Subject: DIVERSITY FUND - Crowdfunding takes off in Texas


Texas Business Highlight
Family means business - Native Edge Landscape

The life of an entrepreneur can be challenging, but that’s where family comes in most. There’s nothing more satisfying than having family members who will back your venture – and in the case of Native Edge Landscaping, take on part of the growing of the business. They tell their story on YouTube.

When Rodney Stoutenger started this business in 2008, he knew he couldn’t do it alone. Instead, he called upon his “family” of friends and customers, along with the family of his partners and employees. Rodney’s brother is the company’s installation foreman. His mother is their accountant. And, Rodney and Jake (Director of Marketing) have been together for nearly five years and are now engaged. It’s a family-family business!

Native Edge isn’t your typical landscape design firm; they are a full-service landscaping business committed to responsibility—to the environment, community, and clients. They create thoughtful landscape designs fully customized to various lifestyles and budgets while using only the most sustainable practices and native plants. Their goal is to make an impact on clients’ landscapes and lives, while not adversely impacting the environment.

The company started with $800 and has grown without any outside investment (so far). Along the way, they have become a trusted advisor when it comes to drought and sustainability landscaping. They have also been strong supporters of a wide range of non-profits and advocacy groups and are active members of the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC). Native Edge Landscape is committed to making Austin more beautiful…. in every way.
Diversity Fund News

This has been a very busy week for Diversity Fund.

In addition to handling multiple inquiries from businesses who are already hearing about us and are interested in raising capital through our portal, we have been busy readying everything for TSSB review and approval. We also took time to speak to students at the Master of Technology Commercialization (MSTC) program at U.T. (It was great to run into Rob Adams, too). 

The Diversity Fund team has also been meeting with a wide range of sponsors, partners, and potential investors who have helped provide input into our business plan and provide ongoing encouragement.  Thank you to all who believe in fostering business diversity and are helping us be a strong portal to connect investors to business.

We appreciate you all!
Austin and Texas News & Events

Money Matters

Texas crowdfunders are taking off

Last November, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) adopted rules for the sale of securities through state-registered crowdfunding portals, under an exemption provided by the federal SEC. Since that time, eight Texas crowdfunding portals have been approved (Diversity Fund will be the 9th) in different areas of business.

These portals are limited to securities offerings of Texas businesses to investors who live in our state. However, each of these portals is subject to few regulatory requirements than general securities dealers and is able to offer deals to both "unaccredited" as well as accredited investors. The purpose of these portals is to make securities available to ordinary Texans while encouraging more people to start and own their own businesses – a winning combination for everyone!

And, it’s starting to pay off. Crudefunders quickly closed on a $950,000 offering for an energy drilling investment in Crocket County from 37 investors. Nextseed helped Hair Revolution of Houston to get a $25,000 loan to expand their product line. They also helped The Snoring Center to raise $100,000 recently. San Antonio-based crowdfund MassVenture, an early entrant, is focusing on real estate offerings around the state such as a senior living campus in Cedar Hill.

All in all, while the Texas crowdfunding portal space is new, each company is trying to find a model that serves both the needs of investors and businesses in the Lone Star State. Whether energy, real estate, or small enterprises, there are plenty of opportunities for businesses in Texas to take advantage of this new way to access the capital they need to start and grow.

Finally, business finance for the rest of us!
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