In 2011, a couple of friends concocted a plan. What if they could buy a beer company? Why not?
After (we assume) throwing a few back, the pair decided it would be a great idea to take to social media to figure out if they could raise the $300 million it would take to buy Pabst Blue Ribbon. They managed to raise $200 million with the promise of free beer and stock options. Inventive? Yes. Illegal? Incredibly. At a recent Bloomberg Law event on the JOBS Act, Karl Kilb said that the point of the changes to the rules regarding funding is to find investors who not only understand but can withstand the risks involved.
It’s been a year since Obama signed the JOBS Act, and things are still being ironed out. How will the act, which provides start-ups and other businesses more options to access capital and an ease of communication with investors, fit in with laws regarding investor protection and compliance? A panel of lawyers discussed this at at Bloomberg Law’s event.
And Twitter. I was surprised that among the suits, name tags, and legal jargon, there was a heavy flow of communication around social media. The takeaway? Not only is it here to stay, but it’s a game changer.
The JOBS Act takes into consideration the fact that people have communication literally at their fingertips by considering how social media affects IPOs. Will tweeting to investors still be classified as confidential? There are so many questions that the abundance of new communication tools create.
As an entrepreneur myself, I know the thing that all people starting a business venture come to know: It is always more expensive than you hoped. Not sometimes. Always. The act initiates a way for start-ups to take their big ideas and cast a wide net over a large pool of investors. Great in theory. This coincides with the popping up of countless crowdfunding sources. These new methods to gain capital just might add fuel to the fire of countless ideas and create jobs. However, we have to figure out how to navigate the potential legal mine fields because they muddy the waters that the SEC is working to preemptively clean up.
This is a discussion that is fueled with opinions and flooded with debate. One thing is certain, though. The name of the new game is #balance.
Alexandra Saville (@CapitalistaBlog) is the Media and Writing Specialist at Law Street Media. She has experience in the publishing and marketing worlds and started her own publishing company right out of college. Her blogs, The Capitalista and Capitalista Careers, focus on the young and the entrepreneurial.
Featured image courtesy of [Talk Radio News Service via Flickr]