StartEngine, a platform that offers startups and emerging businesses access to alternative financing, recently announced The StartEngine Marketing Fund: “Through this program, we will advance qualified companies up to $50,000 to put towards the marketing and promotion of their campaigns. This program was created to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams,” the company shared in a blog post, “We have seen this program be successful with Elio Motors.” The money gained from the Marketing Fund can be used for advertising in the ‘testing the waters’ phase of the equity crowdfunding process, helping startups reach more potential investors.
This boost for entrepreneurs could not come at a better time. With Title III of the Jobs act having gone into effect this past May 2016, startups can now raise capital from both accredited and unaccredited investors (you can learn more about how to do that here). Since startups looking for funding often don’t have a lot of money to market their crowdfunding campaigns effectively, StartEngine is providing them with a much needed push. When projects on their platform do better, so does the platform.
In June 2015, Elio Motors launched a ‘test the waters’ campaign on StartEngine to gauge interest from potential investors. With the help of StartEngine’s Marketing Fund to get the word out, Elio Motors eventually started selling shares at $12 apiece in November 2015. By the time the offering closed in February 2015, Elio Motors had raised nearly $17 million in capital from over 6,600 shareholders. Elio Motors and StartEngine made history that day by closing the first ever Regulation A+ offering.
Since then, StartEngine has received one of the first Title III approvals from the SEC, meaning that as a platform they are allowed to host equity deals of up to $1 million with low minimum investments from unaccredited investors. The platform was proud to be featured as an innovative platform on Crowdfunding Demo Day in Washington, DC on May 16 2016, when Title III rules went into effect. In addition to the Marketing Fund, StartEngine has announced 5 other new initiatives to help growing businesses raise capital.
In January 2016, StartEngine announced that they secured a $5.5-million-dollar investment from SE Agoura Investment LLC which they planned to use to expand the platform and increase their marketing and awareness campaigns. What better marketing strategy than to invest in the companies using their platform? There are currently eight live Title III campaigns and two live Regulation A+ campaigns, with several others that are still in the ‘testing the waters’ phase.