The Founders

Speakers

Oscar Jofre

CEO and Co-Founder

KoreConX

Oscar Jofre

CEO and Co-Founder

Oscar is currently one of the Top 10 Global Thought Leaders in Equity Crowdfunding, a Top 5 Fintech Influencer, Top 10 Blockchain and a Top 50 InsureTech. He has published an eBook that has been downloaded in over 20 countries, and been distributed by partners worldwide. Oscar is a featured speaker on Fintech, regulated, equity crowdfunding, compliance, shareholder management, investor relations, and transparency in the USA, Australia, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia and China. He speaks to audiences covering alternative finance, RegTech, insurance, banking, legal, and crowdfunding. Oscar also advises the world’s leading research, accounting, law firms and insurance companies on the impact Fintech, RegTech, LegalTech, InsurTech and OrgTech is having in their business.

Julien Phipps

CRO

KoreConX

Julien Phipps

CRO

Chief Revenue Officer with over 20 years of SMB, Enterprise Sales and Management experience in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland in technology (SaaS) and Financial Industries. From start up, to Fortune 500 and hyper-growth enterprise companies, I create, cultivate successful company cultures and lead teams that contribute to desired revenue growth. I'm responsible for all revenue-related strategies globally. I lead Business Development, Sales, Account Management, Sales Operations, Strategic Partnerships and Marketing activities. I believe in giving back and through philanthropic endeavours throughout my career, I've given my time and expertise to grow the operations of The Canada One Foundation and KitsFest. As a senior advisor to the board, our foundation has had a positive impact on our local community. Over $1.2M in post-secondary grants and nearly $800K in social legacy projects that continue to benefit our young leaders and our communities.

Jake Sherman

Principal

NeoVision Ventures

Jake Sherman

Principal

FINRA registered fin-tech executive with a focus on commercial real estate and blockchain technology. Professional experience includes investment platform development, structuring Reg D, Reg A, and Reg CF offerings, and utilizing blockchain to digitize equity ownership to enhance liquidity, transparency, and efficiency. Skilled in business development, strategic planning, financial structuring and analysis, and real estate valuation. I have a BA in finance from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from New York University, and hold a Series 7 and Series 63 license.

Oscar Jofre  00:01

All right, well, good afternoon, everyone and welcome back. Hopefully everybody’s getting adjusted with this new platform that we’re testing. It’s, again, it’s pretty interactive. And I do apologize for those who had some issues in the previous session with the sound, we hope that, you know, the information was able to get through. But good thing is everything is getting recorded. It’s also on YouTube Live. So we are broadcasting all of these events. So now, as I said, we are closing the year off with, we wanted to put something in here that we haven’t done before. And this next panel is going to begin a discussion that, you know, we often we hear from the lawyers from the auditors from everyone involved helping the company. But now we’re going to hear from the company itself. And in particular company who’s going to utilize these great exemptions in the Jobs Act. And that’s going to be led by Julien Phipps, one of our colleagues on our team, and he’s gonna welcome Jake Sherman, as well here, gentlemen, have a great session. And anything you need, just let us know. Okay. Enjoy.

Julien Phipps  01:16

Great stuff. All right. Hi, Jake. This is Julian CRO at KoreConX. And I’ve got Jake Sherman from NeoVision Ventures. Jake, how’s it going today? And how are things going at NeoVision?

Jake Sherman  01:28

Oh, things are going well, Julian, thanks for having me.

Julien Phipps  01:31

Oh, it’s our pleasure. Yeah, this is a nice focus session, unfortunately, you know, we had as well, our other colleague and industry colleague called Jennifer at Province Brands of Canada. You know, obviously, some things came up, no worries, we’re gonna steal the spotlight today, Jake. It’s all about, you know, understanding, you know, how these exemption regulations and, and why you as a company, you know, chose to utilize them and understand a little bit more this path, this, this, you know, journey that you’re on, we always refer to it as a journey. But before we dive into all that, why don’t you tell us a little bit about NeoVision Ventures, and give the audience a little bit of a flavor of what you’re doing over there?

