I attended Crowdfund Night yesterday at the Notman House and saw familiar faces. The Plebs and Make a Champ crowdfunding platform founders, to name a few. There is clearly a growing trend in Quebec to bypass the current financing structures. For many reasons. One, not everyone gains access to financial programs and two, it can take months until you do receive funding if you are selected. Hence, viable and right-on-target projects often see their days counted and end up in the sewer. Plebes and Make a Champ address those needs. They select their projects carefully, assessing their worth (past, present, future) prior to engaging with them.
This said, the “other” model – Equity crowdfunding or Invest crowdfunding – is more complex as it involves securities regulation. Buying private equity online through a web platform is a formidable way of helping businesses scale yet there are potential pitfalls along the way. Last night, I gave a talk on Invest Crowdfunding, the “Localvesting” model: how it could create sustainability, how mom and pop investors should have the opportunity to invest in a business they believe in, how fraud is kept to a minimum in invest crowdfunded nations, and social medias’role. In short, how this model fits well within the Quebec ecosystem. We also discussed what it takes to make it legal in Quebec and the rest of Canada.
Since our last presentation, I got the distinct impression that awareness around this model is growing. Questions from the crowd were more acute. “Which sectors will benefit from this model?”, “Are there support structures in place to help businesses crowdfund?”, “How does share valuation work?”. It’s safe to say that grassroot initiatives like ours are beginning to unfold. Public speaking is one facet of our movement. Content generating/curation, all-around networking, engaging within our communities, think tanks and our own professional endeavours are also part of the equation.
At Invest Crowdfund Quebec, our objective remains to inform, educate, and create awareness. At our next team meeting, we’ll be mapping out 2013 action plan. We invite our readers to show their support by attending events, asking more questions on this blog, recommending articles and generating content. These questions and thoughts will contribute to the framework we are building in collaboration with the other provinces. Such a framework is a gateway to convincing our authorities to put Invest Crowdfunding on the public agenda.