debit card for offline purchases such as professional development, field trips and more.

ClassWallet’s unique hybrid of financial and ecommerce technologies enables the Company to eliminate paper receipts, reimbursements and forms for non-bid purchasing in a manner other companies cannot. “We have a number of investments in the education technology sector and we love what ClassWallet is doing,” says Chris Evdemon, Partner at Idea Bulb. “They are solving a huge problem with an innovative SaaS application. We are excited by ClassWallet’s traction in K12 education and see universal application for its technology.”

ClassWallet’s popularity is growing fast. “ClassWallet’s active user base grew over 400% last year and the Company has already booked customers to exceed 400% growth in 2016,” says Jamie Rosenberg, ClassWallet founder and CEO. The platform is being used within some of the largest school districts across the United States including Chicago, Newark, and Broward.

“It’s great to see the continued success of our Techstars Accelerator alumni,” says Techstars Managing Partner Mark Solon. “ClassWallet has created a solution to a problem that has no easy fix. Its continued growth has been impressive.”

About ClassWallet

ClassWallet is the leading end-to-end digital solution to manage funding within school systems. The platform combines funds disbursement, e-commerce, a reloadable debit card and tracking in a fully integrated manner designed for maximum simplicity and accountability. ClassWallet brings accountability to a $23 billion system that relies heavily on cash, checks, and purchase orders that add up to 40 percent transaction costs and a fund-spend-track lifecycle that takes weeks. ClassWallet reduces these transaction costs to less than 5 percent, and the transaction lifecycle to same day.

5th Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention™ Announces 2016 Dates and Venue

The LaunchPad Agency, a Leading PR, Digital Marketing and Crowdfunding Firm, Now Minority Owner and Spearheading Efforts to Grow Event to Meet Needs of Booming $65B Crowdfunding Industry

Press Release – Las Vegas, NV and Los Angeles, CA – April 14, 2016The Global Crowdfunding Convention (GCC), the world’s premier annual event where people gather to network and learn about #crowdfunding, today announced that its 5th Annual event, which expects to see over 1,200 participants, is taking place October 15-17, 2016 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Equally, GCC announces that the The LaunchPad Agency, a leading PR, digital marketing and crowdfunding firm, is now a minority owner of the convention and will be helping spearhead efforts to market, grow attendance and deliver a top-notch, highly educational and fully interactive experience for attendees, #sponsors, #startups, #entrepreneurs and crowdfunding #all-stars alike.

GCC, which features multiple two-day comprehensive interactive tracks with top crowdfunding experts, focuses on teaching attendees how to raise money in equity-, rewards- and donation-based crowdfunding and on what to look for to be a successful investor under the new regulation crowdfunding rules of the Jobs Act. For “newbies” and those familiar with crowdfunding, these classes will help them gain the knowledge, connections, tools and information on new technologies used to achieve success and raise the capital or funding they need.

“It is estimated that crowdfunding will add at least $65 billion into the global economy in 2016, and with its current growth rate, at least $3.2 trillion by 2020,” said Ruth E. Hedges, executive producer, GCC. “As the first and longest running crowdfunding convention in the world, we have had a very big impact on the growth of this booming industry, and by joining forces with The LaunchPad Agency, we are now set to provide an even better experience for attendees wanting to learn from and network with top crowdfunding industry professionals!”

As part of the experience, GCC will feature an exciting, interactive 15,000 sq.ft. Expo and Crowdfunding Marketplace that showcases top industry service providers and the year’s top crowdfunded products, offering attendees and investors alike the opportunity to meet the All-Stars who made them happen. The interactive expo will be broken down into the following fun areas:

  • Fashion Alley: a Runway to show off successfully crowdfunded clothing
  • Music on Stage: hear successfully crowdfunded music
  • Gamers Play Area: see and play crowdfunded videogames and board games
  • Open Mic stage: check out startups launching live rewards campaigns
  • Video Presentations: startups showcase their crowdfunding videos and do a Q&A with people seated around that stage.
  • Artists Alley: a full section dedicated to successfully crowdfunded artworks, comics and published books.

“We have been a big part of the crowdfunding ecosystem for many years and are very happy to be partnered with Ruth and now owners of the Global Crowdfunding Convention,” said James Little, CEO, The LaunchPad Agency. “Together, and through this amazing event, we will be taking big steps towards helping shape the future of this quickly growing industry.”

