Women's Funding Summit: Session #2: Crowdfunding - Closed Caption, Blue Room

Moderator- Elizabeth Ahern | U.S. Commercial Service - Peoria

Panelist - Jonny Price | Wefunder

Panelist - Kate Isler | Wmarketplace


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Welcome to our second breakout session today. The crowdfunding session.

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My name is Melissa Bula McGuinness, with the WMarketplace. The WMarketplace the co-host of today's event, and I am your tech leads for the session.

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I'd like to introduce you to the moderator today.

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Elizabeth Erin from the Us. Commercial service, who will be a moderate in the crowdfunding session today.

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Hi, like I'm Elizabeth Herne. I am director of the Us.

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Commercial Service Office in Peoria, Illinois, and I am excited to be here.

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you know, as a business owner myself. At 1 point in my life, Crowdfunding was not in my radar at all, and I am so excited to know and to learn more about this option, and to get exposed to the why and how of crowdfunding, if that's what

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you're looking for, or or your you're in the right place For the next 30 min we will have an opportunity to hear from a fund there.

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Johnny Price was with us, and also a client.

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Success Story from Kate Isler, and it it is going to be a conversation that would invite us.

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That will invite us in this area. In addition, the last 15 min of the program will be left for Q.

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A feel free to enter your questions in the chat, and we will go from there, for now I like Johnny to introduce himself and tell us about.

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Yeah, hey? Guys, Johnny Price here at refunder.

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And yeah, as I mentioned earlier, we fund the helps entrepreneurs raise capital from their customers and community from unaccredited investors as Well, as a creative investors Normally, when startups are raising equity capital we do some loans, as well and we fund there But normally when

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you're raising capital, you're limited to raising capital from rich people, accredited investors, as the technical term.

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Basically, it's the richest, 6 or 7% of the population, And our founder said, That's not really fair.

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They were not accredited when they founded, we funder, and they said, We want to invest in our cool startup.

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Our cool friends startups and we shouldn't be prevented from being able to do that by the law.

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So they lobbied Congress, changed the law, and so now, as a founder, you can rip, go to your customers and say, Hey, would you like to invest in us?

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You know, say that we can turn this food truck into a restaurant, or say that we can.

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You know, raise capital to expand our. You know, tech company, and you can raise 50 K.

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To 5 million dollars per year on refunder. You can publicly promote the investment opportunity on social media and in the press and an email blast on linkedin etc., And yeah, the last thing, I'll maybe say, we're a public benefit corporation, and a beacle and say.

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we're really excited about just getting more capital to flowing.

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To found is making easier for them to raise money and recruit an army of supporters So that's what we're all about it.

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He's organization.

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And fantastic. Thank you for that introduction, and Max Kate, would you tell us about your organization?

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introduce yourself, and also how you got started

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is great to be here and I'm so excited to talk about this This is one of my favorite parts of the business.

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So far, so so I'm Kate. I saw, and I'm the co-founder, and CEO of the W.

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Marketplace, and you've heard a little bit about us today.

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But basically we are an e-commerce site for women owned businesses.

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We have merchandise and services on the site, and really we got started in the spring of 2020, As a result of the pandemic.

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So I have been an entrepreneur for a long time, spent about 200 years in technology.

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It feels like that. And during the course of my career learned about International Women's Day, and was so inspired by other places in the world that I lived, that celebrated women across a lot of platforms, and so when the pandemic hit and women were losing their jobs and losing economically.

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I thought, you know there's got to be a way to remake the workplace and to take advantage of the trend with everyone online shopping, and as you've heard several times this morning, a couple of factors women's businesses grow faster than the apparatus and receive less capital than the

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average business. And so we really set out to build a place that was an alternative to the big ecommerce sites where women shoppers could invest in the communities.

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You're on mute, Kate.

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Fantastic Johnny. What does a typical client look like for your program?

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And what are some of the basic requirements for that typical client?

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We fund that we're just talking more about it.

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Yeah, typical client with a bit. We don't really have a typical client.

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So Google client is Kate a badass female founder.

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So there you go. But no, we really do. We are quite eclectic in terms of who we work with You know a lot of what we do is tech companies that are looking at raising from angel ambassadors and Vcs and they're raising a c drowned they're raising

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power of a series a on we funder, or a series B on we fund There you know.

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We had a company raised 120 million dollars from venture capital firms, Mercury Bank, and they opened up a 5 million dollar allocation to let their customers invest alongside Andreason Horowitz, one of the best vcs in the world.

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And so you know, there's kind of huge like, you know, success stories like that.

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and then, you know, if there's a coffee shop that's raising $70,000 to go towards building out a second location.

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You know, in in Wyoming. So we really. And then, you know, we're working with biotech companies who are working with Cpg companies.

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We're working with, you know, as I mentioned, kind of Main Street business, says movies, soccer teams, there's really a wide range of companies.

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That have done. We funded, and in terms of kind of stage as well.

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We you know we can be the first money into companies. And I was tweeted the other day. If you're doing a friends and family rounds, I don't really know what you wouldn't do that on a on the platform like we found there, and there's other platforms out there as well it's just we

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fund It's the coolest one, but you know, like if you're raising from friends and family, this is a way that legally allows you to publicly promote it on Facebook.

