Krowdster Debuts New Crowdfunding Features For Investors

Krowdster Debuts New Crowdfunding Features For Investors

Krowdster, a data powered web app for crowdfunding campaign optimization and promotion, announced the addition of two new features to make it easier for crowdfunders to find targeted influencers and trending content in their industries. Josef Holm, the founder of Krowdster, stated: “Building a targeted, engaged audience on social media and identifying the right influencers and outlets to pitch to, are at the core of every successful crowdfunding marketing strategy. This used to be a tedious and expensive process, but fortunately something that Krowdster now provides a data driven solution for.” Krowdster is again using data powered technology to solve some of the biggest hurdles crowdfunders are facing today. These new features are the following: Influencer Search: A  keyword search to discover influencers, journalists, and bloggers in any niche, who have a following and who can help to get exposure for your crowdfunding campaign. This tool is best used long before launch to build rapport with the people in your space who can get the word out and propel your campaign forward. Trending Content: An easy way to discover blogs and news sites with trending content in any crowdfunding niche. Input search terms relevant to your campaign and discover content that is going viral on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google. This information can be used to build targeted media lists of the blogs and news sites that are writing about similar topics. The company noted that both of the new features work for all donations or rewards crowdfunding campaigns as well as the newly approved equity crowdfunding types Regulation A+ and Title III of the JOBS...
Will Crowdfunding’s Empowerment of the "New 98%" Change the Economy?

Will Crowdfunding’s Empowerment of the "New 98%" Change the Economy?

There are many people who have their hopes pinned to equity crowdfunding—not the least of which are the entrepreneurs hoping to fund their startups. There is a cottage industry of those that see the bigger picture promised by crowdfunding. The NextGen Crowdfunding Conference held November 19th in Santa Monica was a place for the big thinkers to come together to talk about the possibilities and to hopefully create new realities. Can equity crowdfunding fulfill its promise? The democratization of capital—the new 98% Like most things these days, equity crowdfunding is political. You poke around for a few minutes and you’ll find plenty of blogs dedicated to bashing the capital markets and the 2% that make up the accredited investor pool. I have no interest in bashing the 2% or discouraging them from using their capital in established ways to fuel entrepreneurship. Having said that, what could happen if the liquid resources of the other 98%—I’ll call them the ‘new 98%’—could be unleashed on all the promise of our entrepreneurs? Successful entrepreneurs are the inspiration for the next generation Aubrey Chernick, someone you probably haven’t been reading about in this season of billionaires in the limelight, is the founder of NextGen Crowdfunding and one of the ‘Top 50 People in Los Angeles’ according to The Los Angeles Business Journal. Like most billionaires will tell you, he got where he is the hard way—he built his business. In 1976 he founded Candle, a software company that served the Fortune 500. The company eventually created a foundation and decades later you’ll see the words philanthropist associated with Chernick as much as entrepreneur....
Understanding government tax incentives for small businesses

Understanding government tax incentives for small businesses

There was a great deal of posturing and little explaining during recent fiscal negotiations, so it’s understandable if you couldn’t make out what the negotiations mean for small business owners. Indeed, small business owners (SBOs) risked losing some tax incentives that had been in place during the fiscal cliff fight. Fortunately, many important ones survived, and you have every opportunity to take advantage of them in your first year of business and beyond. There’s money on the table. Here’s a quick guide to understanding the tax breaks you can claim. Writing off start-up costs. It may have been hard to tell during the squabbles in Washington, but the Obama administration’s Small Business Jobs Act did one very concrete thing: It doubled the amount of money small business owners could deduct as start-up costs. SBOs can now write off $10,000 (formerly $5,000) in costs associated with opening your doors (or website) to the public. There is no expiration date for this tax break. The 179 deduction. The very popular Section 179 deduction gives small businesses (with capital expenses under $2 million) the opportunity to deduct up to $500,000 in expenses. This incentive applies to both new and used equipment, as long as it was placed in service during the tax year in question. It encourages you to go “all in” in the early stages of your business. For now, it is in place until the end of 2013. Bonus depreciation for purchases. Every business needs furniture, machines, and other types of equipment to compete. Bonus depreciation allows you to write off as much as 50 percent of an investment ahead of the standard depreciation...
Study Finds That People With Both Math And Social Skills Are More Successful

Study Finds That People With Both Math And Social Skills Are More Successful

Are you good at math? Do you get along well with other people? If you can answer “yes” to both of these questions, your earning potential is higher than ever before. A recent study from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that individuals who possess both strong math and social skills saw higher earnings over a 20-year period than individuals with only one set of skills, reports the Harvard Business Review. Additionally, the return on these skills is significantly greater today than it was 30 years ago. UCSB/Catherine Weinberger Mean annual earnings among men ages 24-29 in 1979, 1989, and 1999, by occupational skill requirement (Census data).   To reach this conclusion, the study authors compared the earnings over time of white, male high-school seniors from the class of 1972 with those from the class of 1992, specifically looking at math scores from standardized tests during their senior years, participation in sports, leadership roles, and individual earnings seven years after graduation. The researchers looked at only white men because their test scores and participation levels remained stable over time, whereas education and access to extracurriculars changed over this period for women and people of color. They also used participation in sports and clubs as a measure of social skills because these activities typically involve teamwork and communication, and provided a stable metric to study effects over time. High math scores, leadership positions, and a college education all resulted in higher earnings between 1979 and 1999. However, “the trend over time in the earnings premium was strongest among those who were both good at math and engaged in high-school sports or leadership activities,” HBR reports. Flickr/UC Davis College...
Private-Equity Scrutiny Deepens as SEC Finds Illegal Fees

Private-Equity Scrutiny Deepens as SEC Finds Illegal Fees

Private-equity firms, after decades of operating with limited regulatory scrutiny, are facing possible sanctions and tighter oversight after the Securities and Exchange Commission uncovered improprieties at most firms. The SEC found illegal fees or severe compliance shortfalls in more than half of the firms it examined since starting a review of the $3.5 trillion industry two years ago, Drew Bowden, head of the SEC’s exam program, said in a speech yesterday. Bowden’s remarks foreshadow significant changes in how the industry operates, said Jay Gould, head of the investment-funds team at law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Francisco. “There will be several significant enforcement actions, enough to where the message will be pounded home loud and clear as to what is acceptable and what is not,” Gould said. Private-equity firms have enjoyed limited oversight since gaining prominence in the 1970s as partnerships of investment managers who raised money to take over companies. That changed in 2010 when the Dodd-Frank Act gave the SEC greater oversight of private funds, which are typically only open to institutions and wealthy investors. “Because of the structure of the industry, the opaqueness of the private-equity model, the broadness of limited partnership agreements and the limited information rights of investors, we are perceiving violations despite the best efforts of investors to monitor their investments,” Bowden said. “If we’re not on the job, doing exams in this area and spreading sunshine, these problems, which involve significant sums of money, are more likely to persist.” ‘More Emphasis’ The SEC, which created a special unit of staff to inspect buyout firms, started the exams in October 2012 and plans to...