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Equity Directory pairs startups with talent willing to work for equity

Equity Directory has launched in beta to help startups find talent willing to work for equity, formalizing an age-old process.



equity directory

equity directory

Do you need help, or want to help a startup?

Have you considered equity-based work? It’s a fairly simple process on the surface. While it’s true that there are several benefits to owning a share of a company—such as networking potential and increased asset value—you do stand to lose quite a bit if the startup goes under. If you’re going to work for equity, you’ll need a qualified intermediary.

Equity Directory is that intermediary. Based in Los Angeles, Equity Directory is an invite-only consulting service that promises to match you—the professional—with a startup appropriate to your skillset. You do consulting work for said company, and in turn, you become a shareholder.

Pairing skills with startups

Similarly to or other freelancing sites, Equity Directory takes your skills, experience, and preferred work into account when matching your profile with startups. You then receive an email on a weekly basis with potential jobs, clients, and general opportunities. This system allows you to choose from a pre-organized list without having to account for any kind of business-related riff raft.

Working in exchange for equity is a concept that is rapidly becoming favorable for entrepreneurs. It’s an option for those looking at the big picture; short-term benefits are negligible, but the long game has potential to produce large-scale profit—and, with only well-vetted startups and entrepreneurs alike being able to access Equity Directory, the general risks associated with this kind of work are significantly reduced.

This could help employees and employers

This service could definitely revolutionize the equity-based market. Reduced risk factor, guaranteed matchmaking, and straight-to-your-inbox delivery takes the unpleasant element of surprise away, and having an intermediary such as Equity Directory will certainly streamline the overall process.

Enrolling in early access grants you the ability to help shape the future of Equity Directory in the form of feedback, so if you would like to play an active role in the birth of this innovative service, mosey over and sign up for the beta.


Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

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  1. Brandon

    September 1, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Great article, Jack. Equity Directory is an fantastic service.

    I signed up about a month ago. Since then I have received a dozen connections with startups that need my help. I’ve been searching for an easy way to get involved with startups and to gain some equity in the companies. Equity Directory has done an amazing job matching the talent with the startups. The process has evolved and improved dramatically over the last month.

    If you are looking to get involved in a startup or need talent to help you grow one, you need to try out Equity Directory. It’s been amazing.

  2. Joey Flores

    September 9, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Damn, I wish this had been around when we started Earbits. We managed to find a designer and a finance specialist who traded us services for equity but it was very difficult to find people open to it, to figure out the terms, and to prove to them we were a company worth working with. We wasted much needed money on accounting, tax preparation, legal services and other things that we would have much rather parted with equity for.

    Awesome concept, guys. As a founder who recently exited his company by the narrowest of margins, I can tell you that saving money by trading equity could be the difference between your company having the runway to see it through, or joining others in the dust bin. Save that money, founders. Congrats, ED. Great idea.


  3. Stuart

    September 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    This is such a good idea, I’m glad someone finally built it out.

    I’ve worked with various sites in the past to hire help, elance and odesk, and more recently growth geeks. It makes so much sense to trade equity for work, because it makes the new person for my team as invested in our success as I am, as it gives them real skin in the game.

    After a few weeks in the beta, I recommend Equity Directory to others, because it’s simple, smart, and effective.

  4. Eric

    November 27, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Just started using Equity Directory and offers are already coming in. It’s great that typically low cash/revenue startups can find pros that want to work for equity instead of a salary. And, like Stuart said, gives the ‘skin in the game’ incentive as well. Really great stuff!

  5. Chris

    November 29, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Equity Directory is awesome! I got connected with a fellow growth hacker, I reached out to him and now we work together. It was frictionless, simple and very effective. Most people that I meet who want to work with us, tend to be bottom line (salary) focused, and that’s fine, but when I work with someone I want them to be invested (literally) in the project. ED connects me with people who are looking to join a team for the future and build something bigger. Love it!

  6. Mark Robinson

    November 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Equity Directory has been a great resource for me. Since I am based in the Midwest, I have encountered limited opportunities to work with tech startups. Equity Directory has helped break down the geographic barrier for me and I have had the chance to be introduced to and work with startups from across the US.