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So you can get in front of more people more easily. It's a very streamlined way of accepting the money.

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Everyone sees the investment contract that they're investing in.

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We've set up the bank account integrations and the credit card processing, and we roll investors to one line on your cap table, and so, and we put you in front of one and a half 1 million we fund investors, typically they account for you know a third of the round something like, that So that's just new

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money. That you probably wouldn't get, or you definitely wouldn't get if you were trying to raise yourself outside of a platform.

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So it can be. I think a really good way to do a friends and family rounds all the way through.

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It's at much much larger rounds, As I mentioned the average.

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Just some stats the average raising wheat under is 500 K.

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a little south of 500 k The median is about 300 K.

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and and Yeah, average investment in amount is a $1,000.

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so, if you're looking at raising 50 K.

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To 5 million. It it Hi! You should check it out.

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Is there down payment that is required. For example.

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They care about in a broad range of products and services, and that women own the businesses. Had a friendly platform with a community that they could sell to that to their you know, to anyone, men and women want to say So that's really how we got started

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Gosh, so many things. So we started the business. We knew that, you know e-commerce is a very difficult business, because it predominantly is B to C.

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And the space we're in that, you know, we've talked about unit economics this morning, and that is a different thing.

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I will, would remind people that, and that Amazon wasn't profitable.

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For the first 15 years, and right now they're profitable, based on another product.

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Funding aws, funds a lot of their profitability in the e-commerce site.

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So those are tough economics. So that's number one.

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but we also started looking at You know the reality is, I've been an entrepreneur, and I've raised money, and you know there is an accelerator.

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Factor in When you have capital you can invest and push your business forward, and it is very difficult to do as you know.

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First of all, with the stakes against you. You're a female.

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I was asked several times. You know the ages of my team, which was an interesting question, and you know how we were possibly gonna you know, make this happen.

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And so the sort of stacked against you, and and we're not a tech dependent.

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We're a tech enabled company, but we don't have a tremendous amount of IP on our own, And so all those things really led me to say, Okay, we need to grow we need to fund, this business And we need to continue on our mission.

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Which is really to provide this platform for shoppers and women owned businesses.

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Oh, nice! So, Kate, What happened to make you realize that you were ready to search for outside funding

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And how are we gonna do that without funding? And so we bootstrapped initially, we raised a precede fund from one of our technology partners which was a great thing But you know, as we started to go and develop, e-commerce and we also have an e-commerce

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educational program like a workshop program. That is, instructor lead.

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And so we built that community, and we needed to fund that, so that we actually had a a solid offering for the marketplace And so you know, we definitely needed capital to do that.

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I think people were coming in droves to online shopping, but to get your name out and to get people's awareness of your business, you have to push forward, and you have to look for creative ways to do that and to fund that and so that really spurred us to say we want to be a big

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business I don't want to be a lifestyle business.

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Yes, yes, yes, and Johnny, how important is there relationship between you and the business that you fund.

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Consider it as at least one of the options for financing that you're looking at

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Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I don't want to stretch this too far.

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I think hopefully, we delivered a good experience for Kate, and was supportive through the processes like a legal document.

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You far with the sec called a form C, and you know, there's obviously a lot of kind of collaboration that goes into the page and the the fundraising strategy and plan.

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but I will say compared to. For example, if a Vc.

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Invests in you. Often they'll take a board seat in the company, and you know, because they're investing a really large amount.

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They will tend to, I think, kind of go a little bit deeper in terms of the support that they're providing to the to the entrepreneur that's raising capital from them, especially kind of after the race you know we fund his involvement with the wm marketplaces

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like, you know, Hopefully, we can collaborate and do cool things together like this one, but you know, we're probably not adding as much value to Kate and the team as as like you know, a Vc.

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That might invest in her. So I don't want to stretch it too far.

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But yeah, suddenly, through the process of running a community round. Obviously we're experts in it.

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We AIM to be super responsive and supportive to to what founders are looking for in needing.

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I want to provide a huge opportunity for shoppers and women owned businesses, so we need money to do it.

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Yeah, absolutely. You know. Let me jump in and and just sort of give.

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give everybody sort of the flavor for what we did.

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So Johnny mentioned a little bit earlier about the administration and the managing of the the raise.

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So many of us know the fundraising is a job and a half.

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People say it's full time, Job. It's job and a half, plus.

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You're trying to run your business. And so it is huge resource.

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Drain on everything, and it's sort of a you don't want to be defocused on your growing business when you're trying to say my business is growing.

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But I don't have time to actually grow my business, because I'm fundraising.

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And so you're in a little bit of a catch.

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22, and so what we found most definitely was, you know, the administration work that we fund or picked up from us was spectacular.

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I mean it was ha to have that partnership, and we did have a great partnership in terms of you know, we went through the online process, and then we had an account person who was fabulous, who said here's some ideas on What you should do and this is what we found to be successful in

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your slides and successful with filling out your form. C form sees are complicated.

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It is a securities exchange document, some very big legal document that is expensive to have an attorney do.

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It is, you know, difficult to understand. If you, if you're not an attorney or a financier, I'm not.

