For close to 100 years non-accredited investors — currently defined as those making less than $200,000 a year or with less than one million in net worth excluding their home — have not been able to invest in private companies.
That all changed this past May when the SEC started allowing everyone in the United States access to what I believe is the greatest wealth creation vehicle in the world today: startups.
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Over the past 10 years startups like Dropbox, Mint (sold to Intuit for $170m), Yammer (sold to Microsoft for $1.2b), Fitbit (went public in June 2015), PowerSet (sold to Microsoft for $100m), Clicker (sold to CNET for $100m), Trello (sold to Atlassian for $425m), TrueCar (raised $70m in its 2014 IPO), and Cafe X (raised $5m) have presented at our event — but 97% of the people at the event were not allowed to invest in them.
This year we’re inviting all 120 startups at the LAUNCH Festival to accept investment from the 12,000 attendees, SeedInvest’s network of 150,000 investors and the tens of thousands watching at home.
We’ve known this was coming, so four years ago — back in 2013 — we created a “virtual investing” contest at the LAUNCH Festival where consumers could invest 10,000 “LAUNCH Dollars.”
This year the investments will be real!
We’re going to track actual investments (and investor interest) of the startups at the show and display the results in real time. If you’re interested in investing in a startup, for as little as $500 you will now be able to do that.
I’m thrilled to announce that SeedInvest has partnered with us to provide the services required to run these equity crowdfunding campaigns.
We are going to email the names of the startups crowdfunding at LAUNCH Festival two weeks before the event so that you can do your research. You can invest if you’re attending in person or watching on the live stream.
Additionally, I will be investing in every company that runs a crowdfunding campaign at the event — so I have my skin in the game!*
And one more thing.
All of this will be recorded for a new, 30-minute show we’re launching, called “The Syndicate.”
We will announce the participating companies on Monday, April 3rd.
Tickets to the LAUNCH Festival can be purchased at launchfestival.com/tickets – use the code BOOM to get 20% off.
All the best, @jason & the LAUNCH Team
* Pending due diligence & making sure they don’t directly compete with one of my existing companies (which is considered in poor taste in angel investing).