David Cummings

David Cummings is an Atlanta success story. He’s a highly successful serial entrepreneur, founder of Atlanta Tech Village and an influencer in Atlanta’s start-up community.

David recently wrote on his blog about the challenges CEOs face in raising capital for their startups. He noted that “fundraising is a full-time job” and “incredibly difficult,” especially when coupled with build a business. He described spending four months as CEO tracking down capital only to call off the process and swear off institutional capital.

The challenges described by David are ones equity crowdfunding is designed to beat. Once it hits its stride, crowdfunding should provide deserving startups with capital without the endless meet-and-greets, out-of-town trips and redundant presentations. Equity crowdfunding can be done from the local coffee shop, tech incubator or home office, letting CEO and his/her team focus on building the business.

While equity crowdfunding will make raising capital easier, it still won’t be easy. A startup looking to raise capital through equity crowdfunding needs the same ingredients as those raising money offline . . . but the time spent to raise it should be much less.

We are working to generate equity crowdfunding success stories, and hope David will write about them on his blog soon. Please sign-up at SterlingFunder and get involved.

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SterlingFunder Visits Savannah

Thank you Caleb and R for inviting me to speak about equity crowdfunding
and the Invest Georgia Exemption to start-ups in SCAD-Ventures in
Savannah, Georgia. Thank you also Bea, for inviting me to the Creative
Coast’s Start-up Lounge event also in Savannah.

I can confirm that the rumors about Savannah’s vibrant start-up
community are true. I met a number of talented start-up CEOs who are
doing some very special things. The investor community seems
enthusiastic and adventurous – a winning combination.

SterlingFunder is continuing to spread the word about equity
crowdfunding and the Invest Georgia Exemption throughout the great State
of Georgia. If you’d like to have us visit your area to talk about,
let us know — we are ready. Thanks for reading, David

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SterlingFunder conversation with Jen Bonnett

Startup Chicks founder and ATDC catalyst joins Justin Miller to discuss when in the process an entrepreneur is ready to raise capital for their startup or company. Bonnett is a “recovering entrepreneur” who now spends her time helping other entrepreneurs by coaching them on the process of going from concept to viable company and says the biggest hurdle is in “resetting expectations to be investment-ready.” Learn more about what you need to raise capital for your startup.

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David Lilenfeld on CrowdFundBeat about the IGE

Devin Thorpe delves into the Invest Georgia Exemption (IGE) with SterlingFunder founder David Lilenfeld in this lively and informative interview. The IGE makes it possible for non-accredited Georgia investors to invest in companies based in Georgia through crowdfunding portals like SterlingFunder. David explains the IGE rule and how it’s working in Georgia to create enthusiasm from companies and addresses the challenges of educating investors about the new opportunities presented.

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Why Invest Through Equity Crowdfunding?

Investing in privately-held start-ups and growing companies has, historically, been open only to the wealthiest Americans. That was because investors in these opportunities needed to fit within the Securities and Exchange Commission’s narrow definition of an “accredited investor,” which less than two percent of Americans do. An accredited investor is someone who has a net income of $200,000 or greater or a net worth of $1 million or greater.


While being left out of these often lucrative investment opportunities, most Americans could turn only to real estate, publicly traded stocks, treasury bonds and similar investment opportunities. But an onslaught of Wall Street scandals, the infamous mortgage industry collapse and the Great Recession have made those types of investments far less appealing. Where should an investor look for other opportunities?


Through the Invest Georgia Exemption (IGE) and a federal law called the JOBS Act, investing in privately-held start-ups and growing companies has been opened to just about every American, instead of just the wealthy. This means that non-accredited investors, those with a net income under $100,000 or net worth under $1 million, also have the ability to invest in start-ups and companies.


Investing in businesses during their earliest stages can prove to be extremely profitable. If you had invested $500.00 in Google when it first started in 1998, it would be worth $10 million today. A more recent example is social media site Tumblr, which was purchased by Yahoo for $1.1 billion dollars. A $500.00 investment in Tumblr when it first started would be worth about $750,000 today. Hundreds of less well-known privately held companies are bought every year, providing great returns to their early investors.


Venture capitalists and angel investors have made billions of dollars with early stage investments. Equity and debt crowdfunding finally opens these types of investments to just about all Americans, giving them the same opportunities the super-rich have enjoyed for decades. SterlingFunder is the nation’s first equity and debt crowdfunding portal to be doing business for both accredited and non-accredited investors.


Of course, investing in start-up and early stage companies is not without risk. A high percentage of young companies fail or never reach profitability and, in those cases, investors can lose their entire investment. If you do not have a good understanding of the investment or cannot tolerate this risk, you should stay on the sidelines until you are ready. If you follow those guidelines, you can use equity crowdfunding to another way to find good investment opportunities.


You can learn a lot from the investment model of venture capitalists. Venture capitalists do not invest all of their funds in a single opportunity, but instead spread their funds out among several different opportunities. They do this with the expectation that one or two big successes will make up for the failures, plus provide a nice profit. You should consider whether a similar strategy – of spreading your investment funds out instead of putting all into a single opportunity – is right for you. It just might be. You will find many great start-ups and companies to browse on SterlingFunder, as well as informative articles about investing to get you started.

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Video – Why Invest Through Equity Crowdfunding


Investing in privately-held start-ups and growing companies has, historically, been open only to the wealthiest Americans. Through the Invest Georgia Exemption (IGE) and a federal law called the JOBS Act, investing in privately-held start-ups and growing companies has been opened to just about every American through equity and debt crowdfunding. Investing in businesses during their earliest stages can prove to be extremely profitable, but it is not without risk.

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Work Starts Before The Crowdfunding Campaign Goes Live

The work starts before you attempt to attract investors and the campaign goes live with the funding request. You need to:


Develop Your Network & Online Presence: To launch a crowdfunding project in the future you need to establish a social network and online presence now. Make sure to actively promote your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google Plus. Even if you are already active, it is important to connect to as many people as possible within each social channel. Connecting with a wider online audience through social platforms, helps to generate interest around your product or service. This makes it easier to reach out to potential investors and actively promote your startup.


Assemble Your Team: The right management team can make or break a deal. The earlier you establish your winning team, the better your chance of success will be. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and has the same goals. If you see any potential problems it is important to fix or eliminate them before you get close to the launch of your pitch.


Business Plan Development: You should develop your business plan before you put a live request for funding out in the open. The business plan isn’t necessarily the word-for-word pitch you will place online, but it is the foundation for your business. If you have a well thought out business, that will show in your pitch.


The Pitch: With a well thought out business plan in place, you are ready to write a winning pitch. You need to fully explain why your project is the best option for these investors and it also needs to have that “personal connection” element. With so many opportunities available for investors to inject their investment dollars into, you need to develop your pitch in a way that it attracts them in a personal way as well as monetary way.


When you join SterlingFunder, you should connect your existing networks with your pitch on SterlingFunder, attracting your core supporters directly to your project pitch. The SterlingFunder community of entrepreneurs and investors all have the same passion: to create business opportunities. SterlingFunder is there by your side to facilitate the entire process. Our team is committed to helping all of our entrepreneurs succeed and reach their goals. If you have any other suggestions and tips for pre-launch preparation leave them in the comments below. Also, if you have any questions before you launch your project on SterlingFunder let us know and we will do our best to help you!

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