Decentralized Venture Ecosystem

Category Archives: Fintech Interviews and Podcasts

Fintech Fridays EP57: 10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding: Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

About NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Apr 11, 2022

NCFA FF EP57 10 years of investment crowdfunding UPDATED resize 2 - Fintech Fridays EP57:  10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding:  Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

Apr 8, 2022: NCFA's Fintech Fridays podcast episode 57

10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding: Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

About this episode:

10 years ago in 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law in the U.S. (and eventually a similar exemption was approved in Canada) to encourage more capital to flow to startups, support innovation, and, create jobs. It's significance cannot be understated as the rule change allowed private companies to raise capital by selling securities digitally for the first time via registered online platforms and dealer-brokers.  Regulation crowdfunding also democratized previously excluded retail investors (non-accredited) by allowing them to invest directly in startup ventures empowering a new era of digital finance.

See:  Crowdfunding is Now a Serious Way for Private Ventures to Raise Capital

A tremendous amount of advocacy and regulatory change efforts took place to make this happen, and since then the original JOBS Act rules have been improved for investment crowdfunding in the U.S., such as increasing the fundraising cap from US$1 million to US$5 million (not in Canada though, we've asked for years ahem).

But there are still many challenges and myths to be debunked. While venture financings are at an all time high in sectors like fintech, it does not mean that startups are awash with capital.  While there is growing interest among retail investors to participate directly in these offerings, and take control of their investment future, education and awareness still remains a top priority if industry is to grow in the right ways.  Having said that, in the United States, RegCF recently surpassed $1billion raised.  Canadian figures are more modest with at least $100 million in equity financings raised on a leading platform.

Today there's also a JOBS Act 2022 proposal on the table but will these changes be sufficient to support evolving technologies and their capabilities while also protecting investors?  Regulatory change is slow and regulators should support innovation and competition.  All stakeholders need to continue to support efforts to make capital markets whole, so EVERYONE can benefit from the advancements in technology or the wealth gap will continue to widen.

This is a not to be missed episode for anyone interested in the past or future of digital finance and capital markets.  Join investment crowdfunding pioneers in both Canada and the U.S. who discuss the 10 year journey from a wide variety of perspectives including the evolution of first generation marketing platforms to the arrival of second generation decentralized finance models powered by blockchain technologies.

Duration:  92mins

Timestamps:

00:00:00 NCFA Fintech Fridays Intro
00:00:17 Craig Asano, NCFA Canada
00:02:06 Andrew Dix, Crowded Media Group
00:02:49 Sherwood 'Woodie' Neiss, Crowdfund Capital Advisors
00:03:32 Kim Wales, CrowdBureau Corp
00:04:23 Alixe Cormick, Venture Law Corporation
00:04:13 Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, FrontFundr
00:05:48 Alan Wunsche, Tokenfunder
00:08:21 RegCF advocacy (SEC, Congress, White House)
00:10:47 Designing the framework
00:11:58 Purpose of the JOBS Act
00:15:10 Road to Equity Crowdfunding in Canada: Change is hard (and long)
00:26:22 Blockchain finance: education and regulatory challenges
00:33:38 Crowdfunding’s Impact and opportunity: first US$1 billion
00:38:39 RegCF to digital finance
00:41:57 Evolution of digital finance Gen1 to Gen2
00:49:23 Digitalizing private capital markets
00:55:03 Ontario’s exemption 45-108 setup to fail
00:59:46 JOBS Act 2022 bill proposed to improve rules in the U.S.
01:00:10 Canada harmonizes equity crowdfunding rules Sep 2021
01:04:00 Educating regulators
01:06:00 Regulators need to support innovation and competition
01:09:00 Financial inclusion
01:11:00 Canadian ECF $100 million and beyond
01:17:00 Decentralized Finance is the future
01:19:00 Convergence and reducing wealth gaps
01:23:00 Regulatory culture change and sandbox
01:25:00 Capital markets need to work for everyone
01:30:00 Closing remarks

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP57:  10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding:  Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS ActThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Why raising an SPV may be better than a debut venture fund

TechCrunch | Caterina Fake | Apr 7, 2022

Caterina fake - Why raising an SPV may be better than a debut venture fundYou have social capital in your industry and access to hot startups. You know top investors. You’re smart, have hustle, know what it takes. It’s almost inevitable, and maybe even your destiny: You are going to be a VC. And so you ask the VCs you know: How do I raise my first fund? You ask me, Caterina Fake, and my answer is counterintuitive: Don’t.

