In the last MetroStart podcast, we talked to Cornbread Hemp’s Jim Higdon about their ongoing equity crowdfunding round.
This week, we talk to Jim again about how they knocked it out of the park – nailing an oversubscribed $107,000 round in just 17 days!
Listen to the podcast to learn how they were so successful, even in the middle of the Coronavirus shutdown.
Podcast Transcript (This is machine transcribed, so please forgive the typos.)
Welcome everyone to the MetroStart podcast. This is Alan Grosheider and I’m here today again with Jim Higdon. Jim is the co founder of Cornbread Hemp ,and it’s a first for Metrostart because I’m interviewing Jim for the second time in a row. So it’s the first time I’ve ever interviewed the same person twice right in a row. And there’s a good reason for that. In the last podcast we talked about a capital raise that a cornbread hemp was going through and what was the first, because they received $20,000 from Render Capital and they were the first to be accepted into we funders special program with render capital for a discounted rate with we funder and they were doing a capital raise and I won’t spoil the surprise but uh, about what happened cause we’ll talk about it but Hey Jim. Okay, great to have you back again. And I guess we’ll go ahead and say what it is and congratulations because Jim and Cornbread Hemp, they just finished a fund raise on Wefunder and raised the full amount in, what was it, two weeks?
It was 17 days.
Wow and in the middle of the coronavirus thing,
Right in April of 2020.
Crazy. But it’s a, it’s a great sign of what’s going on with crowdfunding. Crowdfunding. Equity crowd funding is a really good way to raise capital for your company. Even in tough times. Probably an easier way during tough times if it’s a product that people like and people can identify with. Um, so quickly, just, just so in case somebody is listening to this podcast and didn’t listen to the other one, tell a little bit about what corn bread hemp is.
Sure. So cornbread hip is a CBD brand based here, Louisville, Kentucky, where the first Kentucky based CBD brand to offer USPA certified organic CBD oils, which is how we kind of got out of the, uh, out of the norm brands and really elevated ourselves to a national level. Um, we’ve been, uh, we’ve been offering certified organic CBD products since, uh, the end of last year. Uh, and, um, we had been plotting several different fundraising strategies last year and nothing really clicked. A Louisville is a particular sort of, uh, you know, ecosystem, uh, for capital and fundraising. Um, and so at the beginning of the year we decided to shift gears and pursue a crowd funding strategy. Equity crowd funding was new to me, a learn. Most of my beginning, uh, understanding of crowd was through talking to you and some of these other folks in the Louisville startup community. Um, I was familiar with a Kickstarter and go fund me and Patrion, but none of those are pro, uh, platforms that, that sell equity, uh, in a, in a crowdfunding capacity.
So understanding the mechanics of what equity crowd funding would look like is something that I had to learn on the fly and we put these pieces together and we were ready to go. Um, in March, uh, we were going to go on another platform and someone in the Louisville startup community, actually, Larry Horn at leap said, told us, Hey, did you know about this matching fund between render and we funder. Um, and we didn’t. So we switch gears and replatform I’m really in the Nick of time. Um, and um, it just really set us up for success. Uh, we got that Mmm relationship between render and we funder, um, that we got a discount on the percentage that we funder’s going to take on the res. And a render matched our first 20 K. so on our first day out in the, in the raise, our goal is to put that first 20 K together.
We did that in a couple of hours, uh, and then we got rendered to match it before lunch on day one. Um, and then by the end of day one we had 50 K. so we’ve under has a really smart, um, platform characteristic where, um, in the friends and family round in the beginning when you were getting your ducks in a row, uh, instead of showing an amount raised on the page, it has a countdown clock for when it’s going to go public to encourage people to get in without showing them what the level of funding is so that it doesn’t look like we’re starting from zero. And then when you have enough in the bank there you can, you can flip the switch and turn that countdown clock off. So we had started the countdown clock to for April 15th to give ourselves some lead time, but we’ve flipped it public at the end of day one. Nice. So that was how we got started. And uh, the, just the, the momentum that the local startup community was able to, uh, facilitate for us principally through that render matching investment, um, you know, just really created a, uh, you know, a sense of inevitability and it created, you know, let us present strong to the investment world. And we were able to put together probably more than half of those investments. And then the we funder network, Mmm. Has really taken care of the rest.
something I was curious about. So are you able to tell what percentage of investments came from the we funder network versus your advertising and your network?
