What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding has been around for centuries. It has been used to support causes of all kinds, such as theater companies seeking to raise money for productions, musicians, etc. Gathered crowds would listen to presentations, ask questions of the fundraisers, share in the excitement of turning a dream into a reality, and ultimately make donations.
Today we have the internet, which opens up a host of new possibilities and applications for Crowdfunding. Until very recently, Crowdfunding could only be donation-based - making it illegal in the United States for a company to raise money from a crowd that woudl be used to grow its business. On April 5th, 2012, new legislation was enacted making it possible for the general public to Crowdfund startups and small businesses, and receive stock (equity) in exchange for their support.
The recently enacted law also legalized 'general solicitation,' which means that startups and companies can use social networks like FaceBook(tm), LinkedIn (tm), etc. to raise funds for their enterprises.
Crowds can be powerful things. Crowds can have intelligence and wisdom.
Social networking allows for an entirely new level of transparency in which potential investors can ask questions, receive answers, confer with other crowd members, and ultimately create a virtual crowd capable of turning dreams into reality, and cash into profits.
Crowdfunding is risky, however, as any early investment in a company comes with substantial risks. Investors who participate in crowdfunding should understand fully these risks, and be prepared to lose all monies invested.
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