Thursday, June 20, 2013

NC JOBS Act Passes NC House with Near Unanimous Support

The North Carolina House of Representatives today passed the NC JOBS Act (H680) with near unanimous bipartisan support by a final vote of 103 to 1. Next stop is the North Carolina Senate. The NC JOBS Act is an intrastate exemption which enables a new way to finance small business in North Carolina using investment crowdfunding.

 Support the North Carolina JOBS Act:

If you have not yet done so, now is the time to contact your state legislators with an email of your support for NC JOBS. It is very easy to do using the links we give below.
If you have any questions or comments, please email the JOBS NC Crowdfunding Team at jobsnc@nc.rr.com or contact Representative Murry’s office at murryla@ncleg.net.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) Announces Support for the NC JOBS Act

NCTA
North Carolina Technology Association


June 18, 2013


The Honorable Tom Murry
North Carolina House of Representatives
16 W. Jones Street, Room 2121
Raleigh, NC 27601-1096

Re: H680 - NC JOBS Act

Dear Representative Murry:

Thank you for introducing H680, the NC JOBS Act of 2013, which enables a new form of financing for small business called investment crowdfunding. The North Carolina Technology Association is the statewide industry group for the tech sector, representing over 600 member companies that employ over 100,000 North Carolinians. We agree that the intrastate investment crowdfunding exemption as defined by H680 represents a great opportunity to fund new technology companies and create more jobs in North Carolina.

We like the fact that the exemption is a safe, fair, and easy to implement version of investment crowdfunding that is similar to the Reg D 506 funding model that is already used by hundreds of North Carolina start-ups every year. We also like the fact that the investor and small business protection requirements in the Act have been reviewed and enhanced by the North Carolina Secretary of State's Securities Division, the NC Bar Association Securities Committee, and crowdfunding industry experts including the NC JOBS crowdfunding team.

North Carolina has a reputation as a technology center and a great place to start a business, and the NC JOBS Act will make it even better. We urge all North Carolina legislators to support the NC JOBS Act.

Sincerely,

Brooks Raiford
President & CEO
North Carolina Technology Association
http://www.nctechnology.org/





Support the North Carolina JOBS Act:

If you have not yet done so, now is the time to contact your state legislators with an email of your support for NC JOBS. It is very easy to do using the links we give below.
If you have any questions or comments, please email the JOBS NC Crowdfunding Team at jobsnc@nc.rr.com or contact Representative Murry’s office at murryla@ncleg.net.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

North Carolina's Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) Publishes Post about the NC JOBS Act

The influential and respected North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) has published a guest post about the NC JOBS Act called North Carolina's Intrastate Crowdfunding Legislation by Mark Easley and Steve Reaser of the NC JOBS Team. The post provides a summary of the key features and benefits of NC JOBS.

About CED

CED's Mission: To identify, enable and promote high-growth, high-impact companies and to accelerate the entrepreneurial culture of the Research Triangle and North Carolina.

CED is a community of people inspired by entrepreneurship, and includes a wide range of members including start-up companies, more mature growth-stage firms, investors, service partners, academics, and individuals. All who wish to be part of this dynamic enterprise are invited to participate. CED  was founded in 1984, and later incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to identify, enable and promote high-growth, high-impact companies and accelerate the entrepreneurial culture of the Research Triangle and North Carolina.  CED provides education, mentoring and capital formation resources to new and existing high-growth entrepreneurs through annual conferences, forums, workshops and programs on entrepreneurial management and finance.

Support the North Carolina JOBS Act:

If you have not yet done so, now is the time to contact your state legislators with an email of your support for  NC JOBS. It is very easy to do using the links we give below.
If you have any questions or comments, please email the JOBS NC Crowdfunding Team at jobsnc@nc.rr.com or contact Representative Murry’s office at murryla@ncleg.net.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Crowdsourcing.org Publishes an Overview of the NC JOBS Act

The popular and influential crowdfunding industry website crowdsourcing.org has published a post about the NC JOBS Act called A Look at North Carolina's Intrastate Investment Crowdfunding Legislation. The guest post was written by Mark Easley and Steve Reaser of the NC JOBS Team, and provides a very good summary and overview of the key features and benefits of NC JOBS. Crowdsourcing.org is a respected and excellent source for information and news on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding from around the world.

