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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: June 2016

Buy a Blanket to Donate One to a Homeless Animal in Need

Forever Home Blankets is to improve the living conditions of homeless animals, increase adoptions, and save lives. They are raising money on kickstarter. Recently I caught up with Terry Lin 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?

Every year 8 million pets end up in shelters and 4 million will never find a new home. Because of overpopulation, many sleep on concrete floors or outdoors in the cold. Our mission is to improve the living conditions of shelter animals, increase adoption rates, and save lives. For every blanket you buy, we’ll donate one to a homeless animal in need.


How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

Our goal is a modest $1,000 and we hit that within the first 5 hours. All funds raised will be used towards production, packaging, freight, and shipping of the blankets. We’ve contacted 10 shelters and rescue organizations to receive our donations, and now we are rallying our tribe to back the project.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

Our main group of beneficiaries are homeless shelter animals that are abandoned by their owners or strays that ended up there. They have no voice, so there needs to be somebody willing to stand up for them. By borrowing a page from the TOMS business model, my hope is to build a sustainable organization that can continue to deliver an impact for the long term.

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

  • $1: Thank you
  • $25: 1 Blanket (Early Bird, 50 total)
  • $29: 1 Blanket
  • $49: 2 Blankets (Early Bird, 50 total)
  • $54: 2 Blankets
  • $79: 3 Blankets
  • $99: 4 Blankets
  • $199: 10 Blankets

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @itsmeterrylin


Inaugural Crowd Invest Summit to Kickoff in Los Angeles

Robust Two-Day Equity Crowdfunding Event Will Unite Crowdfunding Experts, Investors, Entrepreneurs and Everyday Americans

Press Release – LOS ANGELES (June 29, 2016) – The first ever Crowd Invest Summit will debut December 7-8, 2016 at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monica, California. The summit will feature a robust agenda spanning a variety of equity crowdfunding themes including investment analysis, marketing strategies, trends and insights from industry experts. Early bird discounted tickets are available for $99 for a limited time via the summit’s website.

Founded by three equity crowdfunding industry pioneers (Josef Holm, Darren Marble and Alon Goren), the Crowd Invest Summit was developed with the vision that every American – whether accredited or not – can now be a venture capitalist.

Notably, the summit will bring together every facet of the equity crowdfunding industry including angel investors, venture capital investors, retail investors, real estate investors, startups / entrepreneurs, issuers, funding portals, broker-dealers, marketing and PR firms, crowdfunding service providers, Fintech service providers and members of the media.

“As the first event of its kind in the United States, the Crowd Invest Summit connects retail investors and top crowdfunded investment opportunities,” said Josef Holm, co-founder of Crowd Invest Summit, and founder and CEO of crowdfunding marketing and PR software firm Krowdster. “Given the recent shifts in the equity crowdfunding industry, we created this event to be inclusive of all types of investors. Our first summit will take place in Silicon Beach and we’re already exploring a series of domestic and international events to follow.”

“The majority of crowdfunding conferences are way too technical,” said Darren Marble, co-founder of the Crowd Invest Summit and CEO of crowdfunding agency CrowdfundX. “They are filled with attorneys, accountants and platforms – who are all important resources – but the industry is desperate for a conference that caters to the everyday Americans. They are the retail investors who will ultimately fuel the growth of the industry. I am excited to be partnering with Josef and Alon on this initiative. I couldn’t think of two more experienced and connected crowdfunding experts to make this vision a reality.”

“I am honored to be working with crowdfunding industry colleagues Darren and Josef on what will be the largest crowd investing event to date,” said Alon Goren, co-founder of the Crowd Invest Summit, and founder and CEO of enterprise crowdfunding software company and monthly Ventura / Santa Barbara area event 805 Startups. “For years, all three of us have been pioneers an industry with promise and excitement for a world where anyone could invest in any company, regardless of economic or social status. We’ve now built that world, and we expect to unite more companies and investors than ever before.”

Goren added, “Until now, crowdfunding events have been predominantly focused on debating the potential rules and laws that are now finally in place and available. In contrast, this will be the first large-scale event in the crowdfunding sector focused on companies and investors raising real money and closing actual deals. We want all Americans to know that any of them can become venture capitalists now.”

