Why Everyone Benefits from RegCF

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.

Marvin Abrinica

CEO & Founder

Wunderfund

Marvin Abrinica

CEO & Founder

"Marvin is a brand storyteller, public speaker, entrepreneur, brewer, & investor. His company, Wunderfund, brings public fundraising technology to startups looking to raise capital publicly. He previously founded Thrivera, a brand agency specializing in growth. They've helped dozens of companies big & small find the story of their brand to raise capital. He previously spent 18 years at P&G, with roles as a Brand Manager, Sourcing Manager, and HR Manager. “It taught me a great deal about leading with a vision, creating purpose, & building talented teams.""​ Marvin led P&G’s PŪR new business development as he launched several multi-million dollar products. He then took roles in P&G’s Global Sourcing managing corporate deals and due diligence for several industries including: Capital, Chemicals, Innovation, & Consulting services. “Nothing could have prepared me to run a business any better. I learned so much about brand building & sourcing deals.” Marvin’s greatest passion is developing people. Throughout his career, he served as a corporate trainer within P&G’s Leadership Academy, teaching leaders the art of strategy, branding, & effective communication. ""I'm the son of two Asian immigrants who struggled with English. So, I grew up helping them get their voices heard. That's where I found my mission to help others find their voice too.""​ He was also a P&G Clay Street design thinker. Now, Marvin loves guiding entrepreneurs who are eager to gain traction. “Every team faces obstacles & sometimes a guide can help them along their way. I think startups are on an epic journey looking to change the world for the better.” In 2011, he founded the Thrivera Project, an education based NGO that taught leaders the art of storytelling. In 2015, he founded the Thrivera Brand Group. In 2017, he founded Wunderfund. Now, he speaks at conferences, accelerators, incubators, businesses, & universities. In 2014, he gave his first TEDx talk. http://bit.do/MAbrinicaTEDx "

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.

Oscar Jofre  00:00

Continue it. You cannot stop because some of the delegates are not here yet. So we’re one minute away and we’ll get started here. All right. Hey, you made it, Marvin. We were just saying will he make it. Will he not, well, it’s okay. Great to meet you. Alright, everyone. Thank you so much. Good afternoon. Welcome to a wonderful Thursday afternoon to the KoreSummit webinar series 2021. Today, it’s going to be an exciting topic, if you’re following our 73 webinars we’re gonna have in the next three months. This is just each each webinar we have is going to be 45 minutes long with 15 minutes of q&a. That means it gives you an opportunity to ask these thought leaders any questions you may have. And of course, there’s no PowerPoint here. We’re here to provide you our background information. So you can learn more about the great regulations within the JOBS Act. And today, I mean, we have an exciting topic ahead of you why everyone benefits from regulation CF. But before we get started with everything I want to introduce our our two esteemed panelists this afternoon, I’m going to lead each one of them to introduce themselves. First of all, let’s start with you Julien today.

 

Julien Phipps  01:13

Sure. Well, thanks, Oscar. And yeah, my name is Julien Phipps, Chief Revenue Officer at KoreConX. Happy to be joining the discussion today.

 

Oscar Jofre  01:19

Marvin?

 

Marvin Abrinica  01:21

Yes, my name is Marvin Abrinica and the CEO of Wunderfund is a regulation CF portal, in the Midwest, in Cincinnati, Ohio, in fact, but we do operate nationally. And I’m here just to talk a little bit about the benefits of using reg CF, not only for invest, but also issuers or the companies who are offering shares.

 

Oscar Jofre  02:07

That’s great, great way to start. Julien Marvin, we’re gonna have a great discussion. So for the people that are here today, you know, to understand the benefits, in many ways, I believe, you need to understand the JOBS Act. So before we get started, my name is Oscar Jofre. So I’m going to be the host, here this afternoon leading the discussions forward with our two panelists. And again, we’re pleased, we’re going to give you an opportunity to participate with questions with it so. To understand regulation CF, as I said, we need to understand the root of it. And the JOBS Act. And it’s amazing. I mean, today, I really had to think about it. It’s like it’s been 10 years, it really has 11 years. Actually, I know for most it’s just getting started. But you can imagine how long it takes to get things in, you know, process and then into the government then approved. And then here we are. So the JOBS Act, why was it created. And once you understand that, we can dive deep into why everyone benefits. So the JOBS Act was created to democratize capital to allow the 233 million Americans that often don’t get a chance to participate in, Marvin and Julien will talk about that, create jobs, right? So democratizing capital, giving people access to investment opportunities that quite often are denied, creating jobs for companies who often don’t get access to capital, and obviously, keeping the ownership to owners. I mean, after the 2008 financial crisis, we all know what happened, we saw it right firsthand. And then of course, liquidity. So those are the pillars of the JOBS Act. And at first, you know, when it first came out was a question, will it work, and you know it or wouldn’t it and you know, a few years later, when I’m saying it is working, it’s actually working so good that our regulars have given us a gift. That regulation CF now is increased to $5 million, which I know it makes people like Marvin and Julien very happy. So let’s dive into it. And I’ve created a kind of an outline for us today. Marvin, Julien, obviously, we can move around and where we can give the audience the benefits basically, from all the different elements as I indicated the benefits to the investors the issues, but let’s start with a funding portal. Because this is a be an interesting one. We’re going to start it not just the traditional way, the investor, but let’s start it from the funding portal. What why everybody benefits from having a funding portal as a source for getting opportunities that they need to invest. So Marvin, I’m gonna put you on the hot seat right away. There you go.

