Category Archives: Crowdfunding Voices

Crowdfunding the Canadian Knowledge Economy

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Labfundr | Eric Fisher | April 7, 2017

Pre-CCS2017 Mixer

Earlier this month on Feb 28 and Mar 1, I attended the 3rd Annual Canadian Crowdfunding Summit, hosted in Toronto by the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA). There was a lot of energy in the room, reflected by #CCS2017 ranking among the top trending hashtags in Canada during the event.

Crowdfunding is helping fund an increasingly diverse range of projects, companies and people. We heard from platforms that are enabling real estate investments, helping make entertainment productions a reality, helping all manner of startups find seed funding, and enabling books to be published. Crowdfunding can also become a key ingredient in sustaining and growing our knowledge economy.

We heard about successes and challenges from the US and UK, which have much more mature crowdfunding industries than Canada. In Canada, the total raised via crowdfunding in 2016 was projected to be $190 million. This is 100x less than the US. Given that our populations only differ by 10x, there is plenty of room for growth.

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Financial technology (fintech) platforms such as online lending, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain crowdfunding, and a socially responsible bank were all exciting models to learn about.

Donation and rewards-based crowdfunding models are straightforward and not subject to regulation, but other alternative finance models face a challenging regulatory landscape. Paths to growth look to be through education and awareness of equity crowdfunding/alternative finance, improving regulations in a collaborative way, and harmonizing the diverse rules existing in different provinces.

Regulators from Alberta, Quebec, BC and Ontario were on hand and engaging in productive dialogues with the industry. Collaborative efforts can improve regulations and encourage more activity in the space, while ensuring legal protection for investors. In a conference filled with fintech, the term “regtech” stood out. Regulatory technology may be a key part of the equation that reduces friction for fintech startups.

Another standout panel was about diversity. Important takeaways were how subtle but powerful language choices made in job listings and company culture can encourage, or discourage, diversity among your staff. Diversity is recognized a key to success. And being new to entrepreneurship, it was inspiring to learn concrete ways to be inclusive as we grow.

I also met several scientists, completely by chance! Perhaps we have some unconscious, nerdy tells that point us toward each other (cause for an experiment, perhaps?).

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Tabitha Creighton, SVP Payments, iQmetrix, Joins National Crowdfunding Association of Canada’s Advisory Board

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | March 28, 2017

tabitha

VANCOUVER, MAR 28, 2017 – The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Tabitha Creighton, SVP Payments of iQmetrix, one of the largest providers of payment solutions in North America, has joined the Association’s Advisory Board as Advisor, Diversity.

Tabitha is a veteran founder, most recently as CEO of InvestNextDoor, the first debt-securities crowdfunding platform for small business.  She continues to be a director and advisor for numerous start-ups, and is a passionate advocate for diversity in financial markets.

“We’re excited to introduce a new role at the Association to focus on the development of diversity in alternative finance and crowfunding markets in Canada.  Tabitha brings the best of both worlds:  a wealth of experience in platform development and operations and leadership in diversity.  She has been a longtime supporter of NCFA who is passionate, highly strategic and willing to roll up her sleeves to get the job done.”  Craig Asano, Executive Director, NCFA Canada

“The NCFA is the industry voice for crowdfunding and alternative capital in Canada.  Having been part of this movement for several years in the U.S., I’m excited to be back at home and part of the NCFA to bring growth and innovation to this growing industry.”  Tabitha Creighton, SVP Payments, iQmetrix

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About National Crowdfunding Association of Canada

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. For more information please visit: www.ncfacanada.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Craig Asano
casano@ncfacanada.org
416 618 0254

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Christopher Charlesworth, CEO and Co-founder of HiveWire, Joins National Crowdfunding Association of Canada’s Advisory Board

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | March 24, 2017

Christopher Charlesworth, Advisor, Crowdfunding

TORONTO, MAR 24, 2017 – The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Christopher Charlesworth, CEO and Co-founder of HiveWire, a full-service crowdfunding agency focused on platform development, data analytics and consulting, has joined the Association’s Advisory Board as Advisor, Crowdfunding.

Christopher Charlesworth holds an MBA from the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, The University of Toronto, and an Honours Bachelor of Political Science from The University of Western Ontario. Christopher has worked as a management consultant in Indonesia, Canada, and the United States across several practice areas, including financial services, marketing, and social media. As Co-founder and CEO Christopher works to create value for clients by applying HiveWire’s crowdfunding tools and techniques to their strategic objectives.

