Category Archives: NCFA Blog

A U.S. Perspective: Can Canadian Alternative Finance Contend?

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NCFA Canada | John Neal | July 6, 2016

As an intern from the States I have had the pleasure of living in Toronto for the last month while working for NCFA Canada under a study abroad experience. While adapting to Canadian culture is simple, you learn to navigate the subtle differences such as use of metric system, reading temperatures in Celsius, the typical American adjustment.

Canada vs the U.S.

When I think of U.S. Canada relating to each other I think similar lifestyle, similar culture and perhaps similar economic activity just proportionate to each other’s respective size. Yet, while learning about the Crowdfunding industry in Canada compared to the UK and the US there seems to be major disconnect.

For example, the U.S. outweighs Canada in Crowdfunding numbers by $36,000,000,000 to 190,000,000 in 2016. Let’s put this into perspective Canada’s numbers are 0. 00000527% of the United States. That’s 5 one millionth of the U.S.’s numbers (Download:  2016 Alternative Finance in Canada report).

Source: NCFA 2016 Alternative Finance Industry Report

Alternative Finance Crowdfunding and FinTech are common global trends spreading like wildfire internationally but at a much slower pace here in Canada (from what I can see). I’m aware of the innovation in Canada and the willingness to be a catalyst for change. However, in the States there are two cities that champion FinTech, San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and New York. These two global hubs amass for a large portion of the technological innovation within the U.S. To grow Canada’s Alternative Finance sector, there must be some form of change soon of how these portals are regulated.

See:  Competition Bureau suggests Canadian FinTech sector’s slow growth due to regulation, consumer complacency

In 2015 S.E.C. in the United States adopted rules to permit crowdfunding on a larger scale. Proactive measures have taken place States side, the question remains can Canada essentially foster the innovation that is present South of the border and nurture Alternative Finance to become a viable source of financing for Canadian companies and likewise an opportunity for domestic and global investor?  The power of alternative finance, evolving digital platforms and online digital trends is becoming an authentic form of raising capital.

New forms of finance have been empowered by consumer driven online marketplaces (i.e. Crowdfunding) which has led to the creation of countless new opportunities in the financial sector.” – Cato Pastoll, Co-Founder & CEO of Lending Loop.

U.S. ability to adapt to change

United States crowdfunding has shown promise according to the dollar $ numbers raised, however there are continued measures to fix bugs and strengthen regulatory actions. For instance, the “H.R. 4855 Bill “Fix Crowdfunding Act” passed by the house in the States on July 6th, 2016. We can see that in the U.S. there are continued efforts to alter regulations in favor for efficient crowdfunding. Another significant modification that separates U.S. and Canada is the use of advertising for crowdfunding. In Canada, there are restrictions for crowdfunding advertising and solicitation (Read more here!) while  in the United Sates advertising is allowed for crowdfunding for issuers. Limiting crowdfunding offer distribution channels can be seen as hindering education, and impeding the growth of the Canadian industry.

Funding options for a new generation

I have noticed University students in the States are quickly evolving and many of my colleagues are currently using or thinking about relying on Alternative Finance portals to provide them with adequate capital to take student innovation to launch new businesses to market. Innovation is what drives millennial students at American Universities. Fortunately, the concept of crowdfunding in the States is welcomed, and my fellow peers are benefiting from its rewards while investors are simultaneously gaining access to great new investment opportunities.  I can envision Canada eventually adopting some regulatory changes to encourage market development to ensure Canadian companies have equal access to new financing models. This would be exceptional for business of all kinds, due to simpler Alternative Finance access. Canada deserves to be among the top leaders in Alternative Finance-Crowdfunding and I am confident over time they will.

While the United States and Canada remain strong economic partners, when it comes to crowdfunding there currently remains a massive void for the Canadians. Ultimately, can Canada adopt enough change for alternative finance – crowdfunding to allow it to contend in 2017?  Get our your crystal ball and let me know what you think the results will be??  email:  john@ncfacanada.org

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John Neal, a NCFA Canada Marketing Intern from Michigan State University. John focuses on business/marketing development for NCFA Canada. Increasing awareness for Canadian Crowdfunding Industry by way of online and offline outreach.

 

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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CALLING ALL COMPANIES, INVESTORS & FUNDING PLATFORMS! Help Define the Future of Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada

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NCFA Canada (About Us) | June 22, 2017

This is a vital time for the alternative finance crowdfunding sector in Canada.

The crowdfunding sector in Canada offers tremendous potential to innovate and improve capital formation, storage and the distribution of resources by leveraging technology to unlock transactional inefficiencies, provide more liquidity and help small businesses, the backbone of the Canadian economy, to commercialize and globally compete in modern digital times.  While market volumes grew 48% from 2013-2015 and is predicted to reach $190 million in 2016 (download 2016 NCFA report), Canadian markets continue to fall behind international competitors due to market stifling regulations (eg., US $35.2 billion in 2016, Chicago-Booth/Cambridge report).