 

Marvin Abrinica  04:49

Yeah, well, so first, most, you know, you have to think really about the whole home markets in terms of who’s been benefiting from investing in private deals, and so forth. For the longest time, and it’s a little bit of a history lesson, you know, the SEC rules have prevented non accredited investors. That means anyone who is not an angel investor, and so an angel investor is somebody who earns over $200,000 a year, or has a net worth of over a million dollars. Now, I don’t know about you, but you know, there aren’t people out there that, you know, I know. And so in fact, there’s only 7% of the population that’s out there that has that level of earnings potential. And it’s not like they have a sign on their, on their, their chest and say, Hey, I’m an angel investor, come pitch me your business. And so that’s part of the challenge that a lot of companies have is like just finding angel investors for a deal. Okay, so the real benefit for an issuer and issuer is somebody who’s offering shares to a company is to be able to put it onto a platform that gives you a broad, a broad base where you can shout out and from the mountaintops about your offering, and it all has to be done within the regulatory framework. But once you have gone through that, and your platform like wonder fund, you’re able to then advertise that deal in all different types of channels, including traditional channels like TV, media, newspapers, as well as new media, like social media. real benefit from an issuer standpoint is just having the ability to to broadcast out broadly. And then the second thing I’d say for issuers, that’s a really important aspect is that for issuers, especially if you’re in say, flyover country, and so in the Midwest of the United States, there’s a big problem with capital right now. And that’s if less than 22% of venture capital dollars are available for for for companies that are startups, if you’re a woman founder, or African American or Latino, less than 12% of funds go to women, black and Latino startups. And then if you’re a small business, there are over 31 million cities across the US right now. And 80% of them aren’t even using the bank. So where are they getting capital from right now. And so that’s the big issue. Issue, if you don’t have enough money or wealth in order to start up your own business, it’s a big pain point for a lot of companies are starting. So that’s where crowdfunding comes into play, for issuers, who were looking to raise capital. And what we see say is, this is a big opportunity to level the playing field, when it comes to raising capital as an issuer.

 

Oscar Jofre  07:41

I agree. And then one key element, I would say from the funding portal, and is that it becomes the aggregate that can bring everyone together, I mean, that’s the real benefit, where companies before would have to go to LinkedIn or Twitter on their own, and people need to kind of find it, this becomes kind of that central point. And what we’re going to see in the funding portals, we’re going to see different types that are going to do verticals, you know, taking it to the level of helping the the minorities, groups or verticals in such a way, like veggies or music or things like that. So it’s the funding portal, I think it’s going to be a critical element and the overall success of what it is the overall success of reg CF, something new is emerging. But we’ll get to that right away. So obviously, Julien, we at KoreConX are dealing with the issuers all the time and the portals as partners, but mostly from the issuers perspective. And for them, obviously, why this is important. Why this is it? It’s critical for them, when they’re using it and understanding it. And ongoing.

 

Julien Phipps  08:50

Yeah, absolutely. And we do see it every day and in work with these companies. And I think, you know, I’ll pick up where Marvin left off saying, you know, this is really leveling the playing field. And that couldn’t be more true, because this is the biggest reset button that we’re in right now. You know, with everything going on in the economy. This is the opportunity for startups for new companies, reg CF was basically designed for these companies. And it’s gonna allow them to really have a quick pathway to being able to raise the funds that they need in order to you know, have a bit of a runway or that support that they need to really see and make their their vision viable in their their company viable. So, in that respect, this is not only you know, going back to the original reason why these this JOBS Act was created in order to create jobs, it is really a stimulus to this economy in the time that we’re in. And so the issue was see this and I deal with this every day and we deal with this is that there’s a you know, a lot of times they’ll think believe and just to you know, they’ve got a viable business, their business. They’ve done the homework. And they’ve they’ve set things up their structures is in place. And they say, Okay, how can I tap into this? And And really, the reg CF is that short pathway where there’s less scrutiny than the other regulations that came into effect them at that same period of time. And, yeah, it’s generally a great opportunity for business to take advantage of this.

 

Oscar Jofre  10:23

Oh, it is. And one thing that I will share with everybody is that there’s a level of transparency that becomes beneficial, both for the funding part of the issues and all that. So here’s an example. I mean, we have real time data right now that what happened in 2019, so as the entrepreneurs that are sitting here, listening to this panel, you can sit back and say, okay, you can prove to those who are going to follow you 1100 companies last year raised just over $240 million. I mean, that’s, that’s, that’s what happened. There were 358,000 investors that participated in that. And that is a wonderful, wonderful story that you can take to, to anywhere you go sorry, 1149, companies 1149. But you can take that in. And that stimulates you to understand why it’s benefiting everyone, every year, this keeps growing and growing and growing. In fact, the number of companies doing regulation CF over you know, 2019, increased by almost 62%, for 2020, which is a massive, and we’re anticipating now for 2021, to be even double that, because of the fact that has been increased to 5 million. So the benefits are there. But there is one particular stat I’m not going to share it yet because I’m waiting to see if Marvin or Julian can actually put into it. So we talked about the funding portal, being the center point, we talked about the you know, the overall benefit to the company, to to utilize to tap into this regulation. Can the both of you think of another thing component, I put it to other view, that is where this is a benefit as well, for both the funding portal and the and the company? Just those two for now?