Support the North Carolina JOBS Act:
If you have any questions or comments, please email the JOBS NC Crowdfunding Team at jobsnc@nc.rr.com or contact Representative Murry’s office at murryla@ncleg.net.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Smart Money Entrepreneurs Becomes the First Investment Crowdfunding Platform to Announce Support for NC JOBS Act

Here is the first formal announcement by a major investment crowdfunding platform pledging their support for the NC JOBS Act. Jeremy Andrews is the CEO of Smart Money Entrepreneurs (http://sme.vc), based in New York City, which specializes in equity and debt crowdfunding campaigns. Jeremy has pledged to create a fully compliant NC JOBS website which will allow North Carolina startups and existing businesses to use investment crowdfunding to finance their business with the help of North Carolina investors. In addition, Jeremy has some exciting news regarding a new crowdfunding oriented incubator he plans to open soon in the Raleigh/Durham area called Match Capital. Thanks to Jeremy and his team for partnering with North Carolina.

June 1st, 2013

To: Representative Tom Murry
NC House of Representatives
16 W. Jones Street, Room 2121
Raleigh, NC 27601-1096

From: Jeremy Andrews
Founder and CEO, Smart Money Entrepreneurs
http://sme.vc

Why We Support the NC JOBS Act of 2013
and Why NYC Entrepreneurs Are Calling North Carolina Their New Home

Dear Representative Murry:

I am contacting you to express my support for the NC JOBS Act of 2013 which enables a new form of financing for small business called investment crowdfunding. I am pleased to announce that my investment crowdfunding company, Smart Money Entrepreneurs, is ready to move forward with our plans to provide both equity and debt crowdfunding services to North Carolina as defined by NC JOBS.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of traveling to North Carolina to meet with members of the NC JOBS team as well as several prominent entrepreneurs in the Raleigh/Durham area.  While the area is well known for its sustained entrepreneurial growth over the years, I traveled to the state not knowing what to expect.  I must admit, it can feel as if New Yorkers are surrounded by a bubble, unaware of any events or activities that happen to take place outside the city.  It is no surprise that many entrepreneurs I have spoken with over the past few months were excited about coming down to Raleigh/Durham, but knew little about the entrepreneurial activity beforehand.

The Raleigh/Durham entrepreneurship ecosystem is alive and well, and has been for quite some time.  According to Forbes, Raleigh/Durham is #2 of the top 25 places to “Launch A Career” and the best place for female entrepreneurs.  While I read about what Raleigh/Durham had to offer, seeing it first hand was absolutely incredible.  Granted Raleigh/Durham has a history of hosting great companies like IBM, Cisco, SAS and RedHat in their state, and now many startup communities are sprouting up and startups are thriving here.

Besides enjoying the beauty and majesty of the state, the goal of my trip was to better understand how SME and Match Capital could work with North Carolina as you prepare to pass the NC JOBS ACT.  To recap, the federal JOBS Act was passed on April 5, 2012 by President Obama with the intention of bringing much needed capital to startups and small business.  While sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo were able to operate legally before the JOBS ACT was signed into law, sites like SME and Match Capital that allow unaccredited investors to put capital in a business for an equity or debt have been denied this privilege since the 1930’s.

At SME and Match Capital, we always believe that the implementation of the JOBS Act could and should ultimately be offered on a state by state basis.   Currently four states, Kansas, Washington, Georgia, and North Carolina have either passed or are in the process of passing legislation and exemptions allowing unaccredited investors to invest.

I am also pleased to announce that we will soon be opening a facility in the Raleigh/Durham area for Match Capital, our new crowdfunding incubator. When we started Match Capital early this year, our goal was to help great entrepreneurs get the funding they needed to create jobs and foster innovation and economic growth.  We believe it is up to the entrepreneurs in the state of North Carolina to show the rest of the country that great startups are employing people, creating economic wealth for the local NC community, and fostering real innovation in a variety of high growth industries.  Creating a safe environment in which the NC community can fund startups to foster this growth is the main focus of Match Capital and SME.  As we look to break ground this summer in NC, we wanted the crowd to become heavily involved with Match Capital, and have set up a crowdfunding campaign here.   With the help of the crowd, North Carolina will become the premier state in the nation allowing unaccredited investors to place capital into startups via equity and debt.

We are currently recruiting some of the best entrepreneurs from NYC and California to come to North Carolina to be part of this crowdfunding process with us.  At SME and Match Capital, we are excited about bringing the first successful investment crowdfunding deals in the US to North Carolina and appreciate your support of this innovative movement.

Sincerely,
Jeremy Andrews

Jeremy Andrews is the Founder of Smart Money Entrepreneurs (SME), an equity/debt crowdfunding platform and is also the founder of Match Capital Ventures, a crowdfunding incubator in Raleigh/Durham, NC.

