Why Compliance Is Our Number One Priority

For Companies General August 12, 2016

Why Compliance Is Our Number One Priority

StartEngine has come a long way since our days as an accelerator and we are proud to be one of the leading equity crowdfunding platforms. We are the industry leader in the equity crowdfunding space and it is an honor and responsibility to remain a trusted name for investors and issuers.

In the past 12 months, we partnered with Elio Motors to raise nearly $17M and we launched the first-ever Regulation Crowdfunding Campaign. We also embarked on a newfound, budding relationship with compliance.

When we were filing with FINRA to become a registered Funding Portal in early 2016, compliance quickly became part of our daily vocabulary. I poured my life into our application and into creating systems and procedures that would ensure our platform and team would be ready to launch on May 16th. My goal was to get approved and be the leader as a compliant and effective Funding Portal.

Today, nearly 3 months after our Title III platform went live, compliance is still the number one priority for StartEngine. Every single business decision revolves around compliance. We pass on opportunities because we conduct intense due diligence to limit investor exposure to bad offerings. Our dedication to the due diligence of issuers and our dedication to compliance sets us apart from our competitors. I realize our influence and I will not tolerate a company that will take advantage of the StartEngine community. I am proud of that stance. I am also not naive. Fraud is unavoidable at some level, but we have a rigorous process to mitigate that risk as much as possible. We go above and beyond what is required to protect the industry and our investors. Our mission has always been to democratize access to capital and help entrepreneurs realize their dreams. I refuse to sacrifice that duty.

Finding balance between compliance and business development is hard. I see our competitors taking bold, attention grabbing, and yes, non-compliant risks, and my first inclination is to feel like StartEngine is somehow falling behind. But then I remember that our goal is to win this marathon, and it is my job to ensure we are in the race for the long haul. In fact, my job is to be the bad guy.

Compliance is not regarded with the utmost excitement, to say the least, and I would like to change this attitude by providing insight as to why it is such a critical aspect of the crowdfunding space. The financial world is about to take a pivotal turn in the way it raises capital and it is crucial to change the attitude and embrace a culture of compliance. I invite you to join me on this journey and stay tuned for more compliance discussions from team StartEngine.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of author Mary Frances Knight. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:https://www.startengine.com/assets/Disclaimer.pdf

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