Launch Pad: Slava Rubin W’00, Founder of Indiegogo

Back in 2006, Slava Rubin and his Indiegogo cofounders had some very interesting ideas for a company: “So we had this very naïve concept which is, if YouTube, which was very new at the time and wasn’t owned by Google yet, is doing this democratization of content thing, it’s quite interesting, anybody can put up any content. People can watch it if they want. And eBay was already quite established as democratizing this auction concept. Why is it that access to capital is all about the gatekeeper, knowing the right investment banker, knowing the right VC, knowing the right loan person, knowing the right person at the grant institutions?”

In short: “Why not just maybe use that ultimate democratization tool, which is the internet, to create a marketplace?”

Unfortunately, the Securities Act of 1933 made that impossible–then. So they found another path forward, and kicked off the crowdfunding industry (Kickstarter, in case you were wondering, launched in April 2009).

A decade later, the rules have changed, and Indiegogo is finally doing what Slava and his cofounders first envisioned: equity crowdfunding.

Listen to Karl Ulrich and Slava talk about equity crowdfunding, how Indiegogo is implementing it, and where he thinks companies will meet with the greatest successes using it. Plus everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the beginnings of crowdfunding.

Read more Launch Pad: Slava Rubin W’00, Founder of Indiegogo

Another Wharton Alum Kickstarts Into Crowdfunding

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the Wharton Magazine blog

By Matthew Brodsky, Editor, Wharton Magazine

Stephanie Hessler WG’89 wants to help you celebrate the women in your life. But first, she wants you to help her.

Hessler’s Everyday Greetings for Extraordinary Girlfriends line includes cards for busy moms, thank-yous and birthdays, such as these examples from her Kickstarter campaign page.
Hessler’s Everyday Greetings for Extraordinary Girlfriends line includes cards for busy moms, thank-yous and birthdays, such as these examples from her Kickstarter campaign page.

Read more Another Wharton Alum Kickstarts Into Crowdfunding

Get to Know a Wharton Prof: Ethan Mollick

By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship

In this series, Get to Know a Wharton Prof, we do brief interviews with our professors in order to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of these amazing scholars, teachers, and entrepreneurs. Today’s interviewee, Ethan Mollick, is a Professor of Management at Wharton. He studies innovation and entrepreneurship, and the ways in which an individual’s actions can affect firms and industries. He was named one of the “40 Most Outstanding Business School Professors Under 40.” Learn more about him here.

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What We Learned From Our (Successful!) Kickstarter

By Adina Luo W’16 and Molly Liu W’16, Co-founders of Black Box Denim

We’re Black Box Denim: we do custom jeans, hand-made and delivered to your doorstep. For us, the decision to run a Kickstarter campaign was an amalgamation of a lot of considerations. Ultimately, we decided it was the right choice for us: it was an opportunity to validate a market we were not yet sure existed, and we could start building our brand right away. We raised $27,492, meeting our $25,000 goal with 122 backers. The crowdfunding learning curve is a steep one, and through our own campaign, we summarized some key lessons.

Black Box Denim sm Read more What We Learned From Our (Successful!) Kickstarter

Single-State Crowdfunding—a Quicker and Cheaper Alternative

By Tom Sharbaugh, partner, and Randy Barr W’10, associate, in the Business & Finance Practice Group of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

The new crowdfunding provisions in the “JOBS Act of 2012” have received a lot of attention.  The Act exempts certain crowdfundings from the registration requirements of the federal securities laws (the Federal CF Exemption), and the SEC proposed regulations in October 2013 to implement the exemption (the Proposed CF Regulations).  The SEC received numerous comments related to the significant costs imposed by the proposed requirements, and the Federal CF Exemption will not be effective until the SEC issues its final regulations.  However, many states have found a way to go ahead with crowdfunding—by adopting their own intrastate crowdfunding exemptions.

Map_of_the_United_StatesRead more Single-State Crowdfunding—a Quicker and Cheaper Alternative