Here’s a quick recap to catch you up on the last year…
Nov 2011 - I read something in the news about H.R. 2930, the “Entrepreneurs’ Access to Capital Act” in the House of Representatives and its’ focus on enabling securities-based crowdfunding. The last time I was struck with a bolt of lightning like that was in the early 90′s when I read about a kid named Marc Andreessen and his little program called Mosaic. I immediately started writing the first business plan and putting together the foundation for Arctic Island.
March 2012 - I have Wilson Sonsini incorporate Arctic Island, LLC (in DE). Dave and Greg are on the team. I’ve storyboarded a number of pages for the app, and Dave is starting to design them.
April 5th - after passing Congress with massive bi-partisan support, President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law, which eliminates the general solicitation ban on 506-D offerings and creates a revolutionary “Crowdfunding” exemption of the Securities Act of 1933. This new legislation will dramatically improve access to capital for small businesses as they can now use SEC registered, FINRA member internet-based “Funding Platforms” to raise capital. Jon invests $200,000 in seed financing.
May - I join the Board of the Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Advocates, become a founding member of the Crowdfunding Professionals Association, give my first 3 industry speeches (in San Francisco and NYC), and have Doug Ellenoff’s team do a first regulatory compliance review of the application design and business rules.
August - we create Arctic Island Financial, LLC (DE) as a wholly owned broker-dealer subsidiary of Arctic Island. This is where all business will flow, while the parent company is able to focus on software development and high level business relationships. Jon and I invest another $150,000 into the company.
October - we receive SEC approval for the new BD and change the logo of the company. By now I’ve authored or co-authored numerous CFIRA position letters, spoken at several conferences, and become chairman of the broker-dealer committee at CFIRA.
November - seminal event as the Funding Portal Best Practices, which I authored, are approved by CFIRA and forwarded to the SEC and FINRA.
December - Greg hires 2 developers, and takes a step back on the code and design so he can take several steps forward. Such is the joy of software development. I write 27 pages of MarCom content for the general sections of the site, which Dave is now designing (we are, I think, way ahead of our prospective competitors on the application, but way behind them on pre-launch marketing). Jon and I agree to put another $250,000 into the company and strategize about going out for a major fundraise.
Looking forward to 2013, it’s going to be an incredible year!