Thursday, March 7, 2013

TXEN announces its new crowdfunding platform for equity investments

Over the past three years, we’ve been helping entrepreneur raise funding through physical funding forums throughout the state of Texas, and in these events, up to 10 entrepreneurs pitch to a panel of investors. Our track record has been astounding! We’ve calculated that we’ve helped entrepreneurs raise over $65 Million in funding through this process already!

Since our database has grown to over 600 active, accredited investors around the state, we are extending our program to include a crowdfunding platform on our website. Entrepreneurs will soon be able to post their deal to our website and we will help promote those deals to our investor database in various ways, such as webinar pitch sessions, email blasts, personal introductions, profile promotions, and more.

Of course, our physical events such as funding forums and funded cocktail receptions will continue as planned, but this will open up your deal to far more investors that we can get in our current events and close the distance gap around the state.

How does it work?

Approved entrepreneur deals will be posted to our crowdfunding platform and include executive summary information and more to promote your deal. Accredited investors will login to see deals, and if they want to learn more about yours, they click on an “I’m interested” button and we’ll line up a followup.

What does it cost?

We are not a broker/dealer so we don’t take commissions, success fees, or equity. We do charge a monthly flat fee to post on our site/month. Entrepreneurs will pay $500/month (with a 3 month minimum). After all, it takes time to meet investors and build a relationship. In that first three months, we help you with your documents (executive summary, pitch deck, and five year financials) and mail to our investors on a regular basis about your deal. Investors interested in your deal will be able to click the “interest” button and we’ll line up a conference call, webinar, or in-person meeting.

Entrepreneurs that commit to six months on our crowdfunding platform will receive several added services from us: you will be invited to a physical funding forum and to one of our funded cocktail receptions.

Remember, we are helping you raise funding, and not raising funding for you. Investors pay nothing to participate in our crowdfunding platform, but they must be accredited to have access to the deals on the site.

Find out more

Space on our crowdfunding platform will be limited and we will be taking only the deals that we believe we can help.

On March 22 at 2:00 CT, we will be hosting a webinar to go into detail about how our crowfunding platform works and give you the opportunity to ask questions. If you think your deal would be resonate with our investor network, we urge you to Apply Now our crowdfunding platform and participate in the webinar!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Jennifer Bullard Talks about Captivate

Where are you from originally?

Upstate New York, Hudson Falls specifically

What university did you go to?

SUNY Potsdam

What brought you to Austin?

Opportunities in the video game industry

What is your group’s mission?

Celebrate creativity, convergence, education and entrepreneurism in games, film and music.

What need does it fulfill?

Captivate provides a place for a variety of groups who do not have venues to showcase their work.  By providing a low-cost entry point pre-seed companies can gain market validation, students can compete for prestigious nation-wide prizes allowing the colleges validation of their programs.  Professors and teachers will have professional development and can interact with professionals, finding the support they need.  Conference material will have heavy focus on career development, hands-on professional development, entrepreneurial skills and much more.  

What exactly does it bring to startups?

In two words: Market Validation.  Captivate has a unique system that will provide each exhibitor with real data that can be used to validate a product.  Nowhere else can you get the opinion of thousands of people who have experienced your product for such a low price.

What type of startup would benefit from your group?

Any start up that utilizes digital media of any kind.  Whether traditionally tagged as games, social, web, film, animation, education or music all of these start-ups have more in common than is often thought. 

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up the initiative?

Getting everyone on the same page about what the conference will shape up to be and ensuring Captivate does not cross lines with SXSW and RTX.  Our goal is to enhance the culture of the creative industries, not detract from any other operating group.  Captivate’s offerings are distinctly different from other conferences.  One of our goals is to feed start-ups into SXSW’s exhibition floor.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

Make networking one of your Rocks.  That is, figure out what types of people you don’t know and then go make them your friends.  A strong network will connect you to resources, provide feedback and often help you out in ways you haven’t considered.  I mentioned Rocks – you need to focus on the big stuff and keep it 2-3 at most.  Any more and you’ll lose focus on what is important and miss opportunities.

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

The City of Austin, Chamber of Commerce, Texas Film Commission, Music Commission and Texas Entrepreneur Networks have all been extremely helpful in getting Captivate off the ground!  Each organization has offered support and advice in some excellent ways.  I recommend all of these groups to anyone.

Best regards,
Hall T.