With more than 40 approved funding portals for Regulation Crowdfunding, the launch of a new portal might elicit a yawn. But Crowdfund Mainstreet, which debuts on Friday, has a unique pedigree—and a mission to match.
The Oakland, CA-based portal is the creation of a pair of lawyers—Jenny Kassan and Michelle Thimesch—who have been on the front lines of community capital for years. Through Jenny Kassan Consulting, they work with mission-driven entrepreneurs, particularly women and underrepresented entrepreneurs, to help them raise capital for their businesses.
Crowdfund Mainstreet is devoted to “getting values-aligned funding into the hands of the small business owners that need it most—businesses all over the country that are not trying to be the next high tech billion dollar unicorn, but are growing at a steady pace, creating jobs and local wealth, and meeting needs in their communities,” says Kassan, a well-known lawyer and consultant in the community capital space, and the author of the book Raise Capital On Your Own Terms.
Kassan (pictured above, left) was part of the team at Cutting Edge Capital, a Bay Area firm behind many direct public offerings and other types of community-funded projects, and cofounded the Sustainable Economies law Center before starting her consulting firm a few years ago. Kassan was also involved in efforts that led to the passage of the JOBS Act, which includes Regulation Crowdfunding.
Thimesch (on right) worked in community development and affordable housing, in addition to practicing law, before coming up with the idea for Crowdfund Mainstreet. She turned to Kassan for help, and the two became cofounders. (Thimesch also joined Kassan’s consulting firm as legal director).[…]
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