 

12:17

Yeah, you know, I would say for the company who is trying to raise capital, you know, it’s really about maximizing for a deal right now, and especially in this this past 12 months, if it’s taught us anything is that it’s just getting harder and harder to reach people, because everybody is now isolated because of COVID-19. And there, there are all these people that are out there and who’ve made a lot of money in this last year. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people, there’s a big disconnect right now and the economy versus where the markets are right now. And so you know, but those people who’ve had money are traditionally angel investors or ones even even savvy people what we like to say, our mid market retail investors, somebody with a robin hood account, if you will, those folks that have made some decent money this year, the s&p was up 14% in the last. And so people are looking to diversify their portfolios. And if you think about like, as a startup, how would you typically go out and pitch your company? Well, you were doing it in coffee shops, and you were doing it at restaurants or over breakfast, or even a in a crowd. And you can’t do that right now. Because most cities, most major cities are locked down. And so the best way that you can reach people out there, especially these investors who are staying at home, is to stand up a deal line and then be able to broadcast out to those people virtually just like we’re using technologies right now, like zoom. Now you can do that legally, by having a having an offering open on a platform and then doing a forum like this. Yeah,

 

Julien Phipps  13:56

yeah. No, I agree with that, too. And it’s so it’s also about like the reg CF being able to apply over and over again, right, you can do it, you know, as many times as you need, essentially. But yeah, that’s a beautiful thing. And I think, you know, one of the statistics that I saw there was 300. And like 50,000 investors, you know, that that were active, you know, in investing in the in the space last year. And so that alone shows you, you know, that’s a growing number, a growing trend and a pool that you can obviously raised capital from, and it’s, it’s there for exploitation?

 

Oscar Jofre  14:35

Well, it’s there, but it tells you the potential and I guess I want to just make sure that it’s not so much that the ongoing they can go back is that the regulation gives the opportunity for a company to use it every 12 months. So that means you can now raise up to $5 million every 12 months on going so why is this important? Because we now have statistics for 2020 42% of the companies in 2020, were returned clients. So this is important for platform. So if you help them the first time, of course, it makes sense. So again, it becomes the center point. That’s why I’m saying it, we need to the data provides us great information to understand what the number of investors provide us the 350,000, that did invest. That’s a great stat. But if you take it up against what the market potential is 233 million, what does that tell you? We have a lot of work to do to get the rest, because there’s still so much room. And to Marvis point, there’s a lot of people that made money. So we need to find those roots and work it through. So I’ll I’ll never forget the first time the first year, I think it was a total of maybe 15,000. Investors, but we went from 15,000 to 358,000. And next year, we’ll be almost over a million i’m i’m very certain we will have over a million. And every year that keeps growing. What does that mean? That means a spread, you know, people know about it. And it’s gonna be a great thing for all of us, because the funding portals will be successful companies will be able to gain access to capital. So all right, so we’ve talked about, you know, the, the the issue where the company and the benefits to them the funding portal, and of course, but now let’s talk about the investors. I mean, we’ve touched on it a little bit, some of the points you brought in there, Marvin, regarding the the the opportunities, having they’ve made money, but what is the true benefit of them getting involved with crowdfunding, and keeping in mind what the jobs are promised, right democratization of capital, the ability to create jobs, keeping the ownership to invest, building owners, and of course, liquidity. How does that benefit an investor with all those points?

 

16:50

Yeah, it’s a great question. I think one thing that investors are very much they’re very choice for right now. Which means that it is a buyers market for investors. It’s no secret that this past year has contributed to that. It’s harder to raise capital as a company and your evaluations and so forth, have been been challenged and depressed in many ways because of the buyers market. And what’s happening is that there are a lot of investors that are out there looking for deals. And there’s this interesting stat from the American capital association that says that one in five, angel investors are now using reg CF or RegA plus, or any of the other public regulations, I’ve reg D, five and 60. And what’s interesting, that, it’s, it’s not that they don’t have access to deals already, because I’m sure they’re getting good deals, it’s more so they can now access even more deals, high quality deals, but then they’re also able to enter in with a very low buy in or ticket ticket price. Okay. And so this is important, because now what we found in our operations is that angel investors will tend to dip their toes into a company, just to see how that company is going to how they’re going to go about raising capital in that very public window of three to six months that they’re open, their offering is open. And what they’re doing there is they’re just, there’s, they’re just getting their feet wet, so that they can see if that company is able to raise more money, then they’re going to double down into it. And that’s what you’re talking about some of these repeat investors. And so that’s happening on an individual level. But it’s also happening on an aggregate level of on a macro level, because what what typically happens is where the money flows, and when the crowds start seeing the success of a fundraise, more and more people start wanting to jump on board because of this whole FOMO effect that my kids like to say. And that’s happens with investors too. So you know, we’re seeing that happen right now. And the benefit for investors diversification into alternative share classes that they either hadn’t had that opportunity to, to buy in at such a low amount, or if you’re new to the game, it gives you a new way to act like a big shark. When you You’re still you’re still growing as an investor.

