The EarlyFive: Who Invests in Private Companies?

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2This week, we’re leading off the EarlyFive roundup with our first bylined article as regular contributors to

Also, with November flying by we’re looking forward to the exciting winter and springtime events coming to Miami. Let us know if we’ll see you at SIME MIA next month, then mark your calendars to join us at the Women, Innovation & Technology Summit at the 2015 eMerge Americas conference.

Nov. 7, 2014
Who Invests in Private Companies and How Do You Reach Them?
Joanna Schwartz,

Our emerging online investing (aka “equity crowdfunding”) industry is connecting entrepreneurs to a growing pool of active private investors. So who’s swimming in that pool? The usual suspects, plus some investors you may not expect.

Nov. 7, 2014
The Real Reason ‘Stupid’ Startups Raise So Much Money
Nir Eyal, Medium
Some industry observers see the recent trend of “trivial” apps and websites raising massive amounts of capital as a sign of a coming tech bubble… but there’s much more to that story. This article advises investors to stop categorizing new products and services as either “painkillers or vitamins” and recognize instead that “the next big thing” may start out “looking like a toy.”

Nov. 5, 2014
Startup Success: Veteran-Owned Businesses Are Gaining Traction With Investors
Marianne Hudson, Forbes
In honor of Veteran’s Day & National Veterans Small Business Week, we salute the 3 million U.S. businesses run by veterans! Learn why a growing number of veteran-owned companies are appealing to private investors.

Nov. 14, 2014
Miami Real Estate Market Keeps Rolling
NuWire Investor
The performance of the Miami real estate market remains consistent with record activity in 2013, making now a great time to jump in as an investor. We look forward to bringing many more exciting commercial real estate opportunities to investors in coming months.

Nov. 14, 2014
17 luxurious gifts no one will buy this year, unless you’re stupid rich
Jacqui Devaney, Mashable
With snow already falling in the northeast, the holiday season is right around the corner. If you’ve got $14,000 to spend on a ping-pong table or you know someone in need of a $2,546 gold-plated iPad, browse this outrageous list for some gift-giving inspiration.

Understanding Legal Docs – An On-Demand EarlyShares Webinar

img-understanding-docsWhat documents will you typically review and sign when investing in an equity or convertible debt investment opportunity? In the fifth installment of our weekly Private Investing 101 Wednesday Webinar series, EarlyShares gives you the intel on ‘Understanding Legal Docs.’

Watch the 15-minute webcast below to hear EarlyShares Co-Founder & CSO Heather Schwarz-Lopes provide an overview to important docs, including:

  • Private placement memorandum
  • Term sheet
  • Subscription agreement
  • …and more

Don’t miss the next Private Investing 101 webinar, which will answer the question ‘Who is An Accredited Investor.’ Register now for the live webinar on Wednesday, November 19 at 12:30 pm ET – click here to sign up.

For more on the Private Investing 101 series, click here.

If you have questions please reach out to our Investor Relations department at [email protected]

Don’t miss the next Private Investing 101 webinar on ‘Understanding Legal Docs.’ Register now for the live webinar on Wednesday, November 12 at 12:30 pm ET – click here to sign up.

For more on the Private Investing 101 series, click here.

If you have questions please reach out to our Investor Relations department at [email protected]

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EarlyShares outlines ‘Who Invests in Private Companies’ on

EarlyShares‘ emerging industry of “online private investing” (also known as “equity crowdfunding”) is connecting entrepreneurs to a growing pool of active private investors. The only thing left for entrepreneurs to wonder is “Who’s swimming in that pool?”

Our CEO Joanna Schwarz answered that question in a recent article on The post entitled “Who Invests in Private Companies and How Do You Reach Them?” is the first of many original contributions EarlyShares will be sharing with the Entrepreneur community.

Click here to read the full story and let us know your thoughts on the private investment market in the comments. (To apply to raise money on the EarlyShares platform, click here.)



