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Interviews

Stories that include video interviews.

Giving Through Gifting; Support “Packed with Purpose” to Make Positive Change

Packed with Purpose is a specialty gifting company that curates gift boxes comprised of products with a social impact. They are raising money on Indiegogo. Recently I caught up with Leeatt Rothschild to learn more about the effort; here’s what she told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

Packed with Purpose curates gift boxes comprised of products that have a social impact. Each product is produced by a social enterprise or purse-driven company and has a unique contribution to society.  For example, we feature honey produced by formerly incarcerated Chicago residents, who are part of a workforce development program to help them learn job skills, land a full time job, and successfully re-join society.  Other products contribute to positive youth development, or sustainable farming practices.

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

Packed with Purpose aims to raise $30,000 to help cover expenses related to product sourcing, box production, fulfillment, among other things.  Less than 48 hours after launch we are just shy of raising $9,000, and are already at 30% of our funding goal.

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

Packed with Purpose aims to generate social good across diverse individuals and communities in the US. In our first crowdfunded launch box we will be supporting individuals with barriers to employment through workforce development opportunities.  We are also supporting the entrepreneurial and leadership development of urban teens.  Every social enterprise (and individual associated with that organization) benefits from a Packed with Purpose purchase- be it through transitional employment opportunities to break the cycle of poverty or teen leadership development to secure a promising future.

Packed with Purpose Launch Video from Leeatt Rothschild on Vimeo.

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

Rewards vary and include: a Packed with Purpose launch box, which will feature 5 products from social enterprises and socially conscious businesses; a subscription to a seasonal delivery of 4 Packed with Purpose boxes, each a unique curation of products; a fully- funded Bee Hive, in partnership with a Chicago social enterprise that produces honey, and a customized tour of a social enterprise + lunch with Founder, Leeatt Rothschild

Check out the campaign:

Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @PackedwPurpose

 

Support The Film to Spread Friendship and Equality

Opening Day is a film about Friendship and Equality. It isn’t just for the LGBTQ community though, it’s for everyone. They are raising money on Indiegogo. Recently I caught up with Dani Cordaro 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?

We hope to fuel the national conversation around gender inequality, specifically within the transgender community. Many transgender people are faced with hatred, ridicule and disgust when revealing their true selves to their family, friends and communities. The filmmakers of Opening Day believe strongly that no one should be in fear to be themselves. We are living in a vicious reality, one that needs to be changed drastically and quickly. The filmmakers hope to educate, evoke emotion and ignite a campaign about gender inequality in this country and across the world through this short but poignant film.

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

We are hoping to raise $18,000 by August 14th. This amount will cover production costs for Opening Day. We have an amazing cast and crew lined up and excited to create this project! Thus far, we have raised $515. We know a small push, will go far though.

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

We are hoping to be a voice for the transgender community. We want to assist in educating those who may not understand what it is to be transgender and why those who are should be treated no differently than anyone else. We can’t help but be who we are. It’s ridiculous that we are fighting against those who are doing just that. There is far too much hatred in this country and in this world against the transgender community that if we expand an understanding and an appreciation of human decency, we will consider ourselves successful.

Opening Day Indiegogo Promo from T Zhang on Vimeo.

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

$10 USD
Special Thank You
Receive a very SPECIAL THANK YOU on the Opening Day Facebook page.

$25 USD
Digital Download of the Film
A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of Opening Day! + A very special thank you on the Opening Day Facebook page.

$50 USD + Shipping
Signed Film DVD
An OFFICIAL DVD of Opening Day SIGNED by the CAST & CREW!! + A very special thank you and digital download of the film.

$75 USD + Shipping
SIGNED FILM POSTER
An Opening Day Poster (complete with original artwork) SIGNED by the CAST & CREW!! + A very special thank you, digital download of the film, and a signed DVD.

$100 USD + Shipping
SIGNED BASEBALL
A BASEBALL SIGNED by the CAST & CREW! + A very special thank you , digital download and signed DVD of the film.

$250 USD + Shipping
Film Credit
A special ON-SCREEN THANK YOU in the credits of the film. + A very special thank you , digital download, signed DVD, and signed baseball by cast & crew.