Equity Crowdfunding For All: Brief Background on Key Rulings

In an unprecedented development in March of 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled on Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (also known as the JOBS Act), paving the way for private companies to raise up to $50M from both accredited and unaccredited investors. This ruling is known as “Reg A+” and is expected by many to be pivotal in the future of popular investments in America.

Effective in May of 2016, regulation Crowdfunding under Title III of the JOBS Act allows private companies to raise up to $1 million annually from both accredited and unaccredited investors.

Given the groundswell of interest in both Reg A+ and Title III opportunities, the Crowd Invest Summit agenda will explore both categories.

About The Crowd Invest Summit

The Crowd Invest Summit was founded by three pioneers in the equity crowdfunding sector: Josef Holm, Darren Marble and Alon Goren. The conference was developed with the vision that every American – whether accredited or not – can now be a venture capitalist. The summit brings together every facet of the equity crowdfunding industry including angel investors, venture capital investors, retail investors, real estate investors, startups / entrepreneurs, issuers, funding portals, broker-dealers, marketing and PR firms, crowdfunding service providers, Fintech service providers and members of the media.

Visit us online at Follow and engage with us on social media via: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and via the event’s primary hashtag #CrowdInvestSummit.

Beyond Good Karma: Now Do-Gooders Who Raise Money Can Get Paid For It Too

Press Release – Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 – Alexandria, VA: As consumers we are increasingly invited to leave tips for anything and everything – meals, cocktails, cupcakes, even goods at the local farmers’ market. A combination of effective design, popular technology, and savvy sales tactics, this trend toward increased prompting for tips is understandably popular among businesses and their employees. But somewhat surprisingly, it’s proven desirable among consumers as well, who appreciate the convenience and opportunity to reward good service, particularly in unconventional settings. So this begs the question: as tips are embraced in new situations, where else do they have hidden potential? Razoo, the leading crowdfunding platform for causes, believes that online charity presents that next big opportunity.

“Leaving a tip has become multifaceted – now it’s about more than rewarding good service,” said Tom Matthews, CEO of Razoo. “A person may leave a tip as a thank you in one setting, a token of appreciation in another, and as a vote of confidence in yet another. Meanwhile, every day we are seeing do-gooders on Razoo create fundraisers to raise money for others. It occurred to us we could use tips as a means for donors to reward fundraisers for doing good.”

Individuals who create fundraisers on Razoo – whether they be raising money to help a charity, a friend, a family member, or a total stranger in need – now have the exclusive opportunity to let donors tip them for their good deeds – a tangible benefit that leaps far beyond the symbolic excess of digital Likes, heartbeats, and virtual backslaps offered on other crowdfunding sites. When a good samaritan starts a fundraiser on Razoo, they now have the option to personalize and invite their donors to voluntarily tip them for managing that fundraiser. And if a fundraiser prefers to regrant their “Tips” back to their fundraiser, we let them do that too.

“People who fundraise are big-hearted folks,” says Matthews, “they donate their time, energy, passions, and personal networks to a good cause. When given the opportunity, we think donors will opt to reward them for that, to show gratitude and provide encouragement for the selflessness of their efforts.”

To learn more about personal fundraising on Razoo and to start a free fundraiser, visit:

About Razoo

Razoo is crowdfunding for causes, powering small acts of giving that together lift the world. From multimillion-dollar, community-led Giving Days to individuals collecting donations on behalf of nonprofits or personal causes, Razoo has helped raise more than five-hundred million dollars online – one small donation at a time. Razoo has offices in San Francisco and Alexandria, VA., and is seed funded by the Legatum Group. See how we’re creating a new generation of everyday philanthropists at Follow us on Twitter at @Razoo, and like us on Facebook at

YEAY Receives Seed Funding of Single-Digit Million Euros Lead By Grazia Equity

The video marketplace is set to disrupt the E-commerce sector

Press Release – Berlin, Germany 6/28/2016YEAY, a new easy to use E-commerce app that utilises video as opposed to traditional selling formats, announced today it has successfully closed its seed funding round with an investment of single-digit millions in euros from Grazia Equity. YEAY has also welcomed Elio Leoni-Sceti (chairman of LSG Holdings) and Erhard Schoewel (eon executive board member of COTY) among other notable investors. The funding will be used to support YEAY’s product development and recruitment as it releases into open beta.