Well, yes, because our advertising efforts have been rather minimal on this. We have, we have run some Facebook ads and we’ve definitely gotten stuff, few investments off of those ads. So there has been some, uh, result from, from the advertising. Um, but in terms of our friends and family network customers, uh, business associates of porn bread, uh, you know, those are pretty easy to identify. And then in terms of the leaf under people, you know, w, you know, we’re getting investments that range from $100 to $5,000 from people we’ve never met before.
Man, that’s amazing.
And right now I think that number is something like 37 States, uh, four of the five boroughs of New York city and five continents. Um, our international investments come from places like, uh, Vancouver, London. Um, and Dora Poland, Mmm. South Africa, uh, Australia, Singapore, Pakistan. It’s really, it’s really amazing,
eh, you know, there, there’s a good, I think that comes out of that that I have been arguing for awhile and I learned from doing some of my own crowdfunding that when you’re raising capital for a company, it’s all about the people that invest. It’s all about whether or not they are excited about what you’re doing. And when you go to your local startup community and you go and you talk to the, the active angel investors, that’s a very small audience and that’s a very, uh, the, you know, they, they all have their own preferences and interests. So it’s really difficult to find that person in a really small group that has a real interest in your product or your service that you’re building. So you’re, you’re out of the gate. It’s really hard to find a good find enough fit investors to help you get your company started. But when you use a crowd funding mechanism like this where it is opened up to the world, and I’m surprised, I didn’t realize that, uh, that investors outside the United States could invest through we funder and reg CF,
I mean news to me too, that we can’t, we don’t ship products outside because our products are full spectrum. They can handle legal amount of THC by a federal standards. But getting them through customs in another country is just impossible. So we had an investor from Australia who invested and then asked us to send product.
We appreciate the investment, but we can’t get products to your customers. So, but that’s, you know, w when, when you’re able to reach a large audience like that, it doesn’t take millions and millions of people to find people that are interested in what you’re doing and bring in enough money to, to raise capital. So, you know, just kind of a recap from our, our last podcast for those who didn’t hear it, w what happens when you, a regulation CF crowd fund allows you to go to a site like we funder fill out. Uh, I’ve walked through the process of a form C, which is a filing with the sec. Then it becomes when, when that’s approved, you are legal to, to go to the crowd and sell shares or other equity instruments in your company. So you’re selling equity in your company and um, and their platform makes it easy for those investors to sign your investment agreement and, and pay you and they collect all the money for you in an escrow account.
And then when you’re done with your capital raise, you cash it out minus a fee, which it was 5% because of your discount with render. And typically seven and a half percent, I think seven, even 7%, uh, is the sort of, uh, retail price. If you just go onto their website. If you go through a organization like render, then it’s 5%. So that’s an amazing way to raise capital. My, I think that that is, yeah. In the next five or 10 years, that will be how almost all startups raise capital. Yeah. For anyone listening to this podcast in the Louisville Southern Indiana area. If you’re considering doing a fundraise like this, it just makes sense. Like reach out to render capital and, and do this through them with, uh, this partnership that they have just really couldn’t be better. And it made this process, it was really the exact piece of this thing that we were needing.
Um, you know, it just, he just, you know, puts, uh, puts a stamp of approval on the, on the raise in a way that is difficult to match. Especially like you said in this particular ecosystem of investors that we have here in the Louisville area. They’re just very conservative investor types that want things to be either tech or healthcare. And if you’re, if you’re selling a product that they don’t think is the next Humana, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a difficult sale. Um, and getting someone from interested to, yes. In the Louisville area, from the Institute, from the, you know, from, from the traditional investor side. It’s just really difficult. Yeah. And what does reg CF does? Yeah, I’m a former journalist and so my, you know,
I’m very aware of my first amendment rights and doing reg D fundraising is just really frustrating and strange because you can’t say what you’re doing. And so reg seat the reg CF fundraise really just like grants you back your first amendment rights and allows you to talk about what you’re doing.