 

Oscar Jofre  19:11

Great point A Julien, I’ll leave it to you.

 

Julien Phipps  19:14

Yeah, I would say essentially, also from a transparency standpoint, you know, fun, the the aspect that with reg CF, you can work with a funding portal, you can work with the only other I guess authorized party would be the broker dealer. So from those two standpoints, when you’re raising capital, you know, you have the option to use and be able to leverage the experience of funding portals and and, you know, in terms of, you know, getting everything, you know, set up correctly. And, and the same for a broker dealer, the broker dealer would be doing it directly from their site. And so, you know, that’s an important I guess, distinction on how to go about and where these fundraising opportunities will live. Right where they’ll that have a presence. So it’s about, you know, leveraging what is existing in the marketplace and what services you can lean on. Because let’s face it, some of the startups, and, you know, early stage companies will need to do that this is not their familiarity. And so that’s where, you know, I believe that, you know, these, you know, different services are being provided come come, you know, really to the forefront. The other factor for investors, I would say, as well is that the investors can be incentivized through reg CF as well. And so for that, what does that mean, they can get perks, you know, so I’ve seen creative ways, and we’ve seen creative ways that companies are incentivizing investors, perhaps it’s first in line for a product, perhaps it is, you know, a nice sweetener in terms of what they will get out of being able to name a certain product line. So there’s a whole bunch of creative ways that really play into the, I guess, perhaps sometimes ego of the investor, or even just the bragging rights that, hey, I’m in the early on this, this company, it’s a great opportunity, and maybe not even necessarily about so much as the return aspect. But it is also that emotional connection. So So those are just, you know, a few thoughts that I’ve seen, in terms of, you know, the investor standpoint as well.

 

Oscar Jofre  21:27

No, those are great. incentivization is a game changer, right. So depending on what kind of company you have, you may have some retail products. And that just it’s another great benefit, the funding portal, providing the transparency, the multiple effects coming back. Another thing that I see personally is that the professionals, there are companies out there providing independent, you know, reports that, you know, can certify the company, you know, there’s a particular law firm, called CrowdCheck that owns CrowdCheck, and that the CrowdCheck report is a standard is the gold standard in the reg CF world. And when a company could provide it to the investor, it knows that it’s got all these different elements. So it’s really, that gives the confidence that gives that badge and the investor keeps benefiting. But my favorite one of all, for me personally, because they’ve been writing about this for almost 10 years, 11 years is that they’re not shareholders anymore. I personally don’t believe that investors are shareholders anymore. And if we take that path, we’re heading down the same path, or the publicly listed world, that’s where I came from that world was I get my money, and I do whatever. And, you know, who cares about the shareholders and the investors, I’ll report to them every quarter, and they’ll be happy and so on. It can’t happen here. These individuals will sit on your cap table, you will see john smith, you Marvin, Julie, everybody. And so all that. And so the companies that are successful at it will make will work towards like we’ve done we call our shareholders, gladiators. There are some that called equity punks. legionnaires, why because they’re here in a journey. It’s a journey that you’re taking on. So we have to look at this bigger picture than just, you know, getting the money. You know, David Weild, the Father, the JOBS Act has always reminded me, always, always To this day, that it’s never been an issue of the money. The money’s there, Marvin, you said the money’s there. People are making it. You know, some days you don’t make it but somebody else’s. You know what it’s like, it’s just gone one pocket to that. But money is there, make no mistake. So the real question is, we need to motivate that money to come here. And it can’t be just you can’t compete with the public markets. Because if you’re competing with that, you’re just you might as well go that route, private to different it’s a journey, you’re selling the story to an individual to participate. Marvin said it’s kids remind them of FOMO fear of missing out right. So that’s a great point. So if you have all of that you need to cultivate within your company, what the journey really is all about. You’re building something, okay? And yes, people will make money of course, but it doesn’t need to be an adversarial relationship company shareholders and we will report to you now it needs to be something more glorified. There is one company in particular that I’m so proud of, because, you know, when they read my book, get 10 plus years ago, and they had embraced it. Today, they have hundreds of 1000s of shareholders, a privately held company that when worth a million dollars, it’s now worth over 1.4 billion pounds and more has raised over $130 million from the crowd. And it calls their shareholders punks, I mean that’s and everything about them. You Their ambassadors see ambassadors there. They treat them like customers, ambassadors. So imagine all for yourself. So why is the great benefit overall, these are customers, these are people that bought into your business, they bought into what you’re doing. And they’re going to go on until two friends and two, and so on about your big company, isn’t that the most wonderful viral effect you get ever out. So to me, this has been the the one model that we’ve been trying to show. And it’s finally coming to fruition because those who follow it exactly to the tee, as we’re seeing today, succeed over and over and over those who treat it, like the old days of raising capital, you will get into a slump, that meaning that you take their money, and then you report to them every quarter, you really missed out on the opportunity that these people can do more. I’m going to share one more story with you before we go to the next question. That is, you know, when I first wrote about it, it’s it’s an article, a blog that I wrote, it’s called, you know, shareholders equals customers equals ambassadors. And when I was asked in a panel by venture capital, why on earth would I ever put money in a company with 5000 shareholders? And I go on stumbled, I really am stumble by your question. Because why? Well, because the very first question you ask, as a venture capitalist, is how many customers the company has, I’m bringing you 5000 customers, they happen to invest, isn’t that the most wonderful thing they’re in, not only they bought the product or the service, the solution there in both ways. And not only that, imagine having 5000 you know, people that will be your brand ambassadors, you know, you pay companies to go out there to do to promote your offering to promote your products, and you pay hundreds of 1000s of dollars, these people pay you so they can go out and promote you. It is the most wonderful experience, if you do it right, is explosive. From the perspective, they the changes the way the whole philosophy around crowdfunding and the way you put your journey towards your company. So I don’t know if you’ve experienced that yet, Marvin. I mean, I’m curious to hear if you’ve gone through that yet.

