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The JOBS Act: Selfstarter - Open Sourced Code For A Crowdfunding Platform

William Carleton, Contributing Editor, VCExperts


Veronica Picciafuoco and I are part of an equity crowdfunding mail group, and two weeks ago she sent around a link to this site, called "Selfstarter."

The backstory seems to be this: a company called Lockitron applied to run a campaign on Kickstarter but were turned down. So, they built their own crowdfunding site. And now they have posted the code for that crowdfunding site on GitHub, free for anyone to fork.

That's pretty darn cool and can be celebrated on its own terms, full stop.

But my mind is on equity crowdfunding, as opposed to donation-based crowdfunding, these days, so please excuse me for the following carp: this is just the kind of innovation that the non-accredited equity crowdfunding portion of the JOBS Act should have enabled.

But my mind is on equity crowdfunding, as opposed to donation-based crowdfunding, these days, so please excuse me for the following carp: this is just the kind of innovation that the non-accredited equity crowdfunding portion of the JOBS Act should have enabled.

Had House leadership not abandoned Representative Patrick McHenry's popular equity crowdfunding bill, it would have been legally possible for anyone to set up their own crowdfunding platform, even for their own crowdfunded offering. The Senate killed that bill, however, and the equity crowdfunding provision that is in the JOBS Act will require any portal to be registered either as a broker dealer or a crowdfunding platform. Fear beat innovation on that one.

Meantime, platforms innovating for angel investing (deals limited to accredited investors) were given additional permission to innovate. Go figure!


William Carleton

Bill is a member of McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PLLC, a Seattle law firm. He blogs every day at http://wac6.com.