Robert Dobyns Talks about Funding Conzortia
Aurora, Illinois (just outside Chicago)
What university did you go to?
What brought you to Houston?
I moved to Houston in 1989 (from Austin) to partner on a startup endeavor. My partner & I sold that business in 1993. I guess Houston kind of stuck to me, cause I’m still here.
What is your group’s mission?
To assist small businesses and creative individuals with achievement of their goals for capital acquisition via crowdfunding.
What need does it fulfill?
The most basic need of all businesses – startup & growth funding. The passage of the JOBS Act opens up a whole new financial market that entrepreneurs can tap to acquire the resources needed to start or expand their business. Equity crowdfunding will be a vital force in America’s financial future for the bracing of our economic stability and the creation of jobs.
What exactly does it bring to its members?
We offer online formats to allow individuals and businesses to present their financial needs using social media sites likes like Facebook, Twitter, Tootzie and LinkedIn thereby aggregating funding from their “crowd” via our software platforms.
Who would benefit from your group?
We have a different online solution for different groups depending on their needs and focus:
For entrepreneurs , creatives, artists and app & game developers – CrowdWOWzer.com
For teen entrepreneurs 13-19 years of age – CrowdfundingKids.com
For businesses seeking equity funding in 2013 via their own mini IPO – Conzortia.com
For non-profits seeking funding for their projects – FundMyWish.com
We also have a free angel investor & venture capital search engine available at AngelInvestorSearchEngine.com that lists over 400 angel and venture capital groups that have funds available.
What was the most challenging aspect of starting up the initiative?
Finding the proper tech talent was one. We developed software with one team and totally scrapped it after testing, in favor of a more flavorful tech design with a different team.
Another issue that was a bit challenging was payment processing integration. Some of the more conventional payment processing solutions have steered away from crowdfunding platforms, not fully understanding the process. Others, like WePay, have openly courted our industry, realizing the tremendous benefits that we offer.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
Just do it…. fix it later. Life & business are both about change. It will never be perfect, so get going & morph as needed. And if you need funding, consider how crowdfunding may fit into your plans.
What Houston-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?
S.C.O.R.E. Houston has many resources available to small businesses at little or no cost, including experienced mentors. They partner with Houston Community College on several initiatives to promote and grow small business in the Houston area, as well as nationwide.