 

27:19

Now that it’s a great, it’s a great experience. It’s a great feeling to and, you know, I’ve not only started this company to help others do it. But I’ve also raised capital using crowdfunding too. And so you know, you you talked about the punks, and I assume that you’re talking about brewdog. And that brewery, who calls their their investors brew punks, and, you know, so I actually started a brewery on Cincinnati, Ohio, and we use crowdfunding as the mechanism. And we raised over $900,000, doing that from 150, investors, 40% of those investors were people of color, which is unheard of, because, and I’m Filipino, and my co founder, and that is as black. And so you know, the opportunity was there for everybody to participate. And so we had a tremendous amount of people came out of the woodwork to support it. And that’s an all them the enlightened few, is how we call them, you know, so because they understand what we’re doing. And so, you know, I always encourage our clients now who are raising capital, is really starting to touch upon those investors and activating those investment customers, because they are dual had it as you had pointed out Oscar, it was people are natural resources for the company to help, even during a pandemic like this, they can continue to support you because they have a vested interest. But then also beyond pandemic, you know, they get the benefits and rewards of being an investor. And it’s all about shareholder relations. And you know, at the end of the day, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

 

Oscar Jofre  28:59

Yeah, you bet. It’s, I think it’s going to I mean, you can’t overlook that part, you still got to do it. But if you can empower them, give them make them part of your company, you you have an entire Salesforce, you know brand ambassadors, influencers, you know, influencers. I mean, that’s one of my biggest ones that, you know, you get companies coming at you Oh, we have influencers that, you know, for a tweet 25,000 I’m going Wait a minute, I got 30,000 people here, I give them that they’ll do it, and it’s going to be more real. You see what I mean? It’s, it’s real to, to to everyone, I want to move into the next item in the benefit of regulation CF. And it’s one that we kind of talked about it I know, it’s very dear to David Weild, again, the father of the JOBS Act, the former vice chairman of NASDAQ for all of you that are here today. Um, one of the things that he’s working on is the next version of the JOBS Act and Marvin is right on it. And that is We’ve discovered that minorities are really the ones benefiting from crowdfunding. And obviously your Filipino, I’m a Latino. In fact, all three of us here where we are, we are the new face rate, it were a mix of everything. And you’re right, it is sometimes our hurdle sometimes even harder at times, and crowdfunding is going to make it work. So I obviously love to hear your thoughts on that. Marvin, you you’ve touched on it a little bit of your background being Filipino and your partners. What is your funding portal doing specifically to address that component of it?

 

30:41

Yeah, well, you know, for one, we do have an opportunity for minority businesses who are looking for capital, we actively search for minority owned businesses, women owned businesses, will color as well as LGBTQ companies who are raising capital one, because these are traditionally underserved, I think I shared some of the data about how underserved they are. And then number two, that a lot of these individuals are ones who just don’t have the same resources as majority population. And what I mean by that is, there is a term that we like to call internally, it’s called the valley of death, if you will. And so every startup can usually come to the table with a little bit of pocket change, if you will, or some that they can contribute to their startup. Now, disproportionately, people of color, and women are less likely to start a new business because they don’t have those natural resources. And so usually, if somebody does have those, it’s enough for them to bridge it until they get to a some kind of private round and Angel round or VC round. But because of natural biases that are occurring, okay, good bad, or indifferent they just are, then, you know, they don’t always get the audience of the the ones who control the money. And so that’s where we talked about leveling the playing field, you know, part of the opportunity here, and part of the reason why we exist, we like to say that we would like to fund Main Street, and we like to make sure that we are funding the Dreamers. And so with that, the part of the opportunity here is to broadcast broadly, and advertise broadly, these deals that these minority business owners have, so that everybody can participate in them. And that level of pitch is something that you just can’t do. You can’t syndicate that on a private level.

