Does Crowdfunding Move the Needle for NH Startups?
Updated August 1st: Video from the conference below!
Note: We broke the 3 hours into eight individual videos. See the thumbnails in the video player below (across the bottom), or view all eight on our YouTube page.
Updated 7/23: Read about the conference in the NH Business Review!
Join us for an afternoon mini-conference from 2pm to 5pm on Thursday, July 26th at Idea Greenhouse in Durham NH.
Seats limited to just 40 participants, so register now!
Brought to you by Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson PLLC, "Business Lawyers for Entrepreneurs."
The State of Crowdfunding (Summer 2012)
Crowdfunding describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. (Wikipedia)
In a challenging investment environment, crowdfunding is hyped as a novel way to generate seed capital outside the Sillicon Valley venture bubble.
But does crowdfunding work in NH, for whom, and how?
For years, the crowdfunding concept thrived online without any equity ownership being sold.
Beginning with peer-to-peer lending in the mid-2000s, crowdfunding rose to the mainstream thanks to sites like Kickstarter, where "backers" of a project are rewarded with exclusive perks, early product releases, and inside access to project leaders.
The high-profile passage of the JOBS Act has resulted in the unfortunate media-driven redefinition of the term "crowdfunding" to mean "selling equity in small chunks. (The term "crowd investing" more accurately describes this potentially potent innovation.)
Excitement for "crowd investing" reached fever pitch in early April, drawing enormous attention to a complicated and entirely new legal instrument.
With many months to go before the Securities & Exchange Commission releases rules to govern crowd investing, there is uncertainty about if and how it will help entrepreneurs, and what impact it might have on the broader crowdfunding ecosystem.
Learn More and Join the Conversation July 26th
You are invited to participate in a small (40 person) mini-conference and discussion from 2pm to 5pm.
Registration is required and costs $20. Register using the form below.
We'll dive into all of the crowdfunding models and success stories, explore the opportunities and challenges of crowd investing in NH and the US generally, and debate the merits for small business entrepreneurs. (See full details below.)
Michael Norman, Co-Founder of WeFunder
Wefunder helps everyone invest in startups they believe in and help them succeed. Prior to Wefunder, Mike founded SoChange.com to help consumers influence companies to impact causes. He learned the ropes of B2B SAS at HubSpot, and helped launch ALIARSE, the first public-private corporate social responsibility consortium in Latin America. Mike has an MBA from MIT Sloan and at one point competed on the US San Shou Kickboxing Team.
Thomas Young, Author of the Everything Guide to Crowdfunding
Thomas Young received an electrical engineering from UNH and an MBA from Western New England University. After college, he spent over a decade working as an engineer with Henry Kloss of AR, KLH, Advent fame before catching the entrepreneurial bug. In just 60 days during 2011, Tom raised more than $100k for two businesses that have since generated over $1m in sales. Tom resides in Durham and is a frequent speaker on crowdfunding. His forthcoming "Everything Guide to Crowdfunding" to be published by Adams Media in late 2012.
Kathleen Callahan, Business Reporter for the NH Business Review
Reporter Kathleen Callahan covers a wide beat for NH's premiere business news source, the NH Business Review. She's been covering issues that affect the Granite State's business community since 2008, and did her own stint with a local tech/marketing startup as a copywriter on merchants and deals. Kathleen caught wind of NH's first highly successful Kickstarter story in 2011, and has follows the story closely for NHBR.
Matt Benson, Attorney for Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson
Matt Benson is a corporate attorney advising business clients on a variety of legal and business issues. He represents entrepreneurs of all types, from technology start-up companies to doctors, dentists and other medical professionals. His expertise includes entity formation, angel round financing, venture capital or other debt and/or equity financing, executive and employee compensation, contract issues, equity ownership matters, and exit strategy issues. In addition, he advises his technology-related companies on a wide range of matters specific to them, including software licensing, licensing of intellectual property, and website development matters. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and holds a joint JD/MBA from Boston College.
Crowdfunding 101 by Thomas Young
Tom will take us through the history and fundamentals of crowdfunding, including prize/perk, peer lending, equity, and other methods.
|2:45pm||Crowd Investing: Why its different, and why it matters" with Michael Norman|
|3:30pm||"What Your Lawyer Says about Crowdfunding" by Matt Benson|
|3:50pm||Case Study Speed Round: Five Crowdfunding Stories by Tom Elliott|
|4:05pm||Panel Discussion: Does Crowdfunding Move the Needle?|
||Wrap Up and After Party
This mini-conference is free to members of the Idea Greenhouse, and $20 for non-members.
The event is followed by a free networking reception from 5-6:30pm open to all.
Are you an Idea Greenhouse member who wants to register for free? Please use this form to register.
UPDATED 7/25: Conference is FULL!
Watch the livestream here on our website beginning at 2pm on Thursday.