If every entrepreneur with a great idea had a Daddy Warbucks to help them build a startup into a booming business, we could all ride off into the sunset happily ever after. Unfortunately, we live in the real world where finding wealthy investors to back our entrepreneurial pursuits is stretched thin. This is where Elite Crowdfund comes in. As one of the first online equity-based crowdfunding platforms in Atlanta, Elite Crowdfund helps entrepreneurs connect directly with investors looking for new investment opportunities. We recently caught up with the CEO and COO to find out how they’re becoming an integral part of the city’s rapidly expanding technology landscape.
Derek Cunningham (Founder/CEO) and Darren Miller (Co-Founder/COO) are two of six power players making up the Elite Crowdfund team. What makes their crowdfunding model so unique is the intentional focus on quality over quantity. Not only do the companies within the Elite Crowdfund portfolio have to meet a set of criteria and due diligence, but the board must agree by a super majority (at least 75%) and have at least one board member willing to invest in each project.
On September 9th, Elite Crowdfund announced the first four early stage companies added to their crowdfunding portal: SkyMedicus, an interactive healthcare marketplace connecting patients and physicians through a private forum; Snapscore, a professional scoring company saving time finding talent; Swarmify, a technology solution reducing website bandwidth; and recent on-boarder, Prong, the solution to our dead cellphone battery woes.
Elite Crowdfund also links these entrepreneurs to a broader scope of investors. Individual investments start as low as $5,000, breaking down the wealth barrier which traditionally rules the investment world. Elite Crowdfund’s investment process welcomes investors to view highly vetted opportunities and choose a portfolio based on their personal interests. “Atlanta is a hotbed for startups and venture capital,” states Cunningham. “With business incubators like the Advanced Technology Development Center and the Atlanta Tech Village, the ecosystem is robust and expanding rapidly. We want to be an integral part of that development as Atlanta continues to evolve as a vibrant startup and venture capital city.”
“Derek brought the idea to fruition because of Atlanta’s environment – it’s really bright and primed right now. As the environment heats up, we know there will be a flock of folks entering the field and we wanted to be the first people on the scene. We saw what was going on around us and wanted to be part of it,” states Miller.
“We have a great team helping run things day to day, and with Darren and the strength of the board, who we’ve done business with in the past, we feel confident we are doing everything right,” Derek chimes in. “At the end of the day we want people to be generous and help foster the tech community.”