“Chris is constantly creating value with every measured action.  Through his work at HiveWire, he has amassed significant experience in all aspects of crowdfunding from portal operator to infrastructure provider to campaign planning and execution.  He brings a data-driven approach to garnishing insights and implementing learnings that will benefit virtually any client project.” Craig Asano, Executive Director, NCFA Canada

“Crowdfunding presents a tremendous opportunity for Canadians to come together and fund all manner of worthy economic initiatives. It is incumbent on our government and market regulators to find ways to create a level national playing field that enhances the competitiveness of the Canadian crowdfunding industry. Unfettered investment at the individual level, regardless of physical geography, is both our present and our future. Our market regulators would do well to legitimize this behaviour and harmonize rules across geographic regions and within Canada at the very least.  Christopher Charlesworth, CEO and Co-founder, HiveWire

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About National Crowdfunding Association of Canada

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. For more information please visit: www.ncfacanada.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Craig Asano
casano@ncfacanada.org
416 618 0254

 

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Are Overseas Portals the Next Big Thing in US Equity Crowdfunding?

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Crowdfund Insider | By | March 21, 2017

Non-resident US funding portal registration

Much excitement has been generated with the enactment of Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) and the ability of non-accredited investors to invest in startup companies in the United States. The SEC recently reported that while early capital raising efforts is still growing, Regulation Crowdfunding has provided a new mechanism for small, domestic issuers to raise capital that was previously unavailable.

There is speculation that soon, with a Republican Administration in Washington focused on deregulation, Regulation Crowdfunding may be a “huge” beneficiary, including an expansion permitting an issuer to raise $5 or perhaps even $10 million per annum, rather than the current $1 million limit. While a common complaint during its first year is that the issuers themselves must be domestic United States companies, the same does not hold true for crowdfunding portals.

Regulation Crowdfunding specifically permits “nonresident” funding portals to operate in the United States.

A nonresident funding portal is a funding portal incorporated in or organized under the laws of a jurisdiction outside of the United States, or having its principal place of business in any place not in the United States. Thus you can operate overseas and still be permitted to engage in business as a U.S. funding portal.

See:  Title III Crowdfunding For Real, Part I

Nonresident portals can quickly broaden US crowdfunding efforts to overseas, and raise foreign investor (crowd) capital for US companies. This together with the benefit that a crowdfunding portal is specifically exempt from broker-dealer registration under Exchange Act section 15(a), provides ample incentive to foreign entrepreneurs to seek to participate in US small issuer capital formation.

Nonresident funding portals share the same benefits as domestic funding portals, including the right to post offerings on their portal and receive transaction-based compensation (commission and equity) for their services. Nonresident funding portals may even have a competitive advantage in accessing capital for US crowdfunding offerings. MrCrowd.com and its CEO Allen Au, based in Hong Kong, appear to be the first nonresident funding portal to see an opportunity and become registered with FINRA.

For the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to permit nonresident funding portals to be based outside of the US, the portals must be subject to SEC and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulation. Registration of a nonresident portal is conditioned on an information sharing arrangement in place between the SEC and the competent regulator in the jurisdiction under the laws where the nonresident funding portal is organized or has its principal place of business.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Presentation Decks from #CCS2017 (for Attendees ONLY)

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Thank you for attending the 2017 Canadian Crowdfinancing Summit (#CCS2017)!

CCS2017 Don't miss it!

 

CCS2017 Presentation Decks Available for Attendees Only (otherwise Confidential)

FEB 28:  Pre-Summit Workshops (OneEleven)

  1. FundingNomad Session:  Profit-Sharing or Royalty Deals for Investors & Issuers (download)
  2. Crowdmatrix Showcase:
  3. BrightSpark Ventures Workshop:  How to Invest in Early Stage Companies (download)
  4. R2Crowd Presentation:  How to Invest in Real Estate if You Don't have a Rich Uncle? (download)

MAR 1:  CCS2017 Summit (MaRS)

