Austin tech exec launches diversity-focused crowdfunding portal

Austin tech exec launches diversity-focused crowdfunding portal

An Austin serial technology entrepreneur has launched a crowdfunding portal for investments in LGBT and minority-led businesses.

Charlie Jackson, CEO of software maker Acceleros LLC, founded the Diversity Fund LLC with plans to expand nationally during 2016. Such portals are designed to enable everyday investors to back startup companies without the traditional accreditation requirements of conventional investors.

The Diversity Fund is a “business finance platform that unites rewards, lending, and equity offers to help a new generation of entrepreneurs raise capital directly from investors,” according to an announcement.

Although women- and minority-owned businesses are growing at 1.5 times the rate of their male counterparts they are twice as likely to be turned down by banks and 95 percent less likely to receive venture capital, according to Jackson.
“Entrepreneurs no longer need to go hat in hand to different lenders each time they need money, or worse struggle for months while losing opportunity due to lack of capital,” said Jackson, the fund’s chief happiness officer, in the announcement.
Before starting Acceleros, Jackson was a senior tech consultant for Austin-based Inventes Inc., and a product and marketing manager for California-based Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL), according to his online profile.

In October 2014, the Texas State Securities Board approved rules to regulate the way startups and investors conduct equity crowdfunding. It OK’d restrictions designed to enable unaccredited investors to invest as much as $5,000 a year in startups without requiring proof of high-income levels — in exchange for equity.
Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rules to enable anyone to invest up to $2,000 or 5 percent of their annual income, whichever is greater, in deals of up to $1 million during any 12-month period. The crowdfunding rules give everyday investors a chance to take equity stakes in early-stage companies in a way that was previously reserved only for wealthy accredited investors.
Traditionally, privately held companies were prohibited from soliciting the public for investment capital because it could take undue advantage of unsophisticated investors. Startups are limited to private placements with accredited investors such as angel groups or venture capitalists. The approach is designed to protect unsophisticated investors but it also limits the sources of capital available to innovators and entrepreneurs.
However, investing tactics started changing with the global recession in 2008 and 2009. The federal JOBS Act ­— or the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act — introduced crowdfunding rule changes in an attempt to spark innovation and revitalize the economy.


1 Comment
  • CarlaMays
    Posted at 12:00h, 07 December

    RT @digigrass: Austin tech exec launches diversity-focused crowdfunding portal…#digigrass #w3rtech