Jake Sherman  02:16

Yeah, sure. So I’m here, I guess, representing two separate companies. One is NeoVision Ventures and the other is Sentinel. So NeoVision Ventures is a venture capital firm. And we’ve been looking at, you know, startup companies. And one of the interesting facets that we’ve been sort of getting more and more involved with, as you know, from our time talking together, is, is learning more about RegA and how that’s empowering other companies to raise money. And so one of the associated things that comes with RegA is sort of the the auric, expensive startup costs. And what NeoVision Ventures aspires to do is invest, you know, cover these startup costs for these companies looking to raise capital, in exchange for equity, and so to sort of help facilitate RegA and promote its use. And we’ve also started doing our own RegA offering. And that’s what Sentinel is, it’s a ESG focused Bitcoin mining operation that we’re currently starting the RegA process on. And, you know, one of the reasons we were so excited about it, is, I guess you could say it’s a philosophical preference in the sense that if you look at bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, this has been really brought to the mainstream by retail investors that this is not something that started with institutions, and accredited investors. And so we really wanted to open up this kind of investment to everybody. And so RegA seemed a great way to tap into that marketplace.

Julien Phipps  03:59

Amazing. No, that’s fantastic, Jake. I mean, a lot of folks, you know, they obviously have heard of, of crypto digital assets, the craze that’s going on out in the marketplace is definitely coming. I mean, we’ve already seen countries adopt, you know, digital currency, and all of that. Now, for the audience sake as well. I mean, when we’re talking Bitcoin mining, we’re not talking mining as traditional, you know, resource companies or digging up the Earth. We’re talking about having these different establishments or I guess locations where different servers or for lack of better term are mining are discovering and solving algorithms to find and I guess, mine these these coins, these digital currency coins, is that correct? A fair assumption.

Jake Sherman  04:45

Right? And everything is very ESG focused, we’re gonna be using, you know, solar panels hydro. We’re focused on doing something, you know, good for the environment. And I think that’s also something that Retail investors connect with.

Julien Phipps  05:02

That’s amazing. Yeah. Because that’s the aspect that had has had some controversy, of course, with the digital currency mining digital mining side of things, right. Crypto mining. So, that aspect, I mean, how you mentioned some of the, I guess, renewable energy sources, or low cost energy is, you know, I’ve even heard of some companies now, leveraging the byproduct of all these, if you can imagine this electricity in this, you know, heat that’s being generated in these, these, as they call them, you know, Bitcoin mining farms, that is also a new thing that they’re doing, they’re starting to have heat capture, or utilize this facility to perhaps integrate vertical farming, vertical agricultural farming, believe it or not, right? So are there, these are things that I would imagine a lot of, you know, even the company you’re working with at Sentinel, they’ve figured out a way to make this a little bit more, I guess, appropriate in terms of an investment that covers the ESG sector.

Jake Sherman  06:01

Right, we’re exploring a lot of different ways to go about it. But the end goal is same. We don’t want to have, you know, any carbon footprint. So you know, right, the end goal is yet ESG first.

Julien Phipps  06:12

Oh, lovely. Okay, well, now getting back to a little bit about, you know, your journey into this and why, you know, and you’re probably gonna, you’ve opened the floodgates in the beginning of the conversation with, you know, you’re looking and aspiring to helping companies by funding, you know, and actually providing the upfront capital, you know, for the companies that you find, are the ones that are, you know, ready for investment, so to speak, what are some of the criterias or things that you’re looking for today, to actually, you know, you know, qualify or help these companies along are there, you know, maybe describe the the portfolio that you’re looking to build, or the types of companies that, are you ready for this type of support and investment? 

Jake Sherman  06:51

Sure. So I mean, I think that we’re, we’re fairly industry agnostic. One of the important things for us is that this has to be an investment that, you know, retail can get behind, it has to be something typically that that they use, and what I’m seeing is very popular, or successful, rather, is, you know, companies that are raising money from investors that use their product, so something like that would have a larger appeal. You know, there’s the great thing about this is that there’s so many different opportunities for these companies to be successful with RegA, that we have a very broad reach and pool of where we’re looking.

