Crowdfunding is changing the world for the better, reducing barriers to entry for writers, innovators and inventors. So when I heard the news about equity crowdfunding becoming legal earlier this year, I couldn't help but wonder, "What role for public libraries?"
The intent of equity crowdfunding is to make it easier for individuals who are not wealthy to purchase shares in new business ventures. Doing so can be risky, and investors can always lose all their invested money. Yet, at the same time, there can be an upside to equity investment — when done wisely and prudently.
How about if a community were to pool its wisdom and prudence to make small-scale equity investments? Doing so would promote conversations about risk and upside, which would itself bring value to communities. Such communal equity crowdfunding would also spur the entrepreneurial spirit in a community.
I share some of my thinking on this topic in the following screencast, which I created on my old Linux laptop, a Lenovo ThinkPad T400 — circa 2008 (Watch a video about this laptop). I purposely use older computer equipment to illustrate how it can be used for sharing ideas in multimedia form, with free video web hosting on YouTube. Maybe libraries should be loaning out such laptops?
What are your thoughts on equity crowdfunding via public libraries? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Equity Crowdfunding Readings and Related Links (Assembled in August 2016)
- The Crowdfunding Handbook: Raise Money for Your Small Business or Start-Up with Equity Funding Portals, Cliff Ennico
- What Advisors Need to Know About Equity Crowdfunding (Financial Advisor, August 2016)
- Why Equity Crowdfunding Matters to Small Business (Entrepreneur, July 2016)
- Equity Crowdfunding Is Good News for Cleantech (Environmental Defense Fund, August 2016)
- Indiegogo Is Getting Ready for Equity Crowdfunding (Fast Company, 2016)
- How to Raise Cash for Your Business Online (USA Today, August 2016)
- 5 Equity Crowdfunding Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid (PC Magazine, August 2016)
- How Digital Currency Innovation is Disrupting Equity Crowdfunding (FinXTech, August 2016)
- Arizona Businesses Can Now Participate in Equity Crowdfunding (CBS, August, 2016)
- The Future of Equity Crowdfunding (Bloomberg, April, 2016)
- Public Libraries as Business Incubators (PCWorld, 2010)
- Are Syndicates the Killer App of Equity Crowdfunding?
- Indiegogo Is Getting Ready for Equity Crowdfunding (Fast Company, October 2015)
- Equity Crowdfunding is Finally Here: 10 Steps to Get Funded (Venture Beat, May 2016)
- Pennsylvania Dept of Banking and Securities – Business Crowdfunding
- How to raise cash for your business online (USA Today, August 2016)
- New equity crowdfunding rules open doors for Maryland startups (The Daily Record, 2016)
- Seed Invest
- StartEngineLA (Twitter)