There’s no shortage of equity crowdfunding sites out there, but GrowthFountain thinks it has the special sauce to cut through the mayhem by thinking close to home. Focusing on investors local (or at least regional) to the investment opportunities, the company in effect formalizes the kind of fundraising you’d do from friends, family and local investors.
“We started GrowthFountain to level the playing field for small businesses,” the company’s CEO Ken Staut says, describing the situation before the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act came into play. “Until now, small business finance options were cost prohibitive and inefficient — and only a limited number of people met wealth or income thresholds that allowed them to invest.”
The purpose of the JOBS Act was to fan the flame of small-business entrepreneurs. While a lot of the early crowdfunding sites have focused on traditional tech startups, GrowthFountain is explicitly taking another tack.
“America’s small businesses comprise roughly half of our economy,” Staut points out, lamenting that small businesses are pretty much a “forgotten asset class” at this point.
In addition to providing the platform for formalizing the investments and dealing with the SEC-required documentation related to an investment, GrowthFountain produces tutorials and tools specifically tailored for local equity crowdfunding. The company has published a number of calculators, for example, helping companies to determine the amount of capital to raise and explore potential valuations.