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Panel will outline opportunities from changes to crowdfunding laws

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Montclair State University is hosting an expert panel Friday to address changes in crowdfunding laws, a series of regulatory changes happening this fall intended to make it easier for early-stage companies to raise capital.

The changes are being driven by the JOBS Act, or Jumpstart Our Business Startups. Passed by Congress in 2012, the law eases access to capital markets for nonpublic companies. It also reduces disclosure and other filing requirements for emerging companies seeking to go public through an initial offering.

The Montclair seminar is intended help executives understand the new regulations and assist professional service providers navigating the crowdfunding area for their clients.

Proponents have said the changes are long overdue and will stimulate investment in early-stage companies, while critics worry that lighter regulation will increase fraud.

“Probably the top questions are, where is this all going, who will be the winners and losers, where will opportunities be created?” Dennis Bone, director of the school’s Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship, said in a statement. “Obviously, no one has a crystal ball, but our panel of experts will certainly have great insight and perspective on how the industry will be reshaped over the next few years.”

Speakers scheduled are: Zak Cassady-Dorion, partner, Crowdfund Capital Advisors; Kim Wales, founder of Wales Capital, in Manhattan, and board member of Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Advocates; Jonathan Sandlund, founder of www.thecrowdcafe.com; Douglas Ellenoff, member Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, a law firm with offices in Manhattan; and Daryl Bryant, founder of Startup Valley.

Changes to crowdfunding rules begin Monday, when the Securities and Exchange Commission lifts the so-called ban on general solicitation, an 80-year-old rule that barred small, private companies from using public advertising, such as newspapers or the Internet, to solicit investors.

Those companies will be able to advertise their efforts now provided they are appealing to accredited investors, generally defined as individuals with at least $1 million net worth or $200,000 or more in annual income.

Additional changes to crowdfunding regulations are still being written by the SEC.

The event runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, beginning with an 8:30 a.m. networking breakfast, at the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship.

The event is free, but registration is required by 5 p.m. Wednesday. For more information and to register, visit: http://startup.montclair.edu/entrepreneurship/events/general/2067.

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