Friday, December 26, 2014
Sunday, November 30, 2014
My book: The JOBS Act: Crowdfunding for Small Businesses and Startups
"Evil is not driven out, but crowded out...through the expulsive power of something good. " MLK
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Thursday, November 20, 2014
Senate - 46 Democrats, 53 Republicans (shown below):
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
But, in China, the crowdfunding environment is still not sound. Compared to the United States, the development of crowdfunding in China is differentiated by three factors. First, innovative projects are harder to find in China than in the United States. Secondly, people in China seem to lack confidence in crowdfunding. Third, the legal basis for crowdfunding is uncertain. The following article discusses each of the issues in detail.
1. Supply Side: Lack of innovative projects
“Innovative ideas (in China), especially in the technology category, trails far behind the United States in terms of both quality and quantity. The situation is sometimes likened to be too many ships chasing for too few fish in the river,” the authors of a study on crowdfunding published by the World Bank wrote.
Actually, given cultural and historical differences, Chinese people seem to be more focused on the traditional. Therefor, the ability to innovate seems lower currently than in the US. This is bound to change, however.
Since crowdfunding is a powerful tool that lets innovative businesses attract funds, the number of good crowdfunding campaigns is limited in China.
2. Demand Side: Lack of confidence
The key issue in Chinese crowdfunding is the problem of "donating money to a stranger." This has reduced confidence in crowdfunding. The supply of willing sponsors is not so as high as in the US. People do not want to donate money to crowdfunding projects because people in China may not have as much confidence in small business as people in the US have. Since most crowdfunding campaigns end in failure, some people do not want to take the risk of putting money into such high probability of failure projects. Moreover, because the Chinese still have limited knowledge of crowdfunding, they cannot accurately assess the value of helping a crowdfunding project succeed. Even if they find a very attractive project, they think, “oh, while
this idea is not bad, I will buy one after they have produced it.” They do not realize that without supporters, the business may find it impossible to produce the product.
As a result, Chinese crowdfunders must make an extra effort to advertise and promote their campaign. This increases the cost of crowdfunding and, at the margin, makes it less likely to succeed. Since crowdfunding is a totally new idea in China, we need to introduce the concept to the public, giving them confidence in crowdfunding and showing them the importance of contributors. We must let the public know clearly that, if you like an idea, you must donate now, or you may never see this product in the market! In my opinion, only when this idea is imbedded can crowdfunding succeed in China
3. Lack of law and regulation
China’s weak intellectual property laws do not provide adequate protection for entrepreneurs. Without a legal system that protects new ideas, the financial incentive behind innovation is effectively eliminated. Entrepreneurial ventures already incur plenty of risk; when competitors or market dominators can steal ideas with little to no retribution, the viability of new ventures is degraded.
In equity crowdfunding, Chinese property law has clearly forbidden private financing for small businesses, so key legal issues must be resolved as soon as possible. These issues include: what is the difference between
equity crowdfunding and illegal private financing, and, most importantly, is equity crowdfunding legal in China? Therefor, it is urgent that the Chinese government release a law that takes specific aim at crowdfunding activities and clearly define standards and rules.
Even though there are many problems and obstacles of crowdfunding in China, the World Bank has a high expectation on China market. The most recent World Bank report predicts that by the year of 2025, the total amount of crowdfunding worldwide will be US $90-$96 billion per year and that the greatest potential lies in China, which accounts for US $46 to US $50 billion of that figure. Given the sheer size of the population, this prediction makes sense. China has the largest number of people and one of the largest markets in the world, so there is no reason why crowdfunding cannot be popular in China.
If Chinese crowdfunders resolve the three issues cited above, we are certain that crowdfunding will boom in China.
Posting by Jing Chen & Jianning Zhang, Masters Candidates in Accounting, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. They are both Crowdfunding Research and Development Interns, NCS, Fall, 2014.
Edited by William Michael Cunningham.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Another article states that "Texas as is now the 13th state to create its own equity crowdfunding rules and by-pass the JOBS Act. The U. S. SEC has not released or finalized the federal rules and some states see the billion dollar opportunity equity crowdfunding presents and they have decided to take the bull by the horn and jumpstart small business and economic development in their state.
Section 3(a)(11) of the 33 Act exempts from registration any security that is part of an offering sold only to persons residing within a single state if the company is also doing business in that state. So, as long as a company complies with the federal intrastate exemption, it only needs to be concerned with the state’s crowdfunding rules when conducting a crowdfunding offering; it won’t also have to comply with the federal crowdfunding law.
State Securities Board
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the District of Columbia-Only Securities Offerings Exemption on August 8, 2014. Comments are due Sept. 6, 2014.
Friday, August 1, 2014
Great Streets “is the District's multi-year, multi-agency commercial revitalization initiative to transform emerging corridors into thriving and inviting neighborhood centers. Led by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) in conjunction with the Office of Planning (OP) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Great Streets has grown into a multi-year, multi-agency program that utilizes public actions and resources to leverage private investment in retail, office space, housing, and cultural facilities across the District.”
DC native and Howard University graduate William Michael Cunningham, Managing Partner at National Crowdfunding Services said, “We are honored. NCS has long been regarded as a leader in the crowdfunding space, providing not only the most in-depth research and analysis, but also providing thought leadership. We will use crowdfunding to address critical small business market development and financing needs. We believe crowdfunding is a critical emerging tool in the small business development and financing toolbox, and are glad the Government of the District of Columbia agrees. We look forward to working with the many extraordinary businesses along the Great Streets corridors.”