Julien Phipps  07:34

That’s amazing. Yeah, okay, perfect. Now, with your own journey, what decided and what pushed you to the point where you said, Great, we’re at the point where, I guess with NeoVision Ventures, we’re going to look at doing a RegA, what what what is that kind of impetus to help, you know, companies that are on the call, and different founders that are on this this webinar today? You know, what made you say, this is, this is why I’m choosing to raise capital this way, were some of the highlights.

Jake Sherman  08:03

I mean, you know, I think that we’re just in the midst of a retail investing revolution, whether it’s, you know, if you look at Robin Hood, and the stock market, and you know, even these meme stocks and all this craze, it’s that everyone is investing now. And with the Jobs Act, people now have an opportunity to invest. And so we really just want to foster that. And I think that’s just a tremendous opportunity for companies to access capital, using this new format.

Julien Phipps  08:32

Yeah, and you and I have had some conversations, of course, along this path. And, and we’ve even looked at kind of what the the exemption regulations allows you to do, whether it’s reg CF, crowdfunding, where you can now as of March raise up to $5 million. And also under RegA up to 75 million. I mean, these are powerful tools, and frameworks of raising capital and private markets. Each one of them have, you know, it’s it’s, you know, I guess, additional nuances that make it different from going public or different from, you know, doing a different type of raise, or raising from, you know, venture capital and different things. This is where I would dare to say dare to dream, dare to say that the companies that are leveraging these seeds, not only the benefit that you mentioned, the crowd and equity crowdfunding because everybody’s investing, but also the fact that there’s an interesting nuances in terms of how you’re able to incentivize the investor, how you can add perks or bonus shares, and offer all of these different nuances that will really also add that additional layer of reasoning why the crowd or that investor wants to participate and champion your brand. It you know, you want to add a little bit to that as well?

Jake Sherman  09:49

Yeah, I think, you know, one of the things that’s really exciting about this as a founder as opposed to going to institutional investors is that you really get to curate a story that can appeal to people. And, you know, for us ESG, I think is something that is very important to a lot of people that, you know, it gives us an opportunity, because it’s important to us too, it gives us an opportunity to cater to the right audience. And I think if you look at bonus shares, whether it’s, you know, offering shares for investing earlier on larger amounts, you know, you can really curate the experience that you want to have for your investors, and it doesn’t have to be this very standard, you know, institutional, this is what we’re offering, this is the deal, you know, you really have an opportunity to customize the offering in that sense.

Julien Phipps  10:35

Very true. And for those on the call today, ESG is really the environmental, social and corporate governance aspects of, you know, investing, you know, maybe more ethically, or in having to invest in what they sometimes refer to impact investment, really, and, you know, it couldn’t come at a better time, I mean, the world we’re seeing today is facing so many, you know, climactic changes, right, and all of that. So, this is really where there’s been a huge surge of investment going on, not only in our private capital markets, but also in the public side as well. And I think that’s important to just point out in the sense that we’re, we’re at a very interesting intersection where technology and you know, ESG, and different ethical and social awareness is growing. But it’s a it’s a an opportunity, where different companies that are coming to stage and they’re dreaming up these different solutions in the space, just like Sentinel with, you know, your, your vision for more green and more environmentally friendly Bitcoin mining, for example. But other solutions, it can be something simple as well, for the retail side of things. It’s not, as you said, the same way, you’re looking at agnostic in different verticals, this, these regulations apply to everyone. And I think that, you know, definitely commend you folks, as well for taking that step with not only your fund, but maybe describe a little bit about your venture fund and how that’s structured. And, and we can kind of learn a little bit more about how that will operate.