Yeah. Now, so you know, kind of the further explain the regulations, um, the sec a long time ago created regulations that that make it very difficult for you to publicly raise capital. So, uh, Jim mentioned reg D so for a long time there’s been a regulation D filing with the sec and, and that’s, you file with the sec saying, I am raising capital for my company and I’m selling shares in my company. And, and that just makes them aware of it. But the law was that you could not tell him you couldn’t be public about it at all. It had to be people that you already knew that were making the investments. And it had to be, you know, if you did, you know, there’s some gray areas, but generally as long as you were not advertising, you know, you could network and, and raise capital.
And that’s the way it was done for a long time. And then in 2012, uh, with the jobs act, it changed to allow you to file with the sec, uh, and raise capital publicly using what’s called a regulation D five Oh six C, which is what I have used for my company. Bluetooth 22, we use drag D five Oh six C and have now raised $740,000. And that’s only accredited investors. Um, and then regulation CF became legal in 2016 and that allows you to sell shares to any investor re accredited or not. And an accredited investor is someone who has $1 million net worth or basically it makes at least $200,000 a year. So, um, you know, it really democratizes the whole process of raising capital for your company. And I think we’ve talked a little bit about it last time, that there are, there are people around that argue that it’s a bad idea because venture capital companies won’t invest in your company later. But I’m beginning to make my own personal opinion is I’m beginning to think, what do I need a venture capital firm for?
Well, right. I mean the, the scalability of the crowd fund. I mean, you know, we raised a six figure amount, you know, and a half a month and that’s a huge success story for us. But you know, in the grand scheme of what people were raising on refund or another crowdfund platform, people were raising, you know, seven, eight figures on crowdfunding. Mmm. You know, millions of dollars in, in equity crowd funding. And it’s just, it’s, you know, what do you need a BC firm for?
Yeah. And I think, you know, you have to do it smart. And we did talk about this last time that you almost have to look at it as just, it’s part of your operations raising capital. It needs to be part of your operations. If you’re building a company that, that needs capital to grow. So, Mmm. Starting your company with the intent that that needs to be a here. It’s not, it’s not something you just sort of get over with in order to get started. It’s, it’s something that you need to think about as part of your company on an ongoing basis, if you, if you’re going to need more capital.
Yes sir. It’s certainly something that I had to learn on the fly. I come from a, you know, a, a journalism background and uh, this is not my forte. I did not cover financial news. And so learning the vocabulary and the mechanics of, of this process was, you know, was a learning process for me. Um, and you’re right, it’s become an integral part of the business that, um, you know, not only this round, but then charting out the next two rounds and what that’s gonna look like as shares get diluted for each round is there’s something that’s now part of our longterm strategy.
Right. And I believe, I think that should be, you know, I’ve done the same thing. I’ve tried to make sure that I plan all along to continually raise capital and continually accelerate my company and um, you know, and, and do it with, with crowd funding as much as possible. And I think it’s a great strategy. There’s a company, we, I think we might’ve mentioned it in the last podcast called night scope that I’ve followed a little bit. They, they build robotics security guards. And the last time I looked, they had raised over $46 million using crowd crowdfunding. Now when you do that, you have to switch, you know, with, with regulation CF, well, let’s talk about this, about how much you raised. So regulation CF allows you to raise up to, uh, well, right? 1 million, $70,000, and that’s just the regulatory limit they put on it.
Um, and I found out eventually, I always wonder, w w who the hell came up with the 70,000 and it was initially $1 million and then they increase that with inflation to 1,070,000. Um, so regulation CF, you can raise capital from an unlimited number of investors and up to $1,070,000 per year. Then if you want to go bigger than that, there’s a thing called regulation a plus and it’s more complicated and more costly, but you can raise up to 50, I think it’s now $50 million. I’m using regulation a plus and there’s uh, some, some legislation in the works to increase that. Uh, and I think they’re trying to increase the regulation CF up to maybe 5 million or, or more.
Oh yeah. That isn’t in the works or at least were advocating what I’ve seen that online and then, yeah, as, as you, you know, as you as, as a company envisions that sort of growth, uh, make sure you budget into legal fees.