YEAY aims to disrupt the E-commerce sector by allowing a more immersive, creative user experience through building a video content marketplace. YEAY is set to bring entertainment as well as creativity to a segment of the population that already consumes large amounts of digital video content. Studies indicate that Generation Y and Millennials conduct over 58% of their shopping online, watch at least 4.2 online videos per day – spending more time on YouTube that on their TVs – and they are rapidly migrating to mobile apps like Snapchat; therefore, adding video shopping is a natural next step in the evolution of E-commerce, with YEAY claiming their place as the early pioneer.

“We are a bunch of boys and girls that believe in video and love to shop,” said Melanie Mohr, Founder and CEO of YEAY. “Building a video shopping platform from the ground up, which seamlessly integrates massive amounts of products and video content is no easy task. Now with this financing and experienced team of investors on board, as well as the commitment from hundreds of exceptional retailers, influencers and content makers, we look forward to providing consumers with the ultimate shopping experience.”

Erhard Schoewel commented, “We have invested in YEAY because we believe it will have a major impact on consumers seeking more out of their retailers – the combination of a video marketplace, social media, retailers and influencers comes just in the right time, YEAY can now position as the leaders in a sector poised to change the E-commerce status quo.”

The company is scheduled to release their OS app later this month, along with announcing new partnerships with over 100 retailers. “By building these retailers’ relationships, they are breaking down a huge barrier to entry and making themselves the market leader by quite a distance” said Jochen Klüppel, Partner at Grazia Equity. “YEAY is a great addition to our portfolio of innovative, early-stage companies that blends in well with our existing investments in video-related companies such as Moviepilot or Reelio and E-commerce businesses such as Mister Spex or Urbanara. In many ways the company represents the best of both worlds and therefore YEAY will be the frontrunner of emerging ‘V-commerce’ companies.”

3 Brain Friendly Insights to Be a Better Leader

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

Laurie Carey is an educator and consultant who provides “brain-based professional development for the classroom, the conference room and the boardroom.” She is the founder of both Laurie Carey Consulting and the nonprofit We Connect the Dots. Laurie was introduced to us by our sponsor, Eclat Impact.

We Connect the Dots is currently in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with the audacious goal to raise $1 million for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education.

Laurie connected with me to share some insights for us on operating in a more “brain-friendly” way. She says, “Understanding how your brain works, allows you to communicate better, to be a better leader, to be a better teacher, to be a better parent, and to handle life’s challenges both professionally and personally.”

Here are her three observations:

Life is just a state of mind:

The key to successfully developing positive change is to apply brain-friendly coaching to support the ability to shift from being uncomfortable to getting comfortable. Change can be difficult, and we can get caught up in our own brain bias, which prevents us from moving forward or stretching outside our comfort zone. The insight to solving problems can be right in front of us, but we can be blinded by our own bias without consciously even knowing it.

Diversity brings more innovation:

Diversity comes in many forms, the more diverse your team is, the greater opportunity for innovation to occur. Diversity provides the opportunity to see a problem from multiple perspectives or from multiple lenses. To create successful teams we first have to provide the right environment for them to share their values, their strengths, and how they can support each other’s success.

Disruption creates an opportunity to learn.

We live in a world where technology is changing our lives constantly. Businesses have to continually reinvent themselves to remain relevant. Those that are lifelong learners embrace the disruptions with interest. Disruptions create new opportunities to change the world; you can either be the disrupter or be disrupted.

Laurie Carey, courtesy of We Connect the Dots

Laurie Carey, courtesy of We Connect the Dots

On Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 3:00 Eastern, Laurie will join me for a live discussion about her three insights into changing the way our brains process information to improve the way we interact with the world and ultimately change the world. 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 We Connect the Dots:

Our mission is to excite, inform and educate students about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) careers.  Through a collaboration with the community, education, government and the technology industry, WCTD provides awareness and education of the 21st Century workforce skills, as well as the opportunities available to students embracing STEAM careers.  Impacting students at a local, national and global level, our programs create a hunger for learning that empowers students to find their own paths to success.

More about Laurie Carey Consulting, LLC:

Twitter: @bfconnections

Brain-based professional development for the classroom, the conference room, and the boardroom Laurie Carey Consulting was founded with a mission to use brain-based learning and coaching models to create positive outcomes across education and professional development communities, where technology is used as a tool for supporting more productive and engaging learning experiences. Understanding more about the brain allows us to facilitate more effective one-on-one and one-to-many interactions that help generate positive and empowering outcomes, supporting both teachers and students in classroom engagements, as well as supporting both managers and employees in the workplace.

