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]earlyshares.com.

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

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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, CNBC.com
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, Inc.com
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.”

Understanding General Solicitation – An On-Demand Educational Webinar

private-investing-101-fIn 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.

Watch the archived 15-minute webcast below to learn what General Solicitation is all about, as well as:

•    What market forces led to new regulations
•    Who can invest in private offerings
•    What types of private opportunities are available to investors
•    What you get as a shareholder in a private venture

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

Download the pdf slide deck by clicking here.

Don’t miss the next Private Investing 101 webinar on ‘Determining Your Risk Tolerance.’ Register now for the live webinar on Wednesday, October 22 at 12:30 pm ET –  click here to sign up.

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

The EarlyFive: Spotlighting Innovation & Evolution

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Lately there’s been no shortage of captivating content in the media focused on the transformative forces at play in the financial sector – especially in the private market. The online private investing industry may still be in its growth stages, but the financial ecosystem is undoubtedly at a pivotal moment in its evolution as a result of recent regulatory changes.

At EarlyShares, we’re thrilled to be on the front lines of the long-overdue transformation of the private market. As blogger Dara Albright put it in a recent post (showcased below): “Issuers, intermediaries, and investors at the forefront of new techniques stand to benefit substantially as the economic pendulum swings.”

Oct. 8, 2014
14 Ingredients for Innovation
Young Entrepreneur Council, Bplans.com
What ingredients for innovation are most companies lacking? The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) asked its members to weigh in. The insights from EarlyShares Co-Founder & CSO Heather Schwarz-Lopes top the list.

Oct. 6, 2014
Who Will Step Up and Disrupt the Real Estate Industry?
Brenton Hayden, Entrepreneur
The last decade has seen countless innovations disrupt sectors as varied as finance, travel, and transportation, but the real estate industry remains largely mired in traditional, paper-based processes. This article argues that real estate is ripe for innovation, and we agree – especially since we see crowdfinance as a disruptive, positive force of change for real estate capital formation.

Oct. 9, 2014
The Evolution of Securities Marketing and its Impact on Issuers, Intermediaries and Investors
Dara Albright’s Blog
Finance authority Dara Albright dissects how the “financial winds financial winds are rapidly shifting, and they are headed in the direction of the individual investor.”

Oct. 1, 2014
This is the last photo we’ll ever run of NYSE trading floor
Jeremy Olshan, MarketWatch
For decades, reports on the ups and downs of the stock market have rendered alongside photos of distressed (or joyful) traders on the NYSE floor. But as this piece points out, that iconic imagery no longer aligns with the reality of the public market – managed as it is largely via high-frequency trading. (If you find this MarketWatch editorial compelling, check out our issuer PsychSignal, which has evolved the concept of the trading floor “squawk box” into a sophisticated sentiment analysis tool powered by social media.)

Oct. 9, 2014
17 Best Cities for Starting Up Right Now
Young Entrepreneur Council, Huffington Post 
The usual suspects are on this list – Palo Alto, New York City, Austin – along with some interesting outliers like Detroit and Oklahoma City. We chimed in to make a case for our thriving Miami entrepreneurship scene, which is at a pivotal point in its evolution. More and more companies launched here are acquiring investor funding, expanding their operations, or making national headlines… earning our community the kind of attention that helps a rising tide lift all the boats in our ecosystem.

EarlyShares hosts Private Investing 101 webinar series

pitching-to-investors-EarlySharesNext up in Private Investing 101: Equity vs. Convertible Debt on Wednesday 11/5 at 12:30 pm ET. Register now!

How would you grade your knowledge of the private investment market?

In September 2013, new regulations took effect enabling accredited investors to use online platforms to access opportunities that were previously unavailable to them. Though more than a year has passed since then, a relatively small number of individual investors have become educated on their new investing options.

If you’re not one of those enlightened few, now’s your chance to join the ranks of informed investors. EarlyShares just announced a new ‘Wednesday Webinar’ series on Private Investing 101. Each 15-minute webcast will help listeners get acquainted with a certain aspect of the so-called “equity crowdfunding” industry that has arisen under the General Solicitation exemption of Title II of the JOBS Act.