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My co-founder is not. But we really relied on.

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We funded to help us through that process. It's very transparent.

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You are then being, you know you have. You have very little worry.

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You You have to disclose everything. So when we talked just in this last session, with Dane Tree, and they were talking about the finances you need to provide.

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You absolutely provide that to we fund or, in fact, you have to have an audit.

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You know an accredited audit to get on the platform.

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It was fabulous because they helped us find audit partners that were cost effective to do it.

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and so we went through that process, feeling really great because, you know, they had been at a part, not only in terms of the Here's a platform that processes all the payment.

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But here's a partner that picks up and and tells you these are the 3 things you need to do, or this is what's worked in the past.

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So we weren't alone. Kind of knocking on angels doors, which we did some of as well, but I have to say you know the the engagement that we had in the support that we have from we've under was fabulous because they've done it so many times so that was

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So, for example, you can tell us a little bit about your client relationship with your fellow panelists, if you like.

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super helpful, and it was cost effective. And you know, when we go back and look for things, you know again, I'm a I'm a entrepreneur like in the true sense of the word, when people go do you have that safe, force to what you know what did you do I can go Oh.

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Yeah, it's in my way, or or you know it's all right there.

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But Kate K should maybe talk to that more more honest answer or kind of you know well sense a concert on that question

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1 one thing to just quickly chime in a couple of things.

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In one case, said Firstly, just on the audit thing if you're raising more than 1 point, 2 million you need, You need audited financials.

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Going back to either. The incorporation date of the company.

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If your startup, or if you're older than 2 years old, then 2 years of financials.

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if you're raising between 120 K.

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And 1 point, 2 million. The financials need to be reviewed, which is a little bit easier than all that, And then, if you're rising less than 120 K, which a lot of companies and we fund to do yeah, the financials, are just self-reported so just to sometimes in order and order it can be quite expensive, and

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time-consuming, And so, you know, Kate got it.

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But if you're raising more money, you need that.

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But if you just want to raise 100 K. Or 200 K.

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You don't need, nor there. And then, just really wanted to double down And what you said, Okay, which is, you know, fundraising is hard work, and you know most companies on wheat under there are some cut.

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There's been a couple of companies, and we fund them, replaced a good example.

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They had a 1 million users. They launched. They sent one email to their customers and they raised 5 million dollars in a few hours.

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That is extremely rare, Most companies some we fund, you know. We hope we can make it a little bit easier for you in a bunch of different ways.

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But it's still a grind. It takes effort. You get out what you put in, so commit to it, dedicate the time to it.

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See, this is your full time, Job desperately try to cove out time in your day when you've got to focus on this, and if you do that, then hopefully you know, get good things will happen.

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But the biggest reason I see founders fail, and we fund that is, they think, Oh, just launch it on weekend and watch that we found our investors roll in.

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But we just send a Facebook post about it, you know, and like, and then we'll be fine.

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It's like, No, you got a hustle. You got to work it.

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You got to talk to people individually, got to email them, text them, call them, meet them, you know, and of course, now you can market it so that can pour fuel on the fire, but you.

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It really does take, hustle and grind. And yeah, just admit to it.

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Wow! Thanks for clarifying that! And to opening the you know, helping us to see the picture of what goes into this relationship, and how Johnny, you support, and and Kate, you know what what you need, to move forward.

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And so it makes the process very easy. I I was still

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There's a couple of things. One we have a female attorney that said, Hey, have you guys, thought about this?

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And so you know, we kind of went and and checked it out and looked across lots of platforms, and really felt like you know, we were getting twice what we put in.

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How did you hear, Kate, about this type of funding

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To do something like we funder, you know the the crowdfunding because of the administration that we just talked about, and because they had done it, and and could point us in.

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The right direction, but because we leveraged it as a marketing tool for us in many ways, And I think you know, Johnny, you're absolutely right.

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We marketed to that platform most definitely, because, you know, our mission is, you know, to be the economic engine for women.

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And so when you talk about that, and you talk about, you know here is how we are pushing women forward.

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We gave our customers, and everyone who was supportive of this, the opportunity to invest for future equity for $250 or more.

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So it was a real, you know. It's sort of in our mission because women gain economic prosperity via inv investment, you know, that is the quickest way to gain economic prosperity, And so we were very focused on.

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You know, we want to let people in to join us for that, and to join in our success, and to give them that opportunity.

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And so it was just made sense for us, and we were, you know, as I said, we raised over.

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We raise almost 1.5 million. So we raised a lot of money which we were looking for versus, you know, just the smaller crowdfunding that you hear about, and we very we did it very intentionally to give us runway, as we built out again, not only our e-commerce but

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our e-commerce workshop program that has been very successful.

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And so we feel like you know, it was the place to get that.

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And then you know you get out what you put in

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we do not require business plan. We we want to be a pretty open platform on refund.

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So if you're listening to this and you want to give it a while, you can get a refund.com slash, raise, and you can be live with a page where the you can start sharing with investors in 30 min after you know this this session it's very easy we don't want to be kind

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of the gatekeeper, but part of our mission. Right?