Laurie’s bio:

Twitter: @ljcoach

Laurie Carey is a new American educator – challenging the problems of American education with a multi-prong vision that brings the tools of business success, innovative educational practices, and strategic technology to schools, districts, universities, teachers, students and parents. Laurie Carey is not the proprietor of another educational product or service. The entities that she has founded, Laurie Carey Consulting, LLC and We Connect The Dots, Inc., are driven by ideas, passions, individual skills, partnerships and the efficacy of research. Both entities utilize mutually supporting designs to bring American education to a new level of effectiveness and leadership by replacing stagnation and irrelevance with passionate motivational learning and teaching.

It is one thing to discuss technology as a transformative and equalizing learning approach. It is quite another to explore the depths of this transformation. Laurie Carey Consulting, LLC deploys the teams that unleash the ideas that propel student learning and catalyze systemic change. Partnerships with industry organizations to bring a new understanding to the relevance of the Internet as powerful force to developing learning skills. Laurie Carey Consulting teams create Work-Based Learning experiences that prepare all students to think as innovators, entrepreneurs, and individuals with unique skills to offer a 21st century world employing tools such as brain-based coaching and research metrics. Laurie Carey Consulting teams address the whole of a school or district’s needs with educational strategies, funding plans, research frameworks and interventions designed for the success of all students.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!




BankRoll Women: Successful Women Leaders Providing Funding and Capital Raising Options For Women Entrepreneurs

Press Release – NEW YORK – June 14, 2106 – Alexandra Lebenthal, who Fortune named “The New Queen of Wall Street,” has joined forces with alice + olivia CEO and Creative Director Stacey Bendet to create BankRoll Women, a company that will help women entrepreneurs at all levels raise capital. “I know first-hand how hard it is to start a business from scratch,” Bendet said. BankRoll Women was created to make that process easier for women-owned companies.

Bendet and Lebenthal launched BankRoll Women in May after noting the huge funding gap for women-owned companies. Statistics show that only 3% of venture-funded businesses have a female CEO, and only 8% of Silicon Valley startups receiving Series A funding in 2015 were led by women “It’s time to start evening the playing field for women in business,” Lebenthal noted.

Over the next few weeks, Bendet and Lebenthal will be adding other high-profile, successful women from several diverse fields to the BankRoll Women team. In addition, they are excited to launch the BankRoll Women Bridge Club, a free-to-join extension of BankRoll Women that offers women around the country a chance to participate and “give back” by assisting women entrepreneurs alongside Bendet and Lebenthal. By joining the BankRoll Women Bridge Club, women who meet the criteria of being an “accredited investor” will have an opportunity to invest in, or provide bridge financing to, women-owned companies seeking funding through BankRoll Women on a case-by-case basis. Anyone interested in joining the BankRoll Women Bridge Club may apply at this link.

Lebenthal and Bendet note that BankRoll Women will have several primary functions:

  • To provide women entrepreneurs with access to advocacy and mentoring from highly success women
  • To hold public educational and networking events for women entrepreneurs,
  • To give access to a JOBS Act online equity crowdfunding platform that allows women’s companies to raise capital from “the crowd,”
  • To create its own fund to directly invest in select women’s companies and
  • To pitch a television program where the Bankroll Women help women’s businesses get funding.

“While there are other organizations and funds that provide limited access to capital for women-owned companies, no one other than BankRoll Women provides funding options at all levels, from startups all the way to public companies,” says investment banker Tess Hottenroth, CEO of BankRoll Women. Hottenroth is the co-founder of strategic partner BankRoll, a leading JOBS Act funding platform where companies may raise up to $50 million in new capital online. “When you combine online equity crowdfunding with access to the advocacy and the network Alexandra, Stacey and BankRoll Women bring to the table, there is truly nothing else out there like us.”

Hottenroth’s co-founder at BankRoll, Kendall Almerico, is considered one of the top JOBS Act and equity crowdfunding attorneys and experts in the country. Almerico is excited to help BankRoll Women’s client companies get funded. “The game-changing equity crowdfunding tools that BankRoll Women brings to the table for women-owned companies will take the funding process out of the hands of venture capitalists and too-big-to-fail financial institutions, and put it into the hands of everyday people,” Almerico says. “And my involvement shows that supporting women-owned companies is not just for other women, men will certainly play a role, too.”

