What’s the difference between crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding? And how do you know which one, if either, is right for your company?

I’m sitting down with Nathan Rose of Assemble Advisory, an equity crowdfunding agency, to get his inside scoop on what makes it worth using equity to access capital. Nathan’s talking about researching platforms, getting to know your customers, and deciding how to spend your time. You can’t do everything!

We’re also getting into the difference between equity investors and mass crowdfunding, and what you can expect from both groups. Nathan’s offering a few sneak-peeks into what he has to say about these different techniques in his new book, Equity Crowdfunding.  

Equity crowdfunding is changing, it’s not just for brand new startups anymore. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to expand, Nathan’s full of expert advice on how to approach this new opportunity.

Bravery in Business Quote

“Equity crowdfunding allows you to raise much more money than a Kickstarter campaign” – Nathan Rose

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Cliff Notes:

  • Equity crowdfunding campaigns should be run differently than crowdfunding campaigns. The marketing plans are very different because you’re looking for different kinds of investors.
  • Shareholders in equity crowdfunding will be around for the long term.  They should expect to not make money for a while, until the company sells or becomes large enough that other people are willing to buy
  • Investors in equity crowdfunding are often more experienced. They know what to expect and the risks involved.
  • Equity crowdfunding used to just be for startups, but now it’s starting to be used by existing companies looking to expand and branch out.
  • Stay in touch with your investors, even when you don’t have big news. Shareholders should be given regular updates on how your company is doing, not just when you’re raising money.
  • Crowd funding is public in a way that asking for money from the bank isn’t. Even if your campaign isn’t successful, it gains positive media attention and helps your business to get organized and self-evaluate.
  • Larger companies used to pay lots of money for information on their clients and potential customers. Crowdfunding allows you direct access and feedback from your clients.
  • Spend your time in proportion to the money. One investor with a lot of assets is worth going out to meet and talk with, sometimes more than a lot of small social media interactions.
  • Before you start any crowdfunding, make sure that you’ve validated your product and have guaranteed that there is market interest in your company.
  • Do your research before choosing a platform. Make sure you know the audience and policies of each platform.

“It’s important to communicate with investors even when you don’t have big news to say” – Nathan Rose

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Transcription (click to expand)


Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Nathan Rose, welcome to the Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast.

Nathan Rose: It’s so great to be here, Kristin. Thanks for having me on.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: I just have to tell the audience a cool little fact. You’re doing this interview with me from Budapest, and I’m in my home of Durango, Colorado. And you’re the first guest–I think you’re guest 93, if I’m not mistaken, on the Intrepid Entrepreneur. But the first guest I’ve ever interviewed from Budapest, or even in Europe for that matter. So this is kind of a cool show. Thank you so much for showing up today.

Nathan Rose: Yep. And it’s meant that you’ve had to get on at a funny hour of the morning, so thanks for accommodating the time zone situation. But you’ve probably [inaudible] that I’m not from Budapest myself. I’m a Kiwi.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yep. And you’re also the author of Equity Crowdfunding for Startups. Nathan is also the founder of Assemble Advisory. Can you tell us a little bit about your book and about your agency, please.

Nathan Rose: Yeah, sure. So Assemble Advisory is in place in order to help companies with equity crowdfunding campaigns. My background is in finance so we help out with things like evaluation and choosing a platform, and the marketing side of things, too. So what I’ve done with this new book which is launching on the 1st of November is to put all of that knowledge into a book so that people can, if they want to, do it themselves.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: I think that is a very, very awesome thing because my audience has had its share of a lot of different crowdfunding–either people who have gone through crowdfunding campaigns, we’ve had some fun interviews there. Then I’ve also interviewed some specialists who, like yourself, specialize in helping companies whether they’re attorneys or agency owners, etc. But the question I get over and over again, Nathan, is how people afford help like that when they’re trying to raise money for a company literally from the ground up. So this book sounds like a very valuable resource, and it is highly relevant to a global audience. So can you tell us a little bit about the book, and we’ll kind of dive into some case studies? I think my audience would really love that.

