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NEXTSEED BLOG

Hitting $200,000 was a cinch for Cinco TacoBar

cinco tacobar

Cinco TacoBar raised its maximum goal of $200,000 in 6 days. Congrats to the 148 investors that got in this deal and are now part of the Cinco inner circle! This popular California taco joint in the East Bay is opening its second and bigger location, complete with a make-your-own-margarita bar.

Cinco TacoBar uses the freshest ingredients to serve up old-world recipes in a modernized Mexican taqueria. The original Cinco TacoBar in San Leandro is packed from open to close, and the second space will bring the sustainable, locally-sourced concept to Livermore, CA.

We can’t wait to see what else the Cinco team creates in their next space. If their tacos are any indication, it’s going to be absolutely delicious.

How sweet it is! Sugar Refinery raises $273,800

The Sugar Refinery on NextSeed

The Sugar Refinery Grubs and Grog easily surpassed its minimum goal and raised $273,800 from 213 investors!

The new neighborhood bar and restaurant plans to open in early 2017, and its aim is to embody the warmth of southern hospitality and the charm of its historic Sugar Land community.

Behind the facade of a sugar processing plant, the doors to The Sugar Refinery will open to a 1920’s era bar and lounge. Themed as a modern rendition of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the bar will be fashioned in décor and furniture that’s styled in the era with bartenders and servers dressed in period attire. Local drink connoisseurs will enjoy a menu that ranges from craft beer to wine and whiskeys from around the world, and creative cocktails will be concocted by expert mixologists. The food menu will feature a mix of comfort food dishes, with its award-winning chef’s unique take on original 19th-century food trends.

The support of investors across the country is bringing The Sugar Refinery to life!  Congrats to NextSeeders around the country who have launched this unique gem.

Rambler Hit Max Capacity at $150,000!

rambler san francisco

Rambler hit its maximum funding goal and raised $150,000 from 131 investors! Rambler opened its doors October 13th and has garnered popular praise from media and customers alike. SF Weekly calls it “sexy” and their food has hit top lists, like their wood-grilled octopus and burger. Zagat provided a first look at Rambler’s food, which is rooted in Italian and American comfort cuisine, and their “impressive cocktail creations.”

Located a block from Union Square in the new Hotel Zeppelin, Rambler is reactivating this space that used to house Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Postrio restaurant (and taking advantage of its famous wood-fired pizza oven!). It’s a modern interpretation of a classic American restaurant or pub, with understated, elegant elements of the 1920’s Art Deco era. It is designed to attract local residents, tourists and office workers for breakfast and lunch by day and dinner and drinks in the evening. With its breadth of food and beverage menu options, Rambler is filling a niche in the restaurant, bar and hotel industry that does not exist in the neighborhood today. It’s bringing an inclusive, bohemian dining and drinking experience to the Union Square and theater district, embodying an old-world feel with a little bit of a rock n’ roll flair.

In addition to its own dining room and bar spaces, Rambler will provide all of the food and beverage to the entire hotel. This includes staffing the hotel lobby bar, catering on-site events and providing 24-hour room service for hotel guests. The team behind Hat Trick Hospitality Group developed the concept and will oversee the day-to-day operations of Rambler. Previously, this team of restaurateurs launched The Brixton in 2011, a uniquely American gastropub on Union Street, and followed up with a second project together in 2013 with the opening of Redford, also located in Union Square.

Investors in San Francisco now have a new connection with their city through Rambler. And investors from around the country have one more reason to visit San Francisco! Congrats to everyone who made this happen!

Awesome Bites Wins Next Up!

 

Close to 250 guests gathered at the newly renovated Hughes Manor event space on November 16th to watch hopeful, up-and-coming entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a group of seasoned entrepreneurs for NextSeed’s first Next Up event.

The passionate founders behind Awesome Bites, Craft Burger, Dim Sum Bento, and SeaSide Poke all had the chance to pitch their businesses, talk about their plans for growth and receive advice from a panel of experts.

The experienced critique and feedback came from a group that included:

  • Roveen Abante: Partner – Virtue & Vice, Lincoln Bar
  • Jonathan Horowitz: CEO of Legacy Restaurant Group
  • Thomas Nguyen: Partner and CMO of Peli Peli Restaurant Group
  • Kiran Verma: Owner and Executive Chef of Kiran’s Restaurant & Bar
  • Rassul Zarinfar: Founder and CEO of Buffalo Bayou Brewery

Imagine the hit show “Shark Tank” in a live setting, in a beautiful space, with business owners you know and love.  After the presentations took place the audience was invited to vote for their favorite business concept.