$500 USD + Shipping
Cocktails with Cast & Crew
You will enjoy COCKTAILS with film Producer, Michelle Cutolo, Actor/Story By, Sean Rogers, and Head Wardrobe, Pebbles Russell in New York. + A very special thank you , digital download, signed DVD, signed baseball and film credit. (Travel and lodging not included.)

$1000 USD + Shipping
Dinner with Cast & Crew
You and a friend will enjoy DINNER with film Producer, Michelle Cutolo, Actor/Story By, Sean Rogers, and Head Wardrobe, Pebbles Russell in New York! + A very special thank you , digital download, signed DVD, signed baseball and film credit. (Travel and lodging not included.)

$2500 USD + Shipping
Associate Producer Credit
Be a part of the film with an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit. + A very special thank you , digital download, signed DVD, signed baseball and film credit.

$5000 USD + Shipping
Night Out
After DINNER with the CAST & CREW, enjoy TWO HOUSE SEATS to the TONY AWARD WINNING MUSICAL, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. + A very special thank you, digital download, signed DVD, signed baseball and film credit. (Travel & lodging not included.)

Check out the campaign:

Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @openingdayfilm

 

Support the Campaign to Send New Children’s Book to Charities in India

Generation 2050 is a non-profit social enterprise which publishes children’s books to inspire a kinder world.  They are raising money on crowdfunder. Recently I caught up with Nicola Gothard 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?

We aim to raise enough to money to send 1000 books to four charities in India which will use the books for humane education and literacy programs. Three of the charities -Help Animals India, Tree of Life for Animals and The Welfare of Stray Dog all work directly in animal rescue to reduce cruelty to animals through prevention/education and rescue. The fourth charity KISES work with children who live on a rubbish dump in India and receive no formal schooling.

Reaching our campaign goal would mean so much to the charities benefiting from these books and in turn the children and animals that they help. As well as being fun and educational for the children, we believe this story will inspire them to see street dogs as emotional, individual beings that deserve compassion.

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

We are hoping to raise £1000 to cover the cost of printing and shipping the books to India. We got off to an amazing start raising £700 in the first we but we are struggling to maintain momentum and currently have £730 in the campaign fund.

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

Our project has a multitude of benefactors but ultimately it began through wanting to improve how street dogs are treated in India. The project benefits the charity beneficiaries by enabling them to deliver their humane education outreach work more effectively. It benefits the children they work with by providing them with a fun, educational and inspiring story to learn about empathy and improve their literacy. It also hopefully ultimately benefits the dogs of India when the next generation grows up to treat them with more, empathy and respect.

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

Every book sold will pay for three more to go to India, so you can enjoy a good read and give the child in India the gift too, some of who will never had had a book of their own. We also have lots of other rewards for donations such as beautiful prints and even the chance for an advance copy of our upcoming title on the five needs of animal welfare.

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @gen2050

Seed Equity Looks to Streamline Regulation A+ Offerings

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



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

Following the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act, the greatest excitement in the startup finance community was on Title III, which has now been implemented by the SEC as Regulation Crowdfunding. Title IV of the Act, however, is proving to be where the real action is.

The SEC’s implemented the rules for Regulation A+ on June 19. An article by Amy Wan at Crowdfund Insider provides some key statistics about offerings being conducted under the act. 105 offerings were filed, 44 of which were “qualified” by the SEC.

Elio Motors raised almost $17 million earlier this year. Paul Elio joined me twice in the last year to discuss his offering, here and here. The scale of that offering suggests appropriately that Reg A+ offerings are not intended for idea-stage or seed-stage transactions. They may be best seen as a path to an early and more affordable IPO, as the shares of a company that has completed a Reg A+ offering can be listed.

Seed Equity Ventures, a sponsor of our work here at GoodCrowd.info, is a FINRA-registered broker dealer providing investment banking services to early-stage companies. Founder and CEO Todd Crosland has indicated that the firm hopes to make it easier and more affordable for small companies to raise money with a Reg A+ offering.

Todd notes that Seed Equity’s inside legal counsel will work with companies and their legal advisors to ensure complete and affordable regulatory compliance. The firm will help with the company’s offering materials, the closing process and “everything in between,” he says.

Seed Equity has an online investing platform with thousands of investors already signed up. New investors can sign up quickly with their streamlined application process, Todd says.

The Seed Equity platform includes a communications portal so issuers (the companies raising money by issuing shares) can communicate efficiently with interested investors.