Your voice is more critical than ever before! 

  • All survey participants will be entered into a draw to receive a $100 gift card of their choice plus $25 Uber promo card for their time.
  • Are you an innovative company raising seed or growth capital? Have you considered raising your next financing in alternative finance markets? What are the most important decision drivers?
  • As a retail or accredited investor, how many deals have you backed in the past 12 months? What’s working and what’s not?

Please take 5min and show support for capital innovation, SME growth and new investment opportunities in alternative finance markets:

  • Your confidential responses will form the basis for NCFAs annual 2017 report to be published later this fall
  • Armed with this data, we seek to promote nationwide growth within the industry and create a persuasive impact on allowing more flexible government regulations and educational support for Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada.  Share your voice now

“We are on the cusp of a new, potentially revolutionary era in consumer and SME finance that harnesses the wisdom of the crowd and its power to effect huge change in the financial sector.”  NCFA Canada

Take the survey now:   http://bit.ly/2perd2N

*Only Open until June 30

We highly appreciate your time and thank for participating in the survey!  Questions?  info@ncfacanada.org.

Sincerely

Craig Asano
Founding Executive Director
NCFA Canada
(416) 618-0254

 

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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Jason A. Saltzman, Partner, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Joins National Crowdfunding Association of Canada’s Advisory Group

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Jun 21, 2017

Jason Saltzman, Advisor, Securities and Financings

TORONTO, JUN 21, 2017 – The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Jason A. Saltzman, Partner at Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, has joined the Association as Advisor, Securities and Financings.

Jason is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office practising in corporate finance and securities law, with an emphasis on securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions and regulatory compliance matters.  He assists issuers, investment dealers, investment portals and institutional and private investors on complex equity and debt financing transactions, ranging from start-up investments, venture capital and private equity investments, to larger public offerings and project finance.

Jason has taken numerous companies public on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange and Canadian Securities Exchange by IPO, reverse takeover, capital pool transactions and direct listings. He also advises securities dealers, advisers, investment fund managers and other market participants in connection with their registration and compliance issues.  Jason served two terms on the Ontario Securities Commission’s Small and Medium Enterprises Committee and has been very active in building an alternative finance practice by focusing on fin-tech, crowdfinance and other disruptive models such as online investment platforms, peer-to-peer lending and robo-advising. He has become known as a thought leader in this innovative area and is working closely with other Gowling WLG professionals as part of a fully-integrated fin tech legal practice group.

 “Crowdfunding is a phenomenon and not a fad. Issuers and securities dealers are already integrating this channel into their overall finance strategy and are using it as a way to better connect and identify with their target markets. The advent of specialized investment platforms, innovative technologies and evolving approaches for the regulation of online investment portals (including new securities law exemptions and OSC's Launch Pad), have set the nascent crowdfunding industry on the right path for the future.” -- Jason Saltzman, Partner, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

“Jason not only understands the potential impact of crowdfunding and fintech innovation on alternative finance markets but been a huge supporter of NCFA since the early days.  He’s a leading securities lawyer in the sector with a long list of accolades and deep experience working with registration, compliance and complex financings full stop.  On behalf of the industry we thank Jason for his commitment and continued support, and are thrilled of his participation in the Association’s Advisory group.”  -- Craig Asano, Executive Director, NCFA Canada

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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 CONTACT:
Craig Asano
casano@ncfacanada.org
416 618 0254

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Toronto Fintech & Funding Event (Jun 22): NCFA-North of 41 Summer Kickoff Networking!

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GREAT FINTECH & FUNDING NETWORKING SESSION!

Sold Out CAPACITY:  Burgeoning Fintech Ecosystem

Check out the Photos

 


EVENT DETAILS:

Thursday, Jun 22, 2017 (5:30 PM - 9:00PM + )

The Spoke Club Rooftop Patio

600 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M3

thespokeclub.com (map)


REGISTRATION:

$20 Early - SOLD!

$25 Standard- GONE!

$30 Late:  SOLD OUT!

At the door $40 Net Limited Tickets

Hashtag #NCFALive

  • All tickets include entrance to private club patio, food, entertainment, prime networking and cash bar
  • 13% HST extra (we'll pick-up eventbrite platform fees)
  • No refunds prior to 7 days before the event.  Ticket transfers ok.
  • If it rains the event will take place inside the club
  • Checkout photos from last year's Summer Kickoff event here

 

Leave Winter Behind and KICKOFF SUMMER IN STYLE...