NCS will help the City evaluate six Great Streets Grantees who will be selected for the DC Crowdfunding Challenge. NCS will work with the six finalists to launch and manage crowdfunding campaigns.
For complete details about the DC Challenge contact Henry W. Burger, Director of Business Development, National Crowdfunding Services at or front.office@
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
A. EAS (Early Adapter Syndrome). There is a guy in my office building who is a crowdfunding junkie. Daily, he tells me about the latest gadget he just bought on Indiegogo or Kickstarter. He MUST be the first to own the latest toy. Here's the thing: he has grown quite knowledgeable about both technology and about selecting tech products. His success ratio has grown to near 100% now. He can spot a troubled product or crowdfunding campaign a mile away. Not a bad skill to have, actually.
B. Love. People donate to products, causes and events they feel excited about. They LOVE what you, the crowdfunder, is doing. Now, part of the issue is making sure that love comes through. If there is a disconnect, people will not know that they love what you are doing.
C. Community. It speaks to the community, whatever community that is. It can be a small or large group of people who are, or may be impacted by what you are doing. They love it (see 2. above), love you for doing it, and are willing to part with a few dollars to help you (and the community) out.
D. Belief. They like you. They really, really do. Not only do they like you, but they
- Want to be the first to own (or to help).
- Love what you are doing.
- Think it will help.
Basically, they think you can do whatever it is you are trying to do. They believe in you.
There you have it.
Oh, the fifth reason? Yet to be discovered.....
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Nope. Zack Danger Brown simply wants to make potato salad. I'm sure not even he thought that his campaign would garner so much support and notoriety. The campaign has spawned several copy-cats and off-shoots: "Potato Salad" by Philip "Call me Fredo" Morganelli and "Macaroni Salad - Yum!".
The overwhelming success of this campaign should serve as a wake up for several reasons. Firstly, the goal was overly simplistic. There was no elaborate reasoning or even a video. Secondly, there was no product to promote or great social benefit.
So, with much of the emerging data on successful crowdfunding campaigns recommending certain practices over others, does a campaign like "Potato Salad" completely do away with that advice? The answer, we believe, is no. It does not take much to raise $10, so the success of the campaign comes as no surprise. What is surprising is the $46,000 part. More than likely the silliness of the campaign caused it to go viral, allowing more and more people to see it. Those that did liked what they saw, were probably intrigued, and contributed. In other words, the campaign was successful because it ignored "best practices," not despite best practices. Let this be a lesson. Oh, and there is the possibility that people simply REALLY like potato salad.
As the crowdfunding industry grows there will be more successful efforts that go completely off the rails relative to "successful campaign" standards for one reason or another. In the same fashion, many campaigns will be unsuccessful even though the cause was sincere and well-thought out and they did all the "right" things one would think you have to do to have a successful campaign. The truth is there will occasionally come a campaign that will completely defy all standards. This is what we would call an anomaly. As one backer said "Everyone needs room in their life for a little of the absurd!" Either way, the campaign proves once again that literally any idea has the potential get funded.
I like it, even though this smells like a set up....still...
Thursday, July 10, 2014
- Annual exempt organization return
- Unrelated business income tax return (if an organization has unrelated business income)
- Employment taxes and others
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
A group of concerned global citizens have come together to form "Blues for the Balkans" to show solidarity with the Balkan people and to raise awareness about the Balkan floods. Luke Winslow King saw pictures about the floods on Facebook and offered support.
Others supporting this effort include Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant in Washington DC, Kameron Vollin-Reed and Shelton Williams, core members of the blues group "KVR & The Prototype," Steva Lung, a professional artist and filmmaker In Serbia who will be donating his personal time in the making of the "Blues for the Balkans" documentary (if we can pay for his travel and equipment costs), Vojin Mitrovic, a community liaison for Fond B92 in Belgrade, Serbia, and Bill Cunningham at National Crowdfunding Service, a crowdfunding consultancy based in Washington, DC.
Blues for the Balkans is raising $5,000 to send the Luke Winslow King band from New Orleans to play a free, 6-day Flood Relief Benefit Tour across Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia from July 27 - Aug 2. With another $5,000, we hope to film a documentary about the "Blues for the Balkans" tour, the proceeds of which will all go to support the flood relief efforts of our non-profit sponsors.
For more information and to donate, please see: https://www.indiegogo.com/
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
So, what should independent game developers take away from all this?
A well constructed crowdfunding campaign can easily get good games funded.
Within every industry there is a unique crowd from which you can raise funds. Gamers, in particular, are a great crowd because they know good games when they see them and will not hesitate to support the development of a game they know and like.
The creator of Star Citizen, Chris Roberts, is well-known in the gaming world. Mr. Roberts created the Wing Commander game series. This, and the rest of his resume, gave him the authentication and validation needed to crowdfund significant financing dollars for his next game, Star Citizen.
But, Mr. Roberts is not the only game developer for whom crowdfunding will work, as our research shows.
To get more information on the top 50 most funded crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indigogo please purchase our research report, available at the following link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=77A2P3AZJ3TA2. The report includes detailed information covering all video game/video game related crowdfunding campaigns and provides other helpful data.
We have also created a separate, video game/video game related crowdfunding campaign research report for purchase at the following link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=JV7R3TEY7ZYBJ
Using this information will improve your chances of developing and deploying a successful crowdfunding campaign, gamer or not.