Crowdfunding is booming in America, thanks to JOBS Act and Title 3. But it isn’t booming fast enough, and there is a lot of room to grow. For instance, barely one-third of all Millennials invest.
On the other hand, research indicates potential growth areas for crowdfunding include Impact Investing— i.e., investing in companies that bring about positive change in the world, which would be primarily led by socially conscious Millennials.
Newchip, a new Austin startup is trying to capitalize on that possibility by acting as a catalyst of millennial investment.
The site is designed to be a marketplace for hundreds of private equity investment opportunities where “non-accredited investors” (you and me, and all the broke friends we know) can invest in low financial sums (minimum of $100) over a specified period.
Title III, passed in 2016, empowered non-accredited investors to get into the equity crowdfunding game.
Whereas previously investments were only allowed for investors who made $200,000+ or have $1 million in their coffers, now anyone with some disposable income can have skin in the game.
But Millenials show an unusual lack of interest. A major reason is shortage of cash. Parting with dough to reap future benefits is hard when paychecks are overstretched to cover monthly payments.
Ignorance also plays a role
“Many millennials don’t know what a 401(k) is; they’re hazy on the difference between individual stocks and mutual funds,” said Mary Beth Storjohann of Workable Wealth to Bankrate.
Keeping these barriers to entry in mind, Newchip has come up with a new modus operandi: simplify the investment process— give clear choices of how much, where, and when to invest; and give them a reason to invest—show commitment to social causes and environmental causes.
You can make your picks from three types of investment— Startups (stocks); Property (real estate); or Lending.
Their SmartMatch feature helps you narrow in on your area of interest, and invest in accordance to your values. Investing in startups from completely different sectors also makes it easy to diversify your portfolio.
Newchip platform shall include startups like Legion M, the media company, Swiftmile (solar-powered bike-sharing program for office goers) and NORX (same day prescription delivery app).
It is not clear when the app and the site will be fully operational; for now it seems they are preparing for a mega launch soon.
The app promises to make investment easy and attractive for the young busy kids out there. Co-founder Ryan Ràfols said it is the Tinder for investment.
But do make sure you swipe yes to the right startups! Unlike a date, it might be harder to get out of.
Cowrkr gives you accountability while you work solo
(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) Being accountable for your own accountability is a tall order. Join Cowrkr and let someone else do it for you.
My boyfriend and I have always had a great appreciation for film and television, as well as the writing that goes into it. We always talk about different project ideas, but never get too far in execution with the busyness of real life.
Last night, I finally thought of a way that we can help each other bring our projects to completion, and that is simply by holding each other accountable. I suggest that each week we could have a new task that is due by 10 p.m. Sunday night.
We both have ideas for scripts, so the plan is to start off with having a plot synopsis and character list due the first week, having an outline due the second week, and so on. This will not only help keep us on track but will also help in terms of formatting ideas.
While I’m grateful that this little plan has come together, I know that most people aren’t working on similar projects to people they are close with. Therefore, they may need to look elsewhere for accountability.
Now freelancers and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to be matched with a fellow freelancer or entrepreneur to help hold each other accountable for their respective projects. Meet Cowrkr.
“This is an initiative to help makers keep themselves socially accountable by getting them to build publicly,” says cowrkr developers.
Users sign up and give some info regarding what project they’re working on and what they’re shipping. It works by connecting two makers at a time and cowrkr works to help each maker keep the other accountable until each project is completed.
Once a project has been completed, the makers then end their accountability relationship. When their next project comes along, they will then be assigned a different maker.
Cowrkr’s website does not give a ton of insight as to how the algorithms and matching systems work, but it is an intriguing idea for freelancers and entrepreneurs looking to take their individual projects to the next level.
The top 10 startup cities in America
(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) If you’re thinking about launching a startup anytime soon you may want to check out this list on the top 10 cities for startups.
The digital revolution is in full swing, and some cities are setting themselves up to capitalize upon these innovations by supporting startups.
In order to “better understand the U.S. cities driving the digital revolution,” several groups have come together to rank which cities are making the most of the tech startup boom.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1776, the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center, and FreeEnterprise.com have teamed up to publish a report called Innovation That Matters (ITM).
The report analyzes and ranks U.S. cities on such factors as startup capital, the connectivity of startups, startup culture, the availability of worker talent and specialization, and more. Data was taken from surveys of entrepreneurs and businesspeople, startups, and leaders in public and private sectors.
J.D. Harrison, senior director of strategic communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that the “digital revolution has the potential to make winners of some cities and leave others behind.”
The study aims to find out which cities “embrace this shift to a digital economy and actively support technology startups,” arguing that these cities “will be the best positioned to unleash the power of high-impact innovation and cultivate vibrant, thriving communities.”
The top ten ranking cities are as follows:
10) Portland, Oregon because every city needs a nickname, has been dubbed the Silicon Forest, referencing its leadership in green tech.
9) New York City, New York. The largest tech hub on the east coast.
8) Seattle, Washington. Home to Amazon.com and several other tech firms, with Microsoft’s headquarters in nearby Redmond.
7) Dallas, Texas. Dtown moved up significantly by increasing startup connectivity and tapping into a large, diverse workforce.
6) Atlanta, Georgia. The “most improved” city on the ITM list, moving up 15 places to number six due to a surge in financial, educational, and health tech industries.
5) Austin,Texas. Home of The American Genius, Austin has become a “haven for tech-savvy millennials seeking good-paying job opportunities.” Besides hosting many tech startups, Austin still has a relatively affordable cost of living.
4) San Diego, California. San Diego is full of cybersecurity, Big Data, robotics, and software startups.
3)Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Also known as Philicon Alley, moved up from number eight by deregulating and becoming more business-friendly.
2) San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay also ranked number two last year. The seaside neighbor to the Silicon Valley has been doing a great job attracting seed funding these days.
1) Boston, Massachusetts. This is the second year in a row that Boston has topped this list, due to its large number of startups and robust entrepreneur population.
How does your city rank?
Customer surveys tell more than just satisfaction
(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) While they can be annoying for the consumer and cost time for the company, customer feedback surveys are crucial to your business.
While Richard Dawson, Louie Anderson, and Steve Harvey may not be able to personally help you with customer service, what they have in common can. Surveys, and personalized follow-up attention in general, help clients and consumers know that they mean something to your business.
For the sake of this article (and the fast-paced, technological world we live in) I am going to be speaking about surveys. However, I want to share this anecdote first.
I used to work front desk at a salon and part of my job was to follow up with new guests about a week after their appointment.
Now, most of the time, my calls went to voicemail, which were never returned; but every once in awhile a human answered.
After going through the spiel of why I was calling, I could almost always sense a sound of surprise from the other line before the person answered my question. One conversation in particular left me realizing how important this seemingly useless task was.
I called an older woman and asked her about a recent appointment she had at the salon. She thanked me for calling and then went into detail about how great the appointment was and how much getting her hair done meant to her.
Before we hung up she said, “thank you again for calling. A salon has never done this before.” It then hit me like a ton of bricks just how significant something as small as a callback is.
If you have the time, definitely make those callbacks to clients as it could be very meaningful. However, it’s understandable that most of us may not have the time in our schedule for personalized phone calls.
So if that’s the case, don’t forget about surveys. I know most of them will either go to spam or go unanswered, but the mere fact that you’re sending it out shows clients and customers that you care about their business.
And, for those surveys that do receive responses, it can be extremely beneficial for your company as you can get insight into what works and what doesn’t. There’s really no disadvantage to this tactic, so remember to make time for that follow up with existing clients rather than just focusing on getting new ones.
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