What is Florida Funders?
Florida Funders is a Florida focused investor network and online investing platform. We help accredited investors find and invest in early-stage Florida based companies. We blend the best of equity crowdfunding, angel investing and venture capital with the goal of generating strong financial returns while having a significant and positive impact on job creation and economic growth in our communities.
Why the focus on Florida?
Florida is our home and our members/investors are as passionate about investing in local companies as they are about getting strong financial returns. They share our belief that supporting local entrepreneurs builds more progressive and vibrant communities which contributes to the overall economic ecosystem of our home state.
Aside from being our home state, Florida is also the third most populous state in the nation with over 20 million residents. Florida has one of the finest higher education systems in the country, which, along with its cities, helps support a robust early stage Ecosystem. The state has some very mature industries including Healthcare, Defense, Agriculture, Information Technology, Medical Device, Restaurant, and Hospitality. The business climate is fantastic, there is no state income tax, the cost of living is very reasonable, and the weather is terrific.
The Florida Funders Team
Florida Funders is led by an experienced team with proven track records of success and a shared vision of making early-stage funding easier and seeing investor returns measured in terms of both financial gains AND community impact.
Our management team is backed by over 30 partners, most of whom started their own businesses here in Florida; some as early as the seventies and eighties. Each has decades of business experience and many have started and exited from multiple Florida ventures. Every Partner has a passion for helping entrepreneurs and a passion for the Florida communities that helped them succeed.
What makes Florida Funders different?
Our key differentiator – aside from our focus on Florida – is our hands-on approach with both our members and the companies we invest in. We don’t view our members as just another user from the “crowd.” We value each member/investor, as they are an integral part of our overall mission. We look for feedback, valuable connections, and expertise that can be shared from our member community. Working together, we can all make a difference in the path of early-stage companies.
We have taken the time and made significant investments to cultivate relationships with most everyone in Florida’s diverse, early-stage ecosystem including: universities, incubators, accelerators, and economic development groups.
We begin to track early stage companies shortly after their founders have launched their idea and, in many cases, we provide them with advice, counsel, and connections long before they require outside funding. When some of these companies successfully navigate the first year or two of their development and are ready for their Seed or Series A funding rounds, we already know them and have likely helped them a great deal. There is a good chance that one of our partners and several of our members have met with them over this early period, made introductions to key industry players, potentially helped them recruit a key employee, and ultimately, guided them toward early success.
While no one thing can take the risk out of investing in early-stage companies, we believe a very hands on approach with access to many different resources, helps these young companies make fewer mistakes and accelerates their growth to the next stage.
How does Florida Funders work?
Accredited investors can register for free to become members on FloridaFunders.com where they get access to investing details and transaction-relevant information posted by the companies we’ve carefully selected and vetted for funding. Once enough members have committed capital to meet the company’s minimum funding threshold, Florida Funders creates a special purpose investment vehicle (SPV), an LLC, which consolidates the investments and makes the investment in the company.
Why is Florida Funders only for accredited investors?
The JOBS Act that was passed on April 5, 2012 defines rules for allowing companies to seek funding from non-accredited investors known as “Title III” crowdfunding. While a growing number of online platforms provide non-accredited investors the ability to invest in early-stage companies by following Title III guidelines, we believe the rules for Title III crowdfunding are not a good fit for many early-stage companies.
For example, under the Title III rules, companies are limited to raising $1 million dollars in aggregate, and need to publicly disclose company details that would be easily accessible to competitors. In addition, founders and shareholders owning over 10% of the company need to publicly share personal and financial details that raise a number of privacy concerns.
How do I become a member?
How do I make an investment?
To make an investment, you must be logged into your Member Account. Then you simply select the company you are seeking to invest in and click the “Invest Now” button. You will be brought to a page to create an “Investment Account,” if you haven’t already done so. This investment account is different from your Membership Account. If you have any questions or need assistance with the process, please call (813) 775-6990 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).