For young entrepreneurs and startups, coming up with an innovative, disruptive idea is often the easy part — the real difficulty comes when it’s time to raise capital. Current Real Office Centers tenant StartEngine is trying to change that, one company at a time.
StartEngine works as a rapid accelerator by giving startups the chance to procure funding online, from a base of 50,000 registered users. Unlike crowd-funding sites Kickstarter or Indiegogo, StartEngine allows companies to bring in actual investors, rather than seeking money in exchange for products or perks.
“StartEngine’s goal is to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by empowering them to get vital capital investments,” says Kinsey Cronin, the director of business development for StartEngine. “We hope that by taking advantage of new funding regulations, they can build stronger, more successful businesses while staying true to their missions.”
Those new funding regulations include the JOBS Act, a law that received bipartisan support in Congress and was signed into law by President Obama in 2012. The act features several new laws and regulations that make it easier for young companies to privately raise capital, without the forced pressure of going public too soon.
“We saw the JOBS Act as an incredible way to help more companies succeed,” Cronin says.
One of StartEngine’s most buzz-worthy success stories to date is that of Elio Motors, a car company that recently released a American-made prototype that gets up to 84 miles per gallon, and will have a $6,800 base price. The business raised nearly $17 million and earned 6,600 shareholders through StartEngine.
StartEngine has been working out of ROC’s Santa Monica location for the last two and a half years. For Cronin and her colleagues, the arrangement is a natural fit.
“We love being at ROC because we get to work side by side with amazing entrepreneurs, many of whom end up working directly with us or with our issuers,” she says. “We also love the location.”
With a current user base ranging from startups seeking $1 million to companies attempting to raise up to $50 million, StartEngine hopes to continue growing. When asked about future targets, Cronin says the company aims to get 5,000 ventures funded, and to create a million new jobs in the process, over the next five years. She expects StartEngine’s relationship with ROC to help make that goal a little more attainable.
“We want to get more companies funded,” she says. “Working at ROC is awesome because we are able to refer our issuers to vendors that can work side by side with us. We also get to meet entrepreneurs who can benefit from funding with us.”
Cronin encourages entrepreneurs interested in learning more about StartEngine to email her at Kinsey@startengine.com.