Last Friday, July 13th, CFIRA held their Development of Crowdfunding Regulations Symposium in Washington DC. I couldn’t be there, but by all accounts it was a landmark gathering, and DC is thirsty for knowledge and guidance on this nascent revolution. Speakers and panelists included Capitol Hill crowdfunding pioneers Rep. Patrick McHenry, Sen. Scott Brown, and Sen. Jeff Merkley’s legislative counsel Andy Green; Kickstarter-funded tiltpod designer Eric Strasser; representatives from the SEC and FINRA, representatives from leading investment portals and funding networks; securities lawyers; small-business advocates; and others. Dara Albright of NowStreet Media wrote a great recap of the event. It really seems like the regulators in DC want to get equity crowdfunding right, want to make it work, want this very American experiment to succeed in sparking innovation and economic vitality.
Perhaps (I’m speculating here) in part triggered by the primacy demonstrated by last Friday’s CFIRA symposium, Sara Hanks, Maurice Lopes, and two other members of the NLCFA board have left the NLCFA to direct their efforts to the CFPA, CFIRA’s sister organization, as reported by crowdsourcing.org. Lopes explains that “the CFPA is so much more engaged in the politics” than the NLCFA, and that the breakaway group advocated joining forces to create a single organization.
Lopes (who sent two letters to the SEC last year in support of the original SELC crowdfunding petition) also expressed his feeling that the NLCFA is “driven towards membership, and less towards actual things that needed to be done for the industry.” I found this interesting. As previously reported here, NLCFA membership costs $200 for individuals and $750 from portals, brokers, and technology providers (CFPA individual membership is free for the org’s first year). If the NLCFA has collected these dues from a large membership base, then as with a successful crowdfunding raise, the NLCFA should certainly have ample resources for doing constructive work supporting the crowdfunding industry.
Meanwhile, the CFPA recently posted a simple questionnaire for a survey that, as Brian Dengler explains, will help it understand what businesses and individuals know and think about crowdfunding, and how they plan to take advantage of equity-based crowdfunding once the SEC implements the rules.
Please take a minute to fill it out right now. Yes, now — before you forget. It’s all multiple choice, no essay questions, and it will only take a minute. Not only is it for a good cause, but also if you’re one of the first 500 people to complete the questionnaire, you could win a new iPad 3. Why are you still reading this? Take the survey, dammit! Thank you.