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It's like when you have gatekeepers that decide, you know which entrepreneurs like K.

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Are worthy of getting capital, you know. Sometimes they make good decisions right, but sometimes we think they might get it wrong, like, for example, how little capital guys the women founders and founders of color and right Now, about 80% of venture capital goes to 3 States California New York and Massachusetts

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and we think that that sucks and that's a result of a system where you have kind of gatekeepers who are, you know, making these decisions, and they're all white men living in sandal road.

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and so, you know, we we want to kind of say there is wisdom in the crowd, and we want to let founders raise capital from their current.

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We don't want to be another gatekeeper, so we're pretty open platform.

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We don't require a business plan. There's a page on wefunder where you can basically upload your story.

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Usually your investor. Pitch Deck is pretty common, but you don't even need that.

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There's a post where you can upload a video.

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One thing I will say is, we we don't have a requirement for a business plan or you know, a certain amount of revenue or setting years in business, or whatever it is.

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But obviously every investor will have their own requirements Right?

00:23:07.000 --> 00:23:17.000

So, if you, if I send my week on the page to my mom, she would probably invest the 1,000 bucks in me without reading it, because she's my mom.

00:23:17.000 --> 00:23:22.000

Right. So you know you there like she will have very loose requirements.

00:23:22.000 --> 00:23:26.000

But maybe if that's an angel investor that's looking at investing 50 K.

00:23:26.000 --> 00:23:39.000

And really cares about, you know, getting a financial 10. Then she might have symbols, strenuous requirements in terms of what she wants to see for me, and and certainly as as Kate mentioned, earlier the Sec.

00:23:39.000 --> 00:23:50.000

Require financials for the business, Historical financials, cash flow, profit and loss statement, balance sheets that you do have to follow with the sec.

00:23:50.000 --> 00:23:51.000

We help you to to pull that together. So that's a legal requirement.

00:23:51.000 --> 00:24:05.000

Wow, Great Johnny, do you require a this? This plan?

00:24:05.000 --> 00:24:06.000

So. Besides, the story, is there anything else that you need to see in your page, Johnny?

00:24:06.000 --> 00:24:15.000

But in terms of business plan, not not hard requirement. Every Besta will have their own criteria that they're looking forward to get them over the hum, to invest their hard and money, and your business

00:24:15.000 --> 00:24:16.000

Yeah, I so definitely check out. I mean, Kate, do you want to put the link?

00:24:16.000 --> 00:24:26.000

You know that benefit, because it is a full time job or a job in half to say, Let's run the business, and let's fundraise. And so we could market both of those positions at the same time to be successful at.

00:24:26.000 --> 00:24:40.000

Absolutely. We can absolutely do that. It's a fun. It's a fun, page, And I would say, you know one of the things that you, you know, I don't wanna misrepresent, and I think that Johnny, was it was implying this when you're pitching it's just

00:24:40.000 --> 00:24:52.000

like pitching to anyone. It is, you know. This opens the opportunity to pitch and to gain investment from 9 accredited investors, but you have to be just as buttoned.

00:24:52.000 --> 00:24:53.000

Up and know what the heck you're gonna do.

00:24:53.000 --> 00:25:10.000

And I think you know that is also. You know, you can think about the level of funding you're raising, and that will probably dictate that or the link the longevity of your business or You know all kinds of different factors, but this is a serious fundraising opportunity.

00:25:10.000 --> 00:25:15.000

And so it is. We had most definitely a pitch deck.

00:25:15.000 --> 00:25:20.000

We had use of funds very well outlined, and what we were gonna do.

00:25:20.000 --> 00:25:21.000

And so it isn't a shortcut to that, so I don't wanna make sure that we don't misrepresent that, because it is a way to gain access, to to investors that are not accredited.

00:25:21.000 --> 00:25:33.000

Maybe you did this already, but put the link to your refund page in the chat. I think that'll be cool

00:25:33.000 --> 00:25:34.000

But you still have to have you know, the appropriate plans in place.

00:25:34.000 --> 00:25:38.000

you know where where

00:25:38.000 --> 00:25:44.000

And and do you know, represent your company in the best light that you're worthy of investment, no matter how much.

00:25:44.000 --> 00:25:46.000


00:25:46.000 --> 00:25:50.000

And so I think that that's a really interesting piece.

00:25:50.000 --> 00:25:53.000

but it's you know, but it is more engaging.

00:25:53.000 --> 00:25:57.000

And so we had a couple of really amazing things happen.

00:25:57.000 --> 00:26:08.000

So we had people come offline and talk to us very specifically, and get more information and invest larger amounts, which was fantastic and those ended up to be accredited.

00:26:08.000 --> 00:26:20.000

Investors and I will say one of the highlights of our refunder journey was We were contacted by our we funded person, and said, You know we have a an entity that wants an introduction.

00:26:20.000 --> 00:26:25.000

Are you interested? And we were like sure, Why not? And ended up doing a due diligence?

00:26:25.000 --> 00:26:35.000

Call with this with these folks before they you know they've looked at our business plan and all our financials very specifically, And then they it was revealed that it was Damon John.

00:26:35.000 --> 00:26:41.000

And so then my co-founder and I got to do a hot seat with Damon John, because he found us.

