revamp of current website that allows us to have full control of content
our blog is already in wordpress so wanted to revamp and covert whole site to wordpress to allow content control
Purpose of the Word…
Category: Legal > Other – Legal
Type and Budget: Fixed price ($99 – $495) Escrow
Time Left: 14 d, 21 h (Ends Apr 16, 2013 16:13 pm ET)
Start Date: Apr 1, 2013
Client Info: 1 jobs posted, 0% awarded, $0 total purchased, Payment Method Not Verified
Client Location: , United Kingdom
Preferred Job Location: Anywhere
Desired Skills: WordPress
Job ID: 39749015
The SEC today paved the way for a new era of venture capital investing by stating it won’t pursue enforcement action against FundersClub, whose platform lets any accredited investor fund startups in exchange for equity. Before, some thought FundersClub’s founders could face jail time for violating finance laws. FundersClub’s model could be used by others to raise capital online for startups before the JOBS Act goes fully into effect.
FundersClub is a Y Combinator-incubated startup that has raised $7 million to build its online venture capital system. Its website hosts profiles of different startups looking to raise money. Any accredited investor (someone who earns over $200,000 a year or has a net worth over $1 million) can choose to invest as little as $1,000 in startups with open rounds on FundersClub. These investors can cash out if the startup is acquired or IPOs, or if they do a stock offering on the secondary market, and FundersClub gets a cut of the money.
However, FundersClub was thought to be operating in a murky legal grey area because it’s not a registered broker-dealer. FundersClub maintained its innocence, saying it never directly handles the invested money, which is kept in separate custodial accounts for each startup it hosts. Technically, it’s not crowdfunding, but rather a venture capital advisor that raises funds online through a streamlined process rather than offline with traditional paperwork.
Now the SEC has issued it a “No-Action” letter, vindicating FundersClub. The SEC statement explains “The Staff will not recommend enforcement action to the Commission under Section 15(a)(l) of the Exchange Act if FundersClub and FC Management engage in the proposed activities described in your letter”, referring to a plea from FundersClub outlining how it operates.
FundersClub CEO Alex Mittal tells me:
“The letter is a win for accredited investors, startups, and the VC industry, and strong validation of the business model of FundersClub–to bring the transformational impact of the Internet to venture capital.
It allows FundersClub to do something online that historically venture capital advisers have only done offline. Via the no-action letter, the SEC has officially recognized the legitimacy of online VC, a field we’ve pioneered and are leading with FundersClub.
For accredited investors, they are now allowed much more flexibility in how they invest in venture funds that support start-up companies. For startups, they are gaining easier access to an important source of capital and value-add.”
The letter creates a roadmap to legal online fundraising for startups that other platforms could employ. There’s also the alternative route to legal online VC where operators become standard broker-dealers, which is the approach taken by newer YC startup WeFunder.
The SEC’s decision could make it easier for startups to get funding from large swaths of independent investors, rather than a small group of angels or VC firms. With crowd backing comes an army of evangelists, marketers, recruiters, and business development assistance. It could be an appealing complement to old school venture capital that comes with mentorship and insider connections.
Later this year, the JOBS Act is expected to go fully into effect, allowing non-accredditted investors to back startups in exchange for equity, and startups to publicly promote that they’re raising money. But until then, online fundraising by accredited investors just got a critical thumbs up from the regulatory body that could have shut it down.
You can read the full “No-Action” letter from the SEC to FundersClub here:
Update: This article has been edited to clarify the difference between standard equity crowdfunding, and FundersClub’s online venture capital model.
[Image Credit: Shutterstock / Helder Almeida]
Go here to see the original: SEC Greenlights One Style Of Equity Crowdfunding For Startups
There’s news from social analytics service PeopleBroswr in its legal battle against Twitter’s efforts to cut its direct access to its data stream. The company just announced that a federal court decision has ruled it does not have jurisdictional over the case, and has instead passed it back to a State Court in San Francisco.
PeopleBrowsr is claiming a victory here, arguing that it has been awarded the cost of its legal fees and retained access to the Twitter firehose; but this decision is not a major win, since it defers the case to state-level where it will be heard out all over again. Twitter had tried to move the case into a Federal Court in order to end PeopleBrowsr’s temporary access to its fire hose, but it was not successful so there a small triumph for the company here.
