It’s been an exciting time for entrepreneurs here in the U.S., especially those who are looking to raise capital for their startups. On September 23, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lifted the ban on general solicitation (aka Title II, which allows startups to publicly advertise that they’re raising capital), and now the crowd-investing community is patiently waiting for the passage of Title III (to allow anyone to invest in startups and small businesses in exchange for equity/shares of the company). So why should entrepreneurs and investors care about Title III? Because this new law will allow everyday “normal” people to invest their money into innovative startups they support and believe. Can you believe that this is currently illegal?
While Title III has not been passed yet, we believe that the crowd should have a voice. So I’d like to share some exciting news with you from our Return on Change team. We recently rolled out a new voting feature on our site. Startups will now need to accrue a significant number of votes from the crowd before they can share any details of their capital raised through returnonchange.com. When we say “crowd,” we mean anyone—your friends, family, grandmother—and it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re an accredited or unaccredited investor.
The idea behind this is two-fold. For the startups: The voting process proves that the crowd thinks your business is a good/interesting investment opportunity. Think of this as a pre-trial. If you can’t even get people excited about your startup to vote for you, what makes you believe investors will invest? Startup founders will be able to garner traction while avoiding the risk of having sensitive offering details revealed during this phase. For the investors: When a startup successfully gathers enough votes, this sends a signal to the investors that there’s a demand for the business. No one wants to be the first one on the dance floor but even you may shake a tail feather if other people are.
Here are some startups that you can vote for at the moment. There will be more startups updated on the site so be sure to come back and check them out later.
- Vonvo: Based on the belief that the sharing of worldwide news is crucial to society,Vonvo collects experts to discuss crucial issues in an educational manner, via real-time video conference technology. Each discussion is open for public viewing, commenting, and questions, and this method of open source news disrupts the top-down model of corporate news that is clouding civil awareness. Vonvo has already featured multiple UN Ambassadors discussing crucial issues such as the Syrian and Egyptian Revolutions.
- Wine for the World: They’re aiming to use wine as an agent of change in developing countries. How? By working with local wine makers in South Africa and helping them collaborate with well recognized winemakers overseas. Their mission is to provide market access to winemakers in developing countries and create economic and professional development in those wine regions.
- Connect on Call: Developed by medical doctors, this startup changes the way physicians interact with patients by providing a new way for doctors to take calls. Traditionally, call services take messages from patients and deliver those message to physicians by texting or paging. This method is outdated, inaccurate and incomplete most of the time. Connect on Call hears the patient’s problems prior to calling the patient back. The physician also has instant access to the patient’s medical record from a smartphone, to accurately triage and diagnose the patient’s medical problem.
Below is what the voting feature looks like. Show your support for any of the startups by logging in and voting at www.returnonchange.com.
This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.