00:26:41.000 --> 00:26:45.000

His team found us on wefunder, and it was fantastic and super fun, you know.

00:26:45.000 --> 00:26:50.000

I mean scary. Is anything I'm telling you. You You have lots of investors, but you go.

00:26:50.000 --> 00:26:53.000

Oh, my God, team and John! That's a big deal, you know.

00:26:53.000 --> 00:27:09.000

And so that was a really fun piece, because that is the marketing piece that you get to do, and it's broader so that when you're not gonna indoors and submitting online applications to a 1 million angel, funds you don't have that ability to build your brand and to build some buzz

00:27:09.000 --> 00:27:15.000

about your company, which is all. Ultimately, you know, from a consumer product consumer facing company.

00:27:15.000 --> 00:27:23.000

Ultimately, we want people to go. Let's see, we can go to that big online reseller, and or we can look for alternatives.

00:27:23.000 --> 00:27:29.000

The W marketplace, you know, and so we we want it to be very mission driven until that was fantastic.

00:27:29.000 --> 00:27:30.000

And so you know I don't, I will I again.

00:27:30.000 --> 00:27:32.000


00:27:32.000 --> 00:27:33.000

I don't want to misrepresent that I happens to everyone.

00:27:33.000 --> 00:27:36.000


00:27:36.000 --> 00:27:41.000

Can I? Can I say What can I say? One more quick thing? Say, I just put a link in the chat.

00:27:41.000 --> 00:27:46.000

I would encourage everyone, click on that link, because this for me, is what we found a result about.

00:27:46.000 --> 00:27:51.000

And I'd be curious on Kate's kind of experience of this. But this is my favorite thing about.

00:27:51.000 --> 00:27:58.000

We found this every week on the page when someone invests and they go through the checkout flow and they see the terms.

00:27:58.000 --> 00:28:03.000

And they say, Yeah, I'm gonna invest a 1,000 bucks and then, okay, thank you confirms right.

00:28:03.000 --> 00:28:07.000

And then there's a place you want to leave and know for the founders of the W.

00:28:07.000 --> 00:28:25.000

Marketplace, and not everyone does it. But it looks like there was 77 investors who did this on the W marketplace page, and if you read through some of them like Maria Lewis says because women ruled the world lemme, with grandson as I believe female entrepreneurs are being

00:28:25.000 --> 00:28:30.000

on a 7 underrepresented, you know Hayes, he said.

00:28:30.000 --> 00:28:34.000

Just says good luck Nag Penguin Thomas says, Hello, Ken Season.

00:28:34.000 --> 00:28:37.000

I believe in your mission, and appreciate that you continue to follow it.

00:28:37.000 --> 00:28:39.000

Others, if they encourage you to deviate from the plan.

00:28:39.000 --> 00:28:45.000

Paul says: I believe in business, women in their driving passion to get things done so like this is the magic of we've under like.

00:28:45.000 --> 00:28:47.000

I was trying to. This one found that Tyler pays.

00:28:47.000 --> 00:28:53.000

He has this really cool company, making prosthetic limbs, and he rates 5 million, and we fund that.

00:28:53.000 --> 00:29:07.000

And he was saying that normally, when you're fundraising, it feels like No, because even if you persuade one person to write you a fiftyk chat, you have to knock on like $50 let your head, know to get one.

00:29:07.000 --> 00:29:12.000

One Yes, and he was like fundraising when we fund it feels like, yes, cause the people that don't invest.

00:29:12.000 --> 00:29:14.000

You don't see that because they come to the page.

00:29:14.000 --> 00:29:20.000

But the people that do invest You're getting like lots and lots of emails like, hey?

00:29:20.000 --> 00:29:25.000

This doesn't invest in this person of us that this person wrote you an encouraging message.

00:29:25.000 --> 00:29:26.000

And so it's a really kind of community based, you know, relationship based way of, you know, raising capital, and bringing in your customers and community to be stakeholders.

00:29:26.000 --> 00:29:37.000

That great experience for us.

00:29:37.000 --> 00:29:53.000

You know, financial kind of investors in the business. And that buzz page which is like, you know, on every single week under page where investors are writing notes that for me is like the magic of this movement that we're trying to build here

00:29:53.000 --> 00:29:54.000

Whenever you're having a bad day fundraising, That's exactly what you do.

00:29:54.000 --> 00:30:03.000

Sure. Sure. So yeah, go ahead.

00:30:03.000 --> 00:30:04.000

Fantastic. So how can this business connect with you

00:30:04.000 --> 00:30:16.000

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:30:16.000 --> 00:30:19.000

Yeah, Sop: I just put my email in the chat.

00:30:19.000 --> 00:30:27.000

It's probably the easiest if you want to email me, I can put my Linkedin and my Twitter as well. I'm usually pretty responsive everywhere.

00:30:27.000 --> 00:30:31.000

so feel free to hit me up directly. Wefunded Dot.

00:30:31.000 --> 00:30:35.000

Com slash Raise has some great information. If you want to.

00:30:35.000 --> 00:30:36.000

you know. Kind of learn more and potentially, just get going on launching when we fund there.

