Subject: DIVERSITY FUND - Money. Markets. More.

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Texas Business Highlight
Innovation that's delicious - Food+City

While much of the focus on startups has centered around software, hardware and Internet models, other areas of innovation have become quite tasty for investors in recent years and Austin is quickly becoming a center of food technology. 

Food is a multi-trillion dollar industry that encompasses everything from the growing of raw commodities to packaging and delivering scrumptious bites. Some of the biggest food innovations are now coming from biologics, robotics, genomics, climate monitoring, and healthcare as well. 

Food+City (formerly Food Lab), at the University of Texas, was created in 2012 to create a new generation of entrepreneurs with a "foodie" focus as well as business sense. Led by Robyn Metcalf, a food historian, Food Lab is leading the way in accelerating food-tech startups and hopes to compete with accelerators in San Francisco and Boston. A vibrant restaurant industry, fast growing urban population, and grocers like Whole Foods and HEB also contribute to helping make Austin a center for all sorts of new things to eat and drink. 

One of the more interested events put on by Food+City is an annual Food Challenge with a $50,000 in prizes for the "most innovative business, product or process that will change how the world feeds itself." The competition encourages a wide range of innovations - from lessening food waste to new storage materials and processes. 

This accelerator, and many like in throughout Austin, are pushing the envelope to create a delicious future for us all.
Diversity Fund News

We are just a couple of weeks away from launching the Diversity Fund portal -  working with companies to get them on-boarded, finishing up development, planning marketing activities, and awaiting final approval from the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB). As a startup, we face the same challenges that every business confronts and have empathy with everyone. 

One of the things our team knows is how to create and run businesses, and this one is no different. But, we also have the ability to mentor to businesses who struggle each day to find customers, capital, markets and still deal with operations. We plan significant investment in business support going forward to help everyone succeed!

Be sure to share this newsletter with your friends and let your favorite business owner know that there are new finance options coming for the rest of us!
Austin and Texas News & Events

Money Matters

Market networks make money

Market networks, which are simply meeting places through which people exchange goods/services, are a centuries-old practice that can be traced back to the first bartering exchanges. Some of these bartering exchanges evolved into banks, where people stored and exchanged “goods” (money), and eventually, some of these exchanges pooled together and became what is known as the stock market, where companies go to raise capital and individuals can invest in those companies’ profitability. Many other such networks exist, such as Currency markets, Futures markets, etc., but these market networks, while they have existed for centuries, take different forms depending on the societal tools available at the time.

Crowdfunding is one of those modern tools. Regardless of your view on crowdfunding, this fin-tech innovation combines the power of business networks with social media. Many people are tired of the old, traditional models of investing and funding your business. In existing dominant models, companies must meet very stringent reporting requirements, which most small businesses will never scale to or be able to meet. Investing directly in businesses is previously something only accredited investors could do, which leaves out a vast majority of individuals. Crowdfunding through equity, debt, and/or rewards not only allows businesses new ways to raise capital, but brings in a diverse range of investing perspectives who look at different criteria than the top 1-2% of investors who typically fund these businesses.

Crowdfunding for equity, debt and/or rewards has the potential to upend traditional financial markets. Through the U.S. JOBS Act, the SEC Regulation A filing, and TSSB approval of equity crowdfunding for small businesses, Federal and Texas government actions signal an opening for companies like Diversity Fund to explore new models of financial inclusion.

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