Nathan Rose: What you’ve said is absolutely something that I deal with every day, too. When you’re running a crowdfunding campaign, by definition, you don’t have a lot of money [inaudible]. So, yeah, the book’s in place in order to just get people through all of the factors that are on equity crowdfunding. And by equity crowdfunding, of course, we mean distinct from Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns where you’re just preordering a product and  giving a donation to a cause. This is similar to the [inaudible] from Wefunder where you’re getting shares in their company.

So the book is structured in a way–just get people through the “why” of equity crowdfunding, as in why it’s important. Once people understand that to work out whether it’s really the best thing for them or otherwise in growing a business like bootstrapping or just borrowing money from the bank or getting an [inaudible] run are actually a better fit for them. Then once I’ve decided that equity crowdfunding is indeed right for them, it goes through choosing a platform because there are a lot of big differences in the various platforms which are out there.

Then everyone’s favorite chapter which they usually turn to first which is the marketing side. How to attract people to your campaign and actually get them to bring the [awards?] out. Just as importantly what happens after the campaign. Where is it going to lead you. So it’s pretty comprehensive. I’ve interviewed 20 startups from all over the world who’ve actually done equity crowdfunding campaigns, and then mixed with my own knowledge and some other experts’ that I’ve interviewed to put this thing together.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Assemble Advisory, your company, works to help guide companies through this. So there is a done-for-you solution there. And that’s where you pull the 20 case studies from?

Nathan Rose: The 20 case studies are from ones that I’ve worked with, and others as well. In order to get a global picture, I’ve managed to interview companies from Scandinavia, from Canada, as well as my native, New Zealand, and Australia, and the U.K.  [inaudible] which are a little stronger–and also from continental Europe. Actually, the 20 companies are a pretty good global picture of what works and what doesn’t.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So I have a question. Obviously, you’re a listener of my show, thank you so much. I have talked here and there about just my aspiration of writing a book. I think it’s amazing that you’ve pulled this together. It looks super comprehensive. But there’s so much change around equity crowdfunding. And maybe coming from Europe or even New Zealand, you may have seen so much more history to this than maybe we have in the United States. But the last article I read, there were over 2,000 platforms for crowdfunding. Not necessarily equity crowdfunding which I know you have a clear distinction here. But can you talk about how you guide your company and what you’re going to be doing with this book as everything continues to evolve?

Nathan Rose: Yeah, you’re right. And that’s important in a book like that to not put in too much information that will [date?] too quickly. But at the same time, you’ve got to be able to give the very lightest stuff. So it is a tricky balance to strike. I think the way that I solved it is by putting any times into the detail for someone who was to pick this book up say, one or two years from now into a future edition. We’re also putting it into the free downloads that people can get alongside the book.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And that is at, everybody. All of the links will be in the podcasts notes.

Nathan Rose: Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. So when you read the book, you’ll say that there are certain places would say, “For an up-to-date guide on this aspect, head over to the site and get your download. Yeah, it is hard to put a book together, but there are [other ways to solve it?].

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So one of the obstacles, I think, that would be fantastic for us to maybe dissect together for my audience’s benefit is the fact that equity crowdfunding, just in its name–I mean I’m not sure if entrepreneurs in other countries feel like this, but I could tell you the ones I work with in our founding markets, kind of the passion-driven industries of outdoor-active lifestyle–they aren’t quite so open about giving away equity in their company, but obviously, they realized they have to do something to obtain funding. Like that part as a foundational component, they get it. But can you explain maybe a couple [inaudible] obstacles, two or three key obstacles that you see entrepreneurs have around equity crowdfunding? And maybe clear some of that up for them. Because it sounds like it’s a very creative platform if you know how to navigate it, and it could really bolster the growth of your company if you embrace it and actually really take–I guess, a calculated an educated risk on it.