The EarlyFive: Delivering Investor Education

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2We’ve seen an immense amount of interest in our latest learning initiatives – especially the Private Investing 101 webinar series – so we’re spotlighting education-focused content from around the web in this week’s EarlyFive roundup. Leading off the ‘Five is our recent guest post for Accredited Investor Markets, an excellent and informative reference library for newcomer investors.

Nov. 4, 2014
Finding Your Deal Flow in Private Investing
Heather Schwarz-Lopes, Accredited Investor Markets (AIMkts)
Private investing is similar to many other financial activities (like saving, stock trading, and planning for retirement) in that it’s easiest to do when you already have the knowledge and tools to do it. A strong and steady deal flow is one of those tools, so learn how to find yours in this piece by our Co-Founder and CSO.

Nov. 3, 2014
15 Free Online Learning Sites Every Entrepreneur Should Visit
Sujan Patel, Entrepreneur
In the past, learning the skills necessary to start a new business was an expensive and immensely time-consuming undertaking. Fortunately, though, the amount of free, high-quality educational materials available online has grown exponentially in recent years. Take full advantage of the free tools and resources on this list.

Nov. 6, 2014
10 Industries That Could Benefit from More Tech Innovation
Young Entreprenuer Council (YEC) for Huffington Post
We chimed in on this YEC Q&A to make the case for more disruption and technological progress in the private securities market.

Nov. 3, 2014
Everything You Need to Know About Real Estate Crowdfunding
Get a succinct overview to the new real estate crowdfunding ecosystem in these 12 bullet points, including our thoughts on why investors are gravitating to new opportunities in this emerging sector. 

Nov. 6, 2014
How LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman taught Stanford students to build billion-dollar businesses through personal networks (in 4 quotes)
Gregory Ferenstein, VentureBeat
Beyond that long headline is some shrewd advice the Silicon Valley mogul recently shared in Stanford University’s “tech startup class” (a course we’d love to audit ourselves). Our favorite excerpt from the lecture is Hoffman’s insight on how great founders surround themselves with small networks of niche players.

Equity vs. Convertible Debt – An On-Demand EarlyShares Webinar

Equity-Convertible-DebtHow does the type of security offered in an investment opportunity impact potential investors? In the fourth installment of our weekly ‘Private Investing 101′ Wednesday Webinar series, EarlyShares helps you understand the difference between equity and convertible debt.

Watch the 15-minute webcast below to hear EarlyShares Co-Founder & CSO Heather Schwarz-Lopes explain both types of securities, as well as:

  • Why issuers opt for one over the over
  • How the terms of an equity or convertible debt investment are determined
  • The ‘lifecycle’ of sample equity or convertible debt shares
  • How the offering type impacts investors’ potential to make money

Private Investing 101: Equity vs. Convertible Debt from EarlyShares on Vimeo.

Download the pdf slide deck by clicking here.

Don’t miss the next Private Investing 101 webinar on ‘Understanding Legal Docs.’ Register now for the live webinar on Wednesday, November 12 at 12:30 pm ET – click here to sign up.

For more on the Private Investing 101 series, click here.

If you have questions please reach out to our Investor Relations department at [email protected]

The EarlyFive: Halloween Edition

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2Happy Halloween! Before you head out to enjoy the holiday, we want to make sure you know what’s happening at EarlyShares:

  • Our next Private Investing 101 webinar on Wednesday 11/5 will cover Equity vs. Convertible Debt. Sign up now!
  • Our offering for the Key West Townhouses development posted an exciting progress update this week. Request access to the Updates tab to learn more.
  • The uKnow offering is almost completely funded. Check it out before it’s too late!

Stay tuned for some exciting updates in coming weeks. In the meantime, enjoy a special Halloween Edition of the EarlyFive roundup!

Oct. 31, 2014
The Numbers Behind Halloween In The United States
Niall McCarthy, Forbes
Halloween is bigger business than you might realize. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend a total of $7.4 billion on Halloween products this year.

