About EquityNet

Our Approach

EquityNet provides educational tools and a virtual forum for entrepreneurs to connect with prospective investors. EquityNet does not participate in any substantive or confidential discussions with investors about companies or any transactions that might result.

Core Values

Trust Over Transactions

We build trust over transactions in our relationships. We do what’s best for our entrepreneurs and investors, instead of pushing the next hard-sell. Because the trust we earn is our most precious and enduring asset, and relationships are not built in a day or over one transaction.

Drivers Before Solutions

We care about understanding the underlying cause of a problem, not just the symptoms — even when it takes more time. We’ve been in the business long enough to know we don’t know everything. But we know how to listen from a place of curiosity and always go back to the root why? so we know we’re solving the right problem.

Be a Person of Integrity

Integrity is our most important policy. Period.

Technology and Capital are Tools

Technology and capital are amazing tools, but rarely are they the whole solution. We believe these tools free us to be more human in what we do — prioritizing the time we spend cultivating trust and empathy, being creative and curious. We never let our tools get in the way of our mission.

Measure our Success by Outcomes for the Entrepreneur

We measure our success by the real outcomes we help make happen for our entrepreneurs and investors. No other data or metrics matter more.

We’re in it Together

We never forget that we are all on this mission together — especially when things get difficult. That includes not only our Team, but the millions of entrepreneurs, partners and investors who are using business to drive positive change in the world.

Our Story

EquityNet started in 2005 as a small company based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. From the beginning we believed we had the opportunity to help businesses grow and raise money from investors in a totally new way.

Today, we are Fayetteville-born and Pittsburgh-grown, with a bit of New York hustle. We have had more than 10,000 companies and 4,000 investors from across the country use our platform. Over the last decade, we have come to know the challenges businesses face all over the country. We learned that by bringing more value-added services to the platform, we can address real needs and align behind our small business owners and entrepreneurs for their success.

This is where we got our mission of empowering the entrepreneur as a human. Because we are here to build far more of a relationship with our entrepreneurs and businesses than is the norm in a transactions-driven industry.

This is our story. We hope you will join in creating the next chapter with us. Welcome!

Meet the Team

James Murphy
Chief Executive Officer

As CEO of EquityNet, James quarterbacks the Team to best provide services to small and medium businesses that are underserved by the current suite of traditional financial resources. James is a partner with the Venture Development firm, Proton Enterprises, focused on SMB private equity investing and startup operations. Before that, James spent several years in Haiti & Mexico bringing a private equity approach to working with developing market entrepreneurs. He is a graduate of Yale University and holds series 7 and 63 FINRA licenses.

Scott Chadwick
Head of Operations

Scott ensures the seamless delivery of each team member’s time and talent towards EquityNet’s mission and growth. He began his professional career in management consulting with Arthur Andersen, before working in financial systems analysis and design with Firestone and Sprint. Before joining EquityNet, he served as Chief Academic Officer at Canisius College and Xavier University, orchestrating all faculty, student life, technology, and budget operations for the academic enterprise. He holds his B.S. from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

Blake Brown
Manager, Business Growth

Blake enjoys understanding the ‘why’ of entrepreneurs and working directly with them as a teammate to find creative solutions to grow their business. Before EquityNet, Blake worked in Asset Management focused on analyzing the portfolio impact of geopolitical events and economic policy changes. He holds his bachelor’s degree from Yale University, where he was a member of the Division I Varsity Soccer Team. He also holds Series 7 and 66 FINRA licenses.

Sunil Rao
Manager, Business Growth

Sunil’s focus on the GROW Team is in​ fostering affiliate service partnerships that enrich the EquityNet ecosystem and help businesses grow. He believes that a rewarding life comes from losing yourself in serving, and investing in, those around you. Before joining EquityNet, Sunil worked at Morgan Stanley in the firm’s Project Finance group, investing in renewable energy and raising capital for companies in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Sunil earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in History.

Louis Cowell
Head of Investor Relations

Louis loves to help others uncover the hidden value in a story. As Director of Investor Relations, he serves as a guide to investors in the ecosystem, helping them to make quality investments in the private sector and find untapped business opportunities. Before EquityNet, Louis worked as an investment banker and equity analyst with Lehman Brothers. He also worked as a credit analyst at Moody's, a debt salesman at Merrill Lynch, and served as Chief Operating Officer of VisualizeWealth, a maker of analytical software for investors. Louis earned his BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Cornell University, and holds the CFA charter.