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CrowdFunding conference brings experts to Utah

By Michelle Prince

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 31 2012 3:38 p.m. MDT

The Crowdfunding Professional Association and the University of Utah will host the first-ever national event that will analyze the impact of legal framework for equity-based "crowdfund investing" enabled by historic JOBS Act.

Beginning today and scheduled through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Utah Guest House and Conference Center, the CrowdFunding Made Simple conference will allow entrepreneurs, business owners, professional service providers and investors to obtain a deeper understanding of crowd funding directly from some of the industry leaders behind this groundbreaking business platform.

With the historic Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act signed into law on April 5, a legal framework for equity-based “crowd fund investing” has been established and the potential for a much larger and expanded global crowd funding community has been unleashed.

“We are pleased to bring to Utah a group of innovators who have ignited crowd funding both as an Internet-based platform and now potentially as an equity-based investment model,” said Richard Swart, co-founder of CrowdFunding Made Simple, director of strategic programs at Grow America Insights and executive committee member of the Crowdfunding Professional Association. “While much has been achieved in crowd funding to date, most entrepreneurs and investors across the country are not yet familiar with it. We look forward to providing a summit for education and interaction on this vital new capital creation concept right here in one of the entrepreneurship capitals of America.”

Speakers include Brian Meece, founder and CEO of RocketHub.com, one of the world’s top three crowdfunding platforms; Jason Best, co-author of the CrowdFund Investing Framework in the JOBS Act and founder of Startup Exemption; Carl Esposti, founder of Crowdsourcing.org and leader of the CAPS Accreditation Program for crowdfunding platforms; Douglas S. Ellenhoff, one of America’s top securities law experts from Ellenhoff, Grossman & Schole; and Alan E. Hall, a founding sponsor of the Crowdfunding Professional Association and founder of Grow America SpringBoard and Mercato Partners.

“Understanding the implications and applications of crowd funding is critical for entrepreneurs and investors because of the ability to vet ideas, create new markets and gain access to new investors,” said Bryan Ritchie, director of the Technology Commercialization Office at the University of Utah.

“Starting a business is never easy, which is why I feel strongly about participating in and sponsoring this cutting-edge conference on crowd fund investing,” said Hall. “Entrepreneurs, investors, private equity, lawyers, accountants, marketing professionals – all of them will benefit and be interested in accessing the latest developments on this historic and timely new business model. I also firmly believe crowd funding has the potential to bring hundreds of thousands of additional entrepreneurs and investors into the vital process of creating the companies and jobs that our economy so desperately needs.”

Participants can register here: www.CrowdFundingMadeSimple.com and will receive discounted access to a complete copy of the crowd funding industry report based on data from more than 170 crowd funding platforms and other sources.

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