The rise of crowdfunding: 10 things to know | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street |
Crowdfunding platforms are changing the way we finance projects and services, but the laws surrounding them are still ambiguous. Here are 10 facts to get you up to speed.

Crowdfunding is a tool that allows anyone -- be it startup founders, musicians, artists, students, children, or even someone in a developing country who lacks basic electricity -- to attract a pool of people via the internet to invest in their business idea. A funding target is established, and rewards to backers are offered.This new type of startup business model has the opportunity to disrupt industries and change the way we determine success and let the best ideas flourish, rather than the best access to capital. It's exciting, because the venture capital model that powers Silicon Valley and the global startup scene is inherently biased based on geography and connections. According to the Small Business Administration, about 600,000 new businesses are started in the US every year. The number of startups funded by VCs? 300. That means 99.95% of entrepreneurs won't get funded.To affect real change, we have to understand the basics: what defines crowdfunding, how it works best, and how the current laws shape what's possible. We also need to look at the ways the law is changing and what it means for the future of crowdfunding.Here is a list of the 10 most important things to know about this important new buzzword.

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Via Marc Kneepkens