 

Oscar Jofre  32:33

No, no, and I agree I, my personal belief right now is that crowdfunding is the equalizer for everyone. It’s equal, I mean, and now with COVID-19. It’s the skills that three have the ability, do you know how to use the tools and how to engage and then bring a crowd together? And I firmly believe we’re going to see a greater number of entrepreneurs, I’ve already spoken to a number of accelerated programs that are actually emphasizing, you know, people, Latinos, blacks, Hispanics, you know, Filipinos Asian, any, they’re, they’re really making sure that everyone understands the basics. And that’s really what it is. It’s not, because we knew we do need to make one thing clear. The there are entrepreneurs coming from these regions, there’s great companies coming in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, you know, in Asia, in the Philippines, that that exists. So the question is, why is it that when they come here, they, they feel they, because we’re all immigrants, right? We’re new to the country, and we have to work our way where if you, you know, in that nation in the where you came from, it’s a different start. So we do need to make sure that we have a clear that it’s not saying that this is an issue, everywhere, opening it up, US has done something amazing, totally amazing. There has been no other country in the world that has opened up the you know, the market as they have to 233 million Americans the way they have I mean, with regulation cF 5 million Regulation A plus 75 million. I mean, these are big, big changes. So and minorities I feel are there’s there’s a driver there they’ve have in in AI, and I personally think that in 2021, we’re going to see more of it. And front and center of it in particular women leaning on In fact, they are you. I know we’ve seen it, we can tell you to stick to statistically speaking, women CEOs are much better administering their companies when it comes to large crowds than males. You know, that’s a there’s a statistically we know that they they nurture the crowd differently than a male CEOs in the early stages as a grocer Good, you know, we know that women have a harder time getting to their next stage of funding where the male gets it easy. This, I believe reg CF is going to balance it all out, there’s now you know, before they were able to, you know, minorities could get half a million to a million, and then hard stop, right? It’s like, not anymore. Now you can go to five, you’ve now gone to your series A, like you, you can do a lot with 5 million. And you can come back again 12 months later and raise another. And then if you get really big enough, you raise up to 75 with your RegA. So Julien, sorry, I didn’t mean to not give you an opportunity to, to participate in this part of it. I just think it’s obviously geared to me personally, but love to hear your thoughts on this.

 

Julien Phipps  35:45

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you guys, I’m gonna probably echo some of the things that you both mentioned. But yeah, this space is is is really, you know, I guess tailor made in that sense, just to really offer the opportunity where there wouldn’t necessarily be, you know, that pathway initially, and really, you mentioned, you know, opening up to a variety of, you know, different different individuals and different people from all walks of life. And, and that’s the beauty. And I think part of that is what we’re doing today is really educating, educating on how to access these different, you know, tools, essentially, in order to to propel, you know, their ideas to come to fruition. And so, so that’s really powerful. And really, I guess, you know, the other aspect that, that while we were having this conversation is that’s really interesting is we’re seeing a lot of companies also, you know, set up different funds for accessibility and to support, you know, under, you know, privileged, perhaps, you know, different groups and give that accessibility to funding. And And wouldn’t it be amazing for funding portals that, you know, much like Marvin and whatnot and others that exists in the marketplace, if some of those could be, you know, perhaps challenged to steward some of those funds into these portals that have the first you know, which ones are successful? Maybe there’s dollar for dollar matching? Or maybe there’s different ways that we can then, you know, even increase the opportunity of success, but I mean, these are thoughts that that, you know, have just, you know, just thought about, but, you know, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this as well.

 

Oscar Jofre  37:24

Yeah, look, the the overall benefits were were obviously, it the way capital was raised up until the JOBS Act was really, it was the angel groups, venture capital. And that was it. I mean, the accelerators were really the VC route, some Angel groups not too much. This really opened it up to the rest. I mean, we keep talking about them, democratizing capital to the 233 million Americans that can invest. What we really haven’t also tapped into is we democratize the access to the companies that often don’t get to there. And that’s, I think that’s even a bigger picture. And that includes the the the entrepreneur who is a minority, who, who didn’t think it was it was possible or was able to get this far, but wasn’t able to get through the rest. I think, personally, I believe it’s, all of these balances are coming out. Everybody’s starting to see the world differently. I wrote an article on December 31 of this year, I call it the reset. I’ve been talking about it for about six months prior. And I firmly believe, I know for most of you, hey, you’re a bit young, but it’s like 1999, December 31. You know, it’s this reset ID that we’re having now is one that we’ve needed for a long time. We’ve been stagnant in technology. Yes, we’ve been introducing new tech and stuff like that, but business has remained basically the same. We needed this. So what does that mean? Well, look how we’re transacting, today, we’re transacting via video zoom. We, I don’t use this device anymore for anything other than to watch maybe my news, but I don’t get phone calls in it anymore. Dude, it doesn’t serve any purpose for that at the moment. And it probably won’t. I mean, we’re going to be with COVID-19 for at least another year and a half before in office. So everything’s changing the way and people no longer afraid to have people you know, distributed when using remote See, it’s the same philosophy but and that’s going to change on my team is in different countries all over the world. Brazil, India, UAE, Australia, Canada, USA, UK, you know, that’s exciting, right? And that changes the dynamic of how you see everything going forward. So obviously, I’m a big, I bought into the JOBS Act two and a half years before it was enacted. And I bought because I came as a minority, so I understood what it means to democratize my enthused Today is the same one I had over 11 years ago. It’s still the same excitement. And it’s just getting started. So for those who are joining in today, it’s exciting because, you know, I’ll never forget the first time somebody said, We raised 50,000. All my goodness, it was just right. And now, we saved 50,000. Like, if you said, yeah, it can be done, it’s still still work, we still need to have the funding portal that but Marvin has, and we need to make sure we have everybody playing in the sandbox. But my last part that I’m going to bring on, and I’m going to talk with everyone the benefits, obviously, why everyone benefits, we haven’t talked about all the other participants. So we’ve talked about the investor, who’s the shareholder, the ambassador, we talked about the company, the funding portal, and all that. But as well, there’s a whole community crowd that’s supporting this to make it happen. The lawyers, the auditors, the investor acquisition, the marketing media, that are also part of it, that can’t just be coming in to be the transaction based. And I don’t know how you work with them. Marvin, I’d be curious to hear, have you engaged with them, to bring them into part of that whole ecosystem of crowding? And getting involved in these opportunities?

