The SEC adopted new crowdfunding rules in late 2015. Learn all about the important changes, and what it means to you.
The new SEC crowdfunding rules could be a game-changer for your business, but there's a lot work to be done on your end before you can reap the benefits.
Nine entrepreneurs from YEC did their research on the new SEC crowdfunding rules.
From accessing more captial to utilizing new forms of marketing, here's how they plan to leverage the rules for their business once they take effect in May.
Read through this list if you're having trouble making sense of the new regulations.
Related Article: Does Crowdfunding for Startups Actually Work?
1. Increased Brand Loyalty
The new crowdfunding rules will tap directly into the hearts of consumers. It's no secret that brands can earn emotional capital from its customers. This is going to to take that to the next level. Let's say you use a lot of batteries. Which are you going to buy -- the ones at Walmart or the ones you own a little stock in? – Brendon Schenecker, Travel Vegas
2. Access to Capital With Relaxed Regulatory Requirements
Startups can now access capital markets (to raise up to $1M annually) that used to be only available to public companies, and they can do this without filing audited financials which are expensive for small businesses. Under the new SEC rules, companies that raise less
3. Increased Innovation and Technology
For a startup, money means resources, and resources mean innovation. These rules will allow small companies to get the resources they require to innovate at a much faster rate and allow new technology to be created at an even faster pace. The consumers or the masses will be able to decide which brands or technologies deserve to grow faster. Even crazy ideas will find supporters. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
Related Article: What Is Regulated Crowdfunding and Why Is There So Much Confusion?
4. Improved Exposure
A tremendous benefit of a successful crowdfunding campaign is the exposure that will accompany it. For one, the media loves to showcase "the little guy that made it." Likewise, your investors are going to be championing your company like crazy. The crowdfunding platform itself will be bragging of your success, and so on. So while the capital injection in itself is of great help, the extra exposure and subsequent sales you'll generate from a successful crowdfunding campaign can at times be even better. – Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
5. Increased Role for Customers
Most startups understand the value of a customer and will do anything to make them happy. The new crowdfunding rules take this to a whole new level now that unaccredited investors will be able to participate in private financings. With some companies already showing you can raise tens of millions in capital from crowdfunding, it's an exciting time to be a customer of a startup. – Fan Bi, Blank Label
6. Proliferation of Vertical-Specific Crowdfunding Platforms
The new SEC crowdfunding rules will increase demand for small, vertical-specific crowdfunding platforms as individual investors who don't have time to sift through a large amount of startups to decide where to invest their money. For startups, this means that being tightly niched will be a huge advantage. For example, real estate, women in tech or the environment are all potential sectors of interest. If there's a specific platform for each of those interests, it'll be a huge draw for both individuals and startups who need cash. – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com
7. New Forms of Marketing
The ability to raise money from a different, less formal investor base will allow the startup to find investors who can serve as their marketing base. A few startups tried to tie social media influence towards owning shares -- most recently Jet, which gave the top ten referrers shares in the Company. This went viral and created a lot of publicity around the launch. Startups will be able to replicate that model, but put those who actually stand to gain from the Company's growth in a position to exert their social media and marketing influence to help the company launch successfully. – Aron Schoenfeld, TanZ Group
8. Spreading Out the Risk
Most startup entrepreneurs bootstrap using their own personal money, credit cards, home equity lines of credit and personal IOU's from friends and family. Indeed, "bootstrapping" has become almost a right of passage as an entrepreneur, but such a practice concentrates all of the risk with the entrepreneur. If the company doesn't work out, the entrepreneur may need to declare bankruptcy and suffer blemished personal credit. The most exciting thing about the new SEC crowdfunding rules is that the entrepreneur will no longer need to assume all risk to start a new venture. – Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com
Related Article: Inside Equity Crowdfunding: The Quire Difference
9. Democratizing Fundraising
The new crowdfunding rules will now truly help democratize fundraising and investing, thus helping crowdfunding establish itself as an alternative source of financing. Since the passing of the JOBS Act three years ago, crowdfunding has been validated as a new form of financing. The recent rules will help further streamline this form of fundraising and democratize it for the masses. – Sohin Shah, SohinShah.com