By Kat Jenkins
On November 15, 2013 the inaugural INITIATE: Pacific Crowdfunding Symposium was held at the National Library in Wellington, New Zealand. The event was the first of its kind to be held in the Australasian and Pacific region. Local crowdfunding platforms PledgeMe, givealittle, Boosted, and ThrillCapital were represented by their operators and owners, with UK equity crowdfunding infrastructure platform CrowdValley also participating with COO, Paul Higgins giving the key note via video link.
Equity was the word of the day. With the release of New Zealand’s draft Financial Markets Conduct Regulations, equity crowdfunding will soon be a reality on our shores. It was the topic of the key note address as well as several of the sessions throughout the day. Paul Higgins spent some time telling us what is working, and what isn’t in the UK. On the positive side, he highlighted that equity is thriving in Europe, and that many equity crowdfunding sites are finding success by specialising in niche areas, such as real estate and green technologies. This idea of niche service providers is already in play in New Zealand through ThrillCapital, who focus on sport and entertainment investment, but his comments did underline real potential avenues for people aiming to jump on board the equity bandwagon early.