  7. Rocky D.

    December 1, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve been on Equity Directory and it’s incredible the amount of startups I’m introduced to! As a Sales/BizDev guy, there’s a lot of need for my skill set out there and ED gives me the opportunities I’m looking for to find great startups. Love it!

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Business Entrepreneur

PopCom designs smart vending machines to automate regulated products

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) PopCom raises $1.3 million in equity crowd funding to launch smart vending machines that will securely sell regulated products like cannabis and alcohol.



vending machines

Dawn Dickson is upgrading the beloved vending machine to thrive in the era of COVID-19. Dickson is the Founder & CEO of PopCom, a black-owned retail technology company whose mission is to “equip entrepreneurs and brands with future-ready retail solutions that allow rapid retail expansion, incredible customer experiences, and powerful sales data.”

Dickson started her entrepreneurial career with Flat Out Heels, rollable flat shoes that fit in a purse. The business was an e-commerce hit, relying on online data analytics to drive sales and growth. She found there was a disconnect in leveraging that technology when she looked for traditional vending machines to sell her products in places with high foot traffic like airports. Like any good entrepreneur, she created her own solution to the problem.

PopCom vending machines use facial detection and machine learning to create an interactive and intelligent retail experience. In 2020, the Columbus, Ohio based company is rolling out secure pilots for automated vending of regulated products like alcohol and cannabis. The machines rely on biometric analysis to verify identity, and can even anonymously evaluate age, gender, and emotional sentiment while a customer is browsing to convert sales. Products can therefore be available on demand with minimal human interaction.

The growth of this technology is timely as COVID-19 continues to ravage retail in the United States. “Vending machines and convenience services are becoming more essential, and retailers are looking for more ways to deliver their products direct-to-customer with less human friction. We are excited about what is to come,” Dickson told

And what is to come is coming quickly. Dickson just completed a record-setting equity crowdfunding campaign on Start Engine, being the first female founder in history to raise $1.3 million in just 47 days! Previously, PopCom raised an initial $1.07 million from their first campaign. According to SEC regulations, companies can raise up to $1.07 million from regulation crowd funding sources in a 12-month period.

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Business Entrepreneur

How to choose the right software for your business

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) What are the best software options for your company? Well, we have a list of suggestions and questions to help you determine what is best for you.



software products

It’s almost impossible to run a successful modern business without some kind of software to help you stay productive and operate efficiently. There are millions of companies and even more independent developers working hard to produce new software products and services for the businesses of the world, so to say that choosing the right software is intimidating is putting it lightly.

Fortunately, your decisions will become much easier with a handful of decision-making rubrics.

Determining Your Core Needs

First, you need to decide which types of software you really need. For most businesses, these are the most fundamental categories:

  • Proposal software. Customer acquisition starts and ends with effective proposals, which is why you need proposal software that helps you create, send, and track the status of your sales documents.
  • Lead generation and sales. You’ll also want the support of lead generation and sales software, including customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. These help you identify and track prospects throughout the sales process.
  • Marketing and advertising. Marketing and advertising platforms help you plan and implement your campaigns, but even more importantly—they help you track your results.
  • Finance and accounting. With finance and accounting software, you’ll track accounts payable and receivable, and countless variables influencing the financial health of your company.
  • Supply chain and logistics. Certain types of businesses require support when it comes to supply chain management and logistics—and software can help.
  • Productivity and tracking. Some software products, including time trackers and project management platforms, focus on improving productivity and tracking employee actions.
  • Comprehensive analytics. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and other “big picture” software products attempt to provide you with comprehensive analytics related to your business’s performance.