Nathan Rose: Yeah. Like everything, there are advantages and disadvantages to it. You just [point out?] the big one that you do have to give up equity on your company. But on the other hand, it allows you to raise much more money, typically, than if you were just to do a Kickstarter campaign. All of us have heard of the big well-known campaigns out there that have raised hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars through running a Kickstarter campaign. But the percentage of campaigns that actually get there is very, very low. You only hear about the big successes. The vast majority of Kickstarter campaigns, well, started zero and stayed zero and never got off the ground. So I think equity crowdfunding [inaudible] more money to be raised. There’s also some advantages to be [had?] by shareholders. If you think of the idea of building a community which is at the heart of what a lot of entrepreneurs are trying to do–if you can suddenly be on board hundreds or even thousands of new people who now have a financial interest in seeing your company succeed, well, they’re going to be much more engaged with all of your company’s [events?]. If you are doing a product launch or you want them to share something on social media, and they own a small percentage of your company, then they’re going to be that much willing to do that. [inaudible] that you’re running. There are some advantages there, too. And from the misconceptions standpoint, I think that it’s all around the marketing. Because it pairs the word “crowdfunding” [and us?]. People think that it should be run in just exactly the same way as a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. Through the book, I mentioned, for a lot of reasons, that’s just not the case.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Right. Let’s say I decide to do this and I have 3,000 people with shares–I know you constructed a couple of ways, but can you walk the audience through what actually happens there? I mean, obviously, there’s perks in there. I would imagine you’d have to create a [high tech?] treatment in terms of marketing and communication with them. I mean, there’s probably legal stuff around that. We don’t need to get into the weeds on it, it will all be in the book, everybody. But just for the sake of conversation here, some of the main questions, like: “What happens throughout the life of the company with these shareholders?” What if somebody wants to cash out? Can you just explain that a little bit? Because that’s something I also hear from my entrepreneurs.

Nathan Rose: Yeah, sure. Well, when you put your money in, it will likely be tied up until the company gets sold or acquired by someone else. As a result, that means that these shareholders are probably going to be around for the long term. It’s going to be difficult to find buyers for these shares if someone wanted to cash out. If you look at all of the crowdfunding platforms, they will make this very clear that these are not liquid investments like you can get on the stock market where you can easily just sell your shares to–there’s a bid pool of willing buyers out there. And I think as well it’s important to know that these investors shouldn’t be putting money in that they can’t themselves be willing to lose. Because putting money into startups is–well, it was actually illegal, as you know, Kristin, until the Title III of the JOBS Act was passed in the US.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: On May 16th, correct?

Nathan Rose: That’s right, yeah. On May 16th this became legal for the first time. So we’re still discovering how the public’s going to react to that. Because other parts of the world have been going on for longer than the US, it does point to some of the trends that we can expect to see in the US based on what we’ve seen overseas.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So give us a couple of those, if you don’t mind. Or even just one.

Nathan Rose: I think it’s the type of person that tends to put money into these though they’re not the grandmothers with their last few pennies of their life savings who put in their money into these things. And there’s a pretty innovative space. It’s kind of self-policing that the types of people who are tuning up and putting $100 or $1,000 into these campaigns tend to know what they’re doing more than perhaps we give people credit for. The other thing is just the types of companies that are using that or are starting to expand. First we saw that that was for start-ups at the very early stage. Now it’s migrating, actually, more and more into companies at a lighter and lighter stage. Even in the UK, we’ve seen companies use equity crowdfunding as part of a full scale initial public offering which for the last [inaudible] don’t know what it does. That’s just where a much larger company than a startup will put their shares on the stock exchange for the first time. It’s an extension of equity crowdfunding, an extension of the term.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Wow. And it’s probably going to move just as fast as we’re seeing the platforms evolve. So you’ve seen actually equity crowdfunding bridge to an IPO in Europe.

Nathan Rose: Absolutely. Yep, yep.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s pretty awesome. And you haven’t obviously seen that in America, I wouldn’t imagine, because it’s so new.

Nathan Rose: Right. And you’ve got the SEC which are a little more restrictive on these things, and [inaudible]. This is why it’s taking so long for the US to join the equity crowdfunding party. It was actually signed into [law?] in 2012, and it’s taking this long for them to get their head around how they’re going to implement it.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Right. It’s a process, not an event.

Nathan Rose: And I think all of the participants in the US market are taking the long view on what it’s ultimately going to become. Some people are nearly going–they’ve been frustrated. But it hasn’t been bigger. I think that’s what we’ve seen in every market that it doesn’t start off with a big bang and has hundreds of millions of dollars being raised. It’s taken five years for the UK market to grow to where it is now. From pretty humble beginnings.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So before we go into more of the marketing because I know that’s something that my audience would love to have you talk through–you just mentioned something that brought up an important point for my people, and that is the type of person that invests. When we were talking in our pre-call, we talked about just how active the active-outdoor lifestyles market entrepreneurs are on this particular platform where the interest is very high. I think, honestly, it’s because basically, we understand the importance of a new and emerging technology and how it ties in with our passion for what we love to do in the outdoors. And I would love to get your take on that, specifically. Like, why is the active-outdoor lifestyle market so active in terms of interest in equity crowdfunding, and then maybe talk about a few of the brands that you’ve helped in that space even though they may not be in America.