Yup. Yes. Yeah. Cause that’s doing a reg reg a plus. It’s going to be 20,020 $5,000 in legal and accounting fees.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting.
Yeah. And, but, but here’s the steps you can take. And this is what, you know, you, you raise 107,000, that was your cap. Right. Great. Um, and explain that, why, why that, why you went with that?
Well, the 107, uh, again, you know, I think is a hundred plus the seven for inflation, 107 in the, in the million 70 like, you know, are sort of very much run in terms of that extra seven on there. There’s, you know, 100,000 and change. Mmm. It’s the limit that we could raise without reviewed financials. And because we were going into this process, learning every step as we went along, it wasn’t until mid March that we realized that we needed our financials reviewed and it turns out finding an accountant in April is difficult.
So, so that process is continuing, but until it’s completed, our cap is one Oh seven.
Yeah. But they, we found her and, and many of these portals, they, they’re there for these regulations. CF portals do a good job of stepping you through the process. And, uh, they, they, I know on their websites, they even recommend that, look, if you need to just hurry up and raise some capital and you don’t want to wait around for audited financials from an accountant, then just do a one Oh seven maximum $107,000 raise and you can crank that out, get it done, get that money and then you can hire, you know, with that money you can hire, um, your accountant to do your, your audited financials and you can Polish things up to do another race. And then during the rest of that, that year, you can continue to raise up to 171 million, $70,000.
Well, I think, you know, and again, my understanding of this is fluid, but to, just to add to that, I believe that there’s a way that once you start that raise without review financials with $107,000 cap in the course of that raise, you can file a material amendment to your form C with the reviewed financials and increase the cap on the current rates. So you don’t need to shut it down and reopen it necessarily. You just have to make sure that you go through the steps correctly.
Nice. So does wee funder allow you to pull any money out? Let’s say that you raise 75,000 and you want to pull some money out and apply that toward marketing to raise more capital.
Right? So, uh, well, couple of things. One, um, when you cross 100,000 a week under, they will buy your ads for you. Oh. Um, so that’s another thing to know is that, is that that stratosphere, like once you cross a hundred, we’ve funder is like gets on board to, to juice it. Um, so that’s a great thing that we have in our pocket that we have not even deployed yet. Um, the answer to your first question is, um, what we find or calls a rolling close and once you hit the $50,000 Mark, you’re able to begin a rolling close again, as I understand it. Um, and I think the sec has a 21 day limit from the filing of the form C two, when you’re able to begin a rolling close. Um, so we’re at toward the end of that uh, period now, but we’re not through it. And so, uh, I believe that we will begin implementing a rolling close, um, on our available funds as soon as we are through the 21 day or I guess we’re outside the 21 day portal window now. And that process is beginning. We’ve reviewed the form, see we’ve approved it with we funder, we funder then goes back to all of our investors and gives them a um, last chance to pull out email and then everything that’s in escrow, I believe we’ll get dispersed to us May 1st, um, minus 35%.
I see. So talk about the process of getting, how much effort did it take to do your form C to create your profile on we funder and get the ball rolling and how long did it take to get approved to start your fundraise?
Okay. My partner, Erica, Eric and I worked like mad on this. So it’s hard to know exactly when we came up for air. Mmm. It’s fairly simple and straightforward, although the content that you put on these on these profiles has to be right to test you reflect the personality of the founders and the vision of the company. Mmm. And, uh, you know, you have to, you have to be efficient and also effective in how that content reads. So there’s, there’s a, there’s an investor Q and a, they walk you through some, some relevant questions that they want good answers for. And then there’s a, and then there’s a story page which is much more open. Um, but again, that follows a certain format and that format is header, like a paragraph of text and then an image and then another header, a short paragraph of text, an image until you get the story done.
Because as someone explained to, you know, they don’t want a lot of texts in that story. They want the story told as efficiently as possible. So getting that tuned to the right frequency is important. And then the most important piece of this I think is the video that you shoot in the video. Uh, we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on the video from our profile and the update videos that we’ve been posting along the way. Those videos do get seen and it’s really important to straddle. Mmm. There’s a couple of different nuances, like you want it to be good and produced well. Um, but you don’t want it to be so flashy that investors think you’re wasting your money on production. Yeah. So, uh, some videos are effective that are just, uh, iPhone selfie videos of one founder, uh, explaining his or her vision.