Join the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, North of 41, Aird & McBurney, Borrowell, Equibit Group, and growing list of Fintech Innovation partners in the heart of King West, one of Toronto's hottest districts, on The Spoke Club’s Rooftop patio for a night of revelry and prime fintech networking mixer.  Interested in disrupting the finance industry, raising capital or participating in Canada’s growing alternative finance and fintech sectors? Here's a perfect opportunity to learn the latest market trends from hot startups (stealth mode) and experts, strategize with partners, pitch investors and mingle with Toronto’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem.

This is a Fintech & FUNDING Event for:

NCFA Canada and North of 41 members, affiliates, partners and community as well as anyone interested in networking and collaborating with startups, investors, angels, early stage-focused VC's and industry experts in alternative finance, crowdfunding, fintech, payments, crypto-currency, blockchain ICOs, AI investing and other financial innovation sectors.

  • Companies actively raising capital
  • Investors and syndicates interested in investing
  • Financial innovators looking to partner or collaborate
  • High growth fintech start-ups (stealth mode) or post-launch
  • Funding platforms, dealers, providers and their client networks

The Spoke Club:  600 King St W Toronto

Want to qualify for a DISCOUNTED TICKET?

A limited number of discounted ticket PROMO codes will be issued for those that complete the 2017 Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada survey for funding platforms, investors and companies!

Take the Survey Now

Step 1:  Complete the survey (take it now)

Step 2:  Email info@ncfacanada.org to confirm that you've completed the survey.

Step 3:  Once verified, NCFA will email you a promo code to register with discount.

 

 

Event Partners and Sponsors:

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.


North of 41 is a place to help entrepreneurs expand their business contacts by encouraging interaction and discussion among Investors, Entrepreneurs and Customers. Our networking events are able to bring together key decision makers from across North America.  The goal of ‘North of 41′ is to promote the tech industry and all of the cutting edge innovation that is taking place from coast to coast.  The North American technology landscape is becoming recognized as a hotbed for the technology being developed by innovative entrepreneurs. As an organization, North of 41 brings together venture capitalists, technology stakeholders, entrepreneurs and others in the eco-system.  For more info visit www.northof41.org.


Aird & McBurney LP and Aird & Berlis LLP offer an integration of patent agency and legal services to secure and enforce intellectual property (“IP”) rights. We provide a full range of services in connection with all forms of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, trade secrets and domain names. Our clients range from individual inventors and small start-up companies to universities, hospitals and research facilities to large Canadian and multinational corporations, including Fortune 100 companies. With extensive experience across a variety of industries, clients count on our technical depth and legal guidance to effectively develop, exploit and protect their inventions and innovations. Learn more at airdmcburney.com  |  @airdmcburney


Borrowell helps Canadians make great decisions about credit. It was the first company in Canada to offer credit scores for free, without strings attached, and has over 200,000 users. Borrowell also created Canada’s quickest and easiest personal loan, at rates typically far better than credit cards. Borrowell has a ground-breaking partnership with CIBC, one of North America’s largest banks, to offer a 'one-click' loan to their customers.  For more information please visit www.borrowell.com.


Equibit Group is applying Blockchain technology to establish the world's first peer-to-peer equity and debt marketplace. In much the same way Bitcoin applied digital technology to currency and payments, Equibit eliminates the need for expensive infrastructure and third-party facilitation from depositories or transfer agents. Registration, transfer, settlement and investor relations will all be managed securely and digitally within a decentralized environment. Founded by a former CFO from the securities industry and a team of blockchain development experts, Equibit Group was established to revolutionize the securities industry.  For more information please visit www.equibit.org.

 


 

Community Partners:

 

 

Checkout some pics from last year's "Summer Kickoff" event...

View more photos here....

 

 

 

Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active and fluid networks and open boundaries.

 

 

See you there!

If you'd like to get involved with this event please contact us at info@ncfacanada.org

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Robin Ford, Former BC Securities Commission Executive Commissioner, Joins National Crowdfunding Association of Canada’s Advisory Group

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | May 16, 2017

Robin Ford, Advisor, Governance and Regulation

VANCOUVER, MAY 16, 2017 – The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Robin Ford, Former British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) Executive Commissioner, has joined the Association as Advisor, Governance and Regulation.

After 25 years as a public-sector lawyer and regulator, Robin is now consulting in the areas of financial services regulation, governance, and compliance.  She has extensive experience working with and advising regulators and the regulated, leading projects and teams, and facilitating organizational change.

Robin has served as Executive Commissioner at the BCSC, Chief Counsel, Insurance at the UK Financial Services Authority, and legal adviser to the UK and British Columbia Governments.  She played an important role in an ambitious program of regulatory reform and in integrating 9 regulators into the newly formed UK FSA, as it became a more analytically disciplined, risk-based, and outcomes-focused regulator.

