Since the dawn of Silicon Valley, the power in determining whether an early stage tech project lives or dies has rested in the hands of a rich and powerful few. We refer to these few as “Venture Capitalists” (or VCs) which have been popularized on mainstream television shows like ABC’s Shark Tank.
The concept is simple: you hop into the Shark Tank and pitch your idea. If the Sharks like it, they’ll offer you a deal in exchange for equity in your company with a plethora of expensive strings attached. If the Sharks don’t bite, you’re out of luck and have to figure out a way to fund your idea yourself. For many entrepreneurs, the road ends here. Countless concepts, startups, and small businesses have died because the few decided it wasn’t worth the risk.
Now, for the first time in human history, we are experiencing a dramatic shift in this power structure. Rather than seeking Venture Capital, many of the world’s brightest minds are holding ICOs: Initial Coin Offerings. ICOs are dramatically different—and in many cases, more appealing—than VCs. ICOs allow entrepreneurs from all over the world to set their own terms and crowdsource funding for their startup, existing business, or moonshot idea.
Rather than having 1 person fund your company and take a huge bite out of your equity, you can now seek funding from thousands of individuals, each of whom have the potential to contribute significant value and feedback. For the first time ever, this shift is empowering the entrepreneur and returning power back to those creating and building these companies.
ICOs aren’t just empowering the entrepreneur. They’re also empowering the individual retail investor. If you’ve seen Shark Tank, you’ve probably wondered: “How do I become a venture capitalist?”
If you live in the US, the answer to that question is grim. You need to make at least $200,000 per year or have a million dollar net worth. Even worse, this net worth requirement excludes the value of your home, which is the most valuable asset owned by many Americans.
What this ultimately comes down to is a dichotomy between Exclusion and Inclusion.
When you take the 7.4 billion humans on Planet Earth and apply requirements like these to those humans, you end up with a pool of just 14.6 million people who even have the opportunity to become a Venture Capitalist and invest in early stage startups and businesses. That means more than 7 billion humans are excluded from this process, simply due to their financial status.
Just as ICOs are changing the funding power structure, they’re changing the requirements for becoming a Venture Capitalist. Now, retail investors can contribute as little as $100 in an ICO they believe is worth funding. When pooled with thousands of other contributors, you can see just how powerful this funding structure becomes.
In 2017, Early Stage Venture Capital accounted for $1.4 billion in funding. Millions of individuals worldwide completely dwarfed this number, funneling more than $7 billion into ICOs during that same period.
The tide is turning, and it’s turning quicker than anyone ever expected.
So, how do we continue to move more of these 7.4 billion humans from the “Not a VC” bubble and move them into the “Potential VC” bubble? We believe it comes down to access to comprehensive and accurate information, and that’s our main goal at ICO Alert.
Over the last year, we’ve been working on perfecting our ICO Discovery tools at ICO Alert. We have the only truly comprehensive list of ICOs, where you can find every single ICO that has ever launched or will launch. The bullet points below should give you an idea of just how comprehensive our tool is:
- ICO Alert: 1,848 ICOs in 2017
- Our closest competitor: Less than 500 ICOs in 2017
Now, as a potential Venture Capitalist, would you rather have access to every potential opportunity, or let someone dictate your opportunities for you? We’ll let you decide.
The crypto community took notice of this major discrepancy in comprehensive information, and requested that we do the same for Pre-ICOs. Earlier this year, we launched the only comprehensive list of Pre-ICOs which gives you access to even more potential opportunities.
As the list of potential opportunities grew, so did the need to filter this list into the Pre-ICOs and ICOs you actually care about. So, earlier this month, we launched the beta of “My Portfolio” — a new feature that allows you to create your own shortlist of Pre-ICOs and ICOs.
Going back to our dichotomy between Exclusion and Inclusion, you can see that significant progress has been made. In the last year, ICO Alert has added more than 1 million Potential VCs to this bubble, and we hope to add millions more in the coming year.
We’re incredibly excited to add more functionality to My Portfolio and our comprehensive lists later this year, which will further empower you to Become Your Own Venture Capitalist.