Entrepreneurs Flight School: Venture Funding Hubs Take Flight to California
Venture Funding Hubs, which have already blazed a trail across the UK and beyond, will this month take flight to California landing in one of the country’s most deprived communities in South Central LA via London and the world’s tech hub: Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Entrepreneurs across the UK and the world have already come together creating 74 hubs in places as far afield as Australia and Vietnam, Auckland & Oxford so far this year. Working with crowdfunding and community development organisation ‘Crowdfund Better’, architect and cofounder Barry James, who’s CEO of The Crowdfunding Centre, is taking this to the next level in LA.
“LA communities like Compton and Watts have been left behind by the traditional economy and so are among the most financially deprived in America” commented crowdfunding expert Kathleen Minogue of LA’s Crowdfund Better “and we know that Crowdfunding holds the keys to empower people and communities to help themselves and recreate the local economy. Which is why we are delighted to bring together one of crowdfunding’s foremost pioneers, from the UK, with community leaders who are already making a major impact in the region, to support and accelerate the great work already taking root here”.
Piloting The Entrepreneurs Flight School
Creating and piloting the new “Entrepreneurs Flight School” adds a powerful new element to the funding hubs by embedding an innovative perpetual seed fund, code-named the PIE fund (Perpetual Inception & Entrepreneurship) capable of supporting and up skilling a continuous stream of budding but raw entrepreneurs through their first steps into crowdfunding and business or social enterprises and community projects.
Communities & Entrepreneurs Sowing the Seeds of a Better Future
Entrepreneur and community leader Gary O. Shelton is helping spearhead the creation of this new fund to accelerate the work he has helped lead developing living wage and entrepreneurship opportunities for the unemployed, and underemployed in the new on-demand economy. “It is unheard of, until now, for churches and community development organisations to come together in this way to act as ‘Angels’ and create what amounts to a seed investment fund. This would usually be the preserve of bankers, financiers or ‘angel investors'” says Shelton “but we know that crowdfunding can help prepare and create more fertile soil here and help do a power of good in rebuilding lives and communities in the 21st century. This is the kind of collaboration these communities need to help them help themselves.”
Each Generation Seeding the Next
The PIE fund, a new model developed in the UK by James and his team at The Crowdfunding Centre, uses crowdfunding to both support and up skill new, raw, entrepreneurs and to, when they raise the money they need, enable the next wave, the next generation. This makes the scheme ‘perpetual’ – self fuelling and sustainable into the medium and long term.
California Thinks Differently
James commented “Crowdfunding is perhaps the most important element of the ‘FinTech’ (financial technology) revolution of which London and San Francisco are the global epicentres and I’m looking forward to meeting many of the leading pioneers and innovators in both of these world cities. But it’s as much about opening new doors for those left behind by the old economy as the technology or the changes to banks and funding. I’m looking forward to working with Kathleen and her team”. Adding “Because California thinks differently it has led the world from both LA and San Francisco in different ways, with the movie industry and then Silicon Valley. I greatly value this opportunity to collaborate to explore and establish new ways to empower people to regenerate their towns and cities, help themselves building their own livelihoods independent of government or outside help. This is the potential of crowdfunding, for the many, and I believe California will play a pivotal role in changing the world again, in a very important and much needed way.”
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