 

41:19

Yeah, absolutely. You know, at the end of the day, as a portal, we’ve had not only just facilitate, as a nexus point for investors, and for issuers, but there’s a host of services that are required on startups journey. So I think he had mentioned that, before that, it’s like you’re all on a journey together. And you know, that part of that is there’s some certain professional services, including tax as well as legal services and compliance, that’s important to do a fundraiser. And, you know, some some companies get that through accelerator for brands, they might get some pro bono help here, or there, maybe a small business development course supports them. But you know, for a lot of these startups and a lot of new companies, to this game, they don’t understand all the details as to what what it takes to raise capital. And so part of that journey is, you know, we have to be a source resource of education from our side, in coaching these companies in order to stand up a deal, but then also directing them to the right resources, we could do it. And then beyond that, after you raise capital, I mean, that’s the pre that’s even before you even hit go on a capital raise, then there’s the the process of raising capital itself, which is very much a marketing extra. My background is in brand building, you know, I worked at Procter and Gamble for many years running several of our multimillion dollar brands there. And, you know, part of the effort there is really on a consumer level, you’re just trying to reach as many people as you can, with a good product level of frequency, that’s going to convert those people into buying it. And ultimately, that’s what’s happening in this investment world is that you’re reaching a whole bunch of people, and you’re trying to get them to see the deal. You’re trying to convert them into investment. I mean, that’s really how the name of the game goes with this. And that’s a whole nother process that needs to happen. And then the last side of it is where companies like yourself with KoreConX, there’s a compliance standpoint, that needs to be managed on the back end. And that’s really the shareholder relationship standpoint, how those cap tables are managed, everything from, you know, how many shares you’d mentioned, all those little investors that are part of deals and more, you know, that’s all getting cleaned up now, because of these special purpose vehicles that are half, three right now, which was another advent of the new, we’d like to say crowdfunding 2.0, you know, that whole SPV? Now, if there’s any investor that complains about having small investors on a cap table, you know, that’s not even an issue anymore. It shouldn’t have been in first place because of the tools that, you know, transfer agents are able to manage. But, you know, now all that stuff is taken care of with these special purpose vehicles. And it all it does ultimately is it’s smooth, that journey, if you will, and there are rides through that journey to raise capital, manage the investors ensure that you’re you’re keeping your fiduciary duty as a startup who’s raised money from from people.

 

Oscar Jofre  44:21

No, I agree. I agree. And it’s it. It’s, it’s one of the things that people hopefully hear the benefits are so far reaching in different areas, and getting all that ecosystem together, everybody working together. So we’re, we’re down to the the part where obviously, we like to ask you if you have some questions for Marvin or for Julian or myself, or as a whole, please just click on raise hand. And we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions. All of this information will be available on the KoreSummit site, you’ll be getting emails about that. So there Our goal is really to keep that education movement going. This, none of this means that you don’t work with your professionals or anything like that. All right, Michael, Shane, we’re come on in and ask your question. You need to unmute yourself to speak,

 

45:18

I just wanted to say, How fantastic I’ve watched four of these, and you really are shedding like an incredible amount of light. Your guests are great, but you are really particularly good. And in so experienced, and you are just on the ground floor. And you know, I heard like the flyover countries that a country states, you know, 22% I mean, how do you how do you get this to the manufacturing base in the flyover states, because this kind of money in US manufacturing, you know, could ignite an incredible revolution here. So, you know, you guys know how to think about that, how do you how do you really get down to the bowels of America with this program? And then you really can create this incredible change here.

 

Oscar Jofre  46:11

Great question. Michael. Marvin, I’ll leave to you.

 

46:13

Yeah. Thanks for your question there. You know, I think I couldn’t agree with you more that flyover country or the midwestern states has a lot of unlocked, unlocked or untapped potential. When it comes to capital. The mindset is very different here in the Midwest, you know, having grown up in the Midwest, but also traveled quite broadly. You know, it’s just very different from the freewheeling loose vendors and venture capitalists on the east and west coast. So you’re dealing with a lot of people have legacy money have a P, he likes to say old money coming from a very rustbelt type of mentality had to earn every single dollar, and it can be really tight for these folks to start investing into companies. So I think number one, a part of the opportunity there is really, really strong deals. Ultimately, you know, money will flow to good deals, and investors are pretty savvy, they know a good deal when they see it. And they also know a bad deal when they see it. And so they won’t touch bad deals. But if there are great high quality Midwest, and I’m not just talking about tech companies, I’m talking like we like to say yield driven or yield bearing companies and or growth opportunities, they’re, you know, these are investments that from a private equity standpoint, have some kind of return on it, some kind of preferred equity to it, where there’s a liquidity or an income stream that comes back to to these individuals. And so you know, that those are the types of companies that we’ve seen a lot of investors come out of the woodwork for in the Midwest, specifically, companies, because they’re just used, those investors are just used to investing in deals that are like

 

Oscar Jofre  47:56

that. Thank you. Thank you, Marvin, Michael, and thank you again, for your Oh, it looks like he’s got another person there. Let’s give him a

 

48:05

point here.

