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'SuperCrowdUtah Was Amazing! The World Needs This!'
Attendee Logan Calder Says 'The country needs this. Your neighborhood needs this. Your business needs this. Your child-entrepreneurs need this.'
After a year of planning, fundraising and preparation, we held the first in-person SuperCrowd event—SuperCrowdUtah—on Monday, October 23.
Praise for the event was enthusiastic.
SuperCrowdUtah was amazing! The world needs this. The country needs this. Your neighborhood needs this. Your business needs this. Your child-entrepreneurs need this.
As a Crowdfunding novice, I learned a massive amount in a single conference that would have taken me months to learn on my own!
The SuperCrowd event featured a league of championship opportunities, including invaluable investing and financial market insights, a ton of entrepreneurship advice, essential lessons on investor due diligence, grand networking opportunities, crowdfunding ecosystem building and great brand visibility.
The day kicked off with a general session. I introduced the event and made the case for impact crowdfunding.
Keynote speaker Shaun Michel shared the transformative story of David Parker, a middle-aged, recovering meth addict who Shaun had supported through a nonprofit agency. Aspiring to become a doctor, he completed college in his 50s and won a full scholarship to Harvard Medical School. Supporting diverse founders through crowdfund investing can be a win-win, too.
Beth Colosimo, The Mill Entrepreneur Center, profiled her work supporting diverse founders, including refugees and other new Americans. Her keynote address was an inspiring end to the opening session.
In the Entrepreneur Track room, Erin Hottenstein, Trebuchet Group, led a panel discussion with Tom Lund, Tanner LLC; Brad Bertoch, angel investor; Terrence Gallman, GIG Group; and David Ezekiel Brooks, The Able Fund. Each brought their own perspective to the task of networking for capital.
Next, in the Entrepreneur Track room, Bryce Hansen, the SBDC, then moderated a panel with Kate Hansen, Culinesco; Diane Sontum, The Local Crowd; and Brian Belley, KingsCrowd. They discussed the way a rewards campaign on a site like Kickstarter or The Local Crowd can prepare entrepreneurs and their communities for investment rounds.
At the same time, in the Investor Track Room, Brian Belley, KingsCrowd, was presenting on “How to Make Money and Do Good via Crowdfunding.” He laid out tactics to help investors scrutinize impact measurement and potential returns so they can earn higher returns while driving greater impact.
Following Brian in the Investor Track room, Andrew Stephenson, CrowdCheck, presented some real meat: “Understanding Debt, Convertible Notes, Revenue-Based Financing, SAFEs, Preferred Stock and Common Stock.” Very few investors can claim to have invested in each of these, but with crowdfunding, everyone can! Understanding how they work and the differences is critical.
Following lunch at the Red Food Truck, an immigrant-owned mobile eatery serving Peruvian food, we had a great general session that Matt Warnock, Ridgecrest Herbal, kicked off. He shared a message, “Friedman’s Folly,” suggesting that when Milton Friedman said that a corporation’s only duty is to shareholders, he got it wrong. Matt argued for companies to emulate Bob Cratchet rather than Ebenezer Scrooge.
Tara Spalding, Kinect Capital, then led a panel discussion with Brian Christie, Brainsy; Lea Bouhelier-Gautreau, KingsCrowd; and Diane Sontum, The Local Crowd, about how and when to use crowdfunding. Many entrepreneurs may find the time is right—at one point or another—to raise capital from the crowd.
Brian Christie, Brainsy, then closed the general session with a keynote entitled “Crowdfunding for Spinouts and Divestitures.” His thesis is that corporations and large nonprofits can use crowdfunding as a tool to spin out nonstrategic business units where they can thrive as independent businesses.
In the Entrepreneur Track breakout session that followed, Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau, KingsCrowd, walked the audience through a step-by-step guide to raising money from the crowd. As she broke down the intimidating process into management chunks, audience members could see how raising money from the crowd becomes possible or even optimal.
At the same time, in the Investor Track session, Peter Callister, the SBDC, shared insights about conducting due diligence. Having spent a decade actively working with angel groups in Utah, Peter has learned the art well. He helped everyone see the potential scope of issues worth considering before making an investment.
For the closing general session, Christian Harrison, a social innovator, led a panel discussion with Steve Cinelli, Renaissance; Leah Barker, consultant; and Sara Jones, Inclusion Pro, each bringing their unique and different perspective to the work of social entrepreneurship. Each, in their own way, helped make the point that business can be part of the solution to local and global problems.
Representative Rosemary Lesser of the Utah House of Representatives delivered a closing keynote. She discussed the ways in which bipartisan policy-making can support impact investing and community building. She discussed an example of a nonprofit that is converting a downtown high-rise in Salt Lake City into much-needed housing.
Finally, I offered some concluding remarks. Having seen a day full of great content for both investors and entrepreneurs, I challenged everyone in the audience to make a commitment to make an investment via crowdfunding this week—even if it’s just $10.
SuperCrowdBaltimore is coming up on November 30. A few of the speakers will reprise their roles, including Brian Christie and me. We’re anticipating a great day with similarly excellent content, networking between entrepreneurs and investors and some fun at the B&O Rail Museum.
Use the discount code SuperCrowd to save 30 percent. Act now while you can get the discount trifecta with the early-bird pricing and the couple’s packages—bring a friend or colleague. Register today!
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