Demystifying Equity Crowdfunding for New Investors.

Jeff "fuzzy" Wenzel
3 min readMay 11


Equity crowdfunding has opened up an exciting avenue for individuals to invest in startups and small businesses. By buying shares in these companies, investors have the potential to reap substantial rewards if the business succeeds. However, like any investment, equity crowdfunding comes with its own set of considerations. In this blog post, we’ll explore some key things you should know before diving into equity crowdfunding, including understanding the platforms, getting set up, and identifying characteristics of successful campaigns.

Photo by Joshua Mayo on Unsplash

Understanding Equity Crowdfunding Platforms

Equity crowdfunding platforms act as intermediaries between investors and companies seeking to raise capital. Platforms such as WeFunder, PicMii, and StartEngine are popular choices. These platforms provide a marketplace of investment opportunities, allowing you to browse, research, and invest in a range of startups.

Each platform has its own focus, fees, and investment minimums. It’s important to choose a platform that aligns with your investment interests and budget.

Getting Set Up on Equity Crowdfunding Platforms

Setting up an account on an equity crowdfunding platform is generally straightforward. You’ll need to provide some personal information and complete an investor questionnaire. This process is to ensure you understand the risks associated with investing in startups, as per SEC regulations.

Most platforms also require investors to certify themselves as accredited investors, meaning they meet certain income or net worth criteria. However, thanks to the JOBS Act, certain platforms also allow non-accredited investors to participate in equity crowdfunding, subject to certain investment limits.

Once your account is set up, you can start browsing available investment opportunities. Take the time to read through each company’s pitch, business plan, financials, and terms of the deal.

Characteristics of Successful Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

When evaluating potential investments, look for some of the key characteristics of successful equity crowdfunding campaigns:

  • Strong Team: Startups with experienced and dedicated teams tend to perform better. Look for founders who have a track record of success, relevant industry experience, and a clear vision.
  • Proof of Concept: Companies that have a working prototype or are already generating revenue are generally less risky than those that are still in the idea stage.
  • Market Potential: Look for businesses that are targeting large and growing markets. The greater the market potential, the higher the potential return on investment.
  • Unique Value Proposition: Startups should offer a unique solution to a problem or a distinctive product that gives them a competitive edge.
  • Transparent Communication: Companies that communicate clearly and transparently with their investors tend to be more reliable. Look for businesses that provide regular updates and are open about their challenges as well as their successes.
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Investing in equity crowdfunding is not without its risks, but it also offers the opportunity to support innovative startups and potentially earn a significant return. By understanding how equity crowdfunding platforms work, setting up your investor profile properly, and knowing what to look for in a successful campaign, you can make informed decisions that align with your investment goals. Always remember to diversify your portfolio and only invest money that you can afford to lose. Happy investing!



Jeff "fuzzy" Wenzel

Startup Fundraising Re-Imagined 🤔 Retail Investor 💰 Startup Advisor 🏆 Innovation Enthusiast 🥳