Crowd Funding Startup Aims to Help Entrepreneurs Get Financed
“Minute Capital provides a crowd funding service that connects entrepreneurs, contributors, and potential investors so that funds given to the startup world can be more easily accessible to entrepreneurs through the power of the masses,” explains Jason Pang Jao, Managing Director of Finance and Co-founder of Minute Capital. “We want to be the top provider of professional crowd funding service.”
“We want to focus more so on the professional arena—on helping the entrepreneurs who are interested in a more professional outlook. They are more likely to be interested in having a service that has a professional outlook than something like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.” After getting early funding through Minute Capital's website, projects that seek larger sources of funding will have access to Minute Capital as a key professional intermediary to venture capitalists, says Jao.
“The idea to start the firm originates from a [University of] Michigan class project,” reflects Jao. “The course requested we come up with a new idea to solve a problem for our economy and for our society in general.” Jao continues, “We came to the conclusion that there is a lack of connecting portals that would allow more entrepreneurs to gain access to startup capital at a lower cost.”
Jao describes “The two other MD's (Managing Directors) had a brainstorming session where they came up with the name of Minute Capital.” He says they were searching through available domain names when they chose Minute Capital for its double meaning. It highlights the company's mantra of “Bring your idea to the world in a minute,” while simultaneously highlighting the firm's focus on microfinance, with minute as a synonym for small.
“As a managing director of a startup company – you have to be aware of everything that is going on. So, even though I have the title of Managing Director of Finance, I really work every single aspect of the company with my two partners David Welinsky and David Sabbagh." Jao explains, “Even though we are separated geographically, we still talk on the phone every single day.”
David Welinsky, another Managing Director and Co-founder of Minute Capital, sees the firm as filling a void that Kickstarter and IndieGoGo do not fill.
Welinsky states, “I think crowd funding and Minute Capital are the future of raising capital.” He points out that, years ago, people might not have anticipated that online trading websites would be so widely used. He says he believes Minute Capital will experience a similar transformation. Welinsky also voices that he has set a goal to bring the website live within 85 days.
After considering borrowing money, tapping local venture capitalists and applying for grants, Minute Capital came to a conclusion regarding its own financing. “One thing came to another, and we decided that once our website goes online we are going to put trust in ourselves,” says Jao. “We trust our services so much that we will actually raise our own funding through our website.”
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