Don’t start by raising a fund.  Start with SPVs.

SPVs – special purpose vehicles – are an underappreciated and overlooked way to break into venture investing. SPVs are much faster to raise than a fund, easy to set up, and, best of all, generate returns faster, because fees and carry are paid out deal by deal. Good for companies, good for investors and good for you, the future VC.

See:  Why is venture capital still ignoring women? The case for investing is clear.

SPVs are seen as bush league by VCs, because they’re not “real” funds, but their wins are just as real. They’re a disruptive on-ramp that lots of rookie —  and seasoned — VCs use to outmaneuver their slower-moving peers, get into otherwise inaccessible opportunities, and, if all goes as planned, ring the bell at the NYSE or light their cigars with $100 bills.

Y Combinator invented the SAFE so founders could raise capital in smaller chunks and raise it faster. It revolutionized fundraising. SPVs are like SAFEs for VCs.

What makes SPVs so useful? Consider: SPVs are cheap and easy to set up on a variety of platforms, including AngelList, Canopy, Assure, Carta, Republic, Flow and Stonks. (Full disclosure, Stonks and Flow parent company Dapper Labs have received funding from my firm, Yes VC.)

A standard SPV on AngelList takes a couple of days and costs $8,000. Meanwhile, a traditional fund — which involves formation, drafting agreements and onboarding LPs — usually takes months and can add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

See:  Doug Ellenoff on US Reg CF Increasing Issuer Caps to $5 million: Investment Crowdfunding Will Challenge Traditional Venture Capital

You can market SPVs to a much broader group of investors than a traditional fund, bringing in non-institutional investors (family offices, HNWs, any accredited investor). They like SPVs because it is like investing directly in a company, except you do the hard work sourcing, building relationships and closing the deal for them — they just get to pick.

Founders like SPVs too, because they bring in a group of investors who can be useful to them, SPVs can close quickly, and SPVs don’t clutter up their cap table. Founders will often send investors your way — say friends and family, small checks, potential advisers and investors who didn’t get into the last round.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Why raising an SPV may be better than a debut venture fundThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Toronto Centre interview with Dr. Kyrylo Shevchenko, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU)

Toronto Centre | Apr 1, 2022

Dr. Kyrylo Shevchenko Governeor national bank of ukraine - Toronto Centre interview with Dr. Kyrylo Shevchenko, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU)Over the past month, almost a quarter of Ukraine’s population has been displaced. The UN estimates that over 6.5 million are displaced inside Ukraine and nearly 4 million have been forced to flee the country.

To put this into perspective, these numbers are larger than the population of many countries. As the devastating war continues to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and destroy lives and livelihoods, the world is awed by the resilience and heroism of the Ukrainian people. The support shown by individuals and organizations from all over the world is inspiring and shines a ray of hope in these dark times.

Things that are happening in Ukraine because of Russia’s attack are indeed shocking. But we are strong and united. We protect our independence and have global support. I am sure that we will win! The NBU ensures its uninterrupted operation. We keep up the financial defense of the country. Dr. Kyrylo Shevchenko, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU)

See:  Ways you can help support Ukraine

Babak Abbaszadeh, President and CEO [at Toronto Centre] was honoured to interview Dr. Kyrylo Shevchenko, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). We discussed financial stability, operational resiliency, the role of finance in this war, and the human dimension. Due to security concerns the interview could not be conducted live.

Download the 11 page PDF interview --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Toronto Centre interview with Dr. Kyrylo Shevchenko, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU)The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Lex Fridman Podcast with Brett Johnson: US Most Wanted Cybercriminal

Lex Fridman Podcast | Mar 27, 2022

Lex Fridman Brett Johnson cyber criminals and entrepreneurship - Lex Fridman Podcast with Brett Johnson: US Most Wanted Cybercriminal

Brett Johnson was a US Most Wanted cybercriminal, called the Original Internet Godfather by US Secret Service for building the first organized cybercrime community called ShadowCrew, which was the precursor to today's darknet and darknet markets.

