Tag Archives: angel investor

5/9/15 – Cowboys and Crowdfunding Episode 2

Peer-to-Peer Lending Online in Texas

CrowdPay

Key Dates and Deadlines for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

DCCCD Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program teaches small business owners how to:

  • Create and execute a business plan
  • Identify and evaluate opportunities
  • Understand financial statements
  • Hire, retain and lead employees
  • Negotiate successfully
  • And more

Act now! The application deadline for summer classes is Feb. 2, 2015.

Attend one of our free information sessions at Dallas library branch locations:

Kerry Washington’s Speech Could Inspire More Women to Crowdfund

Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

Kerry Washington was recently awarded the 2014 Crystal Award for Excellence in Television in Los Angeles, California. Her work as the fearless leader of Pope and Associates on ABCs Scandal is now in its fourth season. During the award gala this month, Washington shared a speech that struck a nerve of truth that resonated with many women across the nation. Women normally shy away from being open risk takers because of their fear of failing publicly. Being perceived as less than perfect can sometimes paralyze women who want to start their own business, raise capital or fulfill their passion.

The effort to start a new business and to raise capital using online crowdfunding platforms is not an option for some because women generally believe everything has to be perfect before taking on the risk. For those who believe crowdfunding is an option, they typically will not set a goal of half a million dollars initially. Women entrepreneurs tend to shy away from asking for the true investment amount needed to launch their businesses.

According to Dr. Richard Swart, Director of Research for the University of California, Berkeley’s Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance, 84% of men use crowdfunding as a tool for raising capital in a public setting. Women certainly use crowdfunding as a source for social finance but in far lower numbers.  Women often tend to set lower goals for their crowdfunding campaigns yet are more successful at achieving the goals set.

Moola-Hoop.com co-founder, Brenda Bazan, launched a crowdfunding platform and designed it with women entrepreneurs in mind. Her goal was to help thousands of women realize their dreams by providing a path to fund their business and creative ideas. “Women tend to under sell and over perform which is appropriate for crowdfunding,” shares Bazan in a recent interview on Disrupt Radio.

Research shows start-ups and new ventures that successfully raise capital via crowdfunding typically will find it easier to raise or have access to additional capital from angel investors, venture capitalists and other traditional mechanisms of financing. Investors are typically looking for the dramatic vision and the rich story of how the idea will grow. But, women fail to tell their stories or talk about themselves in front of investors due to the fear of making a mistake.

Washington dispelled the notion of women feeling they have to be perfect. In her speech given on June 11, 2014. Washington shared,

We as women put ourselves in this situation of feeling like we can’t take a risk, like in order to step out there we have to be perfect, because we’re scared that if we don’t say the right thing, or do the right thing, that we’ll reflect poorly on ourselves and our community, whether that community be women, people of color, both.

Helping women recognize the true opportunity that exists in the market today will be vitally important to further development of women-owned microenterprises, job creation and an increase in economic development in local communities. Creating an ecosystem that welcomes women crowdfunders who have innovative ideas and disruptive companies is the responsibility of all stakeholders. Women, like Cate Blanchett, the winner of the 2014 Crystal Award for Excellence in Film, should be celebrated for their words of wisdom. When analyzing the data, men continue to outnumber women when it comes to high paying jobs and raising capital for start-ups.

The problem, however, is not with the system per se, it is the mindset of the women. Washington went further to point out the need for change,

“[Women] need to be willing to be uncomfortable, to be flawed, to be imperfect, to own our voice, to step into our light, so that we can continue to inspire other people and employ other people, and make room for more and more voices and presence.”

If more women start to see successful female business owners overcome their fear of failure, take on more risks and build strong enterprises others just may follow and the crowd will cheer them on.

Online Health and Nutrition Company Raises $550,000 in Capital

BuluBox_GroupOf3_1There are new vitamin supplements, frozen and fresh health foods, and health products launched every day. If you are looking to make a lifestyle change you know how challenging it is to keep up with what is on the market. It is even harder to find samples of these products to find out for yourself what works for your body and what doesn’t before you invest your hard earned money.

In 2012, Paul and Stephanie Jarrett had just finished running the San Francisco half marathon. They were given a bunch of different samples of healthy products. “It was fun to receive them, but it got us thinking about how none of the companies were at the event gathering market data – and how difficult it must be for those companies supplying the samples to measure the return on their investment (ROI),” shares Paul.

Stephanie Jarrett worked in the nutrition industry and knew how difficult it can be to determine the ROI of distributing samples, and the industry spends billions doing it.

An idea sparked and in 2012 they launched Bulu Box. Bulu Box is a fun and easy way for people to discover vitamins, nutrition or other health products. You just sign-up for a monthly or annual subscription, and Bulu Box will send you a box filled with different premium sample products based on your health needs. You share what you think about the products by completing online surveys and engaging in social media promotion. In exchange, you receive points that convert into cash which you can then use to buy the full-size version of the products you like.

The company is growing and has already secured $550,000.00 in capital and is working day and night to close their next round of $1 million for their startup. They are raising capital to invest in hiring more talent, investing in marketing and boosting their advertising.

“We have found people want functional foods, foods that serve a purpose,” states Jarrett. We look forward to seeing how this company fairs in combining health, nutrition and purpose on Main Street. To learn more or order your first Bulu Box visit www.bulubox.com and sign up for your first month.  To listen to Paul’s latest interview on Disrtupt Radio click here.