The winner, Jennifer Thai from Awesome Bites, received a year of mentorship from the panel.

Next Up by NextSeed

Winner Jennifer Thai takes a picture with the panel of Next Up: Kiran Verma, Thomas Nguyen, Jonathan Horowitz, Rassul Zarinfar, and Roveen Abante

Guests were then invited into the courtyard to sample food from all the presenters as well as Peli Peli, Antone’s, and TX Whiskey.  The event showcased the vibrancy of the Houston food community and the inclusiveness of its entrepreneurs.

Next Up by NextSeed

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Revenue Sharing Walkthrough

Hello Investor!

One of the investment products we offer on NextSeed is a revenue sharing loan. Each month, the business shares with you and other investors a percentage of the business’s gross monthly revenues. That’s why it’s called “revenue sharing”. The way it works is like this:

1)    You invest in a revenue sharing loan issued by a business.

2)    The business agrees to pay you monthly until a predetermined total amount is paid.

Here’s an example of how this would play out:

The business idea

Let’s imagine that there’s a popular coffee shop in your city called Bean Me Up, Coffee. This hotspot is owned by two long-time friends, Sam and Sara. They regularly sold out of their limited lunch menu, and the savvy entrepreneurs recognized that people really want a nice lunch spot in the area.

They hunted down a perfect location and started drawing up the design and plans for their new restaurant. At the same time, Sam and Sara pulled together funding from various sources to secure the lease, buy inventory and finance operational costs.

Why a business would choose revenue sharing

They needed another $100,000 that will help pay for the final buildout, and they applied to launch an offering on NextSeed. Sam and Sara think it’s a great idea to get people involved by making them investors – they’ll be an army of advocates!

Offering a revenue sharing note makes sense to Sam and Sara because it gives them the flexibility of making payments based on their revenues. So, if their revenues are lower starting out, they can just pay a percentage of their lower revenues. They like the idea that their investors would also participate in the upside if they crush it in the next month, getting a larger monthly payment from their higher revenues. The total amount they pay to investors is capped, so if they pay everyone off sooner, they’re done with payments sooner.

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Next Up presented by NextSeed

THE EVENT

Have you ever wanted to hear from the best and brightest culinary entrepreneurs and innovators in Houston?  Join us for Next Up, an exciting new series hosted by NextSeed on November 16th and you will!

Up and coming restaurateurs and business owners will get the chance to pitch their concepts to a panel of experienced business leaders in the Houston food and beverage scene. The panel will give live feedback, dig into business plans and provide advice on how to get that business to the next level.

The audience will engage in live voting for their favorite businesses and pitches, and they will also enjoy a sampling of local Houston businesses afterwards.

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The Annex HTX (fka The Co-Op HTX) raised $230,500!

co-op-commerce-lobby

The Annex HTX

Co-working is catching fire in Houston, and NextSeed members are fanning the flames for The Annex HTX! The team behind successful coffee shop and restaurant Tout Suite is opening a new co-working space next door, bringing a unique offering to the Houston area. The Annex HTX raised $230,500 from 168 investors, surpassing their minimum goal by a healthy margin.

The Annex and its investors are at the forefront of the massive redevelopment activity in EaDo Houston, and they’re reshaping the city through crowdfunding. We can’t wait to see the cool mix of entrepreneurs that will come together in this new mixed office and retail space.

Congrats to everyone!

Citizen Pilates Made It Look Easy

cp-hr-03

If you didn’t catch Citizen Pilates when it was open for investments, that’s because it maxed out in less than a week! The studio raised $100,000 from 75 investors to open up a second location in Houston’s growing Heights district.

The funds will be used to purchase reformer machines for the new studio. Citizen’s culture of inclusiveness and fun has created a growing community that has exceeded their current capacity. The popular Pilates classes are regularly booked over a week in advance, and Citizen Pilates is expanding to accommodate more people. We’re happy that NextSeed members are helping to spread the cheer!

NextSeed Launches in California!

Our team headed to the West Coast last week to officially launch our San Francisco office.

