The series hosts a seminar every other week on current research topics. The seminar often features an invited guest speaker and occasionally local faculty members, students or others affiliated with the department. The usual time of the seminar is 3:30-4:30 pm on Fridays. Professors Tatiyana V Apanasovich ([email protected]), Qing Pan ([email protected]) and Emre Barut ([email protected] ) are the Seminar Series Coordinators.

Upcoming Seminar

Date: Friday, December 7th, 11:00am-12:00pm

Location: Duques Hall, Room 152

Title: U.S. Equity Crowdfunding Market: Two Year Experience

Speaker: Saeid B. Amini, Ph.D., MBA, JD, LL.M. Adjunct Professor of Statistics at GWU, Trial Attorney

Abstract: Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, as implemented by Regulation CF, provides an opportunity for unsophisticated and unaccredited members of the public to engage in equity crowdfunding previously limited to rich and accredited investors. This has ignited a new interest in crowdfunding, which is not new and dates to Biblical times. As a result, there has been a lot of talk on the Internet and in social media about crowdfunding. Unfortunately, most of the information available online is less than complete. Some is inaccurate; most is irrelevant to equity crowdfunding, where the JOBS Act is intended to make the most impact. In fact, most of the information on crowdfunding on the Internet is about non-equity crowdfunding campaigns. Additionally, there is a large amount of misinformation on the Internet and in social media about equity crowdfunding accumulated during the four years took for SEC from 2012 to finalize Title III of the Act in May of 2016.

Now that two years have passed since the rules on equity crowdfunding were finalized, there is sufficient evidence to assess its effectiveness. For this purpose, we reviewed all 813 Form Cs and 276 Form C-Us filed with the SEC EDGAR system from May 16, 2016 through May 31, 2018. Our review shows that only 28.9% of issuers reached the targets of their campaigns, where the average funds raised ranged from $10,000 to $1, 0740,025.1 The mean and median were $246,993 [95% Confidence Interval: ($212,420, $2801,567)] and $150,000, respectively. There were no significant changes over time with respect to funds raised. We conclude that the impact of Title III on the equity market has been minimal, at best, having underperformed due to many issues, including strict dollar limits on investors and the large amount of regulatory filings (e.g. Forms C, C-U and annual reports) that make this tool commercially unfeasible for small and start-up corporations. If Congress and the SEC want to make Title III a useful equity fund-raising tool, they need to reassess the regulatory framework they imposed.

After reviewing the history of crowdfunding, this paper will discuss Titles II, III and IV of the JOBS Act and examine the regulatory framework under which crowdfunding campaigns are permitted to operate, thereby creating a users’ guide for those who want to be players in the securities-based equity crowdfunding domain.