On Friday July 13th, we had the honor of participating in a series of phenomenal equity crowdfunding events in Washington D.C. which included a Congressman, White House staff members, Senator staff members, senior members of the SEC, senior members of FINRA and some of the most influential members in the nascent industry. It was not only an incredible accomplishment to get all of these folks in one room, but also a huge accomplishment to get them all to discuss their thoughts so candidly this early in the rule-making process. I was especially honored to serve on a panel entitled “Ensuring Investor Protections” along with Lona Nallengara, the Deputy Director of the Corporate Finance Division of the SEC and Tom Sellman, the Executive Vice President of Regulatory Policy for FINRA.
While it was very clear that we all have a lot of work left in order to write the JOBS Act into law, it was also very evident that the SEC and FINRA: 1) know very clearly what they have on their plate; 2) have teams which are equipped to get moving; 3) have been reading the suggestions we have been submitting over the past few months; and 4) understand there is a strong group of industry leaders who are ready to help and carry the torch when the time comes. For me personally, it was incredibly valuable to put faces behind names and to ensure that the key rule makers know who SeedInvest is. In addition, the highlight of the day for me was unquestionably when Congressman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina delivered a riveting speech, just prior to my panel. Congressman McHenry was the one who initially took our Advisors’ (Sherwood Neiss and Jason Best’s) framework and turned it into H.R. 2930: Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act, which passed the House in November by an astonishing vote of 407-17.
McHenry stated that although he is proud that the JOBS Act was passed, he had a number of improvements which he will ensure are made. Most notably, he mentioned that he has a lot of years left on The Hill and will make sure that the cap on what companies are allowed to raise through equity crowdfunding gets raised from $1 million to $5 million. Although it would most likely take some time for this amendment to potentially become a reality, it does open up a very exciting possibility for us at SeedInvest. We understand why investors should be limited to certain investment amounts in order to provide investor protections, but why limit what amount a company can raise? In our opinion, the industry will need to prove itself over the next year or two in order to support such an amendment but that’s a challenge that we at SeedInvest embrace with open arms.
Until next time,
This post was written by SeedInvest on July 17, 2012
SeedInvest Goes to DC