Expanding the Funding Pool for Innovation – CSEF is Not Just for Start-ups

NB This post is an expanded version of that which was posted at LinkedIn today. Apologies to those who didn’t want to double-dip, however for better or worse I try to limit my personal opinions on the merits of policy content to this blog.

There’s just one week left in the second consultation process on the introduction of a legislative framework to facilitate crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) and, regardless of what you may think about the proposed model, you have to admire the earnest efficiency with which the Government continues to progress this issue.

Of course, not everyone is happy with progress. Several senior figures within the start-up community bemoaned the release of another Discussion Paper in conversations with the Australian Financial Review when the latest paper was released.  One expressed surprise that Treasury would need to still explore how to resolve a specific barrier created from years of the Corporations Law, given as “they’ve had so long.” Bless.  Continue reading

So What Will This Crowd-Sourced Equity Thing Look Like?

I spent a lot of space in my last post essentially justifying my excitement at the release of a Discussion Paper on a potential regulatory framework for crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) in Australia, in the name of giving it a context. So much so that I didn’t actually get into the content of it at all. For some people, that is actually not an impediment to enthusiastic support or advocacy of a policy – for some, it’s a distinct advantage – but as one who gets all soapbox-y at lazy policy development, I feel I should at least make a token effort.  Continue reading

Access to Funds from the Crowd a Step Closer for Innovators

Public consultation recently closed – yes, I know, my timing isn’t great, but I was off-line for three months with a gang of nasty viruses, so sue me – on a potential regulatory framework for crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) in Australia. CSEF is an emerging form of funding that enables someone to raise funds online from a large number of small investors in return for an equally small equity stake in the project or company for which funds are being raised. Worldwide, crowd-sourced funding (without the equity) has been used to fund everything from scientific experiments to feature films and medical treatment, but it is its potential to fundamentally transform the ability of small and start-up businesses that has innovation junkies like me all a-quiver.  Continue reading