Among ten bold predictions for 2014 made by Dominic Basulto in the Washington Post, one crowdfunding-related prediction sticks out: your next-door neighbor becomes a venture capitalist.
It encapsulates some of the highest hopes among crowdfunding industry stakeholders and pundits. The forthcoming ability for anyone to invest in early-stage companies could create the proverbial “Main Street venture capitalist,” and that is precisely what Basulto sees happening in the coming year…
The JOBS Act (aka the Crowdfunding Act) is set to go into full effect by mid-2014, and that could lead to anyone — not just a wealthy accredited investor — having the ability to invest in start-ups, anywhere in the country and in any industry. In short, it will soon be almost as easy to back a hot tech company on a new equity crowdfunding portal as it is to crowdfund a cool artistic project on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
In the process, expect to see a lot of “What’s the future of the VC industry?” articles. It’s only natural, since crowdfunding seems to have the potential to disrupt the traditional VC industry by creating an entirely new type of investor. And once it’s your temperamental next-door neighbor, and not a cooly rational Harvard MBA making the decision of where to allocate investment dollars, this could lead to some fantastic innovations being funded in coming years. Consider the example of the Terrafugia flying car concept, which has raised more than $10 million on the crowdfunding site Wefunder.
Other predictions included the first 3D-printed human organ, the proliferation of Google Glass and the first major cyber attack in the United States.