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Newsletter: August 7, 2012

Crowd Funding 7/13 Symposium with SEC, FINRA, CFIRA, Patrick McHenry (R-NC) & Jeff Merkley (D-Orgeon)

Crowd funding expert David Drake has termed it “marvelous” that key figures including heads of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and  Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) (a member of the House Financial Services Committee) are in support of the crowdfunding component of the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act).

CFIRA’s first meeting April 20, 2012 at the SEC and CFIRA’s Vince Molinari, David Drake, Sherwood Neiss & Jason Best First FINRA meeting April 20, 2012

CFIRA’s Development of Crowdfunding Regulations Symposium, held on Friday July 13, 2012 in Washington, DC, brought together lawmakers, regulators and crowdfunding advocates to discuss the regulatory framework for crowdfunding.  As a founding executive committee member of CFIRA, The Soho Loft was very proud that CFIRA, our industry organization, pulled off such a large event to facilitate dialogue between the three groups.

The presence of Executive VP of Regulatory Policy at FINRA, Tom Selman, and the Chief Counsel of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, David Blass, at this symposium clearly signaled that hard work is occurring to make this law functional.  In addition to representatives from government agencies and Congressman McHenry, the Legislative Counsel to U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) also attended to represent the Senator.

The day was opened by Vince Molinari, CEO of GATE Technologies, as a Co-Chair of CFIRA and concluded by Candace Klein, CEO of Bad Girl Ventures and SoMoLend, the other CFIRA Co-Chair.

CFIRA Co-Chair Candace Klein of SoMoLend at the SEC 4/20/12

Douglas S. Ellenoff of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, who had joined all CFIRA SEC meetings to date commented, “Folks interested in crowdfunding should be very encouraged by the continued commitment that each of the legislative representatives has towards the effective and prompt implementation of the crowdfunding provisions of the JOBS Act, as well as the thorough yet practical approach the SEC (both the divisions of Trading and Markets and Corporate Finance) has emphasized to ensure that this new industry may be viable.”

“While timing continues to be of significant interest to observers of the lawmaking process, the crowdfunding industry has been given numerous opportunities to meet with the SEC and share their interpretations of the crowdfunding provisions of the JOBS Act.  Both the industry and regulators are appropriately seeking to balance legitimate concerns about investor protection with the necessity of facilitating capital formation online for entrepreneurs.  Both aims are consistent with the legislative intent.”

Once again, the issue of whether the law would be more practical if it imposed a $5 million ceiling rather than the $1 million ceiling now implemented was fervently discussed at length during the July 13 event.

Douglas S. Ellenoff, DJ Paul & Chance Barnett at Union Station, Washington, DC prior to our first SEC meeting April 20, 2012

Overall, there is still a long way to go in terms of finalizing the legal framework for crowdfunding and crowdfunding advocates are looking forward to the SEC hearing of August 22 on the removal of the solicitation ban under Regulation D, exemption 506.  This is a law that precedes the functionality of crowdfunding for equity (which is also known as crowd fund investing) currently being legalized in the US through the JOBS Act.

David Drake stressed, “We must work closely with both FINRA, SEC, CFIRA and congressional offices to make sure success comes from our efforts.  I could not be prouder to see all the members of CFIRA work hard to organize this successful day and to see the continuous conversations involving the key groups involved in the construction of this legislative framework.”

Crowd fund investments for equity is now a lot closer at hand here in the US.

 

Please join us at our largest NY event to date this Thursday Aug. 9 at www.tsl89.eventbrite.com for $75.  Also reply to this email should we send these alerts out more rarely as summaries instead of instant alerts when they are published.

 

PREVIOUS ARTICLES AND REPORTS

MicroAngels eyewitness report from the SEC that David Drake received last week from a private meeting held with the SEC July 16, 2012.

David Drake participated at the delegation at the US-EU TransAtlantic Economic Council which was held in Brussels and Rome July 10-13 to discuss Small Medium-sized Enterprises’ access to capital.

 

David Drake with Ambassador Miriam Shapiro, Deputy US Trade Representative in Rome, Italy

 

 

 

Douglas S. Ellenoff of Ellenoff, Grossman and Schole LLP moderates panel on crowd funding to 100+ entrepreneurs – join us and meet leading VCs and Angels for your startup Aug 9 in NYC.

The Soho Loft and FundingPost  VC and Angel event in NYC is Next Thursday, Aug 9, 2012! This event will give you the opportunity to meet and network with Investors, hear a panel discussion and have plenty of time for Q&A with the VCs and Angels during the cocktail party. We will discuss the best ways to raise capital, meet investors, and what you need to get a check from early-stage Investors.

Crowd Funding Moderator


Doug Ellenoff, Partner at Ellenoff Grossman & Schole

Crowd Funding Panelists:

Vince Molinari, Founder CEO, Gate Technologies


Jed Cohen, Co-Founder & COO, RocketHub

Christine Landon, Founder & President, WebFinancial

Other Investor speakers:

Rob Delman, Golden Seeds
Marsha Yuan, NYC Investment Fund
Tom Nicholson, ARC Angel Fund
Eliot Durbin, Penny Black
James D Robinson IV, RRE
Brian Cohen, New York Angels

FundingPost and The Soho Loft will also present a roundtable on Crowdfunding and the JOBS Act. This we will give you the very latest information on this important legislation change, and what it means for entrepreneurs, angels & VCs, and how you can take advantage of it to grow your business!

WHEN: Thursday, August 9, 2012 2pm – 6pm

COST:$75
WHERE: 505 West 37th Street New York, NY 10018

Sponsored by TF Cornerstone, The Soho Loft, Nolcha, SocialRadius

Steven A. Cinelli, Founder and CEO of Primarq submitted this letter to SEC Thursday July 26, 2012.  It gives a relevant insight to crowd funding Title III under the JOBS Act.  We fully support and agree with the comments of Steven Cinelli.  “His experience with Off Capital and derivatives experience offers a globally leading crowd funding and realty exchange platform at Primarq. “ according to David Drake.

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) wrote this letter addressed to President Obama on Thursday July 26, 2012.  It is an excellent piece on what is needed for crowdfunding investment to become an effective law – The Soho Loft supports this thorough outline of what is needed.  Please share this letter.

US Commerce Delegation to Rome, Italy: The Soho Loft and GrowVC at the Transatlantic Economic Forum on Funding

The Soho Loft has a new strong board advisor and strategic partnership with Johan Gorecki, Co-Founder of Skype and Europe’s 4th largest media house Bonnier

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