Not sure what ‘General Solicitation’ even means? The first course covered that, along with other need-to-know basics. Here’s the lineup of archived and upcoming sessions in our Wednesday Webinar series:

10/15/14 – Understanding Your Options With General Solicitation

  • What market forces led to new regulations
  • Who can invest in private offerings
  • What types of private opportunities are available to investors
  • What you get as a shareholder in a private venture

10/22/14 – Determining Your Risk Tolerance

  • 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

10/29/14 – Understanding Due Diligence

  • Disclosure and due diligence for private placements
  • The different levels of due diligence CrowdCheck offers
  • What due diligence investors should do on their own

Next Up: 11/5/14 – Equity vs. Convertible Debt

  • 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

Register Now!

Future webinars will discuss a variety of topics, including:

  • Understanding Legal Docs
  • How a Platform Selects Private Opportunities
  • How to Earn Returns
  • … and more

For more information, contact EarlyShares Content Manager Madelyn Young at myoung(at)earlyshares.com.

The EarlyFive: Getting in early on the future of investing

EarlyShares_blog_EarlyFive_01.2When we put together this week’s EarlyFive roundup of great content around the web, we found some inspiration in the AlleyWatch selection (below: Disruption Never Looks Pretty). In it, prolific investor Mark Birch outlines why investors in private companies need to avoid the classic mistake of focusing too much on what a young business is doing and not enough on what they will do.

At EarlyShares, we consider it a privilege to open investors’ eyes to new opportunities. The future has to start somewhere… and we think private investing can be an exciting way to “get in early.”

Oct. 3, 2014
Elon Musk Teases Tesla’s ‘D’ and the Internet Has a Field Day
Jason Abbruzzese, Mashable
Tesla founder Elon Musk recently made reference to the company’s soon-to-be unveiled ‘Model D’ vehicle with a very cheeky Tweet… and the wording of his teaser made more than a few followers blush. The incident had us giggling around our office and – whether or not the humor was intentional – we took it as a lesson in viral marketing. (If you follow green tech news, don’t forget to check out the offering for electric vehicle company Brammo on our platform.)

Sept. 29, 2014
Disruption Never Looks Pretty
Mark Birch, AlleyWatch
As Birch writes, “It is more important to see and understand the potential in entrepreneurs and whether they have what it takes to create the next big, hairy, audacious and thoroughly disruptive innovation.”

Oct. 3, 2014
20 Easy Things That Will Make You The Next Millionaire
Murray Newlands, Inc.
We can’t vouch for these any of these tips as a sure thing, but we like them all. Our top three from the list: Do What you Enjoy; Spend Less Than You Make; and Invest in Property.

Sept. 19, 2014
Endeavor Miami celebrates first anniversary
Laura I. Maydón, Knight Foundation Blog 
I was pleased to participate alongside Maydón, Knight director Matt Haggman, and eMerge Americas founder Manny Medina (among others) on a panel last week discussing Miami as the “Next Entrepreneurial Frontier.” As EarlyShares continues to help grow this “new Miami,” we congratulate Endeavor Miami on its first anniversary of helping high-impact entrepreneurs in our community to build game-changing businesses. We’re proud to count an Endeavor Miami company Leapfactor as one of the issuers on our site.

Oct. 2, 2014
Real Estate Firms Optimistic About Future of Industry
InsuranceNewsNet
According to a survey from the National Association of RealtorsTM, the competitive real estate industry is poised for continued growth. Commercial real estate firms are the most optimistic, with 71 percent expecting profitability to improve – making now the perfect time to invest in our latest real estate deals.

The EarlyFive: Amplifying our issuers to new audiences

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Part of our mission at EarlyShares is to help the issuers raising capital on our platform to simplify and amplify their efforts. Our user-friendly deal management tools simplify the capital raising process, while our marketing and visibility features amplify their messaging to help them reach new audiences.

Press and blog coverage is a great by-product of the EarlyShares “amplification.” Before you read this week’s EarlyFive roundup of insightful content around the web, check out recent media mentions of our issuers Brammo, ClassWallet, and Sun Point (from Saglo Development Corporation).

Sept. 21, 2014
How to Play the Real-Estate Market
Gregory Zuckerman, Wall Street Journal
It’s not too late to “catch the real-estate rebound” if you invest your money wisely. This piece provides a well-informed overview of the market and outlines investors’ best options, warning them to dodge fee-laden REITs and opt to invest directly in commercial real estate “for better diversification.” (We wholeheartedly agree.)