  1. Morning Keynote: Equity Crowdfinance:  Past, Present and Future by Ryan Feit, SeedInvest (download)
  2. Show me the Money: How We Raised USD $100+ Million (Art or Science?)
    by Zach Smith, Funded Today (download)
  3. Canadian and Global Alternative Finance Markets: Volume, Trends and Key Indicators by E.J. Reedy of University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Alixe Cormick of Venture Law Corp and Daryl Hatton of FundRazr (download)
  4. Blockchain ICOs:  The Future of Online Investing or Regulatory Crisis? by Alan Wunsche, Blockchain Canada (download)
  5. How Online Funding Platforms Give Voice to a Shared Value Economy by Paul Allard, Impak Finance (download)
  6. Marketplace Lending:  Made for the People, By the People by Cato Pastoll, Lending Loop (download)
  7. Growing Your Business Faster with Diversity by Tabitha Creighton, iQMetrix and Eva Wong, Borrowell (download)
  8. Industry Experts and National Regulatory Perspectives: What to Expect in 2017?  by Jason Saltzman, (Gowling WLG), Pat Chaukos (OSC LaunchPad), Elliott Mak and Zach Masum (BCSC), Denise Weeres (ASC), and Gabriel Araish (AMF) (download OSC deck)
  9. LUNCH & LEARN:  Strategies to Protect Your Revenue by Securing Intellectual Property (IP) Rights before Launching by Tony Sebata, Sabeta IP (download)
  10. Regulatory Presentation and Q&A:  FINTECH & P2P/ONLINE LENDING 
    1. Part 1:  Zach Masum, BCSC (download); and
    2. Part 2:  Amy Tsai, OSC LaunchPad (download)
  11. Bootstrapping:  From Concept to Revenue Under in 9 Months for Under $4k by Timothy Jodoin, Edispin (download)
  12. Regulatory Presentation and Q&A:  EQUITY CROWDFUNDING/FINANCE by Gabriel Araish (AMF), Elliott Mak (BCSC), Gloria Tsang (OSC), and Denise Weeres (ASC) (download)
  13. Applying Design Thinking to Maximize Interaction on Your Website (Coming soon)
  14. How I Created an Automated Networking Machine to Meet Hundreds of Investors & VCs by Joshua Fetcher, Autopilot (download)
  15. Post-Crowdfunding Best Practices:  How to Deliver On Time On Budget - Everything you need to Know by Gareth Everard (Rockwell Razors), Owen MacMullin (DHL Canada), and Mary-Rose Sutton (Shopify) (download)
  16. The Future of Fintech:  Is Canada becoming a World Class Fintech Hub?  by Sue Britton (Fintech Growth Syndicate), Bilal Khan (OneEleven), Jake Hirsch-Allen (LinkedIn), Jim Orlando (Omers Ventures), Amelia Young (Upside Consulting Group) and Philippe Garneau (BWG Brand Engineering) (download)
  17. CLOSING KEYNOTE:  Transformative Strategies and Insights for Alternative Finance Market Growth by Martin Graham (Fineqia and London Stock Exchange) (download)

Live Pitching Presentation Decks (MaRS):

  1. Seedlify by Sam Kawtharani (download)
  2. Tripian by Cenan Yunusoglu (download) *Session 1 Pitch Winner
  3. XYZ Interactive (UVolt replacement) by Michael Kosic (download)
  4. Curexe by Johnathan Holland (download)
  5. Knote by Ron Glozman (download) *Session 2 Pitch Winner
  6. Zoom.ai by Roy Pereira (download)
  7. DashMD by Zack Fisch (download) *Session 3 Pitch Winner
  8. Better Current by Colin Campbell (download)
  9. CertClean by Jenise Lee (download)
  10. ShareWiz by Oz Demirel (download)
  11. Emerge by Alexandru Horghidan (download) *Session 4 Pitch Winner
  12. Triclops Technologies by Meng Xi Zhu (download)

Congratulations to the 4 live pitching companies:

Tripian (Cenan Yunusoglu), Knote (Ron Glozman), Dash MD (Zack Fisch), and Emerge (Alexandru Horghidan)!


Other links you may be interested in:

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THANK YOU TO ALL OUR #CCS2017 SPONSORS AND PARTNERS!

CCS2017 Partner slide 1

CCS2017 Partner slide 2

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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The State of the Industry: Prosper President, Ron Suber Examines the Past, Present and Future of FinTech

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Lending Times | Lauren Twardy | Oct 26, 2016

Ron Suber - State of the industry (past, present, future)

Ron Suber serves as the president of Prosper, “America’s first online lending platform,” and brings more than 20 years of experience within the industry to the table. Recently, Lending Times had the opportunity to chat with Suber about the current state of the FinTech industry and where he thought it was heading. His insight and analysis may prove helpful for those individuals seeking a better understanding of the transition between traditional and marketplace lending.

The First Two Phases of FinTech

Suber began by saying he believes there are four phases of the FinTech Industry. The first phase began with establishing FinTech as a recognizable concept in what Suber calls the “Period of EAU: Education, Awareness, Understanding.” As with most pioneering ideas and industries, the biggest hurdle is often “fear of the unknown.” Suber comments that when the industry was getting off the ground, both industry insiders and the public reacted hesitantly to the idea of borrowing and lending on the Internet, which for most sounded “like a Ponzi scheme.” Phase One sought to establish FinTech as a legitimate course forward for lending.

See:  Why the bank referral scheme gives SME lending a much needed shake-up

Phase Two of FinTech took place early last year, according to Suber, when large finance and technology companies, as well as banks, started taking a sincere interest in marketplace lending, moving FinTech and online lending from what Suber had called a “novelty” to an “interesting new niche” in his 2015 LendIt Closing Keynote speech. Large companies and banks “sent their innovation teams and senior leadership to see all of us and find out what and how we were doing everything.” Alternative data and lending companies were no longer seen as competition but rather as potential partners for financial companies and institutions.