About The Global Crowdfunding Convention

The Global Crowdfunding Convention (GCC) is the flagship event for the crowdfunding industry. Founded by Ruth E. Hedges, one the world’s foremost authorities on crowdfunding and one of the original pioneers of the crowdfunding legislation (Title III) that was signed into the JOBS Act on April 5, 2012, the GCC features startups, entrepreneurs, founders, investors, government officials, lawyers, accountants, brokers, non-profit organizations, creative artists and many others converging in Las Vegas, NV to benefit from a unique blend of deep content, unbeatable parties and networking in a collaborative, fun and exciting environment. For more information, visit www.thegccworld.com.

About The LaunchPad Agency

The LaunchPad Agency is a PR & Digital Marketing firm committed to helping build credibility, growing brand awareness and delivering impactful results for its clients. The Agency creates and implements fully integrated strategic campaigns through a wide range of marketing communications services including public relations, brand marketing, social media engagement and crowdfunding. For more info, visit www.launchpadagency.com

Indiana University Exceeds All Engagement Goals With First IU Day Celebration

Press Release – BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — IU Day was a resounding success, reaching 9.4 million people on social media with the hashtag #IUday and attracting nearly 17,000 unique visitors to the IU Day website in 24 hours.

Final results for IU Day — Indiana University’s first-ever, 24-hour event promoting participation, university pride and giving — are still being tabulated, but more than 5,500 IU alumni and friends gave approximately $11.2 million in support of IU system-wide.

“IU Day surpassed our expectations,” said Dan Smith, IU Foundation president and CEO. “Whether you were physically on one of IU’s eight campuses or tuning in from another continent, we were united in our support for IU. We watched fun and educational programming, learned about and from the incredible breadth of IU, and showed gratitude and school spirit on social media. Alumni and friends who shared a favorite IU memory or story of how IU impacted their lives provided real-time proof that every single gift to IU makes a tremendous difference.”

The focus of IU Day was community building for all who love IU around the world. The hashtag #IUday trended nationally on Twitter and was used approximately 10,326 times. More than 400 people on four continents gathered in person at IU Alumni Association events.

Alumni, faculty, staff, fans, students and parents contributed to IU Day’s success. Students in particular played an important role in planning for and participating in IU Day. Starting in January and through the completion of IU Day, the IU Student Foundation Philanthropy Committee helped plan and promote events hosted on various campuses.

Students also participated in giving. For example, members of the IU School of Optometry’s student association pledged a total of $25,000 to endow a fund that will support student scholarships, travel grants and campus enhancement projects. Students raised the funds and were inspired to donate on IU Day.

Other students used social media to express gratitude to those whose previous support has enhanced or made their current IU experience possible. IU Bloomington student Coumba Kebe’s appreciation for IU was shared on Twitter.

Moved by IU Day’s mission to unite all who love IU, alumnus John Gibbs committed a planned gift of $5 million from his estate on IU Day. Gibbs is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1972, later pursuing his entrepreneurial ventures in the realm of life sciences. His gift will establish endowed student scholarships and faculty positions, as well as provide unrestricted operating support in equal parts to the Kelley School of Business, the School of Informatics and Computing, the School of Medicine and the IU Office of the President.

“I want to do something significant — I simply want to lead by example,” said Gibbs, founder and CEO of Life Sciences Technologies. “I ask others to look in their heart and think about what Indiana University has done for you. For me the answer is simple: IU changed my life. I’m thrilled that I can give something back.”

IU Day showcased the wide range of insights, art and experiences made possible with the help of private support. More than 40 IU programs hosted IU Crowdfunding campaigns that directly support student scholarships, programming and more.

The most popular aspects of IU Day were the viral giving challenges on social media, drawing nearly 15,000 likes, re-tweets and hashtag uses, each of which resulted in a $1 contribution to student scholarships at IU.

The No. 1 most popular video on IU Day was a behind-the-scenes look at Cook Hall and Assembly Hall, which had 4,800 views. The second most popular was IU’s Cake Boss, about IU alumna and pastry chef Makenzie Kus, who made a special cake in honor of IU Day.

Taking a step back into the IU limelight were well-known alumni, including Orlando Magic player Victor Oladipo, ESPN anchor Sage Steele and Ben Higgins of ABC’s hit reality TV series “The Bachelor.”

The IU Day website featured a lineup of famous IU alumni, an IU-themed trivia game and personality quiz, an IU basketball-themed crossword puzzle and entertaining videos covering a variety of topics such as cybersecurity tips and the likelihood of a zombie apocalypse. Due to overwhelming popularity, the crowdfunding campaigns, special announcements of gifts to IU and more can still be found online at iuday.iu.edu and via social media (#IUday). To learn more, visit the IU Day results page.

