This Week in Crowdfunding is a newly launched podcast series hosted by OurCrowd’s Zack Miller and David Stark, where they cover the best in Crowdfunding with a frank — and educational — discussion about the issues surrounding Crowdfunding. Every week, they interview successful entrepreneurs, deconstruct campaigns, and hear from the smartest people around on this transformative, massive financing trend.

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One of the most exciting manifestations of crowdfunding can be found right now in the real estate sector. Investment properties, which were once owned wholly by large real estate firms, are now finding crowdfunding investor interest. And vice versa — individuals, who once struggled to get access to ‘insider’ deals — can now invest in real estate via platforms like Realty Mogul.

On this week’s TWiC, hosts Zack Miller and David Stark hosted Realty Mogul’s CEO and founder, Jilliene Helman, to talk about how her firm got off the ground and is now working with both top-flight real estate development projects and attracting investor interest.

Watson on Crowdfunding tackles the complicated — but really important — issue of accreditation for crowdfunding. The rules of who qualifies to participate on a crowdfunded investment are in flux and Prescott sorts things out for our listeners. Zack and David also discuss recent movement in Kickstarter’s Terms of Use which signal the direction the rewards-based crowdfunding leader is taking in terms of addressing failed projects and the project creators’ responsibilities towards backers. Lastly, in the Stark Tank, David Starkinator describes his favorite crowdfunding project right now, which, surprisingly, is an artistic endeavor.

Listen to the FULL episode

Resources mentioned in the podcast

Watson on Crowdfunding: opening (or closing) private investment?

Prescott talks about $450,000 – one of the proposed, increased income levels required of Americans to access in private investments. Meeting the minimums makes you an accredited investor, qualifying you to invest in a private company or use most equity crowdfunding platforms. The SEC is considering revising these qualifications up, down, and even opening private investments to people who qualify by measures of expertise. Links referenced in Watson’s scoop:

  • A good, relatively accessible overview on proposed changes to the accredited investor definition [link]
  • A significant review from the GAO recommending that alternative criteria for qualifying as an accredited investor should be considered [link]
  • An eloquent polemic against the wealth and income thresholds – this academic paper calls today’s qualifications “securities law’s dirty little secret” for keeping many investments accessible only to the rich [link]
  • An academic questioning the use of wealth as a proxy for sophistication, with a fair background on Regulation D filings and the history of “accredited investor.” Warning: this paper opens with surprising levels of snark [link – academic paper]
  • A former SEC commissioner providing additional critique of the current qualifications and looking into potential alternatives [link – academic paper]
  • An important look at the dark underbelly of the world of private offerings and what can go wrong when naïve individuals – with a proposal for US states to step back into cracking down on dubious or fraudulent deals [link – academic paper]
  • Private placements’ big impact on small businesses – a 2012 SEC study of unregistered offerings filed under Regulation D [linkupdate from 2013 – both technical documents]