"There's no question," says Ryan Feit, founder of SeedInvest, "entrepreneurs are a job creation engine." SeedInvest, which won third place at Philly Startup Weekend 3.0, is perfectly timed to rise from newly enacted legislation that changes 80 year old securities laws. Feit graduates from Wharton with an MBA in just a few weeks, but is already on a fast track to becoming a major player in finance.
SeedInvest was born when President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law on April 5, allowing individuals to make equity investments in startups. Taking crowdfunding a step further than Kickstarter, the JOBS act allows anyone to gain an equity stake in an entrepreneurial effort. "It opens up investment to the 99%," says Feit, who sees SeedInvest as an evolution from microfinancing and investing clubs.
Feit, who worked on Wall Street before entering Wharton, caught wind of the JOBS Act movement around nine months ago, and began working closely with Startup Exemption
founder Sherwood Neiss, who garnered bipartisan support in congress.
SeedInvest puts a cap on individual efforts, so that those with under $100,000 net worth, or who make under $100,000 salary can invest 5% or $2,000, whichever is lesser. Over $100,000, a 10% annual investment, up to $100,000 per year, is the max.
Since Startup Weekend, Feit has been very busy. "I've had a lot of people who reached out from the Philadelphia community who are interested in investing." Feit is now in the process of seeking a seed round of funding in an undisclosed amount. The business is still in pre-launch, and interested investors can sign up for more information at the website.
"I am hoping to have a leadership role to help think through issues with later stage financing," says Feit. "This new business model of crowdfunding has not happened before. If you are a later stage investor, this is something you will find challenging to invest in. There are creative ways for companies to raise seed funding that will not preclude fundraising down the line. There is a solution."
: Ryan Feit, SeedInvest
: Sue Spolan