LAUNCH Festival, a two-day event hosted by Jason Calacanis, kicked off yesterday with a new twist. Live crowdfunding was offered for a handful of companies that were simultaneously listed on the SeedInvest crowdfunding platform. These companies each delivered a 3 minute explanatory pitch to a host of judges.
While SharkTank is entertainment based on business, LAUNCH Festival is the real deal where promising early stage companies present their concepts to experienced judges uncluttered by the need to artificially generate unnecessary drama. Calacanis navigated the proceedings while a diverse group of VCs and other experienced investors asked questions, gave advice and then shared their favorite startups.
“It was great to see so many quality companies all in one place. There was also excitement around the fact that the shackles had been lifted and anyone could now invest. It was not, however, like a telethon which I think is a good thing and speaks to the fact that people are still making measured decisions when investing. It was a great jumping off point to get people excited to learn more about these companies, which was the point. I also highly commend the judges who were both supportive and constructively critical. I sincerely hope for more events like these which really educate the general public and take advantage of the crowdfunding rules in a creative and compliant way.”
Most all of the companies raising capital via crowdfunding utilized both Reg CF and Reg D 506c. Under Reg CF, non-accredited investors may invest in these early stage companies. Quinn’s iDisclose provided automated Form – C filings for many of the issuers crowdfunding at the LAUNCH event.
A quick trip to the SeedInvest leaderboard page shows the following companies in the top 5 positions for raising funding online:
- NowRX – a mobile App offering same day free delivery for prescriptions
- GoFish Cam – a wireless underwater camera to capture all the action you can’t normally see while fishing.
- Couture Collection – a luxury retail sharing site similar to a high fashion time share.
- Leaf – a smartphone “plug and plant” App to help you grow marijuana (and more).
- FenSens – a post-market parking sensor with big future plans.
It was interesting there were multiple marijuana startups seeking growth funding. Perhaps because traditional Angel / VCs steer clear?
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