Um, we funder says that they’ve seen, um, productions like that that had been successful. Um, ours was a little more polished than that and it’s Eric and I at a table. Uh, we’re both Mike. Uh, an important part of this is to make sure that the audio sounds right. There’s no like, echo-y bad audio or clipped audio from, you know, a bad Skype connection or something like that. Could really cause some, you know, um, psychological, uh, concern. That’s might cause some concern in the psychology of an investor that like, you know, like the audio is an important piece of this that is not to be overlooked. So just making sure that the video on this profile is done correctly. Is, is is an important part of it? Did you have a professional, I mean, how did, how did you get that done? We have, we have a member of our team who’s a, um, our film guy and he’s a, he’s, he’s a pro.
He brings a box with them. Um, so we’d have a wobbly or Mike’s that, that we wear for those sorts of things so that we’re not, so the audio is not bouncing around the room. Mmm. And, and that’s something that, that we just budget in. Like it’s, it’s important to have, but it’s, you know, it’s important to have it done right. But also not overdone. Um, some of the guidelines that they shared with us are like, you know, like no cuts to B roll, no music in the background, nothing. And we broke those rules a little bit. We did do some B roll. We did have a little music. Um, we didn’t do it all in one take. We did it in a couple takes and there’s some jump cuts between takes like that’s fine. Like if you get through the first part and mess up, like just start again and cut those, slam those two cuts together. So there’s a little jump in between. Like it doesn’t matter. Uh, like those sorts of production quality are like no one really cares about. They just want to see the story and understand that there’s a vision and people are working hard to, to realize that vision.
How do you think it would work if I, if I did a selfie video, like, uh, Tyler, what’s his name? Ty Lopez. I’m here in my garage in front of my new Lamborghini and I’m starting a company. I want you to invest in it.
Yeah. It was like the first thing everyone goes say is, well, if he has a Lamborghini,
Or, or if I’m giving him my money, is he going to buy another Lamborghini?
I’ve always been shocked. That seems to work. But, um, yeah, apparently that guy has made a lot of money with that. Well, you know, yet it’s not, that’s not the note that we’re trying to hit. I’ll tell you that.
You know, we, we’re, we’re putting a hundred percent of this money back into this business. We’re spending it with farmers to increase our product offering and you know, and then our, and then our marketing spend to really increase our reach online and, um, and, and gain more customers. So, you know, especially now when we’re in this lockdown retail, um, is it dead? But it’s kind of on hold. And so online sales, uh, are really where the growth is.
Yeah. So we talked a little bit before we got started today. We talked a little bit about the mechanisms that we’ve under help you put together, um, to pool investors together. Earlier in, in this Mmm podcast, we talked about the concern that, that we’ve heard people say about Ray. There’s people say you can’t raise capital using crowd funding because venture capital investors won’t invest in your company. Big investors won’t invest later. And what, what I have seen is that they will, if you do it correctly, now, some VCs won’t touch a company that has uh, that has crowdfunded investors. But what you did was you were careful about the contract that you used for investors. You ended up using a convertible note that says that, um, all of these, how many, 275 investors,
I think it’s, I think it’s just shy of two 50 right now.
Okay. So all of these 250 investors, they sign a document that is a convertible note and that convertible note says that, that they, that that investment will convert two shares at a later date. But the important thing that we talked about is your, in that agreement, and we’ve under helped you put it together in the agreement it says that all of those investors will be a pool together into what’s called a special purpose vehicle. And for everybody out there that, that what that is is they, if there’s 250 investors in, in this round, then an LLC is set up and those investors, all right. And well, at the time of conversion to shares all of those investors pooled together into one LLC and show up as one investor to cornbread him. Right. Okay. So that’s, I’m just mentioning that. So it’s, it’s so important in that it solves the problem.
[inaudible] not to jump in on you, but let me just put a finer point on this, which is that this is as far as we can tell, a unique offering in the crowdfunding space with we funder the crowd funding platform that we had been using before we jumped over to re. We funder literally told us, one, this was not possible and two, that we should embrace the messy cap table.
