Wichita entrepreneur Jonathan George announced Thursday a new locally based club for unaccredited investors.
Creation of the equity crowdfunding group, called “Angels of the Plains,” was made possible when a new Securities and Exchange Commission rule, which was approved last year, took effect Monday.
As part of the JOBS Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2012, a provision was included to allow for non-accredited individuals to invest a percentage of their annual income (or net worth) into a crowdfunded project.
Individuals making less than $100,000 per year, or with a net worth of that amount, can invest 5 percent of their annual income or up to $2,000 in a start-up or small business, according to SEC documents. Those who make more than $100,000 annually can invest 10 percent of their yearly income.
George said Angels of the Plains will deal only with Wichita start-up businesses, adding that the minimum amount to invest is $100.
“This is a paradigm shift for the way we finance start-ups,” George said. “Access to capital is critical for starting and growing any business, and now more worthy companies will be able to raise money."
The co-founder of the crowdfunding platform Recurrency, George said investors are able to pick and choose which start-ups they wish to invest in. He said Angels of the Plains is similar to a Kickstarter campaign, though investors will actually be purchasing equity in a company.
If a targeted company is eventually acquired or goes public, investors would potentially get their money back and could make a profit.
“The ability to crowd fund equity gives everyday investors access to deals they've never been able to get in on,” George said. “Facebook bought Oculus Rift, originally a Kickstarter project, for $2 billion.
“Imagine not only getting your virtual Oculus headset, but also being paid your money back when Oculus was sold to Facebook.”
For more information about Angels of the Plains, visit wefunder.com/wichita-angels-of-the-plains.