Navigating through the crowd: CATA CEO Speaks Out: Courtney Symons, Ottawa Business Journal
February 27, 2013

Crowdfunding involves gathering small monetary contributions from everyday people for a perk – such as pre-sales, as Teknision did for its software called Chameleon, a customized home screen for Android tablets...

If Canada doesn’t catch up, what’s to stop businesses from heading south where they can more easily raise money?

That’s the concern of John Reid, head of the Ottawa-based Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. He’s lobbying for updated securities laws to match our southern neighbours and allow early-stage companies to access the funding they so badly need.

Almost 500 crowdfunding platforms already exist globally and are projected to generate approximately $3 billion this year...

Regardless of where the responsibility lies, there will be many investors who lose money. But that’s one of the reasons why CATA has been pushing for an increase in Canadian financial literacy, Mr. Reid says.

“You have to make people understand that they could lose all of their investment, but that’s a true statement anywhere you invest,” he says. “I think you have to give the consumer every opportunity and freedom to invest in the marketplace on things that are important to them...”

With no national securities commission capable of making sweeping changes, it falls to each province and territory to update legislation.

In 2013, Mr. Reid says he believes Canada will likely see at least one province allow an equity-based exemption for crowdfunding, with an online platform to support it. New Brunswick is on the cusp of breaking ground on the issue, but it could be Ontario that leads the charge...

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