Yeah. And I, I, I strongly disagree with those things.
Well, I, you know, I’m, I’m, you know, like the one thing that I learned from hanging out at startup week and, and, and talking with you over the course of the later part of last year is this very thing, keep your cap table clean. And so, um, it just underscores my recommendation for anyone, uh, working on building out their startup in the Louisville area. Uh, or you know, really anywhere for this case know the render capital grant or not grant, but matching investment comes only for the local area. But, um, this, this we funder a special purpose vehicle thing is, um, is, is, is really a, it’s really an important thing. And, and we first figured it out and maybe some other, these platforms have also figured out the one line on the cap table, but there’s others out there that do not offer this as a service.
Yeah, that’s a good point. And I, um, some of the other portals do have that. So, um, but it is really important to make sure that you have that so that, um, and I, you know, I think the reason in the law and the, the, um, regulation, CF laws, it does say that you cannot crowd fund through a special purpose vehicle. But I think what they have done [inaudible] set it up so that um, there, there is, is another step in between that sort of creates this special, it says that initially they are investors in the company but then they agree that they can convert over to a special purpose vehicle.
Well, it also, I think the, the, the part of this that we’ve not accomplished yet, and I’m sort of learning this on the fly is that uh, in this it would have been w w we do have a lead investor. But when we started it was, uh, even though we had some significant investment in the front, we didn’t quite have someone, uh, charging in right away that we designated ahead of time as a lead investor for the special purpose vehicle. One of the key elements is having that lead investor. And so, uh, because we are designated that lead that lead investor, in retrospect, I believe that it’s going to cause us to have to file a material amendment to the form C and then all the other investors will be informed of that chain. And then they might have to resign a contract. I don’t know how exactly how that’s going to work, but there is another kind of like hiccup, uh, to, to, to smooth over, uh, to get to that point. Um, and you know, this is just a product of us learning about this process on the fly. So the, the thing to know is designating a lead investor from the start is, uh, ideal.
Yeah. So how, let’s, I don’t think we’ve talked a little bit about how you rolled this out and marketed it once. It’s, once they, when it’s approved and you got started,
what would you say
were the steps that made it successful?
Well, um, well step one was having render on the sideline ready to jump in with 20 K. right? So that’s step one. Step two was, um, in the course of last year, we’d approached probably 50 legitimate accredited investors with slide decks, um, on an opportunity to invest. And so we had a Rolodex of people who we thought might come in, you know, at a, at a smaller level that what we’d been looking for last year. Uh, and so that was the next step. Um, and frankly like that got us enough to trigger the, the render match. Um, at this point we had not put anything yet out on social media, so it was all kind of, you know, you know, email, phone calls and text messages to people that we already had established relationships with. Um, and then the next step was sending an email to all of our customers and our retailers. So we had customers and retailers come in, uh, as investors. And then we did a social campaign, a social blast just on our soap, various social media platforms, um, Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. And then, um, we were on some awesome podcasts. I think we were on some great podcasts, including yours, virtually yours and Tom Cottinghams pod or Tom Cunningham’s newsletter. Um, and um, and then we’ve funders newsletter. So we, funders newsletter goes out on Thursdays and we’ve been in twice now. And
we fund our newsletter that we went through was worth like 13 grand and investments, I think. Um, I mean, you know, like w you go to bed and then you wake up and there’s money.
There’s nothing better than that. Right? That’s the way it is. That’s the way it’s all, you know, that’s the way good business should be. It set it up. So it’s just, money’s just coming in the door electronically.
It’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s been wild. It’s been really wild. And you know, in, in, in the, the affirmations that we get from some of these investors saying, Hey, look, it looks like, you know, like, I believe in this organic product that you have, or like, you guys know what you’re doing. We’ve gotten [inaudible] thousand dollar investments from Denver, Colorado, and all over California. We’ve got an investment from Hawaii, from Washington state, from Portland, Oregon. Like all these places with robust, mature, full strength cannabis markets are seeing what we’re doing here at cornbread. Hint. And seeing us as, as you know, as a worthwhile investment, even though they’re sitting in major cannabis, uh, capitals. So, um, that’s, you know, really affirming to, to our vision of, of, of this company like people, people get it.