Women-owned and operated companies who wish to apply to use the BankRoll Women funding process, may obtain more information and apply here.

About Alexandra Lebenthal:

Alexandra Lebenthal is the CEO Lebenthal & Company. She comes from a storied Wall Street family. Her grandparents, Louis and Sayra Lebenthal, founded Lebenthal & Co., Inc, a municipal bond specialist, in 1925. Her grandmother worked until age 93. She followed her father, James Lebenthal, as the company spokesperson. She joined Lebenthal in 1988 and became President and CEO in 1995 at the age of 31. Ms. Lebenthal remained at the firm for four years after its sale, leaving in 2005 before starting anew in 2006.

A passionate supporter of women in business, she was named one of the top 50 Women in Wealth Management by Wealth Manager Magazine. She has also been named to the Crain’s New York Top Women Owned Business and the Crain’s Fastest 50 Growing Businesses in New York. As one of the most recognizable women on Wall Street she is a frequent commentator in the media, and is an official CNBC contributor. She is a board member of The Committee of 200, the leading organization for female businesswomen. She is also a board member of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit organization that provides financial literacy education and resources for women.

Ms. Lebenthal is involved in many cultural and philanthropic institutions in New York City. Ms. Lebenthal published her first novel “Recessionistas”, in August 2010, which was sold to Universal Cable Productions. She is currently writing “The Women’s Investment Bible”, a comprehensive book on investing for women. She is also the Co-founder of “The Women’s Executive Circle,” a group of high-profile Jewish Women that mentor other women under the auspices of United Jewish Appeal. A graduate of Princeton University in 1986, with an A.B. in history, Ms. Lebenthal began her career in the municipal bond department at Kidder Peabody Inc. Ms. Lebenthal lives in New York City with her husband, Jay Diamond. They have three children, Benjamin, Charlotte and Eleanor.

About Stacey Bendet:

New York native Stacey Bendet founded alice + olivia in 2002 with the quest to create the perfect pair of pants. The brand was an immediate success, and shortly after its launch, Theory founder Andrew Rosen joined as a partner. Since then, the company has grown into a full contemporary lifestyle brand, encompassing a wide range of offerings including the signature collection, eveningwear, the “To Work” and “AIR” lines, footwear, handbags and accessories.

Stacey Bendet pulls inspiration from her love of vintage and all things feminine to design and create beautiful clothing that makes women feel attractive and confident. Ornamented fabrics, whimsical prints and ultra-flattering fits provide today’s modern woman with options for every day and every occasion. alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet is available at, over 30 free-standing boutiques located in major cities around the world including, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, as well as over 800 of the finest department and specialty stores worldwide. In 2009, a+o launched ecommerce at, opening the “world of a+o” to a truly global customer base.

Full-time CEO and Creative Director, Bendet is also a wife and mother of three who makes supporting charity endeavors a priority in her personal and professional activities. She is a member of the board of trustees of NY-based Baby Buggy, a foundation who provides essentials for children of families in need, she supports Ronald McDonald House, which offers assistance to the families of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses and she is also a member of the board of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, her alma mater.

A devoted Ashtanga yoga student who practices daily, Bendet loves vintage stores and flea markets, traveling and spending time with her husband Eric Eisner and their daughters. She has been featured on Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List five times and is now in their hall of fame. Stacey Bendet currently splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.

Equality Florida Pulse Victim Fund Totals $6M; Disbursements Expedited

Press Release – (ORLANDO) Equality Florida’s fundraising efforts for the victims’ families and survivors of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting have raised nearly $6 million, the vast majority from a GoFundMe campaign that has drawn more than 110,000 contributors from across the world and pledges from corporate sponsors and grassroots fundraising efforts locally and globally.

We applaud Orlando’s victim service center and community partners for meeting all immediate emergency needs for the victims’ families and survivors. In working with our partners at the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), we are expediting the process of fund disbursement to ensure there is no gap in the safety net for these families. We expect funds to be dispersed as quickly as eight weeks via the NCVC’s National Compassion Fund.

It is imperative that all victims’ families and survivors call NCVC’s Victim Hotline, so that victims’ families and survivors have access to these critical financial resources. The NCVC will work with law enforcement and government agencies to quickly verify their identity, identify their expenses, and process disbursements.