Nathan Rose: Yeah, sure. The reason, I think, that they’re so attractive is that they’re easily shared, and everyone can easily understand, for the most part, what the business model is. [There are?] a lot of company’s on equity crowdfunding, they are in financial technology, or they’re in medical technology, or they’re like a [inaudible] Service. For the average person looking to put $100 in, it’s pretty hard to understand that. It’s not even perhaps worth their time if $100 is all they’re going to put in. But if you’ve got that direct connection to your users–either it’s the one that’s going on on Wefunder at the moment, the outdoor tents. Everyone can understand what a tent does, and I can understand what is a need for them. The business model is just easily understood.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: We have to put the plug in. That’s SlingFin, right?

Nathan Rose: That’s SlingFin. Exactly. So–

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: I’m definitely rooting for Martin and Al Taber over there so have to mention them. By name.

Nathan Rose: They’re up to $84,000 now. So they’re actually successfully funded. It’s just the case of whether they go all the way to the $100,000 that they were shooting for, although at least close with a minimum $94,000 [inaudible], which is pretty exciting for those guys.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s super exciting. Especially because, again, in our pre-call, we were talking about just how the brands in our spaces are working to actually bridge to that end consumer. So much of that was done–the heavy lifting was done through retail. That is still a super important touch point and point of entry, but they’re having to go direct now. And so with this $84,000, hopefully, it’ll grow more for SlingFin. I’m assuming they’ll leave with a list of some kind. We’ve actually helped other companies leave Kickstarter and start marketing to that list. And the list is very different, if you will. I’m talking about e-mail list. The list is more about hearing about when the product’s ready, not so much like having them be romanced about our brand story. So how do you see that work? Because obviously, you have marketing as a key focal point in your book here. Can you talk about what happens? [inaudible] SlingFin as an example. I imagine that they have a list, and the list is now probably people who are interested, and also shareholders. So have you any advice on what 2.0 of that looks like in terms of keeping that list warm and communicating with them and ideally, turning them into marketing people, if you will, for your brand?

Nathan Rose: Yeah. There is an important point here which is that the crowdfunding platform might not actually turn over the emails to everyone who’s invested in your company. They might get you to do all communication through their platform. So that’s something to check when you’re weighing up the different platforms with each other.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s a very important point.

Nathan Rose: Yeah, yeah. Are they going to turn over [inaudible] to you or are they going to take control of it? I mean in above cases, you can still use them, but it might tie you to that platform for second and third races, if that’s the case. Everyone’s looking for [inaudible] to keep you engaged in the platform after you used it the first time [inaudible]. And in business in general. So some platforms are doing it that way. In terms of actually keeping people engaged, I think it’s important to communicate with them even when you don’t have big news to say. It sounds like a strange thing, but I think people appreciate being kept in touch regularly. So every 3 months or so, just send out an update of the company just to say how things are going even if there’s no big product launch coming along. And even if you’re not about to run a second crowdfunding campaign. This is one mistake I see is that companies will do a crowdfunding campaign and then the next time that they all communicate with their investors is the next time they’re asking for money. So you don’t want to be only talking to them when you want something. You need to be giving value to them.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: I absolutely love that point. I was actually just talking to my daughter about this the other day. She’s like, “Can you call so and so–” and find out if they still have this certain toy that she started to collect. I was like, “We haven’t talked to them in a long time, and that’s not how you do it.” She’s 10. And a lot of clients can be that way, too., because we get so busy. And they’re head down and they’re running and gunning, and then all of a sudden, like, “Oh. We need to get this out.” I really love e-mail marketing so much because you can keep that warm connection. I’d like to make a point of clarification to my audience. When you say at least every three months, you’re speaking about shareholders or people who have communicated with you regarding the crowdfunding or equity crowdfunding campaign. It’s not necessarily what you’re advising people do in terms of e-mail marketing. That’s definitely a case-by-case basis, right? Like, there’s the shareholder communication and then there’s some sort of brand communication which can be different.