“The Court agreed with PeopleBrowsr that the complaint relies solely on state law and that it does not have federal jurisdiction over the case,” an announcement from PeopleBrowsr says.
A Twitter spokesperson dismissed the case, providing TNW with the following statement: “We believe this case is without merit and will vigorously defend ourselves against it.”
PeopleBrowsr, a social analytics service for marketers and parent company to social influence service Kred, sued Twitter last year alleging that it had unfairly lost access to the Twitter firehose. The lawsuit claimed that Twitter receives more than $1 million per year from PeopleBrowsr for access based on an agreement the companies had in June 2010. The company argued that any denial of access to the Twitter data stream could “devastate [PeopleBrowsr's] business”.
Twitter tried to remedy the situation by offering access to the data stream via its official resellers – Gnip or Datasift — since it preferred not to renew its ‘direct-to-user’ agreement. But, rather than turning things over to resellers, PeopleBrowsr rejected that approach.
The analytics firm won a restraining order, and temporary access to the Twitter firehose in November 2012 and now, following this latest decision, the company will take its case back to state-level.
Here is what PeopleBrowsr is saying about today’s ruling.
PeopleBrowsr wins against Twitter: Case returns to State Court
The Court agreed with PeopleBrowsr that the complaint relies solely on state law and that it does not have federal jurisdiction over the case.
The Court noted that “The fact that the removal shortly followed the state court’s issuance of a TRO suggests that Twitter’s decision to remove the case was born out of a desire to find a more sympathetic forum.” The court rejected Twitter’s arguments as “novel”: “Twitter’s removal lacked an objectively reasonable basis for seeking removal. It was based on a novel legal theory…”
Costs awarded to PeopleBrowsr
The Court also granted PeopleBrowsr’s request to pay for reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys fees, incurred as a result of Twitter’s improper removal of this case.
The next step now is discovery, followed by a state court preliminary injunction hearing. In the meantime, PeopleBrowsr’s temporary restraining order against Twitter will remain in place and PeopleBrowsr continues to have full access to the Firehose.
Here are the court docs:
Headline image via Shutterstock
Around this time of year I get sentimental and think about my life for once. It’s been slightly over two years since I attended Startup Weekend in September 2010, which literally changed my world for the better. At the time, I was an insecure lad who just came out of university. I was working for a large Dutch bank, and was not liking it very much. I was not very happy with my life, but didn’t really know why.
Startup Weekend provided an absolute cultural shock to me. I was amazed at the atmosphere going on all weekend. Amazed at all the beautifully designed products that came out of only 76 hours. Amazed at the fact that, apparently, I wasn’t the only person in the world walking around with weird ideas. And most importantly: I was amazed to be doing something that I was really passionate about, rather than just passing the day to make a buck.
Still, I was scared as well. Scared of that others would think. Scared of throwing away my two precious uni degrees. Scared of not making any money for the better part of the next decade. I guess, in a sense, I felt a lot like Neo, when presented the choice between a blue and red pill by Morpheus. Now, two years later, it is a good time to share some important lessons that I learned after taking the Red Pill that day in September 2010.
One of the things I found most valuable from participating in the Founder Institute was a lesson about the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek. The golden circle argues that most people and organizations know what they do for a living. A large part of them also knows how they are doing it. But only a select group of people know the exact why behind what they are doing.
Especially in entrepreneurship, I believe this last part is fundamental. The first years of entrepreneurial struggle for me were often a bizarre roller coaster. Sure, I earned a few successes, but against those stood far more failures. Of course these failures are essential for learning in the long run. But in the short run, they give you worry and sleepless nights. Especially during some of these difficult hours, the golden circle has been of tremendous value for me: I always exactly knew why I was going through all this trouble.
Starting a journey without knowing the path is unwise. Not listening to experts who walked the path before you is foolish. When I started out after attending Startup Weekend, I was a complete idiot. I was the typical university graduate who “knew his shit” about Business Administration, which is not very useful in a startup. I couldn’t write a single line of code, and I didn’t have any clue how to start a business. Luckily for me, I found some books that enlightened my path.