The platform also includes a connection to a transfer agent so that seamless records are kept of every shareholder from the first sale of shares.

Seed Equity also takes care of a rafter full of regulatory compliance steps from determining investor suitability, anti-money laundering rules and guidelines for knowing your customer (KYC).

All of the information on the platform is secured with Bank Level Security, according to Todd. The platform includes a secure data room where the issuer’s documents and financial records are stored for review by the investors performing their due diligence.

On Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 3:00 Eastern, Todd will join me here for a live discussion about regulation A+ and how Seed Equity can make completing an offering easier. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

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’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.

Community Builder Tackles Chicago’s South Side Using Crowdfunding

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.
Bernard Loyd, an MIT-educated activist born on Chicago’s West Side and raised in Liberia, has returned to Chicago to lead the rebuilding of a historically black community.

“Despite being the historic center of Black Chicago, a former cultural and commercial hub of Black America, and located only minutes from downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan, Bronzeville is one of the most economically-challenged communities in the United States and a food and jobs ‘desert,'” Bernard says.

With that as motivation, Bernard and his company, Urban Juncture, is out doing something about the problems he sees.

He says, “We are developing a culinary district celebrating unique Black cuisine from around the world in order to provide delicious food for residents, a one-of-a-kind dining destination for visitors, a significant number of locally accessible jobs, and wealth creation opportunities for restaurateurs and investors. We’ve also started development of a companion cultural district highlighting Bronzeville performance arts and hospitality.”

Rebuilding won’t be easy. Money is the biggest constraint on success, he says. “Accessing the capital needed to build culinary enterprises is our most difficult challenge.”

Bernard is raising $100,000 using crowdfunding site Wefunder today. Readers can learn more about the offering here.

The shortage of cash is a result of a complex variety of factors. “Our community was redlined for decades, starting with the federal government, and the after effects of this redlining, along with bad municipal policy, and unintended byproducts of civil rights have created a tremendous resource crunch in Bronzeville and similar communities,” Bernard says.

He acknowledges that the community’s problems go deeper and reach further than his program can solve, but he sees Urban Juncture as a part of a solution that will bring jobs and prosperity back to the neighborhood.

He says, “Gun violence is the single biggest problem that ails Chicago and, while our projects are having positive impact on our community, we need a much broader effort to create the volume of jobs, social connections, and sense of hope needed to eliminate the key root causes of violence.”

Bernard is looking beyond Chicago’s South Side. “We are creating a cuisine-based model for community revitalization that, with the appropriate tailoring and adaptation, can be applied to thousands of urban neighborhoods that lack good food, accessible jobs, and social capital.”

On Thursday, July 14, 2016 at noon Eastern, Bernard will join me here for a live discussion about his efforts to rebuild the South Side of Chicago and his crowdfunding campaign. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Bernard Loyd, courtesy of Urban Juncture

Bernard Loyd, courtesy of Urban Juncture

More about Urban Juncture:

Urban Juncture, Inc. is a for-profit social enterprise focused on leveraging the unique cultural assets and underutilized talent of economically-challenged neighborhoods to catalyze revitalization. Urban Juncture, Inc. works closely with Urban Juncture Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit with the same goal.

Bernard’s bio:

A native of Chicago’s West Side, Bernard was raised primarily in Liberia, West Africa. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including a doctorate in computational fluid dynamics and a masters of science in business.

Between 1990 and 2003, as an associate and partner of the management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company, Bernard helped senior corporate leaders around the world expand existing businesses, create new businesses, and improve operations. Bernard’s contributions at McKinsey include co-founding its global Agriculture and Food Chains initiative and leading world-wide client development and service in that arena. He also co-founded and led the firm-wide Black Client Service Staff initiative, which catalyzed substantial increases in the number of Black associates and partners.

Bernard created Urban Juncture, Inc., a community development firm and Urban Juncture Foundation to act as catalysts for the economic revitalization of urban communities and the empowerment of residents through the development of business and social ventures, provision of amenities, and creation of jobs.

He and his family reside in Chicago’s Bronzeville community.

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 DevinThorpe.com!

 

Flashfunders Joins Equity Crowdfunding Fray


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

With equity crowdfunding less than 60 days old, measuring from the date the SEC’s Regulation CF became effective in May, the marketplace is beginning to take shape. Flashfunders is one of the players offering a crowdfunding portal.

