Part 4: Defining Your Objectives & Visual Pitch Strategies


• When it comes to Crowdfunding, who is your target audience?

Your target audience should be driven by your project and strategy and will be supported by the platform you choose. For example, technological innovations should be geared towards the appropriate platform or else your great pitch will be ineffective and speak to the wrong audience.

• How do you create an effective video / social media campaign?

Authenticity is key. People invest in ideas and products they care about. It’s essential to connect with your audience quickly and build a real relationship with them. Your video campaign needs to let your personality and vision shine. It should be informational, accessible, clear, short and concise. Be specific with your funding goals, timelines, and explain why you’re passionate about this idea, product or experience. Why should they believe you? What are your credentials? What can supporters expect in return?

Social media is a great way to provide updates, stay in touch with your investors and fans, and respond to their questions and feedback. It’s also a useful tool for building excitement and increasing engagement.


Part 3: Knowing Your Story


When it comes to Crowdfunding, how should you position and share your story?

Storytelling is one of the most effective ways for you to communicate your ideas to a larger audience – whether you’re looking to attract investors and clients, recruit talent, or build media buzz around your business. Your story has to be clear, concise, emotionally relatable, and backed up by rational thought. After all, as an entrepreneur, you’re oftentimes trying to make the complex and intangible into something tangible.

There are some key things to keep in mind when crafting your story:
1. Know who you’re speaking to
2. Personally connect with your audience
3. Use different mediums of communications appropriately
4. Pictures & visuals can really help sell your idea
5. Be succinct

Beyond sharing your story, make sure you listen to what others are saying about you and your brand. The more active and engaged you are on your social networks, the larger (and more loyal) your following will be.

Try out this brainstorming & storytelling process outlined in our previous post on the topic:


What’s happening with the JOBS Act?


We’ve been following the updates on the JOBS Act regulation, and here are some key takeaways from Sadis & Goldberg LLP this morning:

1. New Rule 506(c) under Reg D will permit general advertising and solicitation of private investment funds provided that they take reasonable steps to verify that all purchasers are “accredited investors” as defined in Rule 501 of Regulation D.

Key takeaway – There is no restriction on who a private investment fund can solicit, but there are restrictions on who is permitted to purchase the private investment fund’s securities (such as LP or LLC interests or shares).

2. The SEC has provided a non-exclusive list of methods that private investment funds may use to satisfy the verification requirements for individual investors, including:

i. Reviewing copies of any IRS form that reports the income of the investor and obtaining a written representation that the investor will continue to earn the necessary income in the current year; and/or
ii. Receiving a written confirmation from
a) An SEC registered broker-dealer or investment adviser;
b) Licensed attorney; or
c) CPA.
Note: Such parties must take reasonable steps to verify the investors’ accredited investor status.

Key takeaway – All private investment fund subscription documents will need to be updated.

3. The existing Rule 506 exemption (re-designated as Rule 506(b)) which allows private investment funds to accept up to 35 non-accredited investors and an unlimited number of accredited investors with whom there is a pre-existing and substantial relationship will continue to be in effect. A private investment fund relying on this exemption is not subject to the new verification procedures.

Key takeaway – A private investment fund that wants to continue taking in non-accredited investors cannot publicly advertise or solicit.

4. Currently a private investment fund that sells securities under Rule 506 is required to file a Form D with the SEC no later than 15 calendar days after the first sale of securities in an offering.

•The new rules will require that Form D:
i. be filed at least 15 calendar days before engaging in general advertising or solicitation;
ii. be updated within 30 days of completing an offer.
• The final rules will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
• All private investment funds relying on the CFTC 4.13(a)(3) exemption must exercise caution until the CFTC reconciles such exemptions with these new SEC rules.

“The information contained herein was prepared by Sadis & Goldberg LLP for general purposes only. Its content should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon the information in this presentation without consulting counsel. This information is presented without any representation or warranty as to its accuracy, completeness or timeliness. Transmission or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship with Sadis & Goldberg LLP.”


Part 2: Choosing the Right Crowdfunding Platform

We continue on our series on Crowdfunding with insights from Oishii and how to make sense of all the options.

