“This is a new wave in entrepreneurship,” said Kris Roberts, a Vancouver real estate agent who recently started GIVE Group, through which she hopes to both earn a living and satisfy a benevolent streak by creating a network of real estate agents who pledge to donate a percentage of their commissions to charity. “I’d love to see the rules change in Canada. Why is Canada dragging its heels when the U.S., the U.K. and France are all forging ahead?”
Exhibit A for crowdfunding’s potential is Vancouver native Eric Migicovsky and his California-based company Pebble Technology Corp Mr. Migicovsky was struggling to win backing from venture capitalists to finish a high-tech watch that connects to smartphones, so he turned to a crowdfunding site called Kickstarter, hoping to raise $100,000. He ended up with more than $10.2-million through contributions from nearly 69,000 people.
“This is game changing,” said Cindy Gordon, founder of social media company Helix Commerce International Inc. and chairwoman of Invest Crowdfund Canada, a group of technology entrepreneurs assembled by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.
Ms. Gordon and other advocates talk about crowdfunding as a disruptive innovation that will democratize investing by allowing someone with a few thousand dollars to get in a game that is currently controlled by angel investors and venture capital funds.
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