Here at ShareIn we are very proud to be a part of the Edinburgh tech scene, but what makes equity crowdfunding here so special? I think the three main things are: great company, the legal aspect, and its ahead of silicon valley.
1. Great Company – Scotland has an incredible start up community as we’ve talked about previously here. This places ShareIn in an excellent position to access promising companies that need investment, and in turn by giving companies access to capital through crowdfunding ShareIn continues to support the growing start up community. Part of the reason Scotland is great for the tech and health focus of ShareIn is the incredible research being done at Universities around the country. Scotland was just found to be the most educated country in Europe after all. Holoxica is a perfect example of how the proximity to universities is important. Holoxica’s digital display technology was perfected while Javid Khan was at Heriot Watt University. Javid took his impressive research and is now successfully using it for commercial purposes after obtaining funding on ShareIn.
2. Legal – The UK has been ahead of the curve with equity crowdfunding legislation. FCA authorized companies like ShareIn can facilitate investments from anyone who promises not to invest more than 10% of their “net investable assets.” Other countries have not successfully passed legislation to really bring equity crowdfunding to the crowd. Most platforms around the world still require investors to be rich (high net worth/accredited investors). The UK government has not only been allowing crowdfunding, they are actively supporting investing through tax break schemes such as SEIS and EIS, you can find a detailed explanations of the benefits here.
3. Scotland is ahead of Silicon Valley – Yes, Scotland really is ahead of Silicon Valley in equity crowdfunding. While the valley has more start ups, the US government hasn’t yet agreed on the terms of equity crowdfunding. The JOBS act was passed in 2012 and is designed to make equity crowdfunding legal and accessible for most americans. However, the SEC provided complicated legal guidelines for equity crowdfunding companies to follow to allow average investors. So for now equity crowdfunding in America is only for the wealthy and professional investors. While a new bill is being presented, it may not pass and even if it does it may take years to implement, making Scotland a better place for equity crowdfunding.