Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Blog Archives

The Road to Crowdfunding Hell

The lack of rational analysis about equity crowdfunding is remarkable to me.  Sure, it sounds like an easy source of startup capital that should lead to happy entrepreneurs, delighted investors and job creation galore.  However, this will likely not be the case. Few pundits seem to have the depth of knowledge and foresight to look far enough down the equity

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How do venture capitalists feel about following a crowdfunding capital raise?

This was one of the primary subjects for discussion at Venture Forward 2012 (ventureforwardconference.com). The answer to that question at the pre-conference speaker’s dinner implied unanimous agreement (from a group consisting of many of the top angels, VCs, lawyers, and pundits in the industry), that “direct, equity-based, common stock crowd funding as envisioned by the JOBS Act” would absolutely, positively

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Forget Crowdfunding: Why JOBS Matters

Posted by on April 6th, 2012

Most all the talk about the JOBS bill is about crowdfunding, seeding, and the ability to advertise private placements.  In my mind, other provisions are the really big news for young companies.

Those are the expansion of the size limits for “Reg A” offerings, and the newly created “regulatory on-ramp.”  Together, these have re-opened a door to capital that’s been

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Crowdfunding Back On Track — As Milk Train, Not TGV

Last week I penned an in-depth critique of the portion of the JOBS Act seeking to legalize crowdfunding in the United States.  The bill, which may have more to do with political grandstanding in an election year than with actual job creation, was approved by a strong bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives. As I argued last week, the

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The Great Crowdfunding Train Wreck of 2013

The verb “to disrupt” in all its forms is rightly popular in the startup world.  To many entrepreneurs, few things are as personally satisfying (or as lucrative) as disrupting an entrenched, complacent, monopolistic, inefficient or stagnant market in ways that often empower consumers and producers alike.  Consumer Internet and mobile technology businesses continue to be rife with opportunities for disruption.

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IP & crowdfunding: are 1,000 NDAs better than none?

Angels and venture capitalists will not sign non-disclosure (confidentiality) agreements just to listen to an entrepreneur’s funding presentation, or even to read the entrepreneur’s business plan.  Serial entrepreneurs understand this and write their plans without describing the “secret sauce.”  Investors will eventually want to validate the intellectual property (IP) prior to investing, but not just to hear about the opportunity. 

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Limiting the Number of Shareholders in Private Companies

The US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, section 12(g), generally limits a privately held company to fewer than 500 shareholders. The assumption has been that companies with 500 investors are quasi-public anyway, and for disclosure and other reasons should be forced to go public when the shareholder number approaches this limit.

Crowd Funding and Job Creation

There seem to be two motivations behind the current buoyant enthusiasm in Congress over crowd funding for entrepreneurs:  1) the democratization of funding for startup companies (no longer requiring such investors be wealthy) and 2) the job creation that is expected to result from creating more startup ventures.  In my earlier post, Crowd Funding – A Critique for Entrepreneurs and

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Crowd Funding – A Critique for Entrepreneurs and Investors

Crowd funding enables entrepreneurs to raise money in relatively small amounts from large numbers of interested investors.  In the sum, substantial amounts of money (as much as a million dollars) can be raised for each startup company.  Recently, entrepreneurs in many countries have been soliciting investment through “crowd funding” websites designed specifically for fundraising purposes.  But, in the US, only

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