The EarlyFive: New investor insights

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2

This edition of the EarlyFive marks the debut of a special new feature: “Investor Insights from GSV.” Our investor and strategic partner GSV Capital is a pre-eminent authority on growth investing. GSV frequently shares thought leadership on their A2Apple blog, so from time to time we’ll include their insights here on the EarlyShareholder.

Sept. 11, 2014
The Rise of Real Estate Tech
Richard Florida, CityLab

To keep pace with the rebounding real estate sector, the tech world has been hustling to create new apps and services specifically for the real estate industry – and EarlyShares is no exception. Our expansion into real estate crowdfunding is helping give investors access to vetted, quality commercial real estate opportunities. Stay tuned for more exciting real estate news from us in the months to come!

Sept. 10, 2014
How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked my life up
Ali Mese, Medium

This slightly misleading title could have a few extra words tacked on the end (such as, “in a good way”) but its overarching theme – the immensely challenging but immensely rewarding path of entrepreneurship – is one we understand firsthand at EarlyShares.

Sept. 16, 2014
Five Lessons from the Digital Revolution
Walter Isaacson, Vanity Fair

How does innovation happen in the real world? For his forthcoming book, author Isaacson sought to answer that question. The five lessons he spotlights feature insights from major corporate success stories, well-known American inventors, and some legendary business leaders (including Isaacson interviewee Steve Jobs).

Aug. 12, 2014
Disrupting the Disruption Myth
Judy Shapiro, Entrepreneur

While I feel it’s a stretch to call disruption theory a “myth,” the author of this piece makes a solid argument that personalization and user experience can ignite a business to a strong “nondisruptive competitive advantage.” She uses fast-growing Chinese company Xiaomi (pronounced SHOW-me) as an example.

Investor Insights from GSV
A2Apple: TMI = Infobesity
GSV Capital’s Blog

Our society is always on – plugged into an endless stream of information – resulting in an epidemic of “infobesity.” What trends are converging to create this “TMI” environment? What tools are emerging to capitalize on changing market forces? What effect does “infobesity” have on business?

EarlyShares CEO spotlighted by Forbes for making “entrepreneurship happen in Miami”

Our hometown of Miami is (proudly) the only major city in the U.S. to be founded by a woman. 118 years later, women executives are helping transform our sunny city into a thriving community for technological innovation, economic growth, and entrepreneurship.

We’re proud to be part of the Miami evolution and even prouder that our CEO and Co-Founder Joanna Schwartz is one of the top women “leading the charge to turn Miami into an entrepreneurial hub” according to a recent piece on Forbes.com. Check out the article here.

Joanna was spotlighted alongside Laura Maydon of Endeavor Miami and Susan Amat of VentureHive as women who are helping entrepreneurs start, fund and scale businesses in the South Florida region. Tracy LaFlame Ortega of PREPWORKS was also showcased as one of our community’s high-growth female entrepreneurs. Click on the photo below to read the full story.

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From left to right: Joanna Schwartz of EarlyShares, Laura Maydon of Endeavor Miami, Susan Amat of VentureHive, Tracy LaFlame Ortega of PREPWORKS. Location: Perez Art Museum. Photo by Cristobal Herrera Ulashkevich.

The EarlyFive: Fueling the ‘Florida turnaround’

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2After participating in a real estate crowdfunding conference in California last week, we were thrilled to return to our thriving home state of Florida. Our Sunshine State’s economic outlook is getting brighter and brighter, as you’ll see in the top story from this week’s EarlyFive roundup of great content around the web.

EarlyShares is proud to be contributing to the Florida “turnaround story” by helping early-stage companies and real estate sponsors from our region to raise capital from accredited investors. If you’re interested in helping fuel our state’s job growth and economic development, browse our current offerings to meet the seven Florida-based companies or projects now fundraising on the EarlyShares platform.

Sept. 9, 2014
Florida: The Turnaround Story
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

With 270,000+ employment openings, 95 million annual visitors, and a 5.2% increase in the median home price, our home state is riding an economic upswing. This insightful infographic highlights the many reasons why Forbes ranks Florida as one of the Top 5 States for Future Job Growth.

Sept. 11, 2014
Samsung Comes Back Swinging After Apple’s Big Day
Todd Wasserman, Mashable

When your chief competitor is one of the world’s most loved and most admired companies, it takes creativity to take them down a peg. Samsung capitalized instantaneously on Apple’s latest product launch with this series of fun video lampoons, giving us all a lesson in how to smartly respond to big competitor news.

