MoolaPitch.com is announcing the launch of a crowdfunding platform for Wisconsin startups that allows anyone to be a venture capitalist.
The platform connects entrepreneurs with anyone in the state who wants to make an investment. This model is unique, according to founder Stephen J. Dinehart III, because it makes the process of investing much easier for both parties involved.
Investors have the option of investing much smaller amounts of capital than with standard investment procedures, allowing anyone to become a venture capitalist.
“You don’t have to be one of the good old boys,” Dinehart told WisBusiness.com in an interview on Thursday. “It evens the playing field.”
In addition to making investment easier for minorities and women, MoolaPitch deregulates a process normally fraught with red tape and prohibitive costs, said Dinehart.
For the startups, if income is delayed, they don’t have to immediately start making payments back to the platform. When they are able to start making payments, that money goes into a pool paying dividends to investors.
Dinehart, a native of New York, called crowdfunding a Wisconsin concept and compared it to barnraising. In both examples, the community comes together to accomplish something good, and as he put it, “you’ll get some eggs and milk back.”
His inspiration for creating this business arose from his years of experience working in investment banking with Fallbrook Capital Securities Corp. and futures exchanges with Strategic Transitions Securities, which taught him that “it is hell to raise money.”
“I know how hard it is,” said Dinehart. “This is a Wisconsin site. You shouldn’t have to be in Madison or Milwaukee to make money.”
The platform has a few initial offerings: Photavia, a digital stress relief solution; LumosWiFi, a network manager for small and growing businesses; adBidtise.com, an online ad-space marketplace; and The Biz Connection, an entrepreneur-centric radio broadcast company.
More issuers will be added to the platform in the next two weeks, said Dinehart, adding that “there’s a lot of interest in this.”
–By Alex Moe,