Nathan Rose: Yeah, yeah. Of course brand communication can be even more frequent. If you’ve had a customer who’s signed up to you [inaudible], that can be more frequent. But I think people should be given your share. How it should be given a comprehensive overview of how the company’s going every three months or so.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay. And does your book walk your reader through how to do that?

Nathan Rose: Yes. There’s a section near the end of that [inaudible]–

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: It’s chapter 7. I have it highlighted. Maybe it’s not chapter 7. You have a pretty cool parting–your conclusion, I wanted to ask you about, too. Is it chapter 7? Sorry, I didn’t mean to–I’ve been excited to ask you about that chapter. Forgive me.

Nathan Rose: Chapter 7, I think, is the marketing chapter. That’s the one about what happens after a campaign. That might be chapter 9.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay. And I will, just so you know, I’ll have my editor chop that up. Let me just make a timeout here. Okay. So let’s take that one from the top. Can you talk with my audience about maybe some of the tips around how to do that successfully. Is there a chapter in your book that deals specifically with that?

Nathan Rose: Yeah. The chapter at the end which is what happens after the campaign. It’s chapter 9. That [inaudible] through sort of all the steps of as to how to communicate with your audience and your shareholders. How to leverage them for the next [race?] if you indeed want to do that. And also, some tips about what you should if the campaign wasn’t successful. Too many business books make it seem too easy, right, and they don’t tell you what to do if things don’t go to plan. So there’s a bet on what to do if the campaign’s going badly, chapter 8, I believe. And there’s a bit on what happens if the campaign actually ends up failing.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: As much as I love to stay positive, I’m actually really appreciative that you have that in there, and I’m curious. Can you maybe give us a little bit of insight on that because I work with several entrepreneurs–and we’ll get into case studies here in just a minute–but you’re considering these platforms, and we just don’t even talk about that. Because obviously, my background is in communications so I feel like, “Well, we have to communicate this. We have to do a damn good job making sure that we’re engaging and guiding people along.” That’s what your agency specializes in. So can you talk about a couple of failures? Like, what does a company do in that case? That sounds like it would be mentally, I think, of a tough obstacle to get over.

Nathan Rose: Yeah. Well, that is tough. I think it’s tougher because it’s a public failure. As in when you run a private investment offer or ask money from the bank, then that’s all done behind closed doors. But a public equity crowdfunding offer [inaudible] put a lot of effort into something. Put a [inaudible] out there for your company. If you failed then people will see that. I think it’s just to stay positive, as to take the learnings from the crowdfunding campaign. It’s also going to, I think, lead you in a very good position where at least you’ve had some positive media exposure and you had some things in place. Like your legal documents and your company [inaudible] business plan together which will allow you to take those same documents and find money through other channels. But anytime you have a business failure, it is a good time for introspection. Maybe you’d want to just ask yourself whether you need money at all or if you can get by with just getting money from customers and bootstrapping for a little longer.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Which is what I’ve always done. But I have looked at this. Obviously, I have two companies and I don’t really think either one of them is perfect for this. We can talk about that. But I have so much respect for people who put themselves out here, especially having gone through my own pitch now through Camber Outdoors Pitchfest earlier this year. But you’re doing that on a public stage is really huge. But one of the other things I think that I’d like to touch on to add to what you’ve just provided is you get so much information from your potential customers. Even if they don’t sign up and find you now, think of the incredible intelligence that you get from going through this. It’s worth so much money. I mean, before this platform existed in the United States, some of the larger brands we’ve worked with at Verde will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on trying to get roundtables together in different cities. This is a way to really get a fantastic, real-time line of sight into people who are interested in your company. Obviously, you want them to invest, but if they don’t–ideally, maybe there’s an opportunity to ask why, and you can pivot.

