In The News

Equity ‘Crowdfunding’ Platform, RelayFund, Launched by Michigan Investors

July 2, 2012 | CBS News Detroit

GRAND RAPIDS — A group of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and investment bankers has launched RelayFund Inc., the first equity-based ‘crowdfunding’ Web site started in Michigan and one of the first in the nation that will link small investors with startup operators under the provisions of the new federal JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act.

RelayFund is the creation of investment banking firm Hartwick Capital and investor relations firm Lambert, Edwards & Associates. Both are based in Grand Rapids. And officials with both firms say they view crowdfunding for equity as the next major catalyst in transforming the capital markets and connecting everyday Americans with private equity.

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Tom Walsh: Crowd funding takes private equity to the masses

July 8, 2012 | Detroit Free Press

Is equity crowd funding the new, new thing that will revolutionize financing of entrepreneurial start-ups and unleash a wave of new businesses and job creation?

Or will it prove to be a trap for luring old folks and other unsophisticated investors into risky bets on unproven businesses?

Or perhaps a bit of both?

Whatever the ultimate impact, equity crowd funding is about to become reality, as evidenced by last week’s announcement of the formation of RelayFund, which said it is preparing to launch the first equity-based crowd funding website in Michigan. The site, relayfund.com, is in beta testing now.

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See how new Michigan ‘crowdfunding’ website RelayFund hopes to drive economic growth

July 9, 2012 | MLive Michigan News

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Jeff Lambert sees crowd-funding as the next major catalyst in spurring economic growth. That is why his Grand Rapids-based public relations firm Lambert Edwards & Associates is part of a group of Michigan venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and investment bankers that have launched RelayFund Inc.

The fund is being described as the first equity-based ‘crowdfunding’ website started in Michigan and one of the first in the nation that will link small investors with startup operators under the provisions of the new federal JOBS Act.

“There is a generation of Americans that has witnessed the power of the Internet to connect and empower people, yet seen little of this applied to capital formation,” said Lambert, a principal in RelayFund and president of LE&A.

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Top 10 Crowdfunding Platforms

July 16, 2012 | TriplePundit.com

Whether he knew it or not, President Obama created a brand new industry when he signed the JOBS act into law on April 5th. Up until now, it’s been illegal for private businesses to offer equity to anyone other than accredited investors in exchange for funding. As a result, crowdfunding sites (like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo) and the investment seekers that use them have been restricted to giving gimmicky thank you gifts and pre-selling new products in exchange for donations. Although this method of fundraising has proven successful for many artists, charities, and startups, the payback for the people who are giving away their money has been limited to cheap schwag and a few new toys.

RelayFund: A group of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and investment bankers have teamed up to launch RelayFund, which is the creation of investment banking firm Hartwick Capital and investor relations firm Lambert, Edwards & Associates. According to a press release, the founders view crowdfunding for equity as “the next major catalyst in transforming the capital markets and connecting everyday Americans with private equity.”

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