Press Room

5/7/2012

EquityNet Featured in Arkansas Business Journal

Below is an article by the Arkansas Business Journal entitled "EquityNet Expects Jobs Act Explosion."  The article lists EquityNet as the original crowdfunding site.

EquityNet Expects Jobs Act Explosion
By: Rob Keys
May 7, 2012

Judd Hollas was into crowdfunding before crowdfunding was cool.

Before it even had a name, in fact.

Hollas is the founder and CEO of Fayetteville's EquityNet LLC, a company that serves as an online matchmaking marketplace for entrepreneurs and investors. When Hollas obtained one of the company's patents back in 2005, in fact, it was for a system he deemed an "electronic enterprise capital marketplace."

"It doesn't say crowdfunding because the term didn't exist back then, but this is crowdfunding in its entirety," Hollas said of EquityNet's fully automated software system. "Everything that needs to happen to make crowdfunding happen is embodied in this patent.

"So we can't claim to have come up with the term ‘crowdfunding,' but we can claim to have actually foreseen it, envisioned it, developed it."

Crowdfunding - the raising of small amounts of capital from a large pool of individual investors, primarily by using the Internet and social media - has enjoyed its share of buzz lately. Most of it stems from President Obama's signing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act on April 5.

Part of the JOBS Act legalizes crowdfunding for privately owned businesses - a boost to startups, in particular - in exchange for equity stakes. Previously, under decades-old legislation, businesses could crowdfund in exchange for equity, but only with accredited investors with more than $1 million in assets.

Hollas said the new legislation opens doors for nonprofessional investors, and will increase the total number of potential investors from about 2 million to 50 million. He said the total value of potential investors' portfolios will go from about $1 trillion to about $5 trillion.

"It's the most significant change affecting small business in the United States," Hollas said. "Basically, it democratizes the No. 1 factor for business success - funding."

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