Nathan Rose: Yeah, yeah. I think either way, it’s feedback, right? And feedback is so, so important. There’s always, I think, a balance in entrepreneurship between pressing on with your dreams even when people are telling you no, and taking that feedback on board. If enough people have said no to you then maybe it isn’t a good idea or maybe you change things up somehow.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So before we get in to the marketing chapter, can I also just ask you–and I know this is probably different for a lot of companies, so I’m going to give you a case study. I’d like you to just guess or–educated guess, of course, Nathan. How long would it take to get a fantastic platform together? Okay, so, let’s say I’m a brand new entrepreneur, I have a prototype, and I’m going to have what used to be called salesman samples, but they’re not going to be the perfect color, but I’ll have product by say February of 2017 . Just so everybody knows right now, Nathan and I are recording this show in early-ish October of 2016. So I have this, I’m looking at like Q1 crowdfunding campaign around February. Now to reverse engineer back to right now, early October, is that enough time to prepare for this? And what are some of the key things for a milestone standpoint that need to be put in place to run a successful equity crowdfunding campaign?

Nathan Rose: I think it sounds like that company would have enough time. But what I would question is whether they’ve got enough traction to be right for equity crowdfunding at that point. So if they’re pre-revenue or they’re pre-product then they haven’t really gone out there and validated whether they’ve got a business that’s capable of being funded yet. So it is sometimes possible pre-revenue, but it’s much harder. For a company like that–[inaudible], it sounds like it’s some kind of clothing company, a material company. It’s a business model which is quite well [inaudible] so it should be possible to get at least some initial sales traction if the company’s a good one before going down the equity crowdfunding route. I don’t know if it makes sense.  $30,000 and up. It’s not really for the company is that the pure idea [inaudible].

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay. So what if–would pre-sales count?

Nathan Rose:  Yeah, that’s right. If there’s preorders then that’s better. I mean, the more you can show, the better it is. If you don’t have revenue, then can you show users? If you’ve got users then that’s good, but have the users actually paid for anything. That’s even better. If the company has got a longer track record that’s better still. But if it’s profitable then that’s best of all.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay, this is great. Now let’s turn to some of your top marketing tactics. You obviously have 10 in your awesome book, but I would like to maybe have you focus on two or three as we’re kind of getting close to needing to wrap up here. But this is really, really important stuff.

Nathan Rose: Yeah. I think one of them is to look at the resources, the platform it’s going to be able to bring forward to you. Because a platform, ideally, should have an audience of their own, of people that they’ve built up. That you can use if you’re accepted onto their platform. So ask yourself if they’re going to talk to you and the emails that they send out. Particularly, if that’s one of these platforms which have got dozens and dozens of campaigns going on at the time, sometimes they determine which campaign’s going to e-mail based on who’s already doing really well. So how much can you rely on their support? I think another thing to just point out is the impact of social media is sometimes less important. And equity crowdfunding than the Kickstarter and Indiegogo [inaudible] crowdfunding. ]Just because the amount are typically more–for the active and outdoors market, it might not be the case because more people are–you might be targeting more of your own users than might be the case for the financial company or with a medical company. But sometimes people try to do everything from in front of their computer. I’ll say that it’s an online platform. But just because it’s an online platform doesn’t mean you should totally neglect going out there and meeting with investors. Because remember, one person who puts in a hundred thousand is worth a thousand people who’re putting on $100 each. So you should spend your time and proportion to that. And yeah, [inaudible] go ahead.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: I did have a quick question around that. So you’re saying that maybe taking the show on the road, so to speak, is a great idea. That’s actually something I think a lot of people, maybe even some of my younger entrepreneurs who are super digital savvy may not see as important. So you’re saying meet-ups or just any kind of gathering where “there are people would be,” it’s a good idea to go and let people know about this and kind of take it to like a boots on the ground effort in addition to what you’re doing digitally.

Nathan Rose: Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of the equity crowdfunding platforms now, well, offer evenings or tons. We even get in front of this audience which they organize. So they might get you and a few of the other equity crowdfunding campaigns together in the same room and pitch long distance with all of them. You get five minutes to stand on the stage and talk. So to take advantage of those opportunities, you want to do everything you can because I think, these marketing events all build on each other. You shouldn’t just think that doing social media only is going to have the impact that you need. Neither will these in-person meet ups. But together, they’re much stronger than they would be by themselves and actually build on each other.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yup. I’m totally with you on that point. Those are fantastic tips, thank you. And then does your book have any templates or kind of success stories that people can model campaigns after?

