Equity Crowdfunding Proposal Vote Is 1 Year Old Today

3rd Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention and Bootcamp also Kicks Off In Las Vegas

SEC vote equity crowdfunding Remember the good ‘ol days of October 2013? The JOBS Act was only 1 ½ years old and Title II was just enacted a month ago on September 23, 2013. Optimism was high for Title III following soon after, especially when the SEC unanimously approved the Title III equity crowdfunding proposal on October 23, 2013.

Fast forward one year and the JOBS Act is now 2 ½ years old and Title III was voted on exactly one year ago today. There have been scattered reports of Title III being enacted this fall, this winter, by year’s end at the latest, but who really knows? The vote for equity crowdfunding happened a year ago and no real headway has been made. The 10/23 ruling opened a lengthy public comment period but that is the last of the real, accountable actions. The Commission originally sought public comment on the proposed rules for 90 days. It has now been 365.

Whether it is irony, spite, or a little bit of both, the 3rd Global Crowdfunding Convention and Bootcamp will start today (10/23) in Las Vegas. Co-founded by Title III pioneer Ruth Hedges in 2012, the GCCB is held every October and reigns as the largest crowdfunding event in the world.  Entrepreneurs, startups, founders, industry leaders, government officials, investors, brokers, lawyers, non-profits and creative artists all come together from more than 15 countries. This event is the one occasion where crowdfunding experts in various fields from all over the world come together to share news and ideas about the industry. A diverse range of speakers and subject matter will be complemented by cocktail hours and socializing.

Forbes Contributor Mary Juetten interviewed Ruth Hedges back in August and asked her several questions about the event. Here are some excerpts from the Forbes article:

What is the scope of the event?

Hedges: “From equity and rewards-based crowdfunding for technology, film, and fashion, to games, real estate, books, non-profits to peer to peer lending and so much more, all means and methods of crowdfunding are covered. Among the attendees in the room, you’ll find everyone from startups to small business owners as well as investors, senior-level executives and decision makers from some of the most influential companies in crowdfunding.”

Is this event focused on U.S. crowdfunding only?

Hedges: “In keeping with the idea of education, there is much we can learn from other countries’ crowdfunding experiences. People attend from throughout the United States as well as from countries including Holland, Peru, Australia, Singapore, Canada, the Netherlands, England, Italy, Israel, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand.”

What’s the vision for your company’s flagship event?

Hedges: “With seven billion plus people on our planet, we have a great opportunity with crowdfunding to help so many of them understand how to use it. Recognizing the great transformations that businesses, economies and societies are currently undergoing, we look to create ways that will focus on how to expand new crowdfunding models into collaborative sustained processes. This in turn will drive solutions for more successful crowdfunding outcomes and thus a socially more inclusive virtual world. We will also discuss challenges, solutions, and actions in the spirit of global citizenship, and show how crowdfunding is a universal act of the best of our humanity.”

gccb 2014When you hear Ruth Hedges speak, it makes you wonder why the SEC is taking so long with their final equity crowdfunding vote. Hedges is an expert in her field and has successfully brought together hundreds of crowdfunding supporters from all over the world. The GBBC has grown to a globally recognized event and it is obvious that the U.S. crowdfunding industry is educated, eager and excited to start equity crowdfunding here in America. Let’s hope they make some noise out in Las Vegas and the SEC finally recognizes how powerful and organized the movement really is.

If you are growing increasingly frustrated, you are not alone. Many people have expressed their disenchantment and disappointment with the snail’s pace of Title III, and the 1 Year Anniversary of approving the proposal doesn’t help. To end this this blog I chose to quote three more crowdfunding experts on the matter, one of which (Zeoli) is a panelist at this year’s Global Crowdfunding Convention and Bootcamp. Here are three expert opinions on finalizing Title III and the equity crowdfunding vote from an Entrepreneur article from last month:

Robert Clarke, Mid-Town Partners, NYC

“I’ve been waiting for the final rules so we can formally launch our funding portal FundItNation and let entrepreneurs raise startup capital from the crowd. While some have criticized the proposed rules as being unworkable, we have found ways with our portal to make the JOBS Act work for investors and entrepreneurs. We just need the green light from the SEC to launch.”

Anthony Zeoli, Real Estate Crowdfunding Expert

“The SEC’s desire to protect investors is admirable, but failing to issue the rules hasn’t stopped equity crowdfounding,” Zeoli says. “It has only succeeded in forcing entrepreneurs and portals to pursue a variety of workarounds to make it happen.

You have debt/equity investments being made with very little guidance as to how it should be handled from a legal or a regulatory prospective. Only by issuing final rules can experienced crowdfunding professionals begin creating best practices for the equity investments that will truly protect investors.”

Joy Schoffler, Principal of Leverage PR and Board Member of CFIRA

“I personally invest in some businesses that will never have a Facebook-type exit,” Schoffler says. “They are everyday businesses that have great cash flow and make healthy returns. Enacting Title III of the JOBS Act is about allowing all Americans that same opportunity. If you are a sandwich-shop owner with loyal customers and want to open a second location, why not allow the community a chance to own a piece of the business? They will become even more loyal customers.”

Thank you again for reading and please leave your comments below!

Posted in Capital Formation, crowdfunding, Entrepreneurs, Equity Crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding law, Investors, JOBS Act, Start-ups, Title III, Uncategorized

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