00:30:36.000 --> 00:30:44.000

I guess the best way. Just

00:30:44.000 --> 00:30:56.000

Perfect. Well, we are in the queue, and a part, you know, of the program, and there are a few questions have come through.

00:30:56.000 --> 00:31:04.000

not sure if you guys can see them, Johnny and Kate, or but

00:31:04.000 --> 00:31:05.000

Elizabeth would like Peter. Read them for you.

00:31:05.000 --> 00:31:12.000


00:31:12.000 --> 00:31:26.000

Which credit score is used for crowdfunding business or personal

00:31:26.000 --> 00:31:38.000

Okay. And then this question is from Dana Dana for Kate.

00:31:38.000 --> 00:31:43.000

so with, I'll just leave. I will leave it to the W.

00:31:43.000 --> 00:31:54.000

Marketplace funding, we initially raised a precede that was a purchase of equity so that was a straight purchase of equity right off the bat.

00:31:54.000 --> 00:32:14.000

we have a a small, small business loan and Sba loan very intentionally, so that we could start a credit record because we found it very difficult even starting bank accounts with people wanted references and we're a new business we struggled with that quite a bit and so we found it was really easy

00:32:14.000 --> 00:32:20.000

to take out a very small small business phone pay it off regularly to make a difference.

00:32:20.000 --> 00:32:23.000

There and then the crowdfunding was Our is ha!

00:32:23.000 --> 00:32:33.000

Has been our very big fund, and that, you know we've done that on a safe, which is simple agreement for future equity.

00:32:33.000 --> 00:32:34.000

And so that is not a debt fund. That is meaning that we are holding funds, and and people will get awarded equity based on their investment.

00:32:34.000 --> 00:33:04.000

Kate, how have you raised different types of funding, including crowdfunding loans and investors, funds or anything else?

00:33:07.000 --> 00:33:08.000

Okay, So from Carolyn. Also, please explain what it means to raise capital.

00:33:08.000 --> 00:33:17.000

Once we raise a priced round and so, that is a much deeper conversation that I'm happy to have with people. If they want reach out to me or you know, I can send you some resources to find out What the safe is, all about. Because it is a little bit complex

00:33:17.000 --> 00:33:20.000

I I'm happy to. You know, Caroline.

00:33:20.000 --> 00:33:23.000

It depends on what you're doing with your business, you know. Capital.

00:33:23.000 --> 00:33:39.000

You have to be aware that when you're raising capital either on a debt or alone, or you know, however, you're doing that you have to be thoughtful about why you're raising it and what it's going to fund and the difference it'll make in your business and so

00:33:39.000 --> 00:33:47.000

that's something that you have to decide, you know. Nobody can do that for you, and I would weigh it out and do scenarios in terms of you.

00:33:47.000 --> 00:33:48.000

Know It's like if I had an additional $100, what would I do with that?

00:33:48.000 --> 00:34:00.000

we. There's no credit score that's used

00:34:00.000 --> 00:34:10.000

Yeah, one thing I'll say: I don't think we fund is really good at or aspires to be good at helping entrepreneurs Think through.

00:34:10.000 --> 00:34:15.000

What is the right? Capital strategy for them, How much money should I raise?

00:34:15.000 --> 00:34:24.000

And should I raise and even like, should I do a safe, or should I do a price round, or a loan, or equity, etc.?

00:34:24.000 --> 00:34:27.000

We can suddenly advise on that. But it's not really our forte.

00:34:27.000 --> 00:34:37.000

We're really good at helping companies raise money through crowdfunding and being the platform to do that we'll we'll let's like experts in helping figure out exactly the right capital strategy.

00:34:37.000 --> 00:34:41.000

For you Not least because we don't know enough about you and your business.

00:34:41.000 --> 00:34:45.000

So, if if you need help on figuring out, Ok, what's the right? Capital strategy?

00:34:45.000 --> 00:34:47.000

What's the right strategy for me to raise money?

00:34:47.000 --> 00:34:50.000

When should I do it? How much should I do it at all?

00:34:50.000 --> 00:34:55.000

On what investment structure, debt, or equity should I be raising on?

00:34:55.000 --> 00:35:00.000

I would say, Yeah, talk to other founders Other entrepreneurs that have done a similar thing.

00:35:00.000 --> 00:35:09.000

And like a few years ahead of you, and just go find, like 5 or 10 of them, and like, just take them for coffee and talk to them.

00:35:09.000 --> 00:35:14.000

That's probably the best device I would give on like getting advice.

00:35:14.000 --> 00:35:22.000

But then also obviously, there's a lot of great organizations that can give you advice as well, and you know advises that kind of thing.

00:35:22.000 --> 00:35:23.000

But I I always say the best. The best one is like torture.

00:35:23.000 --> 00:35:24.000

And kind of go through the scenario

00:35:24.000 --> 00:35:32.000

Do I need that

00:35:32.000 --> 00:35:33.000

Okay, another question for K Kate. Do you still offer instructor, lead program for e-commerce?

00:35:33.000 --> 00:35:40.000

They'll all talk to you. We will all talk to you because we've all been there

00:35:40.000 --> 00:35:44.000

Absolutely we do, In fact, we're even building it out.

