A face in the crowd

It can now be unveiled:

I’ve been working as a consultant to Collective Wisdom Technologies which has been operating in, well not exactly stealth mode, but in its pre-filing phase. Through these past few months, the less said the better from a regulatory point of view so I’ve been keeping this on the down-low.

But I am thoroughly excited to be associated with CWT. The team is pioneering a third way for funding startups. Traditionally, venture capital firms are lucky to pick one winner out of a litter of 10 investments. The new source of tech funding, the ICO market, is still sketchy from a regulatory point of view and — less and less every month, but still — fraught with con artists and posers.

CWT was initially conceived as an ICO, but the founders decided it didn’t really need utility tokens for what it was doing, and security tokens were running into legal headwinds. So they switched gears and are offering shares under Regulation A+, which is basically a small-cap IPO. It’s also selling convertible bonds to seed investors.

So what’s it going to do with the money? Invest in other startups. But instead of relying on a small, homogenous investment committee as most VC firms do, CWT will draw on the expertise of an array of service providers, entrepreneurs and — of course — investors to select the most likely candidates for successful launch. If CWT can help investors find two winners out of 10 instead of just one, it will have proved its point that the “wisdom of the crowd” makes better decisions more reliably than a small panel of gatekeepers.

Visit the website if you want to know more — especially if you either have a start-up you’d like funded or if you have seed capital you’d like to invest. Visit this new page if you want to see some of my contributions to CWT to date. [NOTE: Due to regulatory concerns I have password-protected this page. Please DM me for the credentials. Approved version of deck posted, animation will be added when available, password protection removed.]

Application is free for the first 100 startups.

The offering circular has been filed with the SEC. The road show starts tomorrow. The website is up and running.

Congratulations, CWT! Looking forward to a long and rewarding collaboration!


Feature image credit: Lajos Kossuth addresses the crowd from the balcony of Andrew’s coach factory. Drawing from the Illustrated London News, 1st November 1851

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