SproutrHouse targets natural-food startups
Last Updated: 16:11 September 25, 2013
Lafayette-based SproutrHouse plans to launch its online crowdfunding investment platform for natural food companies on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The launch, at www.sproutrhouse.com, will coincide with Naturally Boulder's Autumn Pitch Slam event the same day, said company founder Dave Thomas.
Naturally Boulder is an industry trade group funded by member companies and the city of Boulder. The "pitch slam" gives participant companies a chance to pitch their products to potential investors. Winners of the event receive prizes such as marketing services and mentoring from the trade group.
SproutrHouse plans to offer its crowdfunding investment platform for free to Naturally Boulder Pitch Slam companies, Thomas said. Thomas plans to generate revenue by charging client companies a percentage of the funds they raise on the website. Fee percentages will range from 2.9 percent and a 30 cents-per-transaction credit card fee to 47.1 percent, according to the website.
SproutrHouse will offer additional services to client companies, including introductions to potential equity investors, mentoring and market analytics, among other things, Thomas said. In addition to the crowdfunding website, SproutrHouse is an investment company, according to a press statement.
Crowdfunding has taken off since Congress passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act in 2012 to allow it. In general, it allows individuals and companies to raise money online through sites such as Kickstarter.com and Indiegogo.com.
Boulder County's natural food and products companies are the target market for SproutrHouse, although Thomas said he plans to expand to other cities around the country.
Boulder Chamber president John Tayer believes SproutrHouse would help strengthen Boulder's natural-products industry.
"I am always looking for tools that will help start and grow more companies in Boulder, as well as draw more innovative business ideas to our community," Tayer said in the press statement.
SproutrHouse plans to hold a funding forum event on Thursday, Oct. 31. The funding forum is slated to bring together a group of natural-product investors to review Naturally Boulder Pitch Slam finalists, according to the press release.
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