Before founding EquityNet in 2005, Judd Hollas was division manager for Beta-Rubicon Inc. of Fayetteville, a consulting firm specializing in technology assessment and business due diligence services. He has 20 years of experience as an independent technology analyst and investment manager in the private and public domains. Hollas earned a bachelor’s in chemical engineering with honors from the University of Tulsa.
EquityNet has helped entrepreneurs across North America raise more than $300 million in equity, debt and royalty-based capital.
Please explain what EquityNet does and how it earns its revenue.
Since 2005, we’ve been operating one of the largest business crowdfunding platforms, providing entrepreneurs from all industry sectors access to thousands of investors. Our multipatented software enables entrepreneurs to analyze and optimize their business plans before they engage investors. Investors and business supporters can, in turn, use EquityNet’s advanced technology to efficiently screen and analyze businesses to fund and support entrepreneurs.
EquityNet has multiple revenue streams, ranging from subscriptions by entrepreneurs to volume licensing by large institutions like universities, incubators, accelerators and other government-based support entities. We also generate revenue by licensing our unique and proprietary benchmarking data for businesses.
What’s the status of the Title III crowdfunding provisions of the Jobs Act of 2012? In other words, when do you expect to see investment crowdfunding permitted and how will that affect your business?
Currently, only 5 million “accredited investors” in America can invest in private companies. Title III, when implemented, will allow over 50 million “nonaccredited” American investors to invest in private companies. The SEC has issued its proposed rules for Title III of the U.S. Jobs Act and solicited comments, so the agency is working on it. To its credit, this is one of the biggest changes in securities law since the Securities Act of 1933, and it’s easy to underestimate how hard it can be to integrate a massive change like this into 80 years’ worth of rules, regulations and precedents. As to when the final Title III rules will come down? We’re expecting the first half of 2016. When Title III happens, EquityNet will be one of the first platforms in the country poised to help entrepreneurs raise funds from everyday Americans.