On October 1, we’re going to announce the opening of our first field office. It is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The reason for Atlanta is quite simple: Cricca is going to be working on implementing the strategies that we’ve written and spoken about for the past six months. As you know, we believe that the best opportunity for crowdfunding comes from local profitable consumer-facing businesses that see this as an opportunity to truly engage with their customers. While others think that crowdfunding is just about raising capital, we believe that it is about much more than that. Crowdfunding is the single most effective marketing strategy of all time.So why Atlanta? The answer is that two states have taken the lead on establishing intrastate crowdfunding exemptions – Kansas and Georgia. This means that you can already do intrastate crowdfunding in Georgia! In fact, you’ve been able to do it since late 2011. So why haven’t any successful campaigns happened yet?
The answer is simply that there is not enough awareness about crowdfunding yet – and the wrong sort of companies have attempted to raise money. As you can imagine, the companies that have been most attracted to crowdfunding are startup companies, often with no actual product and usually with no customers.
There is nascent equity crowdfunding infrastructure in Georgia. There are two great companies looking to establish themselves as the go-to crowdfunding portal in Georgia, SterlingFunder and Spark Market. We are excited about both the companies, and although we will only be partnering with one of them for our first pod of offerings, they both have great teams in place.
The challenge with raising money from crowdfunding, occurs when there is no crowd. A crowd is really the most essential portion of a crowdfunding campaign. So, why do we think were different? Well, put simply, we only work with profitable companies -businesses that have already been established. We only work with companies like restaurants, car washes, dry cleaners, landscaping companies, clothing boutiques and other businesses that you use every single day. These local successful companies have a built-in advantage – established customer bases. These customers will now have an opportunity to invest and become owners.
So if we are right, 2014 will see the emergence of some successful campaigns in Georgia. We look forward to being part of those campaigns. So if you are in Georgia, definitely drop us a line! We are interested and excited about learning about our new city. Our offices are located in Midtown Atlanta, and we are thrilled to be able to work with our Atlanta partners to cement Georgia as a leader in this exciting world of equity crowdfunding!
Jonathan Frutkin is CEO of Cricca Funding, LLC. He’s written a new book called “Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners” which was published in May, 2013.