The Global Fight to Democratize Access to Capital
A global fight is currently underway to democratize access to capital for entrepreneurs. With over half of the world population engaged in self-generated work, the outcome of this is critical.
With the passage of the JOBS Act (legalizing debt- and equity- based crowdfunding), suddenly an entrepreneur’s dream to tap into worldwide resources with people aligned to their vision has become a reality.
Job creation is not just an American issue – small businesses create over 65% of all jobs – and access to capital disproportionally affects the poor.
Sherwood Neiss is leading the global fight to legalize equity-based crowdfunding. As one the authors of the Crowdfunding Framework used in the JOBS Act, he has not only changed the domestic landscape but continues his mission abroad through working with foreign governments and organizations to help citizens in many countries gain access to the capital they need to develop their ideas and thrive.
Jason W. Best co-authored the crowdfund investing framework used in the JOBS Act to legalize securities-based crowdfunding in the United States. He has provided US Congressional testimony on early-stage finance and attended the White House Rose Garden ceremony for President Obama to sign it into law, on April 5, 2012. As a co-founder of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA), Jason works with professional investors, government officials and multi-lateral organizations including the World Bank to create successful investing, policy and educational strategies in early stage finance. The US State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program also selected CCA as a Key Partner. Jason co-founded the University of California, Berkeley Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial Finance and also currently serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UC Berkeley’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.
CCA has worked in 20 countries on infrastructure, regulatory and capacity building projects to reduce early-stage finance challenges and effectively utilize crowdfunding to create successful ventures, innovation and jobs. Forbes.com ranked him as one of the 10 most influential people in crowdfunding. He co-authored the World Bank’s groundbreaking research “Crowdfunding’s Potential in the Developing World” and is also co-author of “Crowdfund Investing for Dummies”, published by Wiley.
Some of Jason’s presentations include: South by Southwest (2013, 2014), TEDx, The White House, The Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai, The World Bank Global Technology Innovation Forum in South Africa, MIT Pan-Arab Business Forum, The Aspen Institute/Fortune Tech Brainstorm, UC Berkeley Global Academic Symposium on Crowdfunding and The World Economic Forum Global Shapers Rome Hub. In June 2013, Entrepreneur Magazine featured CCA in their Innovator’s Series and Jason has appeared on CNN, BBC and CCTV America. He has also been interviewed by media outlets including: Fast Company, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Politico, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch and VentureBeat.
Jason has been a member of the executive leadership teams of three Web-based software companies in San Francisco, CA where he has lived and worked since 1998. The most recent firm, Kinnser Software, was twice named, by Inc Magazine, as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. He earned his master’s degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Sherwood Neiss is often cited as one of the fathers of the Crowdfund investing movement. As a serial entrepreneur and investor during the credit crunch Sherwood saw a need for a change in outdated securities laws and did something about it—as a co-founding member of Startup Exemption, Sherwood co-authored, lobbied and testified in front of Congress for the Crowdfunding Framework that was used in the JOBS Act and signed into law by President Obama on April 5, 2012.
Sherwood co-founded and sits on the board of the Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA) & Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocated (CFIRA) where he leads the fight to ensure investors are protected while entrepreneurs have access to the capital they need to start and grow promising companies.
He is a co-founder of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA). CCA advises angel groups, venture capital, private equity, investment banks, hedge funds, Governments and NGOs on understanding Crowdfund Investing and what expert VC Fred Wilson claims will be a $300B/yr market. He produces comprehensive Crowdfund Investing educational materials so that investors can decide whether crowdfunding is appropriate for their portfolios as well as help them access the essential tools to invest safely, legally and successfully. An avid public speaker, Sherwood speaks at universities and seminars around the world discussing crowdfunding & is co-authored Crowdfund Investing for Dummies.
He is an expert at building successful businesses. He is a 3-time INC500 winner whose company won E&Y's Entrepreneur of the Year. He holds an International MBA from Thunderbird and a BA from Tulane Univ.