Nathan Rose: Yeah. Well, all of the 20 start-ups that I’ve spoken to have had successful crowdfunding campaigns. So there’s some pretty inspiring stories out there. There’s one that I’ll draw your attention to in particular because it’s in a similar industry to most of your listeners. [inaudible] which is a Swedish company. They produce organic snacks and beauty products delivered straight to the door. The last thing I think about this company–and the reason that the founder was so enthused about it was that she had talked to venture capital before, and she talked to banks before–it comes across in the book as well. She says she just didn’t love the culture of them. She’s out there creating these organic snacks and these organic beauty products, and she just doesn’t [inaudible] well with the corporate vibe or the VC vibes. I think equity crowdfunding allows you to retain more of your company culture as another advantage of it.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That is a huge advantage, and it’s one of the main reasons that Martin and crew over at SlingFin wanted to go this way. It also was an opportunity for them to protect their intellectual property, but in a way that’s like the creativity behind it that’s very hard to put a number on. So I think that’s a fantastic example. So that company, [inaudible], is one that you cover in the book. I think that is a really good parallel to draw. Because the whole conversation, the many, many podcast I’ve done on this, I think, the reason my audience is so interested in it is it’s not so much as selling [inaudible], it’s a loss of control. The whole reason they get into these passion-driven industries is because they want to fly their own flag and create and do things their own way and they know it’s going to make an impact on the tribe that they’re targeting. I mean, oftentimes you cannot convey that or get the connection with the right corporate level or bank investor, if you will, that gets that. That has that spirit and gets it and just understands what’s going on with that. So you’re totally spot on with that for my people. Again, if I take that and then I talk about the fact that you’ve created a DIY resource for them in your book, total win-win. Because as far as I know, this hasn’t existed, and it’s a downloadable book. Can you also tell my audience about what you’re hoping to do for them as we get closer to your launch date of November 1st, 2016?

Nathan Rose: Yeah, sure. So on the first few days, the book will actually be downloadable on the Kindle for free. It won’t be free forever, but if you get that on the first few days, absolutely free of charge and you don’t even need to give me your e-mail address. If you leave a review then there will be an audio book that comes with it as well.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Oh, that’s super cool. I love my audio books. So before we wrap up here, Nathan–and first of all, thank you so much. This has been an awesome conversation and super helpful for my audience. But I wanted to have you talk a little bit about the section of your book called Conclusion: Parting Thoughts from the Experts. That sounds really good to me in terms of somebody who can really convey some straight-shot guidance. I don’t need you to go over every single piece of it, but can you share the strongest, most relevant piece of advice for my people?

Nathan Rose: So the Parting Thoughts from the Experts section in the conclusion is where I’ve taken all 20 of the start-ups that I interviewed and I just took a snippet which I think will leave people with a flavor of what they might be in for if they did an equity crowdfunding campaign of their own. There are few things that I was left with. One was that it was more work than I was expecting. None of them said that it was less work than they were expecting. A lot of them said that it took more time and resource than they were expecting. But on the other hand, they were also for the most part, very enthusiastic about the transformation or the impact that’s had on their business beyond just the money raised. So the ability to promote the campaign in a public forum, it got more than just new customers, but they also got new brand champions on board and they had people approaching them to help out with supplying and that kind of thing as well. So the exposure has been great for all of the companies. And I think in particular for the product-based companies. That’s what I’ll leave you with.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Awesome. And I can’t wait to dive in and read all of them. Well, Nathan, this has been great. I’d love to actually have you on maybe as a regular guest on this particular topic because I do have so many of the people in my community who are looking at Kickstarter or equity crowdfunding solutions. So I really appreciate this, and I definitely appreciate the work that you’ve put into your book. And please, head on over to–I’ll put the link in the show notes page, but you’re going to have this Equity Crowdfunding: The Complete Guide For Start Ups And Growing Companies, Nathan Rose’s brand new book on November 1st, on Amazon on a free Kindle download. Again, I’ll put everything in the podcast notes. This show will be timed right around that. So I’m really hoping that the Intrepid Entrepreneur audience will be able to go in and grab that fantastic deal. So thank you so much.

Nathan Rose: It’s been awesome, Kristin. Thanks for having me on. Absolutely would be great to catch up in a few more months to see where crowdfunding is going in the meantime.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yeah, I’d love that. Thank you so much. We’ll talk to you again soon.


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