10 Top Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns From 2014

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It was a banner year of growth for the crowdfunding industry in 2014 as several record-setting rewards-based and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns took place.

Each year the bar continues to rise, as the overall crowdfunding industry is estimated to grow to nearly $10.9 Billion in total funding in 2015, up from $1.5 billion in 2011.

This post highlights 10 of the top equity crowdfunding campaigns that raised equity funding for startups in 2014. For clarity, this list does not include rewards-crowdfunding campaigns where participants don’t invest, but rather donate or pre-purchase products or experiences on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

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Crowdfunding To Narrow The Gender Gap in Venture Capital

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If you don’t know the story of women and venture capital, you should. Here’s what the data says…

Of the 6,793 companies funded by VCs between 2011 and 2013, only 2.7% of those companies had a woman at the helm as CEO – according to the recent Babson College study titled “Women Entrepreneurs and Bridging the Gap in Venture Capital” (PDF).

Back in 1999, at the time of a prior study, fewer than 5% of all ventures receiving investment capital had women on their management team. But between 2011 and 2013 that figure rose to over 15%. While that increase seems like a positive trend, it still means that over the last few years 85% of all businesses funded by VCs had no women at all on the management team.

Then there’s also the gender gap among the leadership of venture capital funds themselves. A 2011 survey by the National Venture Capital Association, showed that 89% of all VC investors were men, and only 11% were women.

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Trending Startup: Invest in ivee with CEO of Siri + K5 Ventures

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“Our team is comprised of USC, Apple, Samsung, Moshi, Venarc and Beam Box. Our lead is Dag Kittlaus, CEO and Founder of Siri (Acquired by Apple), and this holiday we’ll be in over 800+ retail locations including Staples, Best Buy, Lowes, and Home Depot.”

Jonathon Nostrant, CEO

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Startup Funded: Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran Invests in Social Rewards

“Having Shark Tanks Barbara Corcoran as an investor was a huge vote of confidence from her team and subsequently helped us trend and close investors on Crowdfunder. Once we were trending, we received about an email a minute for the first few hours and were able to eventually raise $100,000 on Crowdfunder.” – Joseph Morin, CEO

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Startup Funding Online: The 5 Success Factors

In this article I’ve highlighted some of the most critical factors that drive successful startup fundraises online.

For a brief refresher, it was just over a year ago (September 2013) that we saw  Title II of the JOBS Act kick off and unleash a powerful new market for startup funding online, also referred to as equity crowdfunding.

This new capital market created under Title II is showing rapid growth, even while the opportunity to invest is currently limited to accredited investors and institutions.

Restrictions keeping everyday people (non-accredited investors) from participating may be lifted at some point under Title III of the JOBS Act, though regulators have stalled to release final rules.

That said, startups and investors are not waiting on Title III. The new startup funding market is off to the races. Technology and automation are rapidly transforming the way investments in startups and small businesses are done – driven primarily by a few leading equity crowdfunding platforms.

Today we are seeing everyday individual investors getting to invest alongside VCs and super-angels online, often in the same deals and at the same terms as some of the worlds most experienced early stage investors.

According to Kay Koplovitz and her article on the impact of the first year of equity crowdfunding, estimates for the startup funding commitments made online were estimated at over $217,000,000 in equity and debt. The sectors leading the way were the technology and real estate sectors.

Within these funding numbers are a variety of potential signals for what leads companies to succeed with raising startup funding online. Here are some of the potential signals and success factors that drive startup funding online.

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First Rewards, Then Equity Crowdfunding: The New Way Startups Are Going From Validation to Seed Funding

When entrepreneur Peter Li and his team at Atlas Wearables, an Austin-based start-up, developed their fitness monitor last year, they knew they had a game changer. All the other devices out there were little more than prettified pedometers.  But the Atlas tracker was like having an elite coach on your wrist.

Its sensors detect your movements in 3-D, analyze them instantly and displays live feedback on everything from your heart rate to the form of your squats, bicep curls and breaststrokes (yes, the device is waterproof). Atlas counts not only steps but reps. It can tell the difference between a plank and a push-up. It offers tips on improvement, warns you when you’re hitting a plateau and it can measure your workout against those of your friends or professional athletes.

With a solid prototype created by fall, Atlas had two audiences to reach.

Consumers who would buy the product.

Investors who would provide the start-up money so Atlas could grow the business and bring the product to the marketplace.

Peter needed to decide which audience to approach first.

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Crowdfunder Raises $3.5M Series A To Expand Tech + Media Equity Crowdfunding


Crowdfunder raises $3.5M round on the heels of groundbreaking equity crowdfunding campaigns for top tech and digital media startups like GoCoin, Neil Young’s PonoMusic, Social Rewards and more.

LOS ANGELES, CA — (October 7, 2014) — Leading equity crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder.com has raised a Series A round of financing from a combination of VC funds, notable investors like Tim Draper, along with a crowd of individual accredited investors. Crowdfunder aimed to raise $2,500,000 in the round, but due to significant investor demand the round was opened up to additional investors and oversubscribed at $3,500,000.

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