Crowdfunding advocates continue push with Webinar

A group of organizations campaigning to get crowdfunding made legal in Canada is holding a Webinar tomorrow to drum up support.

The group is organized under the banner of Invest Crowdfund Canada (ICC) and includes iCanada, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, Helix Commerce, Fraser Milner Casgrain, Stellar Learning Strategies, and IT World Canada, the publisher of ITBusiness.ca. The Webinar follows other advocacy activities organized by the group including an open letter sent to the Minister of Industry and an online petition in support of crowdfunding.

It’ll be an opportunity to inform Canadians about crowdfunding, says Cindy Gordon, the CEO of Helix and the chair of ICC. This type of fundraising allows startup firms to raise money in small portions from hundreds or thousands of investors, rather than trying to extract large amounts of funding from institutions and venture capitalists.

“It’s going to appeal to any CEOs or startups in particular. Also to any legislative or legal professionals that want to know about crowdfunding,” she says. “To anyone who is worried about the lack of innovation in Canada.”

Canada is falling behind in innovation, ICC argues, and small business in Canada is having a hard time finding funding opportunities. Now Canada is at even more risk of losing young and innovative startup firms to other countries that have legalized crowdfunding. The U.S. did so most recently with the passage of the JOBS Act by the Senate – it was supported by both Republicans and Democrats, and even President Obama endorsed the bill.

Crowdfunding could help create more innovation in Canada, Gordon says.

“Wealth isn’t flowing through early stage investments,” she says. “This opens up the purview to the greater public, those who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to make this type of equity investment.”

Members of CATA or anyone attached to a startup will be able to register for the Webinar for free, Gordon says.  There is a $57 charge for other registrants.

That money is reinvested in research and business development programs, says the group. Registration is open now and the Webinar begins at 11:30 AM ET on Friday.

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