Phases 3 and 4: FinTech Today and the Optimistic Future

“Phase Three is now,” Suber says. Online lending platforms are going public, banks are trying to figure out how to partner with alternative lending and data companies, and regulation of the industry has begun. In this current phase, the impact of marketplace lenders has grown too great to be ignored or brushed off by the larger banks and companies. Several partnerships have formed this year between online lenders and banks, including Prosper and LendingClub with WebBank, OnDeck with JPMorgan, and Kabbage with Santander. While there has been a certain amount of leveling off to the skyrocketing growth of this industry, there is still much progress to come.

Morgan Stanley reported in June 2015 that marketplace lenders “could command $150 billion to $490 billion globally by 2020.” This kind of optimism leads to Suber’s Phase Four, where he predicts that there “will be rapid mergers, acquisitions, and full adoption into the main stream.”

Often in his speeches and interviews, Suber compares the path of FinTech to that of Uber or AirBnB. These companies change the way the world sees transportation and lodging, and FinTech innovators have the ability to do the same for lending. Suber believes that the future of FinTech is “true ubiquity.”

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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For crowdfunding to succeed, we must level the playing field

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Globe and Mail | Robert Keller and Michael Motala | Jan 21, 2017

Crowdfunding competitiveness

Robert Keller is a senior securities lawyer with experience in regulation and private practice in both Canada and the United States; Michael Motala is a member of the Overseas Press Club of America studying at Columbia University and Osgoode Hall Law School.

The first anniversary of Canada’s crowdfunding rules is upon us, and the infant regime’s annual performance has been disappointing in global comparison. To enhance our national competitiveness, securities regulators must heed the industry’s demands for harmonized regulation and, in particular, address disparities between crowdfunding and similar sectors of alternative finance.

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA) recently estimated that, in 2016, Canadian crowdfunding raised $190-million, with capital formation growing 48 per cent from 2013-15. Yet, only a handful of companies have made use of the new crowdfunding rules, and the market’s growth pales in comparison with our British and American peers. Alternative-finance professionals blame Canada’s inefficient, onerous and regionally inconsistent regulatory landscape for the slower uptake.

Free Download:  Canada's most comprehensive report on Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada

According to the NCFA, the United States and Britain have projected alternative-finance volumes of $36-billion (U.S.) and £3.2-billion respectively. Even when adjusted for our much smaller population, Canada’s crowdfunding market has underperformed, and this poses a risk to our international competitiveness by potentially limiting the growth of Canada’s most innovative small- and medium-sized businesses.

Canada’s complex securities-regulation regime is an outlier in the OECD world, and a burden for investors and firms looking to raise capital here, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises. The securities industry has called upon the Ontario Securities Commission and other provincial regulators to remove unnecessary burdens and harmonize confusing regulations. Similarly, regulators should also turn their attention to the inconsistent regulations governing certain types of social impact investing, which is arguably a specialized type of crowdfunding.

Social impact investing capitalizes new and innovative startups that seek to solve social and environmental challenges. Like crowdfunding portals, social impact investment hubs connect socially inclined issuers with like-minded investors, usually to raise a relatively small amount of seed capital, with the advantage of avoiding the often more costly and regulation-heavy mechanisms of traditional capital markets. Canada’s leading hub, the Social Venture Connection (SVX), is a not-for-profit venture that went live 2 1/2 years ago. Already, similar ventures are receiving international attention, but little is known about the SVX among the broader Canadian public.

Part of the problem is that the gatekeepers to the social impact investment market, and SVX in particular, seem overzealous.

Don't Miss:  2017 Canadian Crowdfinance Summit (Save 40% Until Jan 31)

Prospective investors face a significant regulatory hurdle when it comes to SVX: Each must qualify as an “accredited investor” under applicable provincial securities law. This means that individuals generally need a net worth of at least $1-million (Canadian), or an annual income of at least $200,000 for the previous two years.

By contrast, anyone may invest in issuers raising capital under the crowdfunding rules. While restrictions limit how much an individual can invest in crowdfunded ventures – namely, a maximum of $2,500 a distribution, and no more than $10,000 per year – the playing field is open to all.

Presumably, in 2013, when regulators approved the SVX, they believed that only wealthy investors could sustain the potential losses relating to the high-risk investments that the SVX was expected to offer. Accredited investor restrictions were imposed essentially to protect non-wealthy investors from themselves. However, beginning in January, 2016, Canada’s crowdfunding rules went into effect, and arguably, the ventures that seek funding under those rules carry risks commensurate with those of SVX-based ventures.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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