A not-for profit pub in Portland is just one example of a new worldwide trend toward businesses that exist to donate their profits to charity, supporting local economic development, while running a profit-making business at the same time. The Oregon Public House and other business nationally and beyond have developed models that serve not only customers, but larger missions as well. As a side benefit, they may also circumvent some of the difficulties that plague young businesses.
Article excerpt: “Through grants from the city and private donations — about 30 people have given between $1,500 to $2,500, support levels that come with a free beer a day, or a week, for life, and their own mug — the bar will also open with no loans or capital to pay back, Mr. Saari said.”
Full article at the New York Times here.
“Critics of crowdfunding say that the risk of fraud is high, but their case is weak given that individual dollar investment amounts allowed under the JOBS Act are so small that it would take hundreds of years for crowdfunding to cost the American people the $17 trillion they lost at the height of the financial crisis.”
More at the Washington Post here.
What happens when you back a cool new gadget on Kickstarter, but the entrepreneur fails to come through with the finished product? Crowdfunding gathers what are essentially donations. If a product is late or if the concept fails, backers are simply out of luck. An entrepreneur has started a new crowdfunding platform, named Christie Street, designed for use by ventures which create finished gadgets, and which incorporates an element of due diligence.
Full story here: http://www.wired.com/design/2012/12/christie-street-crowdfunding/
As exciting as equity crowdfunding is, it may not always be the best options for your startup. This article shares examples of companies who got off the ground simply with donations.
Equity crowdfunding has been touted as a great untapped source of capital for startups, but here is an article that offers a few words of caution: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryancaldbeck/2012/10/16/4-signs-a-company-is-not-a-good-candidate-for-equity-crowdfunding/
The JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act will go into effect January 2013. While some of the finer points of the legislation are still being developed, what is known is that this act has the potential to greatly increase startups’ access to capital. A helpful inforgraphic can be found here.
Forbes has published an article giving an update on the SEC rulings that have been mandated under the JOBS Act. These rulings are taking longer than expected, but should bring clarity and definition to what hopefully will be an exciting development in startup funding. See full article on forbes.com here.
The BEC is co-sponsoring a talk by author Charles Eisenstein on his new book Sacred Economics, which will take place Thursday March 8th at 7pm at Kearney Hall Rm 112 on the OSU campus. Admission is on a sliding scale of $5-20, but no one will be turned away due to lack up funds. The Great Recession has made many people stop and think about business as usual, and Sacred Economics offers some possible visions of what could be. Come join us Thursday the 8th, think outside the box, and maybe learn something new!
More information on the event: http://www.unifyingcascadia.net/corvallis.html
Some books our advisors recommend to the new entrepreneur:
The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Successful Strategies for Products that Win – Steven Gary Blank - Available in BEC Client Library
Now, Discover Your Strengths, The revolutionary program that shows you how to develop your unique talents and strengths – and those of the people you manage. – Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. Available in the BEC Client Library
Limited Liability Companies for Dummies -Jennifer Reuting
I found this book very helpful when setting up my daughter’s LLC. It’s straight forward and easy to understand. The CD in the back with sample forms is very helpful. I found this book in the Corvallis-Benton Library and decided to buy it for myself because it was a great resource. The library has a nice section on starting businesses that’s worth the trip.