Sept. 11, 2014
The Most Expensive Real Estate Listing in America
Chris Joseph, New Times Broward/Palm Beach

If you’re in the market for a new home (and you have $139 million lying around), then you’re in luck! A palatial, 60,000+ square foot home is on the market in our South Florida backyard. Take a peek inside this over-the-top residence, complete with 17 bathrooms, a glass-bottom Jacuzzi, and a 30-car garage.

Sept. 10, 2014
Here’s How A Billionaire Investor Coached An Entrepreneur Through The Pitch Process
Richard Feloni, Business Insider

For a piece on a popular radio program, entrepreneur and audio producer Alex Blumberg got advice from mega-investor Chris Sacca on pitching his new business. Read about it at the link above or listen to the podcast segment – brilliantly named “I Got 99 Problems and a Pitch Is One” – here.

Aug. 25, 2014
7 Reasons Why Angel Investing Became Serious Finance
Christopher Mirabile, Inc.

A handful of seismic forces – including the implementation of Title II of the JOBS Act – have combined to make angel investing into big business. Read about the trends fueling the “radical transformation” of early-stage finance.

In guest post on CNBC, EarlyShares contests investor ‘accreditation’ standards

CNBC-accredited-investor-EarlySharesIn support of investor protection and compliance, EarlyShares is fully committed to following all rules and regulations set by the SEC. Like many other members of the investing community, however, we believe investors deserve better ones.

That’s why we challenged the SEC on their definition of an “accredited” investor in our latest guest post on CNBC.

Our mission at EarlyShares is to expand investors’ access to private investment opportunities. For the first time in 80 years, investors can directly access the private investment market under the JOBS Act Title II regulations. EarlyShares is proud to make that ‘direct access’ possible.

The only problem is that the pool of investors who can take advantage of that access is limited to those who meet the Securities and Exchange Commission’s qualifications for investor accreditation. “Accredited” investors are the only individuals the SEC deems “sophisticated” enough to access the private investment market.

So what criteria signify that an investor is “sophisticated”? Income or net worth. By using wealth as the sole measure of investment acumen, the SEC is essentially saying that rich people are smarter than the less wealthy – a perspective that’s outdated at best and elitist at worst.

Read our CNBC piece for more insights on this issue. To share your thoughts on accreditation with us, post in the comments section below.

The EarlyFive: Angel investors’ top tips for entrepreneurs

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2EarlyShares’ role as an intermediary between entrepreneurs and accredited investors gives us a unique insight into what investors look for in private opportunities. As we participated in the Gold Coast Venture Capital Association’s entrepreneur-investor networking event last week, in which 500+ South Florida entrepreneurs listened to advice from 18 angel investors and fund managers, we were reminded of how much entrepreneurs are clamoring for guidance on raising early-stage capital.

Before you get to this week’s “EarlyFive” roundup of our favorite stories around the web, here are the top first-hand tips to come out of the GCVCA’s ‘Meet the Angels’ event:

  • Know what you don’t know, and seek out those individuals who can help you learn.
  • Don’t get into business with “jerk” investors. “You’ll be married to these people for a long time,” says Zack Cherry, Managing Director of Caerus Ventures.
  • Focus more on building strong strategic partnerships than on your company’s valuation.
  • Back your pitch and value proposition with hard numbers. “Data always trumps opinion,” says Mike O’Donnell, founder of Thes.is Ventures.
  • Mitigate your weaknesses by building a strong management team around yo.
  • Be prepared to answer the tough questions. Investors will want to know “what keeps you up at night,” says Joanna Schwartz, Co-Founder & CEO of EarlyShares.

Aug. 26, 2014
SEC, stop insisting rich means smart
Joanna Schwartz, CNBC.com
In our latest CNBC guest post, we challenged the SEC on the qualification standards for “accredited” investors. We’re fully committed to protecting investors and following all rules and regulations set by the SEC, but we believe investors deserve better ones. What are your thoughts on accreditation? We welcome your feedback.

Aug. 22, 2014
The Art of Slow Growth
Terence J. Berden, Medium
What do Twitter and Breaking Bad have in common? Neither would have survived based on their pitch alone. Time plays an essential role in traction, so mastering ‘slow growth’ is about being a long-term leader rather than a short-term champion.

Aug. 25, 2014
How CrowdCheck shrugged off the JOBS Act’s long crowdfunding delay
Bill Flook, Washington Business Journal
We’re frequently asked about our due diligence processes and efforts by both investors and entrepreneurs alike. Read this article to get to know CrowdCheck, EarlyShares’ valued due diligence partner, and understand how CrowdCheck has become the private investing industry’s go-to company for vetting and regulatory compliance.