In a world where marriage equality only recently became a possibility, and domestic partnership is not widely available, it is our top priority to ensure we address the unique needs of the LGBTQ and Latino/a communities impacted from the Pulse Nightclub Shooting.

We are humbled that our efforts have been endorsed by more than 100 past victims of gun violence who know better than anyone how desperately these resources are needed.

The distribution of funds to the victims and families of mass casualty crimes, including shootings and terrorist attacks, requires the highest level of transparency, complete accountability and closely managed stages of distribution. Please visit this link for an in-depth description of our plan to do exactly that:

Please share the contact information for victim’s families and survivors including those who escaped physical injury but not the trauma of this brutal attack.

Victim Hotline:
855-4-Victim (855-484-2846)

To donate to the Pulse Victims Fund, visit:

CrowdRise & One Millennial’s 30th Bday Effort in Ethiopia

For many women hitting the big 30th birthday milestone means celebrations, reflection, or adventures. For one inspiring millennial, Mallory Brown, it means effecting change on a global scale. This June 21st, Mallory is setting out to raise $30k in 24 hours to empower 30 women in Ethiopia to start their own businesses through CrowdRise’s 24-Hour Impact Project (24HIP). She’s joined by 29 women all over the US who have committed to helping her reach her goal by fundraising alongside her. Mallory helped pioneer CrowdRise’s 24HIP to demonstrate the incredible power that real-time impact and fundraising can give to an individual trying to make change in the world. You can also see her inspiring Ted Talk here, where she talks about saving the world before the age of 30, a goal she is well on her way to accomplishing.

Mallory is currently in the small, impoverished village of Chapa, Ethiopia. There she seeks to empower 30 women to start their own business. In success, Mallory will help them with job training and employment opportunities, so they can buy food for their families, send their children to school and start to pull themselves out of poverty.

The CrowdRise 24-Hour Impact project has produced 8 inspirational and engaging flash fundraisers for many causes across four continents. Ambassadors, like Mallory, are selected to find an important cause, raise the funds to make a change in 24 hours and being implementing that change. All activity is filmed in real time and video updates are posted so that donors can immediately see the results of their contributions. The 24-Hour Impact Project has built a community center in Mexico, secured a home for a family in Haiti, helped expand sanitation efforts in Nepal, provided a permanent home for a community BBQ in Detroit, funded life-changing surgeries for three kids in Honduras, provided eye exams and glasses to 1400 students in Cambodia, brought relief to a homeless community living in underground tunnels in Las Vegas and helped rescue an endangered species of Lemurs in Madagascar. To see all the24-Hour Impact Projects, visit

The 24HIP has been covered by a variety of media including The Today Show, The Huffington Post (here and here), The Daily Dot, Inside Edition, Take Part, The New York Times, NowThis, The Detroit Free Press, among others.

Vow To Be Chic Raises $5M in Series A Funding

New round of funding will focus efforts on expanding operations to support explosive customer demand for designer bridesmaid dress rentals

Press Release – Los Angeles, California (June 15th, 2016)­ Vow To Be Chic, the first and only designer bridesmaid dress rental startup based in Santa Monica, has received $5 million in a Series A funding to give millennial women the shopping experience and dream wedding that they desire while providing aspirational designer dresses at a fraction of the cost.

The round includes existing investors Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Wavemaker Partners, and new investor, Women’s Venture Capital Fund. The funds will be used to scale the business, improve technology systems and grow the team to enhance customer experience and support growing demand.?

“Men have been winning for decades by renting tuxes while women purchased expensive dresses that they only wore once. I knew something had to change. Someone needed to solve the ’27 Dresses’ problem,” says Vow To Be Chic CEO and Founder, Kelsey Doorey. “With these funds, we are excited to continue expanding our offering so that women have a superior option when planning their weddings” says Doorey.

Vow To Be Chic offers an affordable $50-$95 designer bridesmaid dress solution to the standard $300 dress, while catering to an on-demand-obsessed generation with top tier customer service. “Vow To Be Chic is a company for women and by women focused on disrupting an outdated industry to better service the way that millennials want to shop ­ online, cost-effectively and hassle-free. The Women’s Venture Capital Fund has been closely tracking Vow for the past year and their robust growth has proven that women are eagerly seeking this option. The time was right for us to invest,” says Monica Dodi, Managing Director and Co-Founder of The Women’s Venture Capital Fund.