Yeah. By the way, I’ll mention that Tom Cottingham you mentioned Tom Cottinghams publication and it’s flyover a future. [inaudible] he and his group are doing a great job of creating a nice newsletter that’s specific to the, uh, investments in startups throughout the central part of the United States where, you know, the, the VCs in Silicon Valley in New York would consider fly over States.
Well, is there anything else? I think, uh, anything else that would be important to no, for a startup company that wants to use this process?
No, I think it’s just really, I mean, I think that if they have a stress and anxiety of about the startup process, they should go to cornbread, hemp.com and order some of our USC antic CBD oils would be one suggestion that I would have. The other thing is just, you know, if they have any questions about this process, they should feel free to use me as a resource and reach out, happy to a walk, a fellow startup or through this process. Like, you know, again, like my background is not in business. My business partner has an MBA, but I did not and I’ve been kind of leading the charge for our company on the fundraising thing and it’s been a learning experience, uh, and uh, you know, really valuable one. Now I know how to do this. Um, but you know, it’s, it’s a process that at first was somewhat but turned out to be less intimidating because I had some really good mentorship and help along the way from folks like you. And I’m really looking forward to paying that forward and helping the next group of Google based startups get a leg up.
It’s so important to me that I think that it’s so valuable when you learn how to raise capital and you find a way that works. That’s a hard thing to do. And you know, the more we can figure out, better ways to raise capital for early stage startups in our community, um, the more we have successful companies and it’s you, you know, and I think in the past that’s been a huge bottleneck and some people would say, Oh, it’s, you know, the really good companies always raised capital and I, I completely disagree with that. I think sometimes there are really good comp companies that are really good ideas and they just haven’t figured out the capital raising process. So they, they just die or they don’t have parents or grandparents or uncles that have enough money to help them get started
or, or, or they get beat by the competition that’s working faster.
Yeah. But now there’s a, there’s a good mechanism out there in the better we get at figuring out how to utilize things like render capital’s match and, and discounted rate with we funder. And um, you know, there’s some things that that Metro start is working on that will hopefully provide another Avenue for some crowd funding locally.
Yeah. Look [inaudible] we funder the we funder limit for for a raise is 50 grand. So I mean, and, and once you get to a hundred we fund or buys your ads. So as someone who’s, who’s looking to raise capital like you, your goals are really simple. Like can you find a pool of people who believe in you that you can put together 20 grand with? Because if you can do that and you get 40 and if you get 40 you can get the 50 and when you get 50 you can cash out. It’s, it’s, you know, like 50 grand. You know, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a lot. But for someone just starting out, you know, with, with a, with a, you know, with a pre-revenue evaluate, then you know, like it could be, it could be the world.
Yeah. And that’s something I’ve said a lot is that that’s the most difficult money to raise is your first 50 grand or so. And if you need to hire programmers to build an MVP, were you, you need to do something just to get started. It’s, it’s the absolute hardest money to raise. And if there’s an easier way to do it, then our whole community will benefit because somebody will get that first 50 grand and ended up creating a billion dollar company eventually.
Well, I mean, you know, the, and, and the resources and the talent in this community is definitely there. The problem in the past has been the conservative nature of the investment pool really, um, really gets around that problem.
Say it. Cause it doesn’t, it just doesn’t take a lot to envision and execute that kind of plan.
Yeah. Well Jim, I appreciate you coming back on and I think what we are talking about is so important to the startup community to learn how to use this process and just, you know, copy your success and you know, I, I think now that you’ve got the process figured out and your, your business was already doing well. I mean you were operating the business really well, which is definitely a, um, you know, it’s going to help you raise capital, but I think you’re, you’re on your way to, you know, keep raising capital and keep accelerating everything. And, um, I’m glad you shared what you have shared with the startup community.
Well, thanks so much Alan. And like I said, like, you know,
the, the time that you’d get you gave us, um, last year to help get our heads around this process was really invaluable. So coming on a podcast like this to, uh, um, to help your audience better understand this is a small price to pay for, for the guidance that you gave us along the way.
Well, I appreciate that. Um, and look forward to seeing what you guys do next.
Well, you know, it won’t be long. We’ll be at it.
All right, thanks you.