Tag Archives: business

Why Crowdfunding Is A Gamechanger For Texas Startups

Why Crowdfunding Is A Gamechanger For Texas Startups

By | June 24, 2015 | Fort Work Blog

It’s true. Almost anyone can become an investor in a startup thanks to the Texas State Securities Board, which approved the rules to regulate the way startups and investors conduct equity crowdfunding. As a result, more than 20 million unaccredited investors will soon be able to invest up to $5,000 per year in equity investments for small businesses raising under $1 million. The equity crowdfunding rules are important to Texas because of the many startups — especially technology companies — relying on investment capital to grow. Two companies in Texas have successfully raised capital using Texas’ new equity crowdfunding portals. The new regulation will help small, midsize, and high growth companies raise the capital they need to take their company to the next level. Additionally, crowdfunding will spawn innovation, prove business models and create new jobs. This new rule presents a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors and the great state of Texas. “In order for equity crowdfunding to work effectively for all, we need more education for issuers and investors in the business community,” states Cynthia Nevels founder of Thinkcrowdfund.com

Are you interested in learning more? We invite you to join us to hear from the experts on how the new rules work, meet leaders from approved equity crowdfunding portals and network with investors. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/ThinkCrowdFund

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.

Dallas Celebrates Small Business Week with $20 Million


FreshBooks

North Texas Women in Technology Helping to CHANGE THE FUTURE

This week, as we celebrate Small Business Week #SBW2014, the North Texas air has been filled with more than just the usual pollen. The Texas atmosphere is filled with excitement created by a heightened entrepreneurial spirit that seems to be catching on like blue bonnets in the Spring.

Standing room only events like the Marketing and Social Media Lecture Series Powered by Wells Fargo hosted by Mountain View College, the Play to the Crowd crowdfunding forum hosted by The GroundFloor at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas to the effervescent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Reception held in southwest Dallas at Gilley’s are changing the landscape for small, midsize and large businesses across North Texas. On May 14th, the room was buzzing with excitement, optimism and Texas-sized pride in south #Dallas’ Creative Corner (as I like to call it) near Southside on Lamar. Innovation, incubation, acceleration, and capital where flowing in southern Dallas like champagne at a wedding. Mayor Rawlings announced Goldman Sachs will invest $20 million to help North Texas businesses. Technology innovation is on the rise in Texas and the season is ripe with opportunities available to North Texas businesses headed up by North America’s most ingenious tech leaders.

At the forefront, leading the charge, are some of the areas most visionary women business leaders who are not sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting on opportunity to knock. They are breaking down doors and bringing a few folks along for the ride.

One rising star was recently selected to be a winner of the Women in Technology Award sponsored by the Dallas Business Journal and TeXchange DFW. Jennifer Conley, Co-Founder of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center joins the inaugural class of 25 honorees who will be celebrated on June 4 in Dallas.

On June 10th, Mountain View College will honor Julie Bugala, Vice President of Talent Acquisition for AT&T at their inaugural Women in TECH Awards Luncheon in southwest Dallas. The Dallas County Community College District campus will host a tech expo featuring the latest and greatest tech gadgets and a panel of female technology experts from around the country representing companies like Raytheon, Microsoft, and Sprint. The panelists will share personal insight on how to navigate a career in technology, advancements in the tech industry, how to find the capital needed to feed tech innovation, and the importance of engaging young girls in STEM programs at an early age. The keynote speaker for the upcoming college event will be Sabrina Parsons, President and CEO of Palo Alto Software, the makers of LivePlan.com.

The Dallas/Fort Worth business community is gearing up for an exciting summer and things are just heating up.