September 26th, 2018
Wrap-up: Event Toronto (Feb 12, 2013): CROWDFUNDING in the CANADIAN CONTEXT
Toronto, Canada: On Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 (1:00pm-5:00pm) the CVCA and EMDA co-hosted “Crowdfunding in the Canadian Context”, an event/conference held in Toronto in the main dining room of The National Club.
The sold out event attracted nearly 200 high profiled attendees from the financial services industry including registrants, regulators, venture capital firms, angel groups and crowdfunding industry associations and professionals including the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada.
The conference was moderated by Geoff Ritchie, Executive Director of the EMDA, and started off with introductions by representatives of the co-sponsors of the event including Brian Koscak, EMDA Chairman, and Richard Remillard, Executive Director of Canada's Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.
Cindy Gordon, CEO & Co-Founder of Sales Choice covered crowdfunding basics and delivered a compelling presentation on the motivation, merits and challenges of the industry from a global perspective.
Douglas Ellenoff, Partner, Ellonoff, Grossman & Schole LLP (a leading crowdfunding lawyer in the US), then provided an update on what’s happening in the US. He informed us that the SEC and FINRA (regulatory bodies tasked with creating the rules around the JOBs Act) are facing a number of real challenges that are being addressed accordingly, and he has every confidence that when the rules are announced that it will be done properly. With the newly appointed SEC Chair now in place (Mary Jo White), US regulators are in a position to resume the task of creating crowdfunding regulations around the JOBs Act, which was passed into law back in April 2012.
Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP was well represented with Brian Koscak, (EMDA Chairman and Partner at Cassels Brock), Peter Dunn (Senior Partner, Cassels Brock) and Michael Brown (Lawyer, Cassels Brock and Ex-OSC Regulator) covering the topic of ‘An Equity Crowdfunding Framework for Canada’ from a legal perspective, which included a unique comparison of the various provincial securities laws today and how equity crowdfunding principles can be viewed as disruptive to current frameworks. One insightful point talked about the expectations of various flavours of crowdfunding portals, and how, depending on the level of service and transaction provided to users (e.g., issuers and investors), a portal may be required to become a licensed dealer-broker or not.
Lastly, the financial crowd really enjoyed the banter and Equity Crowdfunding Industry Perspectives panel moderated by David Kaufman, President/CEO of Westcourt Capital Corp and included a lively set of speakers such as Sunil Sharma, Managing Director and ‘Chief connector’ at Extreme Startups and Jacoline Loewen, Director, Crosbie and company and regular panelist on BNN’s show, ‘The Pitch’. Other speakers included Vicki Saunders, Special Innovation Advisor to Ryerson University and Advisor to the Office of Social Enterprise for the Ontario Government, and Stephen Harrington, Senior Consultant at Deloitte. The panel covered a lot of ground on the subject exploring the many triggers and ideas around striking the right balance between investor protection and efficient capital formation markets; certainly a challenging task for the OSC who were treated as VIPs with their own round table at the front of the historical National Club dining room.
Overall, judging by the vibrant conversations (Hivewire, Toronto-based crowdfunding solution provider was in the house), cocktails and steady stream of delicious h’orderves flowing in the lounge post-conference, ‘Crowdfunding in the Canadian Context’ was a successful event and garnished high interest from Toronto’s financial crowd.
Resources and Links:
The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada is Canada’s Crowdfunding Advocate. Newly formed, dynamic and inclusive, NCFA Canada works closely with industry groups, government, academia, other business associations and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry and voice across Canada.