Crowdfund Investing For Dummies
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Before you take any action to start a crowdfund investing campaign or to invest in such a campaign, you should read the most up-to-date information you can find about industry regulations. The SEC website is the best place to start, and you can also visit the website for the Crowdfunding Professional Association, an industry trade organization. Following are other resources for information on crowdfund investing.

Advisory services

Crowdfund Capital Advisors: Provides advisory services to professional investors, governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), development institutions, and corporations to create early-stage finance strategies that include crowdfund investing. It also provides consulting services to brands, corporations, entrepreneurs, and investors in how to maximize the benefits of crowdfund investing.

massolution: Wrote the first Crowdfunding Industry Report. Also created the first certification program for crowdfunding portals to establish best practices., an online news source on crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, is a product of massolution.

Industry groups

CrowdFund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA): The industry advocacy group working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA: The trade association for the crowdfunding industry.

Small Business Administration (SBA): A government association full of information related to starting and growing a small business.

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council: The industry association representing the interests of small businesses and entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C.

Startup Exemption: The group of entrepreneurs and supporters who rallied around the framework to legalize crowdfund investing in the United States.

Perks-based crowdfunding platforms

Indiegogo: A perks-based platform that has also funded small businesses.

Kickstarter: The most well-known crowdfunding platform. Pitches must be art- or design-related.

Rock the Post: A perks-based platform that specializes in helping small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits raise capital.

RocketHub: A crowdfunding platform with a broad array of pitches.

Crowdfund investing platforms

The following sites are preparing for launch but will not be able to offer securities via companies until the SEC says, “Go.” Check back with the CfPA for updates.

Crowdfunder: A debt- and equity-based crowdfund investing platform.

Crowdnetic: Consider it the Bloomberg of the crowdfund investing space for all data related to trends in crowdfund investing.

EarlyShares: An equity-based crowdfund investing platform.

SeedInvest: An equity-based crowdfund investing platform.

SoMoLend: A debt-based crowdfund investing platform.

Crowdfund investing legal expertise

Ellenoff, Grossman & Schole LLP: The leading law firm globally focused on crowdfund investing. These guys have more than 30 years of experience in small business capital formation and SEC regulations.

Crowdfund investing secondary market provider

GATE Impact: A broker-dealer focused on the crowdfund investing ecosystem. Also a secondary market platform for trading crowdfund invested shares after the 12-month holding period is up.

Crowdfund investing due diligence service

CrowdCheck: A background service provider to the crowdfund investing industry.

Regulatory bodies

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA): Oversees investment banks and broker-dealers that perform financial transactions. Will also be the gatekeeper to the funding portals offering crowdfund investments.

North America Securities Administrators Association (NASAA): A conglomerate of the individual state security administrators that patrol the securities offerings in each state.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): Oversees the securities markets in the United States and sets the regulations that govern the crowdfund investing industry.

Online services for small businesses and startups

Business Plan Pro: A program that helps you create a business plan. A great tool for both startups and ongoing entities.

Crowdfund Mafia: Helps companies raise funds for their crowdfund investing campaigns.

Funding Roadmap: An online business planning to crowdfunding program that can walk you through the step-by-step disclosures with which you’ll need to comply.

LegalZoom: The one-stop shop for everything you need from incorporating to intellectual property protection.

Leverage Public Relations: A leader in the crowdfund investing space.

Quickbooks: An easy-to-use accounting program that will keep you compliant with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), SEC, and your investors. A must for startup businesses!

The Rockefeller Habits: Running and growing a hyper-growth organization can be a challenge. This site can help you stay organized and focused on your goals.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Sherwood Neiss, Jason W. Best, and Zak Cassady-Dorion are the founders of Startup Exemption (developers of the crowdfund investing framework used in the 2012 JOBS Act). They deeply understand the process, rules, disclosures, and risks of capital formation from both the entrepreneur's and the investor's points of view.

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