All posts tagged Venture Capital

Angels Descend on D.C.

angel investmentThe Angel Capital Association is hosting its annual summit two weeks from now in Washington, D.C. If you are interested at all in angel investing, I think this will be a great conference to attend.

(Disclosure: I am on the ACA’s Public Policy Advisory Council)

The folks at the ACA have been critical in helping positively influence public policy on angel investing in the last several years.

Just to give you one example that you may or may not recall, but the first iteration of Dodd-Frank would have re-set the “accredited investor” financial thresholds for inflation going all the way back to the 80’s. That proposal, if it had been enacted, would have wiped out literally 3/4ths of all angel investors. The second iteration of Dodd-Frank was worse—it would have required all Rule 506 offerings to first be submitted to the SEC for 120 days for review, and if the SEC didn’t review then states would have been given the chance to review before offerings could go forward.

But for the involvement of the ACA, and folks like Dan Rosen and Senator Maria Cantwell, these things could have happened. Being involved is important. The upcoming ACA summit will be a great way to get started, if you are looking for a way.

Now is a critical time for angel investing in America. The SEC is currently evaluating a number of different issues that will have a dramatic impact on angel investing, such as:

  • The definition of “accredited investor.” It is possible that the SEC will propose to modify this definition to “define out of the game” a huge swath of the population that currently qualifies as accredited. See the ACA’s letter to the SEC.
  • The proposed Regulation D and Form D rules, that will require advance filings of Forms D and onerous consequences to companies if they file to advance file before they “generally solicit” their offerings.

(If you want to see the former Chair of the ACA, Catherine Mott in action, read the transcript of this SEC open meeting in which she questioned the SEC on whether demo days constituted “general solicitation.”) 

Policy makers need the input of people who are active in the early stage company ecosystem.

“We are hosting this meeting in Washington, D.C. for a reason,” ACA’s Chair David Verill said. “The Securities and Exchange Commission is not only assessing the underlying definition of who can be an accredited investor, but is also reviewing significant rules around the JOBS Act involving general solicitation and online crowdfunding platforms. Now more than ever is the time to join with angel colleagues to learn about, to shape, and to nurture this powerful economic engine.”

2014 ACA Summit

Angel Impact: Entrepreneurial and Economic Success

March 26th – 28th

Review the Agenda

If you plan to attend, please let me know and I can try to connect you to friends who will be there.

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Meet Gary Ritner, Founder of the Puget Sound Venture Club

gary ritnerFounded in 1985, Puget Sound Venture Club (PSVC) is the oldest angel group in Seattle. Even prior to founding the organization, Gary has been a valuable resource and a supporter of the Northwest startup community. His stories are educational as well as entertaining. Moreover, it is his insight into the process of raising angel funds that make this a very special opportunity.

Register Here

When:

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014
    7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Where: 

    Davis Wright Tremaine
    1201 Third Avenue Suite 2200
    Seattle, WA 98101


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Crowdfunding: When Will the Rules Be Done?

Crowdfunding RulesThe startup community is getting excited and antsy.  The comment period on the SEC’s crowdfunding rules ended February 3.  The speculation has begun – when will the rules be final?  Could it be this summer?

My answer:  Who knows!

But to help us make some guesses, I have put together the below table.  The way I see it, we have two recent rule making projects from the SEC that provide us some guidance:  the bad actor rules and the rules repealing the ban on general solicitation.  Based on how long it took the SEC to issue the final rules in these two recent instances, I don’t think we are going to see final crowdfunding rules until late this year.  My guess: December 2014 or even early next year.

Crowdfunding Timeline Chart

(1) In the proposed rules, the SEC said that it was issuing them in light of comments received “and the magnitude of the change that the elimination of the prohibition against general solicitation represents to the Rule 506 market.”

Of course, I hope I am wrong and we see the final rules sooner.

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