Aug. 24, 2014
Condo.com leverages lucrative niche to become a market leader
Nancy Dahlberg, Miami Herald
EarlyShare’s partner eRealEstate Holdings (ERH) has capitalized on changing real estate trends to grow Condo.com into a major online real estate marketplace. Leveraging our partnership with ERH, we see the same path for Property.com. Stay tuned for details as we launch these new initiatives.

Aug. 21, 2014
What 13 Successful People Do Before Going To Bed
Jacquelyn Smith & Vivian Giang, Business Insider
Nighttime rituals can have a serious impact on your success, so read this piece for advice on maximizing the hour before you head to bed. You’ll learn a few lessons from Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, and others.

The EarlyFive: Data-driven insights for the future of investing

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2As much as we enjoy communicating with our ‘EarlyShareholders’ electronically, we’d love to actually meet you in person. Over the busy few weeks ahead of us, we’ll have the opportunity to do that at some exciting and informative events. Check out the list here and let us know which events you’ll be attending.

In the meantime, please enjoy some new insights from the media on our favorite topics in this week’s EarlyFive roundup – featuring the latest data on angel investing and a new report on the rebounding real estate market. We hope you enjoy these articles (and that we get to see you soon)!

August 6, 2014
Angel Investing Heats Up in Q1 2014
The latest Halo Report from the Angel Resource Institute (ARI) and its partners finds investments and valuations climbing in 2014. As ARI’s Vice Chairman of Research put it, “opportunities are great for startups seeking funding today.” (Don’t miss the data-packed infographic) that accompanies the report.

August 17, 2014
In Silicon Valley, Mergers Must Meet the Toothbrush Test
David Gelles, The New York Times
According to this article, Google chief Larry Page evaluates each potential acquisition by asking whether the company’s product or service passes the “toothbrush test” – is it something you’ll use once or twice a day, and that makes your life better?

August 19, 2014
Think The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is Stupid? You’re Wrong.
Matthew Herper, Forbes
We know… you’re ready for your social media feed to go back to normal, but the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ is undeniably one of the most captivating marketing campaigns to ever capture the public’s attention. Use it as inspiration for helping your next fundraising or sales effort to ‘go viral.’

August 20, 2014
Where $1 Million Buys the Most and Least Real Estate in the U.S.
Camille Salama, AOL Real Estate
The size of a “typical” million-dollar property varies drastically from city to city, and can be an indicator of the positive or negative market forces at play in a given geographic region. One interesting data point: the median size of a million-dollar U.S. home today is just 2,629 square feet – down nearly 4 percent from 2,730 square feet in 2007.

August 22, 2014
Top 10 Tech Companies for Culture and Values
Kyli Singh, Mashable
Building a great business is about creating more than just an excellent product – it’s also about creating a rewarding and respectful corporate culture. Learn a few lessons from Facebook, Apple, Adobe, and others in this top list.

Join us at GCVCA’s ‘Meet the Angels’ on August 27

gold-coastEarlyShares’ colleagues at the Gold Coast Venture Capital Association – a non-profit committed to assisting the entrepreneurial community in South Florida – are hosting their first-ever ‘Meet the Angels’ event on August 27. The event will connect area entrepreneurs to various individuals and organizations that can help them grow, fund, and scale their businesses. 200 leaders from the regional business community are already registered to attend.

‘Meet the Angels’ will include panel discussions by prominent angel investors, entrepreneurs, and funding platforms from throughout the state of Florida. EarlyShares is sponsoring and exhibiting at the event and our CEO, Joanna Schwarz, will speak on a panel.

A number of entrepreneurs who are currently raising capital on EarlyShares will be in attendance at the event, making ‘Meet the Angels’ a valuable networking opportunity for investors who are interested in any of our current offerings. We hope you’ll join us!

Meet the Angels will take place Wednesday, August 27, 2014 from 5 to 8 pm ET at the Embassy Suites Boca Raton. Full event and registration information, as well as a list of confirmed panelists, is available here.

The EarlyFive: Private investing is ‘all about access’

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2Do you know the five ‘basics’ of private investing? EarlyShares is committed to helping investors understand their options, so we recently spotlighted the top things to know about the “equity crowdfunding” industry in a guest post for a major news outlet. (It’s the lead story in our weekly EarlyFive roundup, below.)

The key takeaway on private investing is that this new sector is all about access. The JOBS Act Title II regulations finally give the 8.7 million accredited investors in the U.S. – only 3 percent of whom have engaged in private investing – direct access to private opportunities. Check out our current live offerings to start incorporating new assets into your portfolio.

Aug. 7, 2014
Investing with sense in the new private IPO market
Joanna Schwartz, CNBC.com

We published this piece through the new CNBC-YPO ‘Chief Executive Network’ editorial partnership, which we’re excited to continue participating in. Use the post as your primer for capitalizing on “crowdfunding” opportunities.

