New Rules Open Investing Opportunities to Anyone in Minnesota

August 11, 2017 11:57 AM

A new Minnesota law is giving regular people the opportunity to invest in local businesses that are trying to get off the ground.

The MN Vest program is community crowdfunding that startups can use to raise money and in exchange, non-accredited investors become shareholders in the venture.

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Right now, seven companies have filed paperwork with the Minnesota Department of Commerce to use the MN Vest program.

Zach Robins is an attorney who helped write the legislation, after SEC rules began to change in 2012. Before that, only accredited, or "angel" investors, were allowed to legally invest in public ventures and get a percentage stake.

"(Angel investors have) more or less had a monopoly on making early stage investments since about the Great Depression," Robins said during an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

RELATED: New Minnesota Crowdfunding Law, MNvest, Goes into Effect Monday

The rules open up investment opportunities to everyone and, unlike a Kickstarter campaign, allow the investor to become a shareholder in the company. People can pitch in different amounts of money -- anywhere from a few hundred bucks to the legally capped amount of $10,000.

But Robins believes the program sheds light on more than a business's bottom line.

"There is no better way to determine if your business is a good idea than to go to the public and see if there's interest in it," Robins said.

Doug Sams is using MN Vest to open a new restaurant/bar in Minnetonka. "Farm & Vine" is scheduled to open its doors in September.

Sams is looking for 20 investors who have ties to the community of Minnetonka. He said the goal of the restaurant is not only to pay dividends to his investors, but to get those people involved with what's filling the space in their neighborhood.

"Having owners, brand ambassadors in the community as real shareholders is real exciting for us," Sams said. "They can bring their friends, enjoy the restaurant and the hospitality and the dining experience."

The seven startups using MN Vest, per the Minnesota Department of Commerce:

Name of Issuer & Exemption #

Web Address

Description of Issuer & Offering Amount

Registration Status

Torg Brewery, LLC

 

www.torgbrewery.com

 

Brewery

Maximum amount to be offered: $600,000

Minimum amount: $150,000

 

Effective

12-29-2016

Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative

 

www.brokenclockbrew.com

 

Brewery

Maximum amount to be offered: $200,000

Minimum amount: $5,000

 

Effective

01-04-2017

Clutch Brewing Company L.L.C

 

www.clutchbeer.com

 

Brewery

Maximum amount to be offered: $450,000

Minimum amount: $300,000

 

Effective

01-27-2017

Silicon Prairie Holdings, Inc.

 

www.sppx.io

 

Financial Technology

Maximum amount to be offered: $1,000,000

Minimum Amount: $50,000

 

Effective

02-16-2017

 

 

Culhane Brewing Company

 

 

www.culhanebrewing.com

 

Brewery

Maximum amount to be offered: $800,000

Minimum Amount: $200,000

 

Effective

04-24-2017

Greenfield’s Farm + Vine, Inc.

 

farm-vine.com

 

 

Restaurant

Maximum amount to be offered: $350,000

Minimum Amount: $100,000

 

Effective

06-28-2017

Rustech Brewing Company LLC

 

www.rustechbrewing.com

 

Brewery

Maximum amount to be offered: $200,000

Minimum amount: $50,000

 

Effective

07-28-2017

Credits

Kirsten Swanson

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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