Oct. 31, 2014
3 Halloween Entrepreneurs That Will Scare the Daylights Out of You
Graham Winfrey, Inc.
The haunted attraction industry generates roughly $300 million in revenue each year. Meet three frightening businesses in this booming sector that are growing fast by consistently scaring the life out of their customers.

Oct. 29, 2014
Ten Haunted Real Estate Buys in Time for Halloween
Maribel Molina, Houston Chronicle 
Here’s your chance to skip the haunted house line and acquire ‘spooky’ real estate of your own. Check out the listings for ten haunted homes or properties currently on the market.

Oct. 30, 2014
See every Apple product ever made on one poster
Josh Lowensohn, The Verge
Remember the PowerBook 100? The eMate 300? The Quicktake 100? We don’t either… but they were just a few of the early products that led to today’s MacBook Pro, iPhone 6, and iPad Air. Preorder a poster print on the ‘Insanely Great History of Apple’ ASAP… there’ll be a new edition unveiled before you know it.

Oct. 10, 2014
Portfolio Moves to Make Before the End of 2014
Russ Koesterich, BlackRock Blog
Halloween brings the tenth month of the year to a close, meaning it’s time to start plotting your end-of-year investing moves. Try BlackRock’s five tips for shifting up your portfolio, especially #5: “Consider incorporating non-traditional, or alternative, strategies into your investing arsenal.”

Understanding Due Diligence – An On-Demand EarlyShares Webinar

Due-Diligence-101What is “due diligence”? Why is it important? Wonder no more. In the third installment of our weekly ‘Private Investing 101′ Wednesday Webinar series, EarlyShares outlines the significance of due diligence in the private market.

Watch the 15-minute webcast below to hear Sara Hanks, Co-Founder & CEO of CrowdCheck, discuss her company’s role in the private offering process and what investors should do with third-party due diligence information. (CrowdCheck is a valued EarlyShares partner.)

Listeners will learn:

  • How due diligence protects investors and issuers
  • What information CrowdCheck reviews on each opportunity
  • What to read to understand the terms of an investment

Don’t miss the next Private Investing 101 webinar on ‘Equity vs. Convertible Debt.’ Register now for the live webinar on Wednesday, November 5 at 12:30 pm ET – click here to sign up.

For more on the Private Investing 101 series, click here.

If you have questions about private investing, please reach out to our Investor Relations department at msimon[at]

The EarlyShareholder: Fueling Florida Success Stories

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2Last week marked a major step forward for our South Florida startup community as local company Magic Leap raised a whopping $542 million in a financing round led by Google. (More on that in the Florida-focused EarlyFive, below.)

South Florida always receives attention for its booming real estate market (see below) but as we become a truly world-class city, tremendous energy is being focused on our entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re well on our way toward becoming a thriving technology hub, and the story only gets more interesting as local start-ups evolve into national success stories.

EarlyShares has a national footprint, but we have a special affinity for homegrown opportunities and we look forward to facilitating more Florida funding successes. Check out our current offerings to meet exciting companies and projects from South Florida and beyond!

Oct. 21, 2014
“So Badass You Can’t Believe It” Magic Leap Raises $542 Million To Launch The Future Of Computing
David Lidsky, Fast Company
Not only is Magic Leap headquartered here in South Florida, it’s a potential game-changer in the world of tech innovation. Meet the stealth startup that’s aiming to “replicate the visual perception system of the human brain as a go-anywhere, mobile computing platform.”

Oct. 20, 2014
Florida: 2nd for business climate, new survey says
Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel
According to a new survey of U.S. corporate executives, Florida trails only Texas as the state with the nation’s most favorable climate for business.

Oct. 22, 2014
No Picket Fence: Younger Adults Opting to Rent
Dionne Searcey, The New York Times
Much of the growth in housing construction since the recession can be attributed to apartment buildings of five units or more. Growing interest in long-term rentals is just one more reason multi-family real estate is a desirable investment class.

