We’re all about online resources at Hatch, where news and opinion pieces can be posted, hyperlinked, and absorbed at the speed of light. To name a few of our go-tos (who as usual, happen to have a strong presence at ComCap16), we devour all things local investing at you guessed it, Amy Cortese’s Locavesting, information from a legal perspective on the crowdfunding world at wait for it – Anthony Zeoli’s Crowdfunding Legal Hub, small town and rural business news at Becky McCray’s Small Biz Survival blog, feminist perspectives on media-driven culture at Bitch Magazine, and the latest on crowdfunding across then nation, in terms of traditional and investment, from Crowdfund Insider.
The following is taken from an interview with Andrew Dix, Co-Founder and CEO of Crowdfund Insider. This resource was founded to highlight and discuss “leading news and information web site covering the emerging global industry of disruptive finance including crowdfunding, peer-to-peer / marketplace lending and other forms of Fintec”.
Andrew, can you give us a brief overview of how Crowdfund Insider got started?
Andrew: My background is in traditional media, where I was doing digital operations and websites. The challenge with traditional media is that it’s been going through a very difficult period of being disrupted by the internet. I was struggling in the space and saw an opportunity to tap into my background in economics and finance.
What are your predictions for securities crowdfunding in 2016?
Andrew: First, I think you will begin to see more of “old finance” come around to working more in the growing local and impact marketplace. I also see excitement around the release of the crowdfunding title (Title III) of the JOBS Act when it becomes actionable May 16. I’m interested in how it will play out and compare to the state-based crowdfunding laws. Uptake maybe slow, but it remains to be seen. I think we’ll see Title II of the JOBS Act continue to grow in use, as well as more issuers leveraging Reg A+ for fundraising.
As far as the state exemptions go, we’ve seen some successes, which is encouraging, though investor education and awareness remains a challenge. It seems to depend on how the state’s exemption is structured and who is helping push it forward. Each is really a microcosm, they’re in their own worlds. The local culture, support, and involvement of business networks will be key. It’s a period of change, learning, adapting. It’s also important for policy makers not to get in the way of that change. They need to provide support if we are going to see any real growth in local capital raising. It’s important to let things change and adapt.
What advice do you have for other media professionals on responsible reporting for intrastate securities crowdfunding given the federal regulations on solicitation?
Andrew: It’s my personal view that the platforms that list securities should do a certain amount of due diligence – know your customer and verify that the people looking to raise the capital are real people. It is important to be highly transparent, and able to communicate about the process. Journalists aren’t restricted from talking about state crowdfunding, but they have to be careful about how they interview entrepreneurs raising money through these exemptions so they don’t put the entrepreneur at risk.
I’ve been reporting on these laws for a while now and it’s leading edge change both federally and in states, so I encourage more journalists and bloggers to learn as much as they can. Crowdfunding is here to stay, but it will take us some time before it becomes common practice, for everyone – even journalists.
Thanks, Andrew for the updates — we’ll stay tuned for more!