00:35:44.000 --> 00:35:50.000

we have 3 different programs depending on the stage of your business.

00:35:50.000 --> 00:35:57.000

So we have one. That is for really geared towards new businesses that are just getting started in e-commerce.

00:35:57.000 --> 00:36:08.000

We have another one, that is geared towards businesses that are growing towards yeah, or within e-commerce, and then we have a third one that is scaling across multiple channels.

00:36:08.000 --> 00:36:24.000

And we talk about really things that are important to those business, from tax obligations to packaging, to customer experience, to you know what what is the current trend in terms of product listing?

00:36:24.000 --> 00:36:29.000

How do you analyze your best channel on the impact of that short and long term?

00:36:29.000 --> 00:36:36.000

So all kinds of things, and what we're finding as that women want.

00:36:36.000 --> 00:36:46.000

And instructor guided course that is, provides them a cohort in a community versus watching thousands of hours of on-demand videos.

00:36:46.000 --> 00:36:50.000

And so that has been very effective, because part of the W marketplaces.

00:36:50.000 --> 00:37:10.000

We're all in this together. We have just over 600 businesses on the platform right now, and about 7,000 products, and so we have resources within our community to deliver expertise at different levels, and so we've developed that into a curriculum and worked with women own training partners so women

00:37:10.000 --> 00:37:11.000

own businesses that do that, and sort of you know, we're building an ecosystem to help each other, and as Johnny said, you know, talk to other entrepreneurs, because we are all willing to jump in and help and to give you insight into our experiences so absolutely

00:37:11.000 --> 00:37:31.000

Thank you. Shayla

00:37:31.000 --> 00:37:37.000

Okay, fantastic. The next 2 questions are situational, specific questions.

00:37:37.000 --> 00:37:52.000

So the first one is from Krishna. We are a tech A and I an Analytics data Service Company.

00:37:52.000 --> 00:38:00.000

yeah, So I think the sweet spot for investment crowdfunding what we do, and we fund it is companies with a large audience, right?

00:38:00.000 --> 00:38:03.000

Because then you can go to their audience, and they can come and invest in you.

00:38:03.000 --> 00:38:07.000

And so from the name and the description, my my guess will be.

00:38:07.000 --> 00:38:10.000

You don't yeah have a huge audience, If you do, then it's a good fit.

00:38:10.000 --> 00:38:14.000

If you don't then it's like not in the sweet spot.

00:38:14.000 --> 00:38:22.000

But I would still say that you know we fund that can help found us, even if it's B 2 B right, even if it's enterprise.

00:38:22.000 --> 00:38:40.000

S, Even if it's biotech and you don't have a big audience yet, I still think we can help people and, you know, make it easier to raise capital, because now you know you can publicly promote the investments, and you can raise from unaccounted investors in new York as well as the credits and

00:38:40.000 --> 00:38:47.000

investors. And so yeah, it it kind of really depends a lot on the situation.

00:38:47.000 --> 00:38:48.000

yeah, be to tends to be less lessons, Sweet Spot.

00:38:48.000 --> 00:39:04.000

Our services suited for crowdfunding. What would we have to demonstrate or showcase to build interest

00:39:04.000 --> 00:39:11.000

Okay, Next question, excuse me if this was already answered.

00:39:11.000 --> 00:39:12.000

But is some sort of Perk offered for donating to a particular cause.

00:39:12.000 --> 00:39:25.000

But suddenly we've helped many, many Bw. Companies raise raise 1 million dollars and be very successful, so suddenly worth worth considering, and looking more into

00:39:25.000 --> 00:39:28.000

I I I can talk to this one. So it's really really important.

00:39:28.000 --> 00:39:34.000

It's kind of going back to what Kate said earlier to be very kind of clear in the terminology.

00:39:34.000 --> 00:39:38.000

This is not a donation right when you're when you're raising capital on.

00:39:38.000 --> 00:39:42.000

We under You're not raising donations, caps, or you're raising investments.

00:39:42.000 --> 00:39:55.000

Capital people are investing in you because they believe in you, but they believe in the cause There's some cool like, you know, mission oriented It's not just about like green green you, know, dollar bills but at the end of the day.

00:39:55.000 --> 00:40:05.000

Like this is not. Go fun to me, which is the nation's, and this is not even Kickstarter, which is kind of basically you know, sales.

00:40:05.000 --> 00:40:09.000

It's basically kind of revenue. This is investments.

00:40:09.000 --> 00:40:15.000

And so people are looking at investing in you because they hope to make a financial return.

00:40:15.000 --> 00:40:29.000

So if you're borrowing money, if it's a debt offering, and we fund there, you've got to persuade them that the interest rate that you're going to pay them on the loan is greater than the risk that the loan defaults because the business

00:40:29.000 --> 00:40:43.000

doesn't work out right if you're making an equity investment, which is what Kate's was safe as a flavor of equity, Then you've got to convince them that the valuation of the company now is going to be greater in the future.

00:40:43.000 --> 00:40:50.000

When you get acquired, or when you exit. And so yeah, you, you've basically got to try to.