“Having such a highly experienced and capable senior ex-financial services regulator join the NCFA Advisory Group speaks volumes about how much the regulated crowdfunding sector in Canada has developed and its potential to raise, lend, or share capital and facilitate investment. We’re very pleased to have Robin join the community to help bridge the gap between regulators and the alternative markets and to support regulations that are both suitable for online financial marketplaces and globally competitive.”  Craig Asano, Executive Director, NCFA Canada

“I was delighted to be asked to join the Advisory Group of the NCFA, which has already achieved so much to facilitate developments in the crowdfunding sector. I look forward to contributing on regulatory and governance issues." Robin Ford, Former BCSC Executive Commissioner

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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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Now OPEN: 2017 Annual Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada Survey

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NCFA Canada About Us | Craig Asano | May 8, 2017

2017 NCFA Survey Banner 2 (resize)

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada has announced the launch of its 3rd alternative finance crowdfunding survey in Canada for platforms, investors and companies as part of its annual exercise in providing Canadian benchmarks on market size, volume, market activity, platform characteristics, jobs, and key stakeholder sentiments.

Crowdfunding leverages technology, the internet and digital marketing to streamline the process of raising capital from a full stack of investors while filling an under-serviced funding gap in venture markets.  As technologies, markets and models continue to evolve in alternative finance and fintech crowdfunding markets globally, everyone from policy makers to portal operators and industry participants to economic development agencies have a need to better understand the emerging landscape that is on its way to being an integral part of raising up to $5M of capital online to launch, grow, and commercialize ventures.

  • Last year, NCFA published the first comprehensive set of industry-led research in a
    2016-alternative-finance-crowdfunding-in-canada-report-cover

    Download last year's 2016 Industry Report

    groundbreaking study titled, 2016 Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada report, that benchmarked industry growth at 48% from 2013-2015 and predicted the 2016 market volume to be $190 million (Download the report now).

  • This year in 2017 in addition to our annual Canadian platform survey, we are expanding the scope of the survey to capture both investor and company sentiment which will provide a richer view of perspectives and help identify key insights and challenges relevant to market development and participation.   Help us measure industry growth and Take the survey now (5-20mins)

TAKE THE 2017 ALTERNATIVE FINANCE CROWDFUNDING SURVEY NOW:

1.     FOR ALTERNATIVE FINANCE ONLINE FUNDING PLATFORMS (Canadian equity, debt, P2P marketplace lending, reward / perk, donation, revenue sharing (royalties), crowdsales and new fintech models)

2.     FOR COMPANIES (Startups and Scale-ups interested in raising up to $5M of capital to launch of grow their venture)

3.     FOR INVESTORS (Retail, accredited, VCs, PE, family offices, funding groups)

* Please help encourage participation by sharing this link: http://bit.ly/2perd2N

Learn more... about confidentiality, deadline and gift cards!

surveybutton* Open until:  June 30, 2017

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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Brad Kerr, CEO and Co-Founder of FundingNomad, Joins National Crowdfunding Association of Canada’s Advisory Board

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | April 27, 2017

Brad Kerr, Advisor, Entertainment and Media

Brad Kerr, Advisor, Entertainment and Media

TORONTO, MAY 27, 2017 – The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Brad Kerr, CEO and Co-Founder of FundingNomad, has joined the Association’s Advisory Group as Advisor, Entertainment & Media.

Brad is the CEO and Co-Founder of FundingNomad, an equity-based crowdfunding platform for the best entertainment investment opportunities for accredited and retail investors. FundingNomad is focused on entertainment deals that include stage shows, musicals, film, movie productions, direct-to-digital media, interactive exhibits, recreation, leisure projects, and hospitality - resort real estate developments.

“As industry continues to evolve financial and digital technologies and solutions and more licensed platforms enter the market, specializing in a specific industry vertical or area makes perfect sense.  Focused efforts will maximize opportunities for aligned investors and issuers alike generating efficiencies for all.  We're also thrilled at the high interest that FundingNomad has generated from the onset from media and production companies seeking complimentary funding options to support grant funding programs sponsored by government agencies and welcome Brad to the expanding NCFA Advisory Group."  Craig Asano, Founding CEO, NCFA Canada

Investors from Canada, the USA and International can create a free account to access fully vetted deals offered by companies with strong track records of success and industry experience. Investors receive equity ownership along with predictable cash flows for projects that have attractive payback times and returns, and in the case of real estate projects are secured by commercial property.

Brad has over 25 years of experience in finance, international business development, technology, and marketing. He has also been an investor and co-founder of various companies around the world including Bee'ah (the largest environmental and waste management company in the Middle East) and Foundation Room (an upscale lounge and nightclub in Toronto).

“As a global equity crowdfunding platform dedicated to entertainment and media deals – and Canada’s first entertainment platform – we’re excited to join the NCFA’s Advisory Board to help advance crowdfunding and alternative financing for all investors and issuers, and encourage new regulations and technologies to make investing easier and more convenient.” Brad Kerr, CEO & Co-founder, FundingNomad

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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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