Jeremy also created a blog post about NC JOBS.

Trenia Today is the owner and founder of Trenia Today International Inc., a consulting and coaching firm specializing in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs benefit from digital marketing practices.

You can find out more about SME and Match Capital by going to: SME.VC  or MATCHCAPITAL.VC
You can connect with Jeremy and Trenia on Twitter or Facebook

Support the North Carolina JOBS Act:
If you have any questions or comments, please email the JOBS NC Crowdfunding Team at jobsnc@nc.rr.com or contact Representative Murry’s office at murryla@ncleg.net.



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

4 Reasons the NC JOBS Act Bill Beats the National Crowdfunding Exemption


#1 -- Sooner

Investment Crowdfunding will be available in North Carolina well before it is available nationwide. The regulations for the national crowdfunding exemption are likely to remain unavailable until at least late in 2014, with lots of complex implementation time required on top of that. In contrast, since NC JOBS is well defined and much easier to implement, we expect to see companies raising money under NC JOBS in the second half of 2014.

#2 -- Cheaper

Raising money under the national crowdfunding exemption is expected to be rather expensive; some estimates suggest that as much as 15% of the money raised will go to “overhead” expenses rather than being used to grow the business.

There are two ways the NC JOBS Exemption keeps costs down:

First, audited financials -- which can be very expensive to produce -- are not required if the issuing company is raising $1,000,000 or less. (A company raising between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 will typically have more operational history, and in these cases the cost of audited financials is a reasonable burden to help protect potential investors.)

Secondly, portals using the national exemption will face extensive costs to comply with FINRA regulation -- and those costs will be certainly be passed along to the companies that are fundraising.

Investors would rather see their dollars being used to build a company rather than going to lawyers and accountants for meeting excessive regulations. Wouldn’t you?

#3 -- Simpler

The amount that can be invested by any non-accredited person is a flat $2,000.

This is much more straightforward and safer than the national version which uses a sliding scale based on investor income or net worth -- which could lead to a situation where startup companies are forced to handle highly sensitive financial information of potential investors in order to ensure that they do not lose their exemption.

With NC JOBS issuing companies simply have to make sure to accept only $2,000 or less from each non-accredited investor.

#4 -- Angel-Friendly

Accredited investors are excluded from this $2,000 cap -- they can invest as much as they choose.

When you look at the data from countries where investment crowdfunding is already legal, you find that most successful raises are accomplished through a combination of many small ($1,000 to $2,500) investments along with a few more substantial sums ($25,000 to $100,000).

In order to support this “80/20 rule” effect, a crowdfunding exemption must support both smaller non-accredited investors as well as more experienced “angel” investors.

A company raising money should benefit from a mix of smaller and larger investors as well -- your “team” has just grown to a whole new level as you can tap into a crowd of passionate supporters as well as some more experienced and connected investors.

Support the North Carolina JOBS Act:
If you have any questions or comments, please email the JOBS NC Crowdfunding Team at jobsnc@nc.rr.com or contact Representative Murry’s office at murryla@ncleg.net.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Investment Crowdfunding A Spectacular Success in the U.K.

As the NC JOBS Act moves through the North Carolina legislature, it is helpful to look at the success of investment crowdfunding in the United Kingdom, where it has already been legal and in operation for over 2 years. In this very interesting post, one of the U.K. investment crowdfunding sites called Crowdcube celebrates the 50th successful business funding since the site went live in February of 2011.

Some impressive results on Crowdcube since then (financial amounts converted to US $):

  • The first company to hit their target raised $114,000 from 82 investors
  • 54 businesses have been funded to date
  • $13.9M has been raised so far
  • 36,000 investors have registered on Crowdcube
  • The largest single raise was $1.5M by The Rushmore Group

And that is for just one of the crowdfunding platforms in the U.K., and there are several other very successful sites. More interesting facts and milestones are available on the Crowdcube post.

So what does this mean for North Carolina? It proves that investment crowdfunding works, that small businesses can get the financing they need, that investors are willing and able to invest with this method, and that it can be done safely and fairly.

It is time to pass H680, the NC JOBS Act and enable this new and very successful method of financing small business in North Carolina.

Support the North Carolina JOBS Act of 2013:
If you have any questions or comments, please email the JOBS NC Crowdfunding Team at jobsnc@nc.rr.com or contact Representative Murry’s office at murryla@ncleg.net.