July 28, 2014
Black Swan Seed Rounds
Sam Altman’s Blog

Before becoming full-time partner, then president, of Y Combinator, Sam Altman was an active seed-stage investor. In this blog post, he reflects on how the best-performing investments in his early-stage portfolio are the ones his colleagues failed to see as “hot” seed round opportunities.

Aug. 14, 2014
Peer-to-Peer Lending Poised for More Growth: Fed
Michelle A. Samaad, CreditUnionTimes

We see peer-to-peer lending as private investing’s older cousin: it’s been around a little longer, so it’s already widely embraced by the investing public. This article not only spotlights P2P lending’s rapid growth (84% per quarter since 2007), but projects its continued expansion – a trend that will help equity crowdfunding to grow alongside it.

Aug. 14, 2014
Top 30 Cities for Green Real Estate
Jan Lee, Triple Pundit

As interest in sustainability initiatives grows nationwide, so does the “green” real estate movement. Minneapolis/St. Paul clocks in at the top of this list, compiled by CBRE, with nearly 30 percent of its buildings qualifying as green.

Aug. 10, 2014
Which tech exec did the best job on the Colbert Report? The complete ranking
Paul Carr, Pando

To add some humor to your day, here’s a “listicle” complete with clips of tech’s biggest names – Bill Gates, Steve Case, Sheryl Sandberg, and others – sitting down with the inimitable Stephen Colbert. Our favorite moment? When Stephen asks Elon Musk where he finds the time for his “secret identity as Batman.”

EarlyShares CEO explains the new ‘private IPO market’ on CNBC.com

cnbc-250-25years“Equity crowdfunding” – or, as we at EarlyShares prefer to call it, “online private investing” – is modernizing the private finance market by giving accredited investors public access to private investment opportunities. Investors can leverage this new sector to diversify their portfolios in a diverse array of alternative assets… but they can’t do that until they get educated about this new investing field.

To equip investors with the intel to understand equity crowdfunding, EarlyShares CEO Joanna Schwartz recently shared a guest post on ‘Investing with sense in the new private IPO market’ with CNBC.com. In the piece, which was published in partnership with the CNBC-YPO ‘Chief Executive Network’ editorial partnership, Joanna details the top five things investors need to know to get started in private investing.

Click here to read the piece. Once you know the basics on private investing, check out the current investment offerings on EarlyShares to start incorporating alternative assets into your portfolio.

The EarlyFive: Maximizing your network effect

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2At EarlyShares, it’s our goal to make capital raising and investing more efficient, engaging, and user-friendly. To do that, we recently deployed new features to help entrepreneurs motivate their networks to support them. If you’re currently raising funds for a business or project, you’ll find new “Share Your Offering” and “Invite Investors” tools in the Offerings tab of your EarlyShares dashboard.

As the first item in this week’s EarlyFive will remind you, your network is crucial to your success – no matter your profession. We hope our newest tools make it easier for issuers to leverage their networks to full advantage.

Aug. 1, 2014
Joshua Klein: Invest in Your Network & Your Network Will Invest in You
99u

More than ever, your network is your most valuable asset. In this engaging talk, technology expert Joshua Klein explains to investors and entrepreneurs how the internet is being optimized for relationships… and how you should “humanize” your work to help networking happen naturally.

Aug. 2, 2014
Turning growth into traction: 7 tactics top growth teams use to engineer their growth
Ken Zi Wang & Granger Tripp, VentureBeat

There is an increasingly large distinction between “growth” and “traction” and – as this piece points out – traction attracts capital. Learn the three steps to engineer your growth (acquisition, action, and retention) and some successful entrepreneurs’ favorite ways to convert them into traction.

Aug. 6, 2014
Is Miami the Next Silicon Valley?
MSNBC

Following on the heels of the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and others, MSNBC is the latest major news outlet to turn its attention to our community’s high-potential entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re thrilled to contribute to this growing startup hub!

Aug. 3, 2014
Crowdfunded real estate: Tips for small investors
Lew Sichelman, LA Times

By moving the investing process online, real estate crowdfunding gives investors greater access to deals than ever before. As with all real estate investments, potential “crowd” investors should research a property’s market conditions, financials, and legal docs prior to investing.

Aug. 7, 2014
15 Surprisingly Inspirational Business Takeaways from ‘Moneyball’
Jeff Haden, Inc.

Whether or not you’re well acquainted with the excellent film Moneyball (or the non-fiction best-seller it was based on), you’ll appreciate the poignant lessons the movie has to offer entrepreneurs and other business leaders.