We started our day with a Lunch and Learn at WeWork Civic Center. Youngro led a great discussion about what’s happening in the crowdfunding space, how small businesses are leveraging the new rules for crowdfunding debt in particular, and how all investors now have the opportunity to invest in local projects they are passionate about. Each member of the NextSeed team shared our respective stories about why crowdfunding captured our imaginations and what motivated us to jump in.

That night we gathered a group of friends, family and supporters for a fun evening, celebrating our launch in San Francisco. The food and drinks were fantastic, and we had an amazing time with everyone! We’re looking forward to hosting more gatherings across the rest of the country to meet likeminded people who care about where this movement is headed!

NextSeed San Francisco NextSeed San Francisco 2 NextSeed San Francisco 3

How Does NextSeed Work?

How does NextSeed work

Somehow you’ve found an investment site that doesn’t put you to sleep. Awesome! We also have an easy investment process – here’s how it works:

  1. Check out the deals on NextSeed and find one that catches your eye – sign up with an email if you want updates!
  2. Open a NextSeed investment account for free and transfer funds. Your uninvested funds are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
  3. When you’re ready, invest in a business by entering the amount of your investment and signing the investment agreement.
  4. Your investment will be held in escrow until the offering successfully closes. You may cancel at any time up to 48 hours before the offering closes.
  5. If the offering is successful, your investment will be made! If the offering does not meet its minimum goal, your funds will be returned to your NextSeed account.
  6. Each month, NextSeed will be facilitating payments from the business to its investors. Payments are made directly into your NextSeed account. NextSeed charges a 1% fee on all payments made into your account.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6!

More info can be found in our FAQs.

Happy investing!

The Brewer’s Table Filled to the Brim – Maxing Out at $300,000!

The Brewer's TableKudos to the 190 investors who are joining the talented team bringing The Brewer’s Table to life! The Brewer’s Table will be a highly innovative restaurant and brewery in Austin, serving oak-fermented beer and wood-fired food.

The Brewer’s Table had a minimum funding goal of $250,000 and maximum goal of $300,000. This deal was fully reserved a week before closing.

Even if you weren’t able to get an investment in, The Brewer’s Table will welcome all to partake when it opens. As the team says, “Beer is food and food is beer,” and it’s never too late for either!

We’re holding our breath in anticipation of what this accomplished team will be creating at The Brewer’s Table.

Vigilantes Mount Up and Raise $119,700!

Vigilante Gaming BarIt takes a village…and sometimes 117 enthusiasts across the nation! NextSeed investors bolstered Vigilante Gaming Bar well past its minimum goal to raise a total of $119,700! Thanks to the success of Vigilante’s campaign, what started out as a vision over a year ago is quickly taking shape.

We don’t know what you’re into, but we are stoked about a board gaming bar where we can try out all the games and drink good beer with gaming-friendly food (have you ever tried eating chips out of a bag with a spoon?). If you haven’t noticed, there’s a revolution in board gaming, and NextSeeders are joining the fray at Vigilante.

Exclusive NextSeed Members Event in Dallas

NextSeed-3

We were excited to catch up with our Dallas members at an exclusive NextSeed event Monday night at the Tesla NorthPark showroom.  We partnered closely with the Tesla team to craft a memorable experience for our fellow NextSeeders, which included locally crafted food and desserts, giveaway bags and a uniquely personal walkthrough of the latest from Tesla (the Model X is in the back!).

The team from BBBop debuted their upcoming concept, BBBop and Chicken Moto, themed around their fantastic fried chicken and wings.  Our guests enjoyed delicious fried chicken sliders, acorn soba noodles and pork belly appetizers.

For dessert, we featured Val’s Cheesecakes, a local Dallas bakery serving up both sweet and savory cheesecakes.  Their single-serve cheesecakes are served in mason jars! They were a huge hit and just the right touch to round out the night.

NextSeed Dallas Event NextSeed-70

Check out all the photos of the event on our Facebook page.

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First of its Kind, The Native Funds First Offering Under Title III On NextSeed

native-hero

We’re excited to be part of the first Title III crowdfunding success! People from all over the U.S. came together to support and fund a new small business on Main Street.

The Native is a new luxury hostel concept that is launching in Austin, TX. The team of experienced entrepreneurs behind The Native raised $396,500 in just eight weeks of crowdfunding on NextSeed.