Contributions received on IU Day count toward the $2.5 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign. The For All campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses: IU Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in December 2019 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial year celebration in 2020. To learn more about the campaign, its impact and how to participate, visit forall.iu.edu.

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university. Today, the IU Foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country, with a market value of $1.9 billion. In fiscal year 2015, IU received $359.3 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.

Please see the infographic here: https://iuday.iu.edu/results.

Regulation A+ Disrupts Traditional Investing and Fundraising

Noted investment advisors Paul Getty and Dinesh Gupta reveal how entrepreneurs and investors can benefit

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Securities & Exchange Commission’s recent approval of Regulation A+ is transforming the way in which entrepreneurs and investors can join forces to create new investment opportunities. Since its approval in June 2015, over 150 new fundraising initiatives have either been submitted or been approved by the SEC representing over $1.2 billion in new investments. The most prominent of the recent firms taking advantage of Reg A+ is the new automotive company Elio Motors which raised $17 million by turning customers into investors and whose stock more than doubled in value shortly after being listed on OTC Markets.

The timely release of a new book, Regulation A+: How the JOBS Act Creates Opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Investors, co-written by Paul Getty, Dinesh Gupta, and Robert Kaplan, Jr. provides a guide to both entrepreneurs and investors on how to take best advantage of the new SEC rules.

“Reg A+ is crowdfunding on steroids,” said Paul Getty, Reg A+ author and co-founder of the new information portal www.RegAExchange.com . “Entrepreneurs are able to publicly advertise offerings and accept funds from both accredited and non-accredited investors,” he added.

Prior to the new Reg A+, entrepreneurs seeking investment funds were largely limited to high net worth investors and/or institutions under Regulation D which, until recently, also prohibited public advertising. The passage of the JOBS Act in 2012 accelerated the growth of so-called crowdfunding activities, but unlike Reg A+, such investments are generally limited to no more than $1M per project thereby limiting the use of crowdfunding for larger opportunities.

“Reg A+ dramatically expands access by regular investors to investment opportunities that have been closed to only wealthy individuals and Wall Street,” stated Dinesh Gupta, co-author of Reg A+ and co-founder of www.RegAExchange.com.

“Entrepreneurs can raise up to $50M per year and are able to offer investments to 20 times as many investors as before which is resulting in an upsurge of job creation and wealth formation,” added Gupta.

New Book Offers How-to Guide for Entrepreneurs and Investors

Regulation A+: How the JOBS Act Creates Opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Investors is the authoritative guide to Reg A+ for executives of emerging growth companies, entrepreneurs, financial advisers, venture capitalists, investment bankers, securities lawyers, finance and MBA students, as well as others who want to learn how to raise up to $50 million a year without doing a traditional IPO. Instead, Reg A+ offers a new type of IPO, unencumbered by the heavy regulation and costs of traditional IPOs. Regulation A+ can be used across a very broad range of investment opportunities including technology firms, real estate, operating companies, motion pictures, among many other areas.

The book guides readers in very practical terms on how to take advantage of key provisions of Reg A+ that:

  • Permit companies to raise up to $50 million, a 10-fold increase over the old Reg A limit of $5 million, and 50 times the current crowdfunding limit.
  • Allow companies to market IPOs to a wider audience, rather than just accredited investors.
  • Leverage public advertising to greatly increase exposure of offerings.
  • Exempt companies under certain conditions from onerous and costly reporting and compliance requirements, such as Sarbanes-Oxley.

Background

The bipartisan Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012 required the SEC to update its old Regulation A to become what many are calling Reg A+. In 2015, the SEC announced the rules for Reg A+, which increased the amount a private company could raise through a public securities offering from $5 million a year, to $50 million a year, and allowed non-accredited investors buy in.

Many American companies are filing their first Reg A+ offerings now.

About RegAExchange

RegAExchange was founded in 2012 with a mission to provide curated content related to Reg A+ for both for both entrepreneurs and investors and to also to provide a “one stop shop” for firms seeking investment capital. See www.RegAExchange.com for more information or call Paul Getty, 408 392-8859 or Email.

Book Purchase Information

“Regulation A+ How the JOBS Act Creates Opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Investors” may be purchased online through the publisher’s website, http://www.apress.com/9781430257318?gtmf=s; the distributor’s website, http://www.springer.com/us/book/9781430257318; and through http://www.amazon.com/Regulation-Creates-Opportunities-Entrepreneurs-Investors/dp/1430257318/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454957091&sr=8-1&keywords=regulation+A%2B.

