28 Feb February 28, 2020 – App Builder Kristin Rulon, StartUp Finance Bruce Blechman and Innovative Health Michelle Hill
Kristin Rulon – CEO/Founder of Mind Star App
Where is my star for being an adult? We need to be rewarded
for what we do! Is there a way to make that possible?
Kristin Rulon is a survivor of severe post-partum depression, anxiety, and PTSD. She is familiar with mental health struggles and refused to settle for the mental health roller-coaster. She decided to do something about it. In the fall of 2018, she founded Mind Star. Mind Star is a self-care app that allows users to track their self-care over time and be rewarded for it by businesses. Users earn free or discounted products, services or experiences by making your self-care and mental health a priority. She is more than just an app, as an advocate of universal self-care.
Bruce Blechman – Investment Banker, Funding High Growth Companies, Founder of The Financing Coach– Read interview highlights here
We have been looking for a way to get a huge number of investors
to look at your company. Now we found it!
Bruce Blechman is America’s Guerrilla Financing Guru, a nationally recognized speaker, and one of the country’s top experts about entrepreneurial finance. Bruce was the Keynote Speaker at The First Financial Innovation and Capital Market Seminar of China’s High Growth SMES in 2016 and is the co-author of Guerrilla Financing (Guerrilla Marketing), which is used in college courses nationwide. He has been a national columnist, author of the monthly column, “Creative Financing” in Entrepreneur Magazine and host of the New Venture Money Show on the Business Radio Network. Articles about him have appeared in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and other national publications. He has taught courses on Entrepreneurial Finance as an Adjunct Professor at Wharton, was a mentor in the Wharton Business Plan Program and is presently a contributing editor on the Wharton Magazine Blog. Bruce has been an advisor to the California State Governor and Legislature on entrepreneurial business. For 28 years his national financing advising firm, Entrepreneur Capital Corporation, has helped thousands of entrepreneurs finance their businesses.
Michelle Hill – Founder/COO of Innovative Health Foundation
We have a special needs young lady in her 20’s, she is boy crazy!
And on the internet, which is not safe for her. A therapist recommended
a social skill group. We found the money to pay for it.
Mind & Motion offers services to young children, adolescents, and adults. We work extensively with school-age children, but we also see preschoolers at risk for future school difficulties, college students who may need specific accommodations based on learning differences, and adults who may be experiencing job performance difficulties relative to an attention or learning problem.
Highlights from Bruce’s Interview
For many years, we have offered all kinds of ways to borrow money, even though you’re a pre-revenue company. Our number one product is called Unsecured Loans; no collateral loans. But we’ve always been looking for a way to get investors. The Jobs Act came out six or seven years ago and it took a number of years for the SEC to really get it started. But crowdfunding has been successful for donation, for everybody using it, for reward funding. Kickstarter is very successful to test your product. But what about getting investors to invest in your company? Equity crowdfunding has not really made it. One of the reasons is, even though there’s a number of equity crowdfunding sites around the country, they’re not getting the eyeballs; people are not just going there. Even though there’s a video and some companies are getting funded, but not on a massive scale.
We’ve been looking for a way to really get a huge number of investors to look at your company, and now we’ve found it. Here’s how it works. We finally found a social media company that is well-established, that is talking to and communicating to millions of investors daily. That company actually reaches over 5 million readers of magazines and papers like the paper Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg; you name any financial publication newspaper throughout the country. In that 5 million people, there’s a huge number of accredited investors always looking for private companies that they can put their capital into. They’re not a list of people, it’s not like here’s a list of angels or here’s a list of accredited investors: that list has been used many times. What’s good about this program is that we’re going thresh to people who happen to read financial magazines and newspapers, but don’t get pitched about investing in some of those companies.
We’ve got fresh early-stage investors who have been reading about all these new inventions, and now we have a way for you: the early-stage entrepreneur, whether you are pre-revenue or revenue, to contact and talk to those investors. The program is built around a valuation concept. When someone invests in a company you’re thinking, I’m worth hundreds of millions of dollars and I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that. Well, that’s fine, but we decided to bring in a professional valuation company first. That company takes all your information, compares your competitive information, and today has access to a huge amount of information to value your company. It is a well-respected company that’s been approved for use by all kinds of companies: companies going public or companies for sale. So, we bring in that valuation company and they do a valuation of your business. Right away, when you’re now talking to investors, you can point to that valuation and say, “Look, we have been valued by an outside third-party expert company that does this all the time, and it says we’re worth X.” That statement stands really well with an accredited investor who understands that that is the real value, and that it’s not an absolute market value but it’s very close to it.
