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How To Navigate Regulation Crowdfunding With Crypto And Blockchain

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  • How To Navigate Regulation Crowdfunding With Crypto And Blockchain

    Read this article to learn from a seasoned entrepreneur who has been working for 20 years at her craft how to take advantage of SEC Regulation Crowdfunding. Regulation Crowdfunding is an exception at the SEC that allows companies to raise up to $1,070,000 through an online platform to the public. She found that to receive the necessary SEC approval for her second crowdfunding campaign, it was unspoken but necessary to drop the use of crypto and blockchain. From challenging the typical way of raising money through venture capital to navigating the U.S. regulatory landmines for fundraising, this is a story you do not want to miss.

    Dawn Dickson is the founder and CEO of PopCom, a company she has been working on since 2012 that is an automated retail technology company with a hardware and software (SaaS) solution for self-service retail. Essentially, PopCom makes vending machines and kiosks smarter by allowing retailers to collect important analytics at the point of sale and deliver targeted content, similar to how Google analytics analyzes web traffic.

    With her business involving automated retail technology and self-service machines, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased demand for her company’s products, making her investor pitch that much easier. Dickson is the first Black woman to raise over $1 Million under SEC Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) using a security token offering (STO). Currently in the middle of her second Reg CF, PopCom has raised $800,000 in about a month and a half.

    And if you believe you can start up a technology company easily, she will tell you to start by getting an education in technology first and prepare for months and months of planning before you go to investors - privately or publicly - to raise money. And if asked about her achievement in her first crowdfunding campaign, Dickson will highlight that she formerly had become the first woman … not just the first black woman … to raise $1 million using a blockchain token offering. And as for a disadvantage, according to Dickson, being a graduate from The Ohio State University as opposed to a coastal college and living in the flyover state of Ohio were her biggest obstacles to raising capital for her business. The obstacle of not having the right network to fundraise for her company were the motivation to seek equity from the public.

    ‘The Jobs Act by Obama leveled the playing field and access to capital for businesses and allows leverage community from accredited and non-accredited investors,’ Dickson explains. For early stage deals where a company is not yet publicly traded, she notes, ‘ accredited investor needs to make $200,000 as an individual or $300,000 if you are married, and have $1,000,000 in net worth’. Dickson notes these investors are the ‘...same people over and over again who are benefitting from the success of these early-stage companies where the wealth is circulated around the same group of accredited investors.’ Dickson explains she educated herself about how to do a crowdfunding campaign, as has been made possible by President Obama with the Jobs Act. She realized she had families, friends, and a community of supporters that were not accredited investors, but were educated investors with disposable income and understood the risks and rewards of an early-stage investment in a company.

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