Investors thought that it was a “great idea with a strong team” and that The Native would be the “right business in the right place at the right time.” These early investors are creating the change that’s happening through NextSeed: a shift in the way wealth is distributed and how business financing is getting done in America. Why should these kinds of investments only be available to a small fraction of the wealthiest people in the country?

Before May 16, 2016, the public had no way of getting in on restaurant or bar deals without knowing the right people. You also had to make over $200,000 a year in income to meet the legal threshold to participate in those deals. If you weren’t wealthy, the rules blocked you.  And what if you wanted to invest with just $100? Not a chance.

But now you can, and NextSeed is proud to be part of this movement.

Access to these new opportunities is just the start. Once The Native opens for business, investors can expect monthly payments right into their NextSeed accounts. You don’t have to worry about timing the market to sell shares or getting diluted by other investors. You can also support your investment by paying a visit and telling friends to check it out! 

When forward-thinking investors and entrepreneurs are able to help each other and form strong connections, great things happen. We think that’s the promise of Title III investment crowdfunding, and you’re making it a reality.

Map of US showing investor locations

The Native investor map

Investors More Than Hospitable, Raise $396,500 For The Native

The Native

On behalf of all NextSeeders, we are proud to announce that The Native Hostel is the first successful Title III crowdfunding campaign in the U.S.! Investors from all over the U.S. took part in funding the construction and build-out of The Native in Austin, Texas.

It raised $396,500 from 227 investors – a sizable contingent of advocates who got the founders’ vision and joined them in making it happen. Backers stepped up with investments ranging from $100 to tens of thousands of dollars.

Investors expect to receive monthly payments after The Native opens in Austin. The business will share 5% of its monthly revenues with investors until investors are paid a 2X return on their investment.

The Native backers will also be able to experience what they helped create through bonus rewards,ranging from launch party access to free stays at The Native and custom Austin experiences.

Even if you missed this deal, The Native will soon be able to welcome everyone to experience its creative culture – merging music, art, food, drink and hospitality.

Beer and Board Games: A Labor of Love

Preston Swincher

“Not everyone is willing to seek out customers and ask them tough questions, and not everyone is able to balance pushing the status quo with catering to current customer demands.”

 

Preston Swincher is energetic and vibrant… and fiercely determined. His youthful exuberance is immediately apparent, and there’s a fire and edge to that energy that has lit his path so far.

Graduating with a dual degree in Entrepreneurship and Theater from Texas Christian University, he’s managed to blend his experience and unique skill set to carve out a career as a consultant and keynote speaker. What he’s embarking on next is what caught our eye.

Vigilante Gaming Bar is a new restaurant and bar concept that he’s creating, built around board games and nerd culture. The team he’s assembled has obsessed over and planned the concept for over a year. They’ve thoughtfully designed a layout, created custom furniture and fixtures, and developed a food and beverage menu around a rich gaming experience, serving both “hardcore gamers” as well as a fun night of cards for a group of friends.

It’s Preston’s expertise, drive, and big ideas that make him compelling as an entrepreneur, and we chat about the journey that has brought him to this point.
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NextSeed Story: The Power of a Smile

by youngro lee

Smiley Transportation founder Rushelle Wetzel

Rushelle Wetzel, the Founder and President of Smiley Transportation, is a woman who makes things happen.  She’s always been that way, and she’s done it no matter the circumstances or challenges.

Rushelle started her school shuttle business nearly 10 years ago because of a simple need – getting her special needs daughter to and from school safely. Starting with a single Kia Rio and a handful of other families who had similar needs, she launched Smiley Transportation.

Since then, she has grown the business into a 9-vehicle fleet, helping hundreds of students travel safely to and from school.  Along with a rapidly growing list of customers and a booming business, Rushelle’s inspirational journey has won her widespread recognition in Texas and beyond, including being named Entrepreneur of the Year by Idea Café in 2014 and 2015 and voted among the “Top 100 Leading Moms in Business” by Startup Nation.

This is her story.

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The Market: NextSeed Launch Party!

 

We hope everyone had a great time at our launch event, The Market!  Culturemap covered the event in its recent article, and highlighted the growth of the Texas platform as well as the national rollout.

Thanks to our friends at Anejo, B pop, Chapman & Kirby, Dim Sum Bento, Chaste Foods, Manready, Massage Caddy, Pinks Pizza, SquareRut Kava Bar, Tout Suite, and Xela Coffee Roasters, everyone got a chance to try awesome goods and engage with the businesses on a personal level. There’s always something cool to discover in your city – even better when it’s all in one place!

The historic Central Post Office was the perfect place to celebrate with everyone. The views of downtown Houston were magnificent, and we can’t wait to see what happens with this space. We enjoyed hanging out in the CrowdPay Lounge and want to give a big thanks to our favorite sponsor, Gardere, for helping make this happen! As always, the incredible Platform.it team was crucial to bringing the space to life.

Check out the photo album.

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Team Trip to D.C.

About a week ago, we gathered as a team in Washington, D.C. to participate in the Regulation Crowdfunding Demo Day on Capitol Hill. We were honored by the invitation to demo the NextSeed platform as well as meet like-minded entrepreneurs and industry experts from around the country. Hearing from those that spearheaded Regulation Crowdfunding gave us a better perspective on how difficult it was to reach this point, but also how strongly people believed in leveling the playing field for small businesses and everyday investors alike.

While we were in D.C., our CEO Youngro Lee also had the opportunity to speak to Bloomberg’s Betty Liu on “Bloomberg Markets” in a live interview about NextSeed and Regulation Crowdfunding generally. He talked about how national debt crowdfunding could be a game changer by providing more opportunities and empowering more individuals. We’re here on Day 1 to make this a reality – but we can’t do it without you!

Watch the video after the jump. Read More

Welcome to NextSeed

pour the coffee

A couple weeks ago, we found out we’re officially the first SEC-registered funding portal under Title III of the JOBS Act. When we started doing this in Texas over a year ago, we didn’t know when the national rules would go into effect – the JOBS Act was signed into law 4 years ago and all we could do was trust that it would happen soon.

So we’re excited that the long-awaited Regulation Crowdfunding rules are finally going into effect today, May 16th. Now, all investors will have the opportunity to invest in small businesses through portals like NextSeed.

Over the past year, we’ve been helping small businesses get capital from investors like you on our Texas site using Texas intrastate crowdfunding rules. Investors purchase debt securities from a business through NextSeed and the business pays you back with a return on top, like a loan.

To date, Texas restaurants, salons, spas, and bars have raised over $1 million, and investors have already received close to $80,000 in payments from their investments (with no defaults or missed payments). We’re grateful for how people have embraced this new movement and we’re excited to launch our new national platform to now serve the entire country.

We’d like to introduce ourselves to all of our new members nationwide and let you know why we’re all in on investment crowdfunding for Main Street businesses.

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NextSeed Story: A World Away From Home

by abe chu

Chef Paul Friedman

“I think I am way better off as a chef!”

 

Chef Paul weaves through the bustling dining room, his silver mane highlighted by the incandescent blue of the starry lights overhead.  Infectious laughter bounces around the room.  Tonight’s crowd is brimming with energy, and the patio is filled with guests enjoying a welcome reprieve from the recent bout of rain.

The Peli Peli team opened this location (its second) in the middle of 2015 to much acclaim, serving Houstonians its unique South African fusion cuisine. Chef Paul’s experience both in the kitchen and the front of house gives his larger-than-life personality a chance to fully spread its wings.

He winks as he passes our table, and flashes a huge smile to guests on the other side of the room.  He’s in his element.

I catch up with Chef Paul the next afternoon to reflect on his journey from the kitchen of his mother’s Johannesburg home to Peli Peli.

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Press Release: NextSeed Among the First Funding Portals to Operate Under Title III of the JOBS Act

 

warming up

Company Release – 04/29/2016

HOUSTON, April 29, 2016 – NextSeed US LLC (“NextSeed”) became a Funding Portal member of FINRA on April 28, 2016. Headquartered in Houston, TX, NextSeed (https://www.nextseed.co/) will operate an online investment platform that allows U.S. small businesses to offer debt securities to private investors. NextSeed will be one of the first funding portals in the U.S. to facilitate crowdfunding offerings pursuant to Title III of the JOBS Act (“Regulation Crowdfunding”).

Investors that have not met specific income and net worth qualifications of “accredited investors” have been generally excluded from investing in private businesses. Under Regulation Crowdfunding, however, private businesses in the U.S. will now be able to crowdfund up to $1 million per year by offering securities to all investors (including non-accredited investors) through online platforms operated by funding portals, such as NextSeed, or broker-dealers.

NextSeed will facilitate the offer and sale of debt securities of U.S. small businesses to the general public through its proprietary investment platform. If a small business applies and is qualified, its investment terms will be set before its crowdfunding offering is launched. Anyone will be able to review the offering information (including the business model, team background and required financial disclosures) before establishing a NextSeed account to make crowdfunding investments.

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How Investment Crowdfunding Came to Pass

by vivian kim
woman looking over lake

I graduated from grad school in 2009, a time when many people were going back to school in hopes of weathering the recession. While I was in school, I witnessed the abrupt turn of events from soaring salaries to massive layoffs. Many companies dissolved along with people’s jobs. I counted myself as one of the lucky ones, since I had no house, job, stocks or retirement funds to lose completely. My main concern was my student debt and earning enough to pay it down. My focus was simple: pay back loans, save money and live a full life within my means.

Easier said than done, especially in the midst of the Great Recession. Saving money in a bank was a losing strategy. I knew I was supposed to be investing, but that was difficult since everyone was waiting for the stock and housing markets to bottom out.

And if you had a small business, good luck. We can’t all get bailouts.

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What Is Crowdfunding?

by youngro lee

sunrise field

What is crowdfunding?

The simple answer:  crowdfunding is where people pool their money online to fund a project or cause.

But crowdfunding often means different things to different people. Perhaps you’ve heard of a local artist crowdfunding to put up an interesting mural… or a crowdfunding campaign to help a family recovering from a tragedy… or a product company that crowdfunded millions by pre-selling the coolest cooler ever made. Considering all these incarnations, it’s only natural to wonder, “What is crowdfunding, really?”

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NextSeed Story: A Recipe for Mixing Family with Business

by vivian kim

Jenna's Asian Kitchen

“Jenna doesn’t know how to cook 1-2 portions. She always cooks a lot for a lot of people.”

 

Min grins and motions rapidly with his hand around a large imaginary wok.

It’s an old inside joke but Jenna smiles anyway. “Now that I think about it, my mom used to do the same thing. We would always have people over and she’d be feeding them. You know, it’s the Korean way.”

The young couple behind Jenna’s Asian Kitchen in Austin, TX is taking a break from the commotion behind them. The restaurant is buzzing with activity even though it’s 2 pm on a Monday. The Presidents’ Day crowd took them by surprise and they are just starting to catch their breath.

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NextSeed Story: Float for Life

by abe chu

Juan Carlos Mazorra and Joseph Cyrus, founders of Healing Waters Float Spa

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” -Lao Tzu

Juan Carlos slowly paces the hallway in our office, each step placed meticulously in front of the last as if he’s treading a balance beam beneath him.  He listens intently to his CPA on the other end of the phone and responds carefully in his trademark soft-spoken tone.

He finishes the call and takes the phone away from his ear.  Casually, he turns to me and dismounts the imaginary track that he’s been retracing for the last fifteen minutes.

“Did you hear? JJ Watt just posted a picture on Instagram talking about floatation!”

He cracks a satisfied grin because he knows the power of a major celebrity endorsing a burgeoning industry.  His business partner, Joseph Cyrus, catalyzed their mutual discovery of floatation, and the two have been carefully planning the launch of Healing Waters Float Spa for the last two years.  The luxury spa is slated to open later this Spring in Montrose.

Juan Carlos’s journey has been a winding road, and our conversation winds similarly from his career as a music video director to the entrepreneurial successes that followed before the seed was planted for this new endeavor.

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Exclusive NextSeed Event at the Tesla Showroom

 

We were excited to meet our members at an exclusive NextSeed event last week!  Our team worked closely with the group at Tesla to create a unique experience, crafted for NextSeed members in the Houston area. We shut down the Tesla Showroom in the Houston Galleria for the evening and hosted 50 of our members for private test drives and a personal walkthrough of the Tesla experience.

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Invest Local Event at The Astorian

NextSeed Invest Local - Astorian Event

NextSeed started last week with a bang! Our inaugural Invest Local event in Houston was an immense success – a warm thank you to everyone who attended! We hope you all had a great time mingling, exploring and discovering local delights in the incredible space at The Astorian. Our team was thrilled to share with the Houston community what investment crowdfunding is all about.

Invest Local hosted an all-star panel of local entrepreneurs who shared with the audience their insights and experiences in owning, operating and investing in local businesses.  Collectively, we had on stage the brains behind successful Houston businesses like The Astorian, Satori Salon, Hughes Hangar, The De Gaulle, Rich’s, EscoBar, Mi Luna, Saint Danes and Christian’s Tailgate. (Video after the jump)

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A Brave New Crowd: What Investors Should Know About Investment Crowdfunding

by youngro lee

person looking up at universe regulation crowdfunding

(This entry is the second of a two-part series on the NextSeed Blog, breaking down the recent SEC action on investment crowdfunding. Part 1 sought to provide an overview of what the laws mean for a business owner interested in using crowdfunding to raise business capital. This entry will cover what the new SEC action means for investors. The views expressed here are the author’s personal views, and do not constitute investment advice.)

Since the SEC officially announced the final rules for “Regulation Crowdfunding” a few weeks ago, there’s been a lot of hubbub online about what this actually means for the general public. If you google “JOBS Act Title III” or “investment crowdfunding,” you’ll quickly find that opinions vary wildly between those who believe crowdfunding can make investors extremely rich by investing in the next Uber, and those who believe that investors will lose their shirts…. and like everything else in life, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

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NextSeed Story: Two Peas in a Big Pond

by eugene kim

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“I’m a grinder.”

Scott Pingel speaks the words with satisfaction. I’m looking across a picnic table at a smiling, compact man in his 50’s wearing light khakis and a striped, neutral-toned polo shirt. Trim, gray hair, a square jaw and rectangular frames wrapping crinkled eyes all contribute to an affable solidity. Scott sits straight with his hands neatly folded together and delivers his words with a crisp Texas twang. Not the kind of lazy drawl you hear from TV cowboys… more like the plucking of a banjo string.

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A Brave New Crowd: What the New SEC Action on Crowdfunding Could Mean for Entrepreneurs

by youngro lee

Love for Crowdfunding

(This entry is the first of a two-part series on the NextSeed Blog, breaking down the recent SEC action regarding investment crowdfunding. Part 1 seeks to analyze the impact of these legal developments from a business’s point of view. Part 2 will cover the potential implications of the new crowdfunding rules from the investor’s perspective.)

Last Friday (October 30th), the US Securities and Exchange Commission voted to finalize Title III of the JOBS Act, which will generally permit any company to raise capital online from any investor.

(This is not to be confused with reward-based crowdfunding – e.g., Kickstarter. We are talking about the ability to sell financial securities in private businesses via SEC-registered crowdfunding platforms.)

Why is this a big deal?

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How Successful Businesses Can Use Crowdfunding for Marketing

by eugene kim

Finger pointing to light crowdfunding marketing Recently I was chatting with some entrepreneurs who were considering launching an investment crowdfunding offering on NextSeed. I really liked the team. They were smart, organized and diligent. They had a great business that was throwing off cash. And they had already raised a healthy sum but needed a bit more to reach their goal.

Needless to say, I was pumped.

Unfortunately the opportunity fizzled after a few meetings. They had their reasons for walking, most of which I understood. But one piece of feedback took me by surprise.

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NextSeed Story: Clark Kent and Superman

Dr. Schwimmer counseling a patient during a taping of “Dr. Phil.”

Dr. Schwimmer counseling a patient during a taping of “Dr. Phil.”

“I’ve probably been told I make extremely loud, obnoxious snoring sounds since I was a young adult.”

The testimonial videos loop on a monitor next to the receptionist’s desk, as a middle aged man confesses his lifelong snoring problem. I look across the waiting room and see a young lady elbow her husband as that quote comes across the screen. They both grin, knowingly.

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NextSeed Story: Don’t Talk About It, Be About It.

by abe chu

Nghia “Simon” Nguyen | Owner of Hair Revolution | Houston, TX | 35 years old

“You know, if I listen to Taylor Swift, then I listen to Taylor Swift. I don’t hide it. I’ll roll down my windows and turn that [music] up.”

Simon laughs as he leans back. It’s the kind of statement made only by a man who’s comfortable in his own skin and wants you to know it. It wasn’t always this way for him. We’re sitting in a coffee shop just south of the Beltway in Houston, kicking back a couple of cold beverages and escaping a damp, overcast day. Simon Nguyen, founder of Hair Revolution, is relaxed and sporting a James Harden tee with a menacing, bearded silhouette gracing the front. He crosses a leg over one knee, tugging at his running shoe as if to check his laces before a race. I’ve caught him on his day off from the salon.

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