OUTLINE:

0:00 - Introduction

3:15 - Early years

37:32 - Phishing and social engineering

55:36 - SolarWinds cyberattack

1:01:23 - Future social engineering fears

1:04:04 - Early cybercrimes

1:16:38 - Cybercrime entrepreneurship

1:20:06 - ShadowCrew

1:51:10 - Dark web

1:59:56 - ShadowCrew arrested

2:11:55 - Cybercrime

2:17:02 - Love

2:49:06 - Prison

3:17:18 - Life after prison

3:39:06 - Advice for young people

3:40:30 - Hope for the future

3:43:59 - Meaning of life

Continue to the podcast video --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Lex Fridman Podcast with Brett Johnson: US Most Wanted CybercriminalThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Successful Founders Weigh In: 10 Key Things to Do When Starting A New Venture

Inc. | Doug Cantor | Mar 31, 2022

10 essential things to start a business - Successful Founders Weigh In:  10 Key Things to Do When Starting A New Venture

Successful founders weigh in on the issues you need to think about--and the ones everyone forgets to--when you're getting ready to launch.  Check out 501Words for more information.

1. Define Your Purpose

"Begin by writing out a paragraph that is your brand story, authentic to only you. The who, what, where, and why of your purpose. This process is a great community-­building exercise--editing and wordsmithing your company's ­essence. Take that paragraph and con­tinue to whittle it down until you've created a tag line synonymous with your mission."-- Donie Yamamoto Founder, Vital Pet Life

See:  Startup advice is confusing. Here’s how to make sense of 6 common contradictions

"Read it out loud and see if it sounds like something you could really say to your friends and family. Strip out all the jargon. If you can't say it out loud on a single breath of air, it's too long." -- Ethan Rasiel Co-founder and CEO, Lightspeed PR

5. Find Your Market

"Market first, problem second, idea last. I don't fall in love with an idea too quickly. Instead, I spend time up front understanding the market structure, confirming that there's a widespread, high-value problem to solve. If you've picked the right market, you can refine the problem you are working on. If you pick the right market and the right problem, you can refine your idea. The hardest thing to do is to pivot to a completely different market. Not impossible, but it's a painful transition." -- Ajeet Singh Co-founder and executive chairman, Thoughtspot

See:  Decentralization of Startups (and Capital) Spur Economic Growth and New Startup Cities Across the U.S.

"When you aren't confident that your product directly serves a large enough market, you'll tend to open up your aim to a broader market, and you'll end up targeting no market at all. An overly broad message doesn't speak to anyone. A wide positioning just confuses potential buyers across a lot of various categories. A long feature list may lead you to believe your product will find a wider audience, but you risk never being the right solution for any single use case. ­Instead, have faith that if you pitch and serve one ­customer amazingly well, other customers will conform to your ­product, not the other way around." -- Joe Procopio Founder and CEO, TeachingStartup.com

 

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Successful Founders Weigh In:  10 Key Things to Do When Starting A New VentureThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Meridian CEO says Open banking is ‘an opportunity’ for credit unions

FP | Barbara Shecter | Mar 23, 2022

Open banking and credit unions - Meridian CEO says Open banking is 'an opportunity' for credit unionsMeridian Credit Union Ltd. is looking at open banking as “an opportunity, not a problem,” says Jay-Ann Gilfoy, who took over as president and chief executive of Ontario’s largest credit union in January.

“We’re looking at it as: ‘How can this help us grow? How can this help us do the right things for our members?‘”

Gilfoy said in a recent interview with the Financial Post.

See:  PwC’s Abraham Tachjian to be Canada’s open banking lead

I think we’re on a good path in terms of being able to address that as it relates to fintech partnerships and opportunities,” she added.  The credit union system as a whole has certainly come from a cooperative framework … and then on top of that, we also share back-end resources — all of the technical things that help with making payments happen,” she said.

Settlement and clearing, for example, are done through credit union “centrals” that are cooperatively owned by credit unions in each province where they operate.

The big banks, by contrast, have legacy internal technology systems built up over decades and many more customers across the country.