2 Deals Bode Well for Seed Equity Investors In Startups


You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Seed Equity Ventures, one of the sponsors of the Your Mark on the World Center and GoodCrowd.info, has noted exciting progress with two of its portfolio companies. The crowdfunding type investment bank for startups reported this week that two companies, DemoChimp and Micro Benefits, in which its investors had participated in seed rounds last year received large follow-on investments already this year.

Utah-based Consensus, formerly DemoChimp, announced on April 5, 2016 that it had received a $4.2 million Series A funding round from Peak Ventures and super angel Nobutaka Mutaguchi.

In a statement, Consensus explained:

CONSENSUS makes it possible for sales and marketing professionals to create interactive customized demo videos that give each buyer an overview of a product’s value proposition. Buyers then rate the relative importance of video segments that explain different aspects of the offering’s value proposition according to their unique interests, revealing both the identity and motivation of each stakeholder. The CONSENSUS platform plays the videos in a personalized sequence, and at a level of detail tailored to each buyer’s interests. CONSENSUS’ proprietary Demolytics™ dashboard shows customers when a buyer watches their demo, what’s important to them and who they shared it with — so salespeople can tailor their messages to the buying group’s shared priorities.

Separately, last month, Seed Equity reported that its Hong Kong-based portfolio company Micro Benefits sold a 23.53 percent stake to Xurpas for $10 million.

Seed Equity noted on its blog that “Micro Benefits is a Hong Kong-based company providing innovative mobile solutions in human resources to Fortune 500 companies in China. The company does business through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Micro Benefits Financial Consulting (Su Zhou) Co. Ltd.”

Micro Benefits reports that it helps to reduce turnover by 15 percent.

On Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Seed Equity Ventures founder and CEO, Todd Crosland will join me here for a live discussion about the recent transactions and the implications for the Seed Equity Ventures investors who participated in the seed rounds last year. 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 Seed Equity Ventures:

Twitter: @getseedequity

Seed Equity Ventures is a registered broker dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a member of both FINRA and SIPC, providing investment banking services to startups and growth companies from around the world. Seed Equity believes the best entrepreneurs in the world should be funded, no matter who they are or where they live. Investors throughout the world, should have a voice to choose what the future should look like. They should be able to support entrepreneurs who will build that future. Seed Equity was founded to provide growth equity to entrepreneurs and their startups in exciting industries globally.

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

Todd’s bio:

Twitter: @ToddCrosland

A seasoned entrepreneur, Mr. Crosland has demonstrated the ability to build successful teams and companies. Mr. Crosland was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Interbank FX, LLC (“IBFX”; www.IBFX.com), from 2001 until he sold the firm in 2011. IBFX was a Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer registered with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. IBFX was also authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

IBFX was a worldwide leader in retail Forex trading services. IBFX offered individual traders, fund managers and institutional customer’s proprietary technology and tools to trade Forex online. IBFX saw Global customers grow to over 40,000, in more than 140 countries. Annual trading volume reached $750 billion. IBFX had 120 employees and offices in Beijing, China; Seoul, South Korea; Sydney, Australia; Salt Lake City, Utah and London, England.

IBFX and Mr. Crosland have received many awards, including: The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and numerous Inc. 500 awards.

Mr. Crosland holds a B.A. in Business (Business Finance) from the University of Utah. He also currently holds the following Securities Licenses: Series 7, 24, and 63 and previously held series 3 and 30 Licenses.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to our content here.

Devin D. Thorpe

Insider Tips for Startups Raising Capital

Angel Investing Guru Alejandro Cremades Shares Secrets for Startups In New Book “The Art of Startup Fundraising

Bookcover

New York, NY – April 11, 2016 – An expert on angel investing and crowdfunding, Alejandro Cremades, Cofounder & Executive Chairman of Onevest, is releasing a new book with Wiley titled The Art of Startup Fundraising. The 17-chapter book explores the ins and outs of fundraising for entrepreneurs, including understanding investor expectations, crafting the right pitch, negotiating and closing the deal, and more. Available April 11, The Art of Startup Fundraising reflects Cremades’ unique perspective working on both sides of the table, supporting both startup founders and investors in building successful ventures.

With a foreword from Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, The Art of Startup Fundraising is already receiving accolades from major business and VC heavyweights such as Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappo’s), Tim Draper (Founder, Draper Associates), and Marco Landi (Former COO, Apple). The book offers a practical, step-by-step guide to take entrepreneurs through the fundraising experience from start to finish, so they can build and implement a clear strategy for raising capital. Detailed checklists and chapters outline sample due diligence requirements, important goals and milestones, key players to know, the financing lifecycle of a startup, and more, with a comprehensive glossary of important terms. Throughout the book, Cremades offers a 360-degree perspective of the industry,outlining the pros and cons of major decisions, potential red flags to watch, and case studies of notable businesses and brands.