Key Factors to Consider

From there, you’ll need to choose a software product in each necessary category—or try to find one that covers all categories simultaneously. When reviewing the thousands (if not millions) of viable options, keep these factors in mind:

    • Core features/functionality. Similar products in a given niche can have radically different sets of features. It’s tempting to go with the most robust product in all cases, but superfluous features and functionality can present their own kind of problem.
    • Integrations. If you use a number of different software products, you’ll need some way to get them to work together. Prioritize products that make it easy to integrate with others—especially ones you’re already using.
    • Intuitiveness/learnability. Software should be intuitive and easy to learn. Not only will this cut down on the amount of training and education you have to provide employees, but it will also reduce the possibilities of platform misuse in the future.
    • Customizability/flexibility. Out-of-the-box software products work well for many customers, but they may not suit your current or future needs precisely. Platforms with greater customizability and flexibility are favorable.
    • Security. If you’re handling sensitive data (and most businesses will be), it’s vital to have a software developed with security in mind. There should be multiple layers of security in place, and ample settings for you to tightly control accessibility.
    • Ongoing developer support. Your chosen software might be impressive today, but how is it going to look in three years? It’s ideal to choose a product that features ongoing developer support, with the potential for more features and better functionality in the near and distant future.
    • Customer support. If you have an issue with the app, will someone be available to help you? Good customer service can elevate the value of otherwise average apps.
    • Price. Finally, you’ll need to consider price. The best apps will often have a price that matches their quality; it’s up to you to decide whether the extra expense is worth it.

Read about each product as you conduct your research, and pay close attention to reviews and testimonials from past customers. Additionally, most software companies are happy to offer free demos and trials, so you can get some firsthand experience before finalizing your decision. Take them up on the offer.

Finding the Balance

It may seem like purchasing or subscribing to new software products will always improve your business fundamentals, but this isn’t always the case. If you become bogged down with too many apps and services, it’s going to make operations more confusing for your staff, decrease consistency, and drain your budget dry at the same time. Instead, try to keep your systems as simplified and straightforward as possible, while still getting all the services you need.

You won’t find or implement the perfect suite of software products for your business overnight. It’s going to take weeks, if not months of research, free trials, and in-house experiments. Remain patient, and don’t be afraid to cut your losses on products that aren’t working the way you originally intended.

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Business Entrepreneur

‘Small’ business was once a stigma, but is now a growing point of pride

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) Small businesses make up the majority of companies, employers, and money makers of the American economy, that’s something to be proud of.



American small business

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, all businesses were small businesses. Independent craftsmen served communities with vital services. Small merchants opened shops to provide the community with goods. Lawyers, doctors, and other professionals hung out a shingle to offer their services to neighbors. Small businesses were the norm. Some of the most beloved American companies started out local. John Deere, Harley Davidson, and King Arthur Flour, all got their start as small businesses.

Business changes led to a attitude change

It wasn’t until manufacturing allowed businesses to scale and produce more efficiently that the idea of big business became more important. Post-World War II, the idea of a small business became derogatory. It was the age of big government. Media was growing. Everyone wanted to be on top. Small businesses took a back seat as people moved from rural to urban communities. Small business growth plateaued for a number of years in the mid-20th century. Fortunately, the stigma of small business is fading.

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy

According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, the “American business is overwhelmingly small business.” In 2016, 99.7% of firms in American had fewer than 500 workers. Firms with 20 workers or less accounted for 89.0% of the 5.6 million employer firms. The SBE also reports that “Small businesses accounted for 61.8% of net new jobs from the first quarter of 1993 until the third quarter of 2016.” Small businesses account for a huge portion of innovation and growth in today’s economy.

Modern consumers support small businesses

According to a Guidant Financial survey, the most common reason for opening a small business is to be your own boss. Small business owners are also dissatisfied with corporate America. Consumers also want to support small businesses. SCORE reports that 91% of Americans patronize a small business at least once a week. Almost half of Americans (47%) frequent small businesses 2 to 4 times a week.

Be proud of small business status

Small businesses are the innovators of tomorrow. Your neighbors want to support small businesses, knowing that their tax dollars stay in the community, and that they’re creating opportunities within their own city. Your small business status isn’t a slight. It’s a source of pride in today’s economy. Celebrate the fact that you’ve stepped out on your own in uncertain times. Celebrate the dirt under your fingernails, literally, or figuratively, that made you take a risk to do what mattered to you.

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