Jake Sherman  12:11

Yeah, sure. So I mean, we’re looking for companies that are going to have retail appeal. As I mentioned before, things that are, you know, when you’re selling to the customer, the investor, that’s something we’re really more interested in, as opposed to, you know, something that would be sold more to a company or a larger institution. And, you know, sustainability is key, I think, in terms of being successful for raise, but yeah, so like, what we would do is, we would come to an agreement with these companies where we would finance all of the expenses. You know, we’ve spoken about these expenses at length Julien, you know, whether it’s legal, investor acquisition’s probably the largest, you know, and so it can come out to hundreds of 1000s of dollars, before you start to see a return on investment. And so, you know, oftentimes companies going about the RegA raise, they may not necessarily have hundreds of 1000s of dollars at their disposal, but they also have a great product or service, that is tremendous appeal to retail. And so we would look into that. And if we agree, you know, with their vision, this would be a great, you know, mutually beneficial opportunity for us to come in, cover these costs and help facilitate this RegA raise.

Julien Phipps  13:32

Yeah, that makes sense, as well. And, and with that, is also I guess, you’re looking at the total package as well. And this ecosystem, you know, we got to thank and acknowledge all the folks that have, you know, helped, you know, the ecosystem. You heard it, even from David Weild, you know, this is not easy to build, and grow an ecosystem to where it’s at today. So in that ecosystem, and in this, these fundraises, where we’re looking at Reg CF, and RegA, a lot of the different components, it really does take a team to build that that successful raise, we look at not only that, you know, the technology and the SEC registered transfer agent side, but also we’re looking at, you know, having a broker dealer, you know, for most raises, that will do the compliance and handle all of the state filing, you know, regulations, as well as the law firm that will file the regulation itself, right. So doing the reg CF or RegA raise, then you got, then you also have the auditing firm if you need that to raise, you know, over the threshold limits. And lastly, of course, a very important component is the investor acquisition, the marketing. So all of those combined, I would say, really, you know, is probably key as well to know that those are in place for the types of companies or that you have that solution, you know, with your your approach to funding the companies that you’re looking at.

Jake Sherman  14:58

No, absolutely. We’ve had a few opportunity to meet with, you know, a lot of players. Everyone’s been very knowledgeable, helpful, and they have very clear visions to get us there. And so it’s with that guidance that gives me a lot of optimism and encouragement that, you know, this process is something that can be successful for a lot of people.

Julien Phipps  15:20

That make sense. Well, one of the things that I get questioned on and asked about founders often and teams that are contemplating this is, you know, if these regulations weren’t available, I would have gone down the path of, you know, looking at venture capital, or, you know, other other sources of income, you know, where those ever, you know, what did you do before this, Jake, you know, even in your journey, or perhaps what have some companies that you looked at, and advise with and spoken to considered? Or, you know, maybe those are some insights where we can understand what the path was, and now what it is today?

Jake Sherman  15:59

Yeah, sure. So, I mean, I think there are a number of reasons why a company would choose to go this route, as opposed to traditional venture. And, you know, some of those are, you know, as I mentioned before, it’s a great way to connect with your customers, if you make them investors. Certain companies are an excellent fit for that type of criteria. But there could be other business decisions as well, you know, a company may not want to give up seats on its board to venture capital, they may not want to have, you know, just voices in the room, they want to control the process themselves. And if you go with venture, typically they’re going to have to, you know, endure maybe a lot of insight that you may not want. Venture capital may, you know, insist on a certain valuation, certain discounts, you may not be happy with your valuation, you do have more flexibility here to sort of set the valuation that you’re looking for. And, you know, as an entrepreneur, something that you feel is fair that venture capital may not see eye to eye with you on. So, you know, there are a number of reasons. But you know, I think that arriving here, you know, it definitely has its benefits over traditional venture, that’s for sure.