Alejandro1

Cremades’ book also includes an extensive chapter on the JOBS Act, offering a close look at the implications of this historic piece of legislation for both startups and investors ahead of its full implementation on May 16th. Cremades has been involved in the JOBS Act since its inception, and was invited to the White House and US House of Representatives to provide his views on the new regulatory changes.

“Raising capital is an art that requires a great deal of time and effort,” said Cremades. “My goal was to share my own experiences and interactions with literally thousands of startups and investors to cut the learning curve, and give entrepreneurs the tips and tools they need to create their masterpiece.”

Under Cremades’ direction at Onevest, the company launched 1000 Angels, a network that gives investors exclusive access to some of the most sought after early-stage investment opportunities in the world, as well as CoFoundersLab, which connects founders with other founders, advisers, and interns. Together, the Onevest platforms facilitate thousands of strategic relationships, and help startups raise millions of dollars every month.

The Art of Startup Investing is available for pre-order now. It retails for $25.00 and will be available wherever books and ebooks are sold. To purchase a copy, visit http://buy.startupfundraising.com/.

Indiana University’s First-Ever Worldwide Day Of Engagement, IU Day, Set For April 12

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — At midnight and continuing throughout April 12, Indiana University will observe IU Day, its first-ever 24-hour worldwide celebration promoting engagement, university pride and giving.

IU Day will feature a lineup of famous IU alumni; an IU-themed trivia game, personality quiz and crossword puzzle; entertaining videos covering topics as varied as cybersecurity tips and the likelihood of a zombie apocalypse; giving challenges; special announcements of gifts to IU; and more. More information also will be shared via social media through IU Foundation’s presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, @IUFoundation.

“We are committed to finding new ways to engage with Indiana University alumni and friends across the state and around the world,” IU Foundation President Dan Smith said. “Mark your calendars for IU Day on April 12, wear the colors that represent your IU campus community, and join us online or in person through your local IU Alumni Association chapter as we build camaraderie and share in lifelong learning.”

Joining IU Day via social media will be well-known IU alumni such as Orlando Magic player Victor Oladipo, ESPN anchor Sage Steele and the star of ABC’s hit reality series “The Bachelor,” Ben Higgins. Also, live-streamed from the IU Cinema in Bloomington, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” actor and IU alumnus Jonathan Banks will share thoughts on his career and his time at IU and answer real-time, Twitter-submitted questions at 6 p.m.

All are encouraged to join in the fun by following along or adding to the IU Day story using the hashtag #IUday.

Other IU Day programming will include interviews with cinematic luminaries Meryl Streep and Werner Herzog, exclusive footage of the a cappella group Straight No Chaser — composed entirely of IU alumni — a behind-the-scenes tour with IU Bloomington Athletics, fun videos about the future of fashion, sci-fi technologies we are likely to see in our lifetime, the top five medical myths and TEDxIndianaUniversity talks.

IU Day will showcase the wide range of insights, art and experiences made possible with the help of private support. Those inspired to give on IU Day will have new choices for supporting IU. More than 40 IU programs are hosting IU Crowdfunding campaigns that directly support student scholarships, programming, and more.

“As a student, I’m looking forward to IU Day because it is a great way to connect with areas of IU that are not part of my daily campus life,” said Niki DaSilva, IUPUI Undergraduate Student Government president. “This is an opportunity to show everyone what a great experience we are having at IUPUI, and to show alumni and friends around the world what we have in common through IU. I know there are many whose support has made my IU experience what it is today. This is an opportunity to say thank you and encourage others to give. Every gift matters.”

As an added incentive, all gifts made on IU Day will help unlock $200,000 in challenge funds. Each individual who makes a gift of any amount on IU Day will receive a one-time allotment of five votes to allocate toward his or her favorite IU cause — scholarships, research, study abroad experiences, or any other IU program, school or campus. When IU Day ends, the IU causes with the most votes will receive a percentage of the challenge funds. Votes can be tracked throughout the day on the IU Day Leaderboard.

Learn more about IU Day and get in the spirit by watching this short IU Day video.

Contributions received on IU Day will count toward the $2.5 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.

For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses: IU Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in December 2019 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial year celebration in 2020. To learn more about the campaign, its impact and how to participate, visit forall.iu.edu.

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university. Today, the IU Foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country, with a market value of approximately $1.9 billion. In fiscal year 2015, IU received $359.3 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.

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