NEW YORK (
) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. Here's why Kickstarter can be a great tool for raising capital.
The buzz right now is all about the potential for a "Veronica Mars" movie, the popular teen TV series that went off the air in 2007. Creator Rob Thomas has launched a crowdfunding campaign
, pledging that if it reached a goal of $2 million, they would make the movie. Actress Kristen Bell, who played Veronica Mars, is on board and so are the supporting cast members.
As of Friday morning -- just two days after the campaign launched and with 28 more to go -- fans have already donated more than $3.2 million (last time I checked) to get the project going, showing that crowdfunding can be a powerful avenue for capital raising if you've got the right product or project.
in the U.S. is expected to take a leap this year to allow for individuals to make investments -- as opposed to contributions currently -- in businesses. The intention is to eventually make it so that the general public can invest a few hundred or a few thousand dollars into their local businesses.
has been following the potential for equity crowdfunding as a result of
JOBS Act signed in April 2012. However nearly one year after the legislation was signed into law, rules are still being drawn by the Securities and Exchange Commission to comply with the law. Some observers say it won't be until 2014 at this point before equity crowdfunding for the masses can begin.
2. State venture funds may be risky but they're good for startups.
A handful of states are getting on the venture capital bandwagon by offering funds to help fill the gap in funding from private investors. According to
Upstart Business Journal
, Colorado, Georgia and Illinois are working on funds. Ohio and Michigan have already established state-run VC funds.
However, not everyone says the funds are a good thing. One
reporter argues that governments aren't set up to be effective venture capitalists and shouldn't be using taxpayer money to do so.
3. Capturing the soul of a small business.
A great slideshow by
New York Times
, which challenged small-business owners to try to capture the soul of their businesses in one photograph.
According to the
, submissions should include "no product or marketing shots. Instead, the goal was to see if the submitters could reveal something meaningful about the ups and downs, the grind and the rewards of building a business."
It's worth a look.
-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.
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