Julien Phipps  17:11

Right? Yeah. And I think you nailed one, especially, it’s having the control, you know, for founding teams, we’ve heard the story all too often that, you know, they seek out a certain route of capital. And next thing, you know,, they become diluted in their company equity and lose control of the of the company, this is a way of not only maintaining a certain threshold of equity control, but also being able to go back over and over to the crowd time and again, and raise the capital that you need. Right. And so that’s something that, you know, in itself is powerful, RegA, especially, I mean, you can buy purchase back up to 30% of the shares issued on an annual basis, which is, I mean, how powerful is that? Now, you can actually put those shares back into the company Treasury, and then utilize that to reissue the next round. Right. So that’s allowing you to maintain the equity control and in some form or fashion, right. So that’s, it’s a powerful thing. And now with secondary market, all of that is possible. So I think, like you mentioned, Jake, there’s a lot of upside to this. And it’s important to kind of wrap the minds around this and say, okay, the, you know, this may be a great launching pad with Reg CF, and RegA, as well, to follow on with those investment rounds. But also, I mean, we we even had questions from the crowd here on the costs involved with with Reg CF and RegA. And I know some of those, but I just wondering for yourselves, what have you considered with these companies in terms of the cost, we know RegA is more cost more to get to the start line than Reg CF? You want to provide a little insight to the to the audience here on those?

Jake Sherman  18:57

Yes. So I mean, it just sort of adding up all of cost together, that we would have to come out of pocket with. And, you know, in speaking with some very talented investor acquisition companies, you know, we’re told that after three months or so, of actively marketing, enough money will be coming in to sustain reinvesting the marketing dollars. So before that point happens, you do have to cover your startup with investor acquisitions in three months of advertising, as well as their fees legals about 45,000 You know, with our lawyer, we’re using Marty Tate. He’s Excellent. And so you know, I think all in all, let me become out of pocket about 400,000 Depending on how much you want to do marketing.

Julien Phipps  19:46

Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. And definitely, we echo that as well. There’s a range I mean, Reg CF, that you know, getting to the start line easily can be 30 grand, but it takes money to raise capital, right. And ultimately when working with, you know, the investor acquisition group that’s going to drive the investor eyeballs, they’ve got a database that they can tap into, they’re utilizing and leveraging social media, you know, different ad streams that will, you know, is part of their mix of, you know, secret sauce in terms of promoting the, the offering. And all of that is is is really how you’re going to get looks into that offering that you again, control on your website as an offshoot on an investment landing page that is quite powerful, you’re getting all the data on these individual investors, you’re able to remarket and target the ones that drop off, I think those are some of the features that we discussed in the past as well, Jake that really play to the strengths of this. You’re also building your own network and your own your own, I guess, tribe, if you will, right, a tribe of investors, and then brand ambassadors that are going to, you know, tell other people, other folks, and, you know, the, the viral effect of that is also great, because they’re the ones that we’ve noticed that they’re going to be investing time and again, to further, you know, see the success of that company, right, if you’re communicating and being transparent, I think those are all key issues as well. So yeah, Reg CF, generally, you’re seeing to get to the start line, we’re gonna just throw a ballpark figure around 30 to 45,000, the RegA is more expensive to get to that start line, you know, definitely earmark of budget much greater than that, you know, it’s going to be more costly to get to the start line probably about 10 times more. So around 300,000, maybe 100,000 of that, just to start off with some some marketing, but marketing budget is where you’re going to have the investor acquisition is going to have a lot more to do. So yeah, I guess you would echo that as well, Jake.

Jake Sherman  21:52

No, absolutely. And, you know, another option for companies to explore is you can always start with the CF and then use that money, which is it has smaller startup costs, but the money you raise from that can be used to finance your RegA. That’s always an option. And we’re actually exploring that with Sentinel, as well. But just to echo one of your points, Julien, one of my favorite things about it, is that, you know, if you’re marketing something, and it’s not necessarily resonating with your audience, you can change it and you can tweak things, and everything is in your control. And so it’s a process where from start to finish, you have the ability if things are not going well, to change them and get to where you want to.

Julien Phipps  22:32

Absolutely. Well, these are valuable insights. And really, you know, getting back to the theme of the discussion today, it’s really all about daring to dream, allowing us to empower really the entrepreneur, the founders, all of those team members that that are at the early stage, and even further along in their fundraising journey. It’s, you know, really, this is ending off 2021 We had a vision of leveling up. Now. It’s about daring to dream and pushing your ideas into reality and getting these things live and up and going. And we want to really think, again, the ecosystem. Thank you, Jake. You know, with the work you’re doing with NeoVision Ventures, again, Jake’s gonna be a wonderful source for companies to reach out to. And, of course, you know, it comes with all of our ecosystem partners, everything that was mentioned earlier on the discussion. So thank you to all the ecosystem partners that we work with on a daily basis.

Oscar Jofre  23:28

It is interesting, though. The conversation was interesting. What caught me off guard. I wanted to come in earlier, but I let you have the conversation, because it’s really good. So obviously, we brought Jake in because he’s actually using the regulation. But the twister there, I don’t know how you got that out of him. Seriously, but this is a really, you know, I read an article I’m sure all of you did, as well, where it was on Forbes, where Sequoia, one of the leading venture capitalists said the venture capital model is broken. I mean, that’s pretty powerful. Yeah, it’s pretty broken. And I didn’t expect this part, Jake, which is great. Not only are you using the regulation for when existing portfolio companies you have and you’re leading up all the way through, but what you’re seeing is that the company that you formed though your fund is also to also invest in other companies as well that are going to use these regulation. We’re seeing that dedicated investor for this. I think that’s, that in itself speaks. I mean, there it is. That’s what the JOBS Act is all about this. I’m sure David is listening on. This is what we’ve been dreaming for. Since the day all this got started was not only to see it from the sidelines, but to be engaged to utilize it and then to say, hey, not only we’re utilizing we’re also reinvesting in company, that is that I was like with anticipation trying to come back in here.

Julien Phipps  24:58

I know you’re tickled pink to hear that.

Oscar Jofre  25:01

Yeah, well, I was. Because, you, Julien, and I deal with companies every day, right? We’re dealing with entrepreneurs who want to take their journey. And a lot of the times the roadblock, oh, this is gonna cost a lot of money. But if you think about it, if you really think about it, I know some people are asking about costs and all that we’re going to get into that, as you hear it, and there’s some documentation will provide you the complete breakdown. If there’s one thing you’re going to find in this ecosystem that you’re stepping into, it’s completely transparent from the broker dealer fees to the transfer agent fees to the use of the technology, does the compliance fees, everything, including the investor acquisition firms, but regardless if they’re transparent or not, it does cost money to bring it in. And now there is a way to help both these two environments. I think that’s, that’s a what a way to you, you both [uncertain] did, so I was excited. So like, come on, join me, let me in. So I’m sure there’s a lot of people eager to. So Jake, I think once we put you in the lounge, it’s not our fault. I think everybody’s gonna want to talk to you, which is great. I mean, this is most of the companies and the guests that have are attending our show today are coming because they too are doing their regulation CF or regulation A offering it’s, it’s encouraging for them to hear that the investment community is starting to see that this is a way to move forward. So we’re going to end this session right now we’re going to ask you to go to the lounge. In the lounge, there are two ways you can participate. There are tables. And in the tables, you will see people’s pictures. By simply clicking join, you can go there have a conversation with someone face to face, the thread, the video turns on or you can do chatting. The other one is called the speed dating. That’s right. You can do the speed dating and it will look for someone to match you with but or you just go to a table that someone is inside or you go in there by yourself and somebody will join you this way you have a few minutes before our next session gets started. We’re going to give everybody just about five minute break to get the other panelists into here. So give you a bit of time to meet everyone. Thank you again, Jake. Yes,

Julien Phipps  27:17

I have to add one little funny part, go for speed dating on there. You know the tables that will join somebody call this date to dream so Oh.

Oscar Jofre  27:28

Okay. Yeah. Okay.

Julien Phipps  27:31

So there you go. There is a part of dating in this. Go ahead and release us to the dating room.

Oscar Jofre  27:36

Yeah, yeah, cuz it looks like Jason Futko’s ready to go there. He’s ready to date to dream. Alright. Thank you both. Thank you so much. We’ll see you on the other one.

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