It’s no surprise that with the ease of the e-commerce platform and the high-touch bridal stylist service, word of mouth has been the catalyst for growth. 70% of Vow To Be Chic’s customers have referred at least 1 friend and 20% of customers have referred 5 or more of their friends to Vow.? “Vow understands that a great, white-glove customer experience is vitally important in the wedding process.? Once the team and operations are scaled, their growth will exponentially increase.” says advisor of Vow To Be Chic, Lizzie Francis, Founding Partner at Brilliant Ventures and former CMO of Gilt Groupe and President of JustFab.

The wedding industry is a $100+ billion dollar industry that has been seeped in tradition and consequently overlooked for years. Vow To Be Chic is feverishly leading the charge to reinvent bridal planning ­ starting with this unique niche of designer bridesmaid dresses and bringing it into the 21st century for today’s millennial consumer. “There is clear pent up demand for this solution.? For the past year, we have been exceptionally impressed with Doorey and the Vow team’s execution and are excited to double down on our existing investment in the company,” says Matt McCall, Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital.

Vow To Be Chic currently offers the option to rent or purchase their dresses and has recently expanded its’ offering into accessories for purchase.? Vow will continue to introduce new designers and brand extensions into their business.

About Vow To Be Chic:

Vow To Be Chic is the first and only company to offer designer bridesmaid dress rentals, introducing cost savings, luxury style options and convenience to the bridesmaid experience. This e­commerce platform brings an age-old tradition into the 21st century by allowing women to conduct this typically frustrating shopping experience from the comfort of their desktop or smartphone. Bridesmaid dresses by designers, including Monique Lhuillier, Nicole Miller, Theia and Jenny Yoo, retail for an average of $300, but now can be rented for as little as $50. Rentals include complimentary access to a personal stylist to assist the customers through the process. The service includes a Great Fit Guaranteed policy, try-on and color swatch options, free shipping and free dry cleaning post event.

How You Can Invest in Startups

Seed Equity Ventures is a sponsor of the Your Mark on the World Center, which publishes

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

Todd Crosland, CEO of Seed Equity Ventures, shared some insights about investing in startups on the platform. While these steps are tuned to the Seed Equity platform, keep in mind that the process is similar across most all startup investing websites.

STEP 1: Sign Up and Join Seed Equity

At this time, Seed Equity only accepts investments from accredited investors, those well-healed investors with a net worth (excluding their primary residences) of at least $1 million or consistent personal annual incomes of at least $200,000. Seed Equity is evaluating interest from ordinary investors to participate under the newly issued rule for Regulation Crowdfunding.

A growing number of platforms now accept investments in startups from ordinary investors. Learn more here.

STEP 2: Customize Deal Flow

We will ask questions during your on-boarding process to help customize your Seed Equity experience according the preferences you indicate.

Customize your investment goals by telling us how much you have put aside to invest and what portion of that you would like to invest in startups.

STEP 3: Browse Investment Opportunities

At any given time, the companies listed at Seed Equity Ventures will change as deals are funded and new opportunities are listed.

STEP 4: Do Your Homework

Investing in startups is inherently risky. It is important for you to do your own independent due diligence to mitigate those risks.

Take a closer look at the companies that you’re interested in. Get to know the companies by leveraging the Seed Equity team and connect with the companies’ founding team members. Take a deeper dive into the due diligence materials uploaded to the data room or offering circulars.

STEP 5: Make Investment

Click the “INVEST” button on the startup’s profile page and follow the steps to complete your investment.

You can invest as an individual or through an entity (such as LLCs, IRAs, or Trusts).

Once you confirm your investment, the funds will be transferred to an escrow account for safe-keeping until the fundraising is closed. Once the fundraising round closes, you will receive confirmation of success and a link to the counter-signed legal agreements if applicable. Upon the completion of certain closing mechanics and compliance checks, the funds will be transferred to the startup.

STEP 6: Manage Your Portfolio

Making your first investment is just the beginning of building a portfolio of private company investments on Seed Equity.

Many investors practice portfolio diversification and invest across multiple (10, 15, or more) startups and industries to mitigate risk. Keep an eye out for companies in different industries and come up with a plan for adding additional investments over time.

Also, stay up-to-date by returning to Seed Equity to read updates from your portfolio companies.

On Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Todd will join us for a live discussion about the investment process to provide you with insights into becoming successful startup investors. 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”;, 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.

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Devin D. Thorpe

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