• What are the options for funding your idea(s)? Some top ones include:

Kickstarter – focuses on creative projects and is probably one of the best known crowdfunding portals
Indiegogo — allows a broad range of projects
Fundable – caters to small business startups
FundAGeek – focuses on technology and science-related initiatives – only available to accredited investors raising the amount that can be raised, and only focused on mid-stage product companies
Rockethub – international portal focused on artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and social leaders
ThrdPlace – a hybrid crowdfunding / crowdsourcing site focused on community development project
Crowdcube – only focuses on equity-based crowdfunding
FundingGarage – car and motorsport-oriented projects

• Which platform is right for you? What do you need to consider?

Your project really should be aligned with the philosophy of the crowdfunding site. For example, creative projects should be on creative-oriented sites while tech projects should be geared towards tech-focused ones. This has to be balanced with how popular the site is and how many people are engaged with the portal. After all, you’re looking to them for the investment. Only reward-based crowdfunding is available in the US today; once regulations are promulgated around equity crowdfunding, you’ll have to choose if reward-based or equity-based incentives are more appropriate for your project.



America the Brand


Branding: Your Company Vision & Mission Statements

We’ve posted many conversations about the process of branding—from the how-tos of telling your brand’s story to the mechanics of leading productive brainstorming or strategy sessions in the ideation process. Whether you’re working at a startup or within a branded-orchestrated company, without exception, much of your time and energy is probably devoted to some aspect of a brand development and management.

The two most important elements of a brand are the vision and mission, the “why are you here” and “what do you do.” Do your research and you will find a number of methods and processes to help you craft a vision and mission.

We have our own unique method for envisioning how to frame ideas for these two statements. Use our America: The Brand example as a way to frame your brainstorming materials into a structured vision and mission. Generate ideas and work into content. Plug into the model and see if it works. Is the vision majestic? Is the mission ambition wrapped in a plan? For extra credit, plug in action items. Please share your feedback!

Thanks to Steiner Kierce for his extraordinary help and insight into the brainstorming process.

Client: The United States of America
America: The Brand

Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Mission Statement
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Action Items
1. Establish justice
2. Insure domestic tranquility
3. Provide common defense
4. Promote general welfare
5. Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

The key elements to keep in mind as you go through these exercises is that a mission statement describes what your company wants now, while the vision statement describes what your company wants to be in the future.


PromaxBDA: The Conference 2013 Recap In Photos

PromaxBDA Elite Member Party, co-sponsored by Oishii

PromaxBDA Elite Party
L – R: Our fabulous rep, Astra Dorf of Astra Reps!, Sterling Hawkins (Oishii Consumer Experience Specialist & Business Development) & Ish Obregon (Oishii President/ Creative Director)

Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

When Drinks, Hijinks and Photos Mix…
The Oishii-branded photo booth at the Elite Member Party, courtesy of technology partner SOOH Media

Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

The results!


The Kid In The Wild

The Oishii Kid leaves his mark around the PromaxBDA Conference, including the opening night party at the Science Center with the Endeavour Space Shuttle, a decadent dinner at Wolfgang Puck at LA Live and a view of Staples Center.

The Kid_Endeavour
The Kid_Wolfgang Puck
The Kid_Staples Center

The Conference

Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

Keynote with Larry Flynt, interviewed by Cindy Gallop
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

Creative Keynote by Gary Baseman
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

“State of Design” Talk by STASH’s Stephen Price
PromaxBDA State of Design
Some of the most mind-blowing design & animation work from around the world… makes us inspired to get our hands dirty!

“Beauty Is Embarrassing” Documentary
Wayne White & Ish Obregon
This irreverent documentary, directed by Neil Berkeley, takes us into the brilliant and prolific mind of one of America’s greatest artists / puppeteers / illustrators – not to mention a truly kind and friendly spirit — Wayne White. Here posing with Oishii’s Ish Obregon!

The Awards Show
Hosted by the ever-funny Jay Mohr
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

Mark Hamill accepting the Don LaFontaine Legacy Award recognizing his work as a voice actor.
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA