Steven Plappert and two co-founders, Andrew Busa and Chris Pierce, started an online fantasy sports company in 2013 called FantasyHub. The company saw early promise and growth, moved to Austin, TX to join the TechStars accelerator program, and even attracted $1.1 million in investments. However, due to issues in the industry as a whole, FantasyHub eventually shut down and sold parts of their operations to another fantasy sports company called DraftKings.
In the world of startup companies, you learn more from being in the game than you ever could from reading any books or even earning an MBA. So, the experience was a fantastic learning opportunity. Steven is now back in Louisville, sharing his experience with our local startup community. He’s also back in the game with a new startup called Forecastr.
In this episode of the MetroStart podcast, learn how Steven got started as an entrepreneur, how he funded his previous company, and what he has learned from his entrepreneurial journey. Also learn what’s happening with his new startup and where they’re going.
Equity crowdfunding is working. Of course, there's a learning curve, but one company, Zenefits, has already shown that it could produce a 4000% return for their early equity crowdfunding investors! Another company, StartEngine, has passed the $100 million mark for funds invested through their equity crowdfunding platform.
MetroStart has been working to make it easier for startup companies to raise capital in our community by building a large pool of "Micro-Angel Investors" that can invest as little as $1,000 per startup. We're also building a team of many "Lead Angels" that will screen and prepare startups for fundraising on the MetroStart site. This will make it much easier for early stage startups in our community to get started. It also will help investors spread their risk into multiple startups, which statistically produces a 27% annual return on investment.
My company, Blue222, has been diving in and experimenting with crowdfunding to learn how to do it and then teach the rest of our startup community. So far, we have used equity crowdfunding to raise over $500,000. The process also helped Blue222 land a VC investor out of Michigan that is investing $2 million.
In this letter to Blue222 investors, I talk about how Zenefits produced a 4000% return for their investors and how Blue222 plans to provide a similar return. I also explain how we have embraced the crowdfunding model and how you now can invest as little as $1,000, if you hurry and invest before we close with our VCs!