00:40:50.000 --> 00:41:02.000

It is an investment you've got to persuade people that they're going to make money by investing in you And there's other crowdfunding options go from the destinations kiva where I used to work.

00:41:02.000 --> 00:41:10.000

I started the Us. Team at Kiva, back in 2,011, and I ran that for 7 years we were making a 0% interest micro loans to entrepreneurs.

00:41:10.000 --> 00:41:14.000

Say check out kiva org. You keep it. Org slash.

00:41:14.000 --> 00:41:18.000

Borrow K. I'll put the look at the chat if you're borrowing a smaller amount of money.

00:41:18.000 --> 00:41:19.000

Also, crowdfunded 0% interest, really great option for you.

00:41:19.000 --> 00:41:30.000

For example, we are in the health and wellness products world, and we're looking for funding would be offering some of our products as an offer for donations, Thanks

00:41:30.000 --> 00:41:34.000

Okay, we have Co: a few more questions. We'll try to get to them.

00:41:34.000 --> 00:41:52.000

Kate. The next questions for you. I think you could even touch on the question afterwards.

00:41:52.000 --> 00:41:57.000

so yeah, I can touch on both of those one of the advantages of going with.

00:41:57.000 --> 00:42:03.000

We funder is that they help you to file all the forms that you need to.

00:42:03.000 --> 00:42:09.000

They do not decide on what, in what investment vehicle you use, meaning.

00:42:09.000 --> 00:42:17.000

Is it a safe, or is it a convertible note, or what is the actual form of equity that you do?

00:42:17.000 --> 00:42:22.000

That is something that you need to decide, and and oftentimes you do that with an attorney.

00:42:22.000 --> 00:42:35.000

And so yes, we did. But the filing of it we used the resources with we fund, so it was a little bit of a mixed bag to do that, and again that goes back to what you're gonna do with the capital.

00:42:35.000 --> 00:42:41.000

And what your business situation is, and that's probably best individually with your attorney.

00:42:41.000 --> 00:42:46.000

And so the second piece of that is the deck. Gosh!

00:42:46.000 --> 00:42:54.000

Every part is important, and I'd say, you know, sort of the famous quote is if I had a a longer time, I'd write you a shorter note.

00:42:54.000 --> 00:42:59.000

Brevity is key, but it effective brevity.

00:42:59.000 --> 00:43:18.000

Here is, you know you have to get your point across in a very short period of time, so like 10 slides or less with key, why, you're in it what you're doing is a really important piece of the deck I am when I first started in my entrepreneur journey was like How

00:43:18.000 --> 00:43:24.000

high can this be? It's 10 slides, and I'm gonna tell you that it takes months to get those 10 signs correct.

00:43:24.000 --> 00:43:33.000

Always pitch it, always talk about it, always present your deck and listen listen listen to what people say, regardless of what you think.

00:43:33.000 --> 00:43:41.000

Oftentimes feedback is like a gift, and you will continually refine, and you have to have a deck.

00:43:41.000 --> 00:43:47.000

It is so important to get that point across, because the video on we funded is key, because it's you.

00:43:47.000 --> 00:43:53.000

It's the the opportunity that you have to present yourself, and I hope you watch our video.

00:43:53.000 --> 00:43:59.000

I have to say my co-founder, and I did it, and we left the bloopers in, because it's a little short video.

00:43:59.000 --> 00:44:02.000

But it took forever until it tells you a little bit about us.

00:44:02.000 --> 00:44:09.000

But then this is a serious equity investment. And so we put the details in the deck.

00:44:09.000 --> 00:44:17.000

Oh, thank you so much. Wow! So much information, and so valuable.

00:44:17.000 --> 00:44:39.000

Thank you, Johnny. If we funder, and Kate of the W.

00:44:39.000 --> 00:44:44.000

alright. Thank you so much to our speakers. What a great breakout session!

00:44:44.000 --> 00:44:49.000

There's lots of questions that are asked. We'll do our best to follow up and answer those questions.

00:44:49.000 --> 00:44:57.000

After, especially those very specific to your business questions. So yeah, definitely to touch on what Kate was saying earlier.

00:44:57.000 --> 00:44:59.000

Crafty was very exciting for Debbie Marketplace.

00:44:59.000 --> 00:45:04.000

we did have a successful raise, and we can think we fund for that guidance.

00:45:04.000 --> 00:45:20.000

And so, as and you know what's me is, as each investment happens, it's pretty neat, seeing that belief come in from those that investors in your business.

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Her Story: Fatima-Zohra Hakam of ZORA
Mar 14, 2023 This week’s Her Story features Fatima-Zohra Hakam and her...

Launched in 2020, TheWMarketplace is a nationwide e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses to sell their products and professional and personal services. Offering favorable terms to its sellers, it also is a supportive community of women entrepreneurs that have access to learning opportunities through the trademarked HER-Commerce™ programs. With over 500 women-owned businesses selling 4000+ products and services ranging from home goods to coaching, in over 35 states, TheWMarketplace empowers shoppers with a new way to find the communities they want to support, including Black-woman owned, Latina-owned, AAPI-owned, Veteran woman-owned, and more. The Her Story Q&A is one benefit TheWMarketplace provides to sellers.