“If you have a banking system, you’ve got millions and millions of customers on it. The risks of getting off that core banking system are really high,” said Gilfoy.

See:  Ontario Credit Unions will be permitted to sell exempt market securities including 45-108-Crowdfunding

“Whereas credit unions have a variety of different core banking systems, but more modern, I think, in terms of design and ability.”

“We’re looking at our own technology, and our abilities to share data, protect data, make sure it’s safe from an information security perspective, but (also) we’re finding those potential partnership relationships that bring some kind of opportunity to our members, that maybe they would have had to go to a number of different places in the past to do so.”

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Meridian CEO says Open banking is 'an opportunity' for credit unionsThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Facebook-like metaverse potential disaster says Second Life creator Philip Rosedale

Nikkei Asia | | Mar 18, 2022

Second l ife - Facebook-like metaverse potential disaster says Second Life creator Philip Rosedale

Philip Rosedale says technology is not yet ready for 3D immersive VR

TOKYO -- "Metaverse" has become a buzzword in tech, business and beyond since Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his company from Facebook to Meta Platforms last October, signaling a new focus on creating a virtual world where people can "live" in the form of avatars.

But what is effectively a kind of metaverse has actually been available to consumers for nearly two decades -- ever since Linden Lab of San Francisco launched its Second Life platform in 2003.

Philip Rosedale, the inventor of Second Life and founder of Linden Lab, has a vision for the metaverse that contrasts sharply with Zuckerberg's plans. Now an adviser to Linden, he shared his views with Nikkei in a recent interview. Edited excerpts follow.

Q: How do you view Zuckerberg's version of the metaverse?

A: I have two observations. One is that we are not technologically ready yet for the 3D metaverse for virtual reality headsets. [The] technology does not yet exist. The second thing I would say, more specifically about Meta, is that the business model Facebook has historically used, based on a very sophisticated kind of advertising involving behavioral targeting with a lot of surveillance and personal data, is not a safe model to apply to the metaverse.

If you imagine putting people as avatars into a virtual world with that kind of surveillance and behavior modification going on, it would be extremely dangerous for everyone. In my opinion it simply cannot be allowed to happen.

See:  7 Ways the Metaverse is Changing Enterprises

Second Life is proof, at least for a certain size of audience, that you do not have to rely on that kind of business model and that you can create a virtual world where people have privacy.

Second Life's business model is based on fees. There are two kinds of fees. One is, if you choose to own a piece of land in Second Life, which is about the size of Los Angeles, you have to pay a monthly fee of about $20 per acre. The second type of fee is charged, when you sell some virtual merchandise to other people, on listing and transactions. It is like a single-digit percentage of the value traded. Not as large as Apple's App Store.

And you know what? Second Life is making more annual revenue per active user than Facebook or YouTube does. That shows a metaverse does not require the Facebook-like business model. But if Meta chooses to apply the Facebook model to its metaverses, that would be a terrible thing, even an existential threat.

Q: What do you mean when you say that technology is not ready yet?

A: One thing that sets a metaverse apart from the conventional internet is that it always has other people there. When you go to a conventional website to do shopping or to read news, there is nobody else there with you. You cannot look to your left or right and see other people. In a metaverse, experiences that we would like to realize there, like a college classroom or a live music event, require us to enable hundreds or even thousands of people to be there near each other with sight and sound of each other. And that is very difficult technology.

See:  Meta reveals it’s built one of the world’s fastest supercomputers to power the metaverse

We at High Fidelity have worked on spatial audio for the last 10 years and today we can enable a couple of hundred people, or a little more than that, to share the same space with sound. But having a bunch of people visibly standing around at an event, looking interesting enough that you would want to walk up and talk to them, it is not technologically possible yet. There have to be advances in cloud computing, rendering and a number of other things to make that possible. I think it will happen in the next five years.

And VR headsets, they are more like 10 years away. Those are in a very early stage. Today they are very uncomfortable. Actually we do not have the scientific approach to fix the dizziness we feel when we wear the headsets. The problem is that any time you move in VR but your head or actual body is not moving, eventually it makes you sick. And it tends to make women somewhat sicker than men and that is a terrible problem if you are trying to create a social experience.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Facebook-like metaverse potential disaster says Second Life creator Philip RosedaleThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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