We use something called 506(c) which is a new offering that you can use, whether you are pre-revenue or revenue, and advertise. That allows you to use this social media concept that we created. It fits really well because using this concept, we recommend you use a lawyer, you don’t have to do a private placement, you literally don’t have to put projections in, but all that is in the valuation. You can use the valuation as your offering document, you can use it as your business plan. According to the rules and regulations of the 506(c), all you have to do is answer all the questions from your accredited investors. The valuation which ranges from 40 to 70 pages has all the answers to their questions, so all you need is that document. You can take that document and talk to all the thousands and thousands of leads that we will generate for you. These are people coming to your website on a special landing page that we helped create for you. At that page, you can say, “By the way, you like our company and you were attracted to it. There is a business opportunity, you can actually invest in our company.” That’s where you get their name and their email, you can send them information, and then you can contact them for an investment. In general, that is the program.
What’s interesting about this program is, there’s no minimum or maximum amount that you need to raise; you can decide that amount. You have the ability to solicit and advertise anywhere using this, even on your own or with us. There’s no limit on the amount each investor can invest. Most of these investors are the type that will put $25,000-100,000 or maybe a few more into your company. You don’t need a private placement memorandum. You literally don’t need financial statements. The credibility of having your own third-party expert professional business valuation is a very strong plus for you. The proprietary social media algorithm that circulates to 5 million financially active viewers a day is the key to getting leads. One of our clients in the Cannabis business got 500,000 visits to their website in one month of December, last year.
This program starts immediately. We start generating leads from day one and you’re dealing only with accredited investors. You can solicit on your own through Radio, TV, or any way you want. We’re combining valuation, social media, brand awareness, and investor familiarity, basically. This is a very strong program for anyone looking between somewhere from $1 million to $5 million. It’s a three-month program, you can run it longer if you want to. It’s been extremely successful.
It costs you $30,000 to do the valuation, and we charge you $3,000/month for three months which is $9,000. So, we’re asking for $39,000, and that is really peanuts for raising $1 to $5 million. There’s no other cost; no finder’s fee, no broker’s fees or anything like that. We can even finance it with our loan program, if you qualify.
We value pre-revenue companies all the time. When we look at the potential, we’re valuing it in all kinds of different ways; the future, what you’ve done in the past because pre-revenue doesn’t have a past, what is the potential of your patents? There is technology to value pre-revenue companies, which represents approximately 30-40% of the companies that we talk to. If you take a company that’s been valuing companies for 21 years, they have the skill to do that, and they do that correctly from the investor’s point of view. They’re basically being hired by the company, but they really are working for that investor to give their best view after valuing hundreds, maybe thousands of companies over the years, in just about every industry, under every condition, to look for how can you value it. The technology has been developed, but it is a skill, you have to get license, you have to be approved by SEC, FINRA, and IRS. That’s why it does cost $30,000, but it’s worth every nickel. The marketing of that to the public only is $3,000 a month. If you haven’t raised what you want and you need more money, you can continue it month-to-month. So that’s how it’s done.
The 5 million social media impressions that we get, these are people that listen to every social media; mostly Twitter. Now, our president has really grown Twitter to be the number one social media. What’s interesting is, as we start releasing information about this company and news releases it, it goes on Twitter and it very soon is picked up by Facebook, and then it’s picked up by all the social media areas. I just read that 50% of the people get their news today from social media, that’s where it’s at. So that’s why it works. Now, the people coming to your website might be the possible customers, they might be vendors, they might be people who want to work for you, but a good percentage of them will react when they see on your landing page that there’s an investment opportunity. That’s where we catch the accredited investor right there.
Our website is “entrepreneurcapitalcorp.com”. It will really help you understand all the different ways that we’ve achieved over 31 years dealing with thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs, and thousands of sources for those entrepreneurs. You’ll learn a lot about our company. You can call us at 619-756-6386. We’ll be happy to discuss your financing needs and ways to help you obtain the capital you need to start, expand, or buy a business. Also, you could reach me on my email at Bruce@eccfunding.com. You can talk about what your needs are, and we’ll have someone get in touch with you and help you.
We are basically a no-upfront-fee consulting firm and we’ve been working with thousands of companies. In this case that I’ve talked to you about, the only fees you’re paying for is the valuation, and that can be used with your suppliers or anybody. That will stay with you for a long time to have a professional valuation, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. The fee for marketing is really small compared to the return you get. Those fees are well-worth it, and they’re way below what it would cost to hire a lawyer to do an offering. So, it’s way below the market and it’s very inexpensive for what you’re getting.