Sept. 19, 2014
Want to start the next billion dollar company? Look on Craigslist, says investor Jeremy Levine
David Holmes, Pando
With peer-to-peer services and the “Internet of Things” both on the rise, Bessemer Venture Partners’ Jeremy Levine predicts that the innovators who use efficient, elegant technology to address the problems users currently solve on Craigslist will be the economy’s next big winners. It’s an interesting take on how founders can (and should) address consumers’ existing needs.

Sept. 23, 2014
10 Things ‘Shark Tank’ Investors Look For
John Boitnott, Inc.
Watching some of the world’s wealthiest investors listen to pitches, assess opportunities, and invest their own money on Shark Tank makes for more than just compelling television – it’s education. Read these ten lessons on appealing to the sharks (and to the rest of the 8.7 million accredited investors in the U.S.).

Aug. 26, 2014
Tech money in every industry, but no bubble: VC
Cadie Thompson, CNBC
VC money is pouring into many different sectors, but the lion’s share (49 percent this year) is being funneled into Internet companies. According to investor and Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson, the accelerating pace of innovation is making now a “wonderful time” for investing in tech.

Sept. 22, 2014
With banks desperate for fresh thinking, the Citi Mobile Challenge is a welcome bit of progress
Michael Carney, Pando
The financial services sector is ripe for disruption and EarlyShares’ strategic partner Citi is aiming to be a force for innovation. Through the Citi® Mobile Challenge, Citi will give developers around the world the opportunity to compete against each other and present ideas for improving digital banking. (Learn about EarlyShares’ role as a Mobile Challenge Collaborator here on the EarlyShares blog.)

EarlyShares joins the Citi Mobile Challenge to support digital banking innovation

citi_mobile_challengeDo you have an idea that could transform the digital banking landscape? Now’s your chance to make it a reality (and to partner with one of the world’s premier financial institutions in the process).

Citi has officially launched a new global “mobile challenge” – a virtual competition designed to accelerate digital banking innovation. The Citi® Mobile Challenge will give the world’s most talented, creative developers and designers the opportunity to create cutting-edge applications for Citi’s digital banking platforms.

EarlyShares is proud to be an official Collaborator in this exciting initiative. Developers and designers interested in participating must apply by Friday, October 3 to be considered.

How it Works

If you’re interested in creating a banking- or payment-related solution for mobile or interconnected devices, register for the Citi® Mobile Challenge here. (You can register your whole dev team or join an existing one.) On October 10, Citi will notify registrants who have been selected.

Following that, over the course of nine days in October, Citi will make available a variety of its APIs to enable the developers to create real-world innovations that could function with existing Citi technology. Participants will submit their final concepts or prototypes on October 19.

A panel of entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders in technology and banking will review submitted innovations and select the finalists, who will present at the demonstration events in Silicon Valley on November 10, New York on November 12, and Miami on November 14. EarlyShares Co-Founder & CSO Heather Schwarz-Lopes will serve on the review panel and be a judge at the Miami event.

Winning developers will have the opportunity to consult with technology mentors, share in a cash award, and connect with Citi’s partners for a chance to put their solutions into production. There will be $100,000 in prize money available, with $50,000 for the most Innovative Mobile Solution category and $50,000 going to the best Internet of Things/Wearables concept category.

Through the collaboration with EarlyShares, Citi will also refer a small selection of eligible Mobile Challenge participants to EarlyShares for potential investment offerings on our platform.

Why It’s a Big Deal

Though this is first time Citi’s hosted a global Mobile Challenge, the competition is not a new idea. The company’s 2014 ‘Citi® Mobile Challenge LatAm,’ which wrapped up in April, brought together nearly 500 developers from around the world to present consumer and B2B projects in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Bogota, Colombia. Citi is currently evaluating several interesting pilot projects that came out of the LatAm program, including a personalized e-retail app, B2B mobile commerce platform, and a mobile customer service solution.

As PandoDaily recently reported, Citi’s foray into the innovation ecosystem through the Mobile Challenge initiatives represents their commitment to “bringing the banking industry into the 21st century.” As Collaborator in the competition, EarlyShares is proud to be helping Citi pursue that goal.

For more on the Citi Mobile Challenge, go to citimobilechallenge.com.