Four books helped me out a lot over the last few years: Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank, Running Lean by Ash Maurya, The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris and Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson. For me, these books were great guides. I still didn’t know how to walk the path, but at least they showed me what it looked like. Up until today, I consider all four a must-read for any entrepreneur or anyone looking into entrepreneurship.
Every now and then I run into them. We all know these people, most often working at large corporates or even the government. People who constantly whine about the great ideas they had, years and years before the rest, but “just never pursued them because it was the wrong time”.
These people taught me a great lesson. They are all just making up lame excuses for not trying. People told me it was impossible to have our product launch featured on one of the top tech blogs without spending $3,000 on some fancy PR agency. It wasn’t.
They told me it was impossible to pick up coding. Nowadays I’m not a great coder, but in 12 months I learned how to rock in HTML/CSS, JS & Python. Back in 1994, when Jeff Bezos started Amazon, he had to raise money from 22(!) investors. Any investor who knew anything about books, didn’t invest. They probably thought it was the wrong time too. Screw the haters. Don’t let anyone tell you that something can’t be done.
“Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.”
- Sean Connery, The Rock
You’ve probably heard them far too often bragging about how close they are to signing customer X, who happens to be a publicly listed NASDAQ company. Or a million dollar investment that’s just around the corner from a well-known VC fund.
I have encountered a few of these people and before too soon, I started asking myself what the hell I had been doing with the past few months of my life. Why weren’t we making such progress? Don’t feel bad about yourself because of these kind of people. When I encounter them, I divide their progress by half. Take 50% of their accomplishments and subtract their biggest client from this. This is usually where they really stand.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was flushing about $10,000 down the toilet on legal fees for a piece of paper that eventually didn’t suffice when two of our co-founders left the building. This was an important lesson for me. With our first clients, we needed legal documents again to describe terms and conditions. This time, I asked around for some examples, and wound up writing all of our terms and conditions myself. So far, they’ve passed the legal department of our customers without any problems.
Of course you’ll need someone with proper legal background to look at certain things, but don’t think you can’t do anything yourself. As a kid, I thought that the grown-up world my parents lived in would be a completely rational world. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to realize: It’s not. Take advantage of this.
I know this is, of course, easier said than done. We have the coolest angel investors in the world, but still our seed funding round (which was not even astronomically big) took us about six months to arrange. Most of this time was wasted on going back and forth between our lawyer and investor and discussing all kind of legal matters involving highly unlikely scenarios. I found this a real waste of time and energy. Especially because I could have used this time on marketing, sales and customer development, and actually helped our business move forward.
Don’t be like us and ask other entrepreneurs for advice so you can overcome obvious pitfalls. Go for a convertible notes/equity and save the legal nightmares for when you actually have proven that you’ve got a credible business model.
A perfect story from the Netherlands in my opinion: Favour.it secured their seed round in only 2 months. They could then quickly move on to more important matters. That’s how fundraising should be done.
Before we made our first euros, we’d been featured on The Next Web, Financial Times and on VentureBeat. In addition, we’d been broadcasted on the largest television show here in the Netherlands. Of course the media has their own reasons for doing so, but still, it surprised me how much the media helped us to create social proof for our business. This is especially invaluable when you’re just starting out and don’t have any clients yet. Much more valuable than I would ever have believed.
One of the darkest moments as an entrepreneur for me was to have co-founders leave the company. The biggest reason for this exodus was the overlap in skillset between some of us. This created overhead in thought, communication and negotiation. This happens especially when there’s no clear division of roles.
This overhead resulted in slow decision-making and endless meetings. Needless to say, this is a killer for your business. It’s startup life. Decisions are never perfect. Making decisions is in itself already making progress, and the overlap is not helping out.
The lesson I learned from this is to really think through your team composition. I was foolish to believe that things like overlap between founders would work itself out along the way.
When you’re starting a company and considering a 3rd or 4th founder, take an extra pass at considering why you’re asking this person to join. Is he or she helping you accelerate value creation in the phase your startup is in? Or is he or she more likely to create overhead and overlap in thought and action instead?
This is only relevant for non-technical founders like myself. This has been one of my most important lessons. I didn’t write a single line of code until 12 months ago. I taught myself to code and, although it has been scary at times, it has given me much more than I expected.
