Today, we sent a letter signed by more than 200 entrepreneurs, investors, and members of the startup community to the Securities Commission to tell the agency it’s time it fulfills its statutory obligation and finalize rules to make the JOBS Act a reality. You can find the full text of the letter with its signatories below.
It’s been over two years since Congress passed the JOBS Act, yet much of its promise remains unfulfilled, because the SEC has simply not done its job. The Commission is now an astounding 700 plus days past the statutory deadline to issue rules that will enable equity crowdfunding for companies attempting to raise up to $1 million a year as well as additional capital-raising options for small private companies.
Until the SEC acts, opportunities for entrepreneurs to raise capital and for potential investors to contribute equity to new businesses remain grossly limited. Without these new rules, only a small subset of Americans who qualify as accredited investors can participate in driving capital to thousands of small, diverse, and promising startups across the country. Take Dinner Lab, a New Orleans-based startup: when CEO Brian Bordainick decided to tap into his existing customers and food-lovers as prospective investors, he had to turn half of them away because they didn’t qualify. And Alphaworks, a new equity crowdfunding platform with just a small number of deals, has already had to turn away hundreds of potential investors from contributing to companies on its site.
Capital access is often an entrepreneur’s greatest challenge, especially for businesses who find themselves on the outside the traditional hubs of venture capital and angel investors—whether they’re based in parts of the country where startup communities are just beginning to prosper or they’re simply not well-connected to investment circles. And while 13 states have now taken it up themselves to legalize equity crowdfunding and spur economic activity, these state laws only allow investment within a state’s borders.
The JOBS Act could unleash a new wave of entrepreneurship across the country. Yet without these rules in place, much of the JOBS Act remains an empty promise. We call upon the SEC to make what the JOBS Act set out to do a reality as mandated by Congress over two years ago. It’s time it finalize the rules without further delay.
Want to join our efforts? You can still sign the letter and learn more about what we're doing at www.engine.is/jobsact.