Vincent Bradley, the CEO of Flashfunders, shared his take on the emerging crowdfunding market.

Vincent sees two related problems in the market. “Historically, there have been large hurdles in both the fundraising and investing spaces, namely a lack of accessibility. Startups and small businesses have had limited options for financing, many of which were expensive and time consuming to pursue. Additionally, those startups have often been unable to offer equity to investors who are truly passionate about their business model.”

The JOBS Act, which directed the SEC to implement crowdfunding, was passed four years before the SEC rules became effective.

With respect to the second problem, Vincent notes, “Before Title III went into effect giving power to average investors, there were very few investment options available. Private investing was a right reserved only for the 1 percent, the accredited investors.”

Crowdfunding fundamentally addresses both problems. Vincent explains the company’s international approach, saying, “FlashFunders’ equity crowdfunding platform is giving startups and small businesses a progressive financing option. It empowers companies to raise capital from all types of investors – the crowd, international, and accredited- in a single fundraising round. The platform also provides everyday investors with the tools they need identify and invest in innovative businesses that they believe in.”

One of the challenges of crowdfunding comes directly from the delay in implementation. A burst of enthusiasm about the JOBS Act in 2012 and 2013 gave way to skepticism about some of the law’s specifics and investors willingness to participate in a market they’ve been blocked from for eight decades.

Vincent acknowledges some of the challenges that portals face in this market. “With uncharted territory comes a lack of public knowledge about the process, and general skepticism of whether it is a valid option or not. Our greatest challenge will be educating potential investors and companies of the financing model, as well as its risks and benefits.”

The SEC’s regulations, consistent with the JOBS Act, provide strict limitations. He says, “While companies using FlashFunders can raise an unlimited amount from international and accredited investors, under the Reg CF regulations they can only raise up to $1 million from the crowd in a single round. Additionally, crowd investors, whose yearly investment limits are calculated by their income, are self-certified. We provide an investment calculator for these investors to determine how much they can legally invest, but beyond that, platforms cannot control if unaccredited users are investing beyond their means. While the regulations can be confusing, we understand that they have been put in place for the protection of both investors and businesses using Reg CF.”

Despite the challenges and limitations, Vincent remains optimistic. “We think that equity crowdfunding has the potential to cause a major ripple effect across the country. Over time we may see a slow redistribution of wealth since everyday citizens have now been afforded the same investment options as accredited investors,” he says.

“Additionally, equity crowdfunding makes capital borderless. Businesses and investors are now able to access and invest capital no matter where they are located. For businesses this is especially powerful, since they are no longer forced to move to expensive cities to secure financing, and can instead build their companies in affordable environments,” Vincent concludes.

On Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 3:00 Eastern, Vincent will join me here for a live discussion about equity crowdfunding. We will also be joined by his colleague Meaghan Carlson, the Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy. 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 Flashfunders:

Twitter: @flashfunders

FlashFunders, the equity crowdfunding platform, connects global investors with innovative startups and small businesses raising capital, enabling everyone to own a piece of a company they believe in for as little as $50. FlashFunders empowers companies to convert their customers into shareholders and leverage investments from the crowd, international and accredited investors in a single fundraising round. With its streamlined deal execution and compliance, FlashFunders supports companies from the Form C prep through post-fundraising with FlashFunders Shareholder Services, and aims to help entrepreneurs activate a passionate community of shareholders to advocate for their businesses. Launched in 2014, FlashFunders is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

Vincent Bradley, courtesy of Flashfuders

Vincent Bradley, courtesy of Flashfuders

Vincent’s bio:

Twitter: @vincentmbradley

Vincent Bradley is a serial entrepreneur with a diverse background in product and business development. Before co-founding FlashFunders, Bradley consulted for several technology startups, providing them with growth and product guidance. Prior to consulting, Vincent co-founded Ridotto, a virtual currency sports betting startup. Bradley also spent time working with Osprey Global Solutions (OGS), a frontier market consulting firm. While at Osprey, he focused on business development for OGS throughout the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. Prior to Osprey, Bradley was an early employee at FindTheBest, where he helped to build out its business development team.