Oct. 23, 2014
Zigging When Everyone Else Zags: How To Channel Your Inner Entrepreneur
Jane Bianchi, Forbes
In her new book, Endeavor co-founder Linda Rottenberg advises all career climbers need to adopt an entrepreneurial mind-set in order to find success. We love her insights about taking smart career risks (and we’re proud to be working with an Endeavor Miami company, Leapfactor).

Oct. 23, 2014
The 13 hottest real estate markets in America
Chris Matthews, Fortune
Rounding out our Florida-focused EarlyFive is this good news for local real estate investors. Clocking in as the #6 market in the U.S.: Miami, Florida, with a year-over-year home price appreciation rate of 15.6%.

Determining Your Risk Tolerance – An On-Demand Educational Webinar

private-investing-101-fIn the second installment of EarlyShares’ weekly ‘Private Investing 101′ Wednesday Webinar series, our Co-Founder & CSO Heather Schwarz-Lopes introduced investors to the risks and rewards of private investing.

Watch the archived 15-minute webcast below to learn about ‘Determining Your Risk Tolerance’, as well as:

•    The level of risk associated with various private investments
•    How the risk profile for the private assets compares with stocks, bonds and mutual funds
•    The relationship between ‘risk’ and ‘reward’ in private investing

Private Investing 101: Understanding Your Options with General Solicitation from EarlyShares on Vimeo.

Don’t miss the next Private Investing 101 webinar on ‘Understanding Due Diligence’ with our co-host, Sara Hanks, co-founder and CEO of CrowdCheck. Register now for the live webinar on Wednesday, October 29 at 12:30 pm ET – click here to sign up.

For more on the Private Investing 101 series, click here.

If you have questions please reach out to our Investor Relations department at [email protected]

The EarlyShareholder: Good-News Numbers


As we collected this week’s EarlyFive roundup of insightful content around the web, we came across some noteworthy data on the state of the private market. Here’s just a few of the good-news numbers, showing that activity is booming and the outlook is bright.

  • VCs have invested $33 billion dollars in 2014, compared to $30 billion in all of 2013. (Plus, there’s still another whole quarter ahead of us.)
  • Median pre-money valuation for angel rounds is continuing to rise, jumping to $3.0M in Q2 2014 from $2.7M in Q1.
  • Family offices are showing increasing interest in investing directly in private companies. Their average allocations to that asset class jumped 5.4% in a two-year period.

Sign up for EarlyShares and browse current offerings to increase your activity in the private market.

Oct. 16. 2014
There is no real estate bubble, pros say
Lawrence Delevigne,
Rumors of a real estate bubble have been greatly exaggerated. According to experts from JP Morgan, Starwood Capital, and Morgan Stanley, real estate remains an attractive investment – especially in comparison to other asset classes.

Oct. 17, 2014
VCs have already invested $3B more in 2014 than they did in all of 2013
Ruth Reader, VentureBeat
Good news for emerging-growth companies (that investors can learn from): Venture capitalists have been highly active this year and are showing increasing interest in later-stage companies.

Oct. 15, 2014
Private Investing 101: Understanding General Solicitation (On-Demand Educational Webinar)
EarlyShares Blog
In this kickoff to EarlyShares’ weekly ‘Wednesday Webinar’ series, our Co-Founder & CSO Heather Schwarz-Lopes gave a brief walkthrough of the new opportunities available to investors in the private market.

Oct. 17, 2014
Peter Thiel On The Right Way To Think About Talent, Optimism, and Luck
250 Words,
In his new book Zero to One, Paypal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel argues that the ongoing debate (raised in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers) over whether success comes from luck or skill is a distraction. This article is an interesting introduction to his thesis that what really matters is “how we frame our relationship with the future.”

Oct. 16, 2014
Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of the Tech Industry
Chris Heller, The Atlantic
As much as we love all pitch videos, we can also enjoy poking fun at a few overused cliches: light music, earnest language, and a friendly voiceover accompanying a soft-focus product demo. In this spot-on video parody, we meet Carrot: “It’s not just a vegetable. It’s what a vegetable should be.”