Please note that you don’t need to become the CTO of your own company as a non-technical founder. I believe that picking up programming should be to acquaint yourself with the particular challenges of engineering. You will find that it will help considerably to understand the technical people you’re working with.
The most encouraging lesson of all has been the awesome community that exists around startups. Whether it’s at Startup Weekend, Hackers & Founders, Pitchrs or Lean Startup Machine, all these events point to the same lesson: You’re not alone. I have been amazed how much people are willing to share, help and collaborate. I found it unbelievable how many Meetups there are, even in a small country like the Netherlands.
And next to the community that is around you, there’s a whole world out there that seems to know exactly what you go through. These articles by great entrepreneurs are never far away at times when you’re unable to see the forest for the trees. Whether it’s Michael Arrington comparing entrepreneurs to pirates, Ben Horowitz describing the Struggle or Pete Ford applauding frighteningly ambitious startup ideas: Moral support is never far away.
Those are some of the important lessons I’ve learned over the past two years. I’m still the fool I once was, but I believe I’ve become somewhat less foolish every day since. One of the biggest breakthroughs for me came very quickly: to let go of what the outside world thought and expected of me.
Actually, not caring about the expectations of others has probably been the best decision in my life. Why bother worrying about something that you can’t control anyway? Except for what those people really close to you think, I believe it’s probably the least interesting thing in the world.
Of course, not all my fears from 2010 have disappeared. Every now and then, I’m still doubtful of what the future might bring. I still haven’t made any use of my precious uni degrees, which feels like a waste (although I believe it doesn’t hurt to have them). In addition, I have a gap on my resume the size of a black hole, and my personal finances are still a nightmare. I just sent a Facebook message out to some of my best friends (who all work at large corporates) that I will be passing on a skiing trip yet again this year due to lack of funds.
But every now and then I wonder: What if I could go back to 2010? Would I take that red pill again? Would I want to stay in Wonderland, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes?
I’d do it time and time again.
Image Credit: Paul L Dineen/Flickr
Read the original: 10 lessons I learned by taking the entrepreneurial Red Pill
Hacktivist organization, Anonymous, is threatening perhaps their biggest play ever: a massive WikiLeaks-style exposure of sensitive U.S. government secrets. As proof of their power, they announced details of the plan on hacked government website, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC.gov). Citing the recent death of free information activist Aaron Swartz, they explain, “With Aaron’s death we can wait no longer. The time has come to show the United States Department of Justice and its affiliates the true meaning of infiltration.”
Swartz was facing up to 50+ years in prison and a $4 million fine after releasing pay-walled academic articles from the popular JSTOR database. Some legal scholars have argued that releasing copyrighted material, or breaking the “terms of service” of a website, should not carry such harsh penalties. Anonymous is demanding that legislation be passed to no longer consider such violations a felony–a law that Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CrunchGov Grade: A) has already introduced.
If legal reforms are not enacted, Anonymous has threatened to activate files containing embarrassing or incriminating secrets.
“The contents are various and we won’t ruin the speculation by revealing them. Suffice it to say, everyone has secrets, and some things are not meant to be public. At a regular interval commencing today, we will choose one media outlet and supply them with heavily redacted partial contents of the file. Any media outlets wishing to be eligible for this program must include within their reporting a means of secure communications.”
It appears that the secrets will come a cost: Anonymous claims that there will be “collateral damage” if they are reluctantly forced to expose the information, presumably related to individuals who they think are associated with, but responsible for, the offensive laws.
For added effect, Anonymous made USSC.gov editable. “Feel free to upload snapshots of your improvements with the hashtag #USSC. Failing that, we find that highlighting large sections and pressing the backspace key has a great therapeutic effect…”
As of this writing at 3am PT, the encrypted files on the page are no longer downloadable, but the hacked site remains intact.
We’ve seen Anonymous angry before, but the death of Swartz and the recent prosecution of some of their members seems to have pushed them over the edge. Big news may be coming very soon.
Listen to the full message below:
See the original post: Anonymous Threatens Massive WikiLeaks-Style Exposure, Announced On Hacked Gov Site