Meaghan Carlson, courtesy of Flashfunders

Meaghan Carlson, courtesy of Flashfunders

Meaghan’s bio:

Twitter: @meagth

Meaghan Carlson is Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy at Santa Monica-based equity crowdfunding platform FlashFunders. Before joining FlashFunders, Carlson led major marketing campaigns for Disney and PayPal during her tenure at Mistress, an award-winning brand agency. Her in-depth strategic, digital marketing and communications background has driven the repositioning of European spirits brands and brand leadership of Viacom, Banana Republic and Sony. While at FlashFunders, Meaghan has proved her merit outside of her executive duties by contributing to the overall startup ecosystem as a published thought leader in top-tier publications. Her insights on widely discussed topics in venture capital, millennial finance insights and small business have been published in both TechCrunch and CBS Small Business Pulse.

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 DevinThorpe.com!

 

Whaaaat? This App Caps Donations at 3 Bucks!

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

The new Spotfund app is taking an interesting approach to fundraising for charity by capping donations at $3. The theory seems to be that if you are only allowed to give a little, everyone will. The cap removes the social pressure to give until it hurts!

Co-founder and CEO Sanford Kunkel says, “There is a disconnect between a problem and its call to action. Say you’re watching the news on the Flint Water Crisis and want to help. First, you have to get up off the couch, get to your laptop and register for the one of the many organizations or GoFundMe pages open to this. Then you have to determine how much you want to give to really make a difference and which charity to donate to.”

Spotfund, only available for Apple’s ios devices, simplifies donating by allowing you to do it from your phone–if you’re like me you have it with you all the time–and by placing a ridiculously low cap on donations. Using the app removes the fear that you’ll discover a cause to which you’ll want to give next month’s rent and allows you the comfort that you can come back and make a donation to any cause that moves you any time.

Sanford says that Spotfund takes the worry out of donating. “It’s part of our core values to vet and identify the single best charities to include. There was a need for a product that’s conducive with the lifestyle of mobile first today and Spotfund provides that. We’re putting democracy into charity – it’s not just a donation platform, it’s an awareness platform.”

The first big challenge Spotfund has is convincing people that tiny donations actually help. “A challenge we’re facing is convincing people that giving $1, $2 or $3 can actually make a difference, as long as they can harness the power of your social network and inspire their friends to give, as well,” Sanford says.

Spotfund doesn’t help everyone in every circumstance–this isn’t GoFundMe. “One limitation is that funds raised through Spotfund must go to a registered nonprofit. This should give our users confidence that money will be going to the right place, but we understand that in some cases, people want to give funds directly to individuals, without having to go through a nonprofit,” he continues.

Sanford’s vision for Spotfund is to activate an entire generation of digital natives to giving in a way that is comfortable for them. “We’re changing what it means to be civic minded. By creating awareness and actually providing people the medium to make an impact, we’re putting the power of change directly in the hands of millennials,” he concludes.

On Thursday, July 7, 2016 at noon Eastern, Sanford will join me here for a live discussion about the app and how people are using it to enable change they care about. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Sanford Kunkel, courtesy of Spotfund

Sanford Kunkel, courtesy of Spotfund

More about Spotfund:

Twitter: @spotfund

Spotfund is a mobile micro-donation platform that allows users to fund causes and current events with only $1, $2 or $3. With Spotfund, you can easily discover and donate to the stories the world is talking about. You can also create a story of your own to raise funds for a cause that matters to you. With donations capped at $3, the platform is designed for everyone looking to make a difference. And by closely integrating with major social networks, Spotfund helps turn conversations into results.

Sanford’s bio:

Sanford Kunkel is Co-Founder and CEO of Spotfund. Sanford oversees Spotfund’s strategic direction, branding initiatives and organizational culture. Sanford has a successful track record of bringing brands to market, having led several entrepreneurial ventures in real estate and hospitality. He co-created the downtown NYC hotel The Bowery House as well as The Surfrider Malibu, which is set to open across from the Malibu Pier in Fall 2016. Sanford holds a B.S. in business administration from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. His personal causes include historic preservation and groups advocating on behalf of small businesses.

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 DevinThorpe.com!

 

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.

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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

 

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.

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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 DevinThorpe.com!

 

 

 

How You Can Invest in Startups

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

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”; 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.

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Devin D. Thorpe

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