 

Oscar Jofre  48:07

There you are, Michael,

 

48:08

welcome here. Yeah, yeah. So you know, the Midwest, is really this the strength of the country, you know, in major strength of the country in many, many ways, you know, that such decent people, they’re so hard working. And you know, to get capital, there would be incredible, but the other thing you said, was about women, you know, and how, you know, I couldn’t agree with that more, you know, they’re nurturing, a loving, they came from the ground, they’re going to, you know, especially if you want to really take care of shareholders, you know, not as investors, so the idea of promoting whether the women start the businesses, or whether they’re recruited to run the businesses is like the chief operating officers or whatever, you know, it’s just I think it’s a critical component.

 

Oscar Jofre  48:57

I agree, Michael, thank you. Thank you for that. It’s, and we’re going to see more of that. And I think that’s one thing about this industry is that we’re going to see information. I mean, look what we’re sharing with you today. You know, five years ago, we couldn’t share the data that we gave you today. But 1149 companies raised X number of money from X number of investors with the average investment was everything that’s so powerful that that motivates you. And that will help whether it’s mid America, and it’s broken down by sectors, we got to bisectors we got it by by regions where the investors are coming from and all that and it’s only going to get better and better. And it is going to help all of America. I mean, that’s, that’s the most important thing. Everybody want your takeaway from today’s the following, regardless of everything that’s been going on, politically, and of course, with COVID-19 America has stepped up. I mean, stepped up majorly online investing for RegA, reg CF, and 506Cs is at a 290% increase over last year, that tells you something people did not walk away, they kept coming back. And they’re investing in companies that are there to create jobs. So that was the final piece. The final piece is the jobs that are being created, that are creating and keeping people employed. And more importantly, not just employed, but being part of a journey of an owner who is going to have that gratification, having that ownership, keeping it, or with a responsibility that comes with it. And so you know, that, that that’s one of the top two, we’re gonna have, you’ve been given a gift for those CEOs, you’ve been given the gift to raise money under your terms, don’t forget that, that comes with responsibility, that before it was you got the money that was taken away from you, you didn’t want that. Okay, now the regulars have given it to you. And what that means is that you have the responsibility to do what’s right. And they’re going to give you the playbook but you still got to do it. And if you do it right, you will be rewarded. Nobody will question the valuation or how much you control it, they will question your actions and what you do in that journey coming out. Looks like Mike was coming back again, we should just leave them there. Because it looks like he’s got a lot of good questions.

 

51:18

Last one, thank you, I really appreciate Oscar. You know, I know the zoom is convenient, and COVID, which is going to be over soon. It’ll be like an accident, a rearview mirror, you know, everybody get started again. But asking, you really should think about how to take this to the business schools, do one day seminars in the business school start courses, that’s really where you ignite it. Because every year you got those kids come out of business school. And if they and if they have this stuff, if one out of 10, or one out of 20 turns out to be an entrepreneur, and they can raise money like this, it’ll spread like wildfire. And the last thing is because you know, there’s a great futurist that said, in the 70s. Actually, there’s enough and since Watson and Crick discovered DNA, there’s enough information in the world of solving a problem. So you asked who can really lead the way to solving so many problems, but you got to reach the people, right? And zoom is great. These seminars are great. And I’m really appreciative and grateful to be able to watch it, but you get you got to hit the ground. It’s like you can’t run for president, unless you’re ready to start Iowa, right and shake the hands.

 

Oscar Jofre  52:29

The same thing I said, I say precedenti. No,

 

52:32

but you can really ignite this an even bigger way than then is imaginable. You really onto it.

 

Oscar Jofre  52:39

I appreciate it, Michael, thank you. And it really, you know what, I always see it as a starting point. And you brought up a good point for all of us, Marvin, all of us, our ecosystem right now and coconuts exist of 850 partners in 23 countries. We’re very, very proud of that empowering everybody. And I’m a strong believer in education. For that reason. That’s why we give away our books, the books that you’re going to get from me that I wrote. And I’ve co written with many of the colleagues including people like Marvin and others, where the years there for you as entrepreneurs, the ecosystem everyone to learn. So on that note, I just want to say thank you, Michael, for your comments, your questions and Marvin, Julien, thank you again today. Looking forward to keeping the momentum going. Let’s have an amazing 2021. I look forward to seeing everyone at the next KoreSummit webinar series 2021 coming up next Tuesday. And of course, Tuesdays and Thursdays now you’re getting two webinars per day. And this will go all the way down till the beginning of April. And they will be a combination of reg CF reggae plus and 506 C. So have a great week and a great weekend and what

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