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After a friend had his bike light stolen and got hit by a car, MIT bike geeks built a Theft-Resistant Bike Light.
After a friend had his bike light stolen and got hit by a car, MIT bike geeks built a Theft-Resistant Bike Light.
1,175 backers pledged $84,728 to help bring this project to life.

It's illegal to invest $100 in a startup. Should Congress change that?

Did you know it's illegal to invest $100 in a startup? 

As Tim Rowe, director of the Cambridge Innovation Center wrote in a Huffington Post article, "Ordinary individuals [can't] invest in each others' new businesses. "Unsophisticated" investors [are] simply considered too gullible to take this risk."  Tim's been advising the Senate on The Democratizing Access to Capital Act to change all of that.

Yesterday, we were interviewed on PBS to discuss what Crowdfunding can mean for inventors like us. Please watch the video and tell us where you stand:  If it were legal, would you invest in Gotham, or another small business?  What kind of restrictions should our government make?

(Click this link to watch the video)

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    1. Slava Menn 4-time creator on March 21, 2012

      Agree with @James and @Steven. Is it possible snake oil salesmen to commit fraud? Yes. But that's what our legal system is for - to prosecute criminals who commit fraud. The greater impact will be the creation of great companies that were overlooked by "accredited investors".

    2. Missing avatar

      Steven on March 20, 2012

      I would love the oppertunity to truely invest in a company like Gotham. Its my money and where I put it (bank, mutal fund, or new company) shouldn't be regulated by the government. If I lose it thats my own fault, not the government, not Tim Rowe.

    3. James Dalley
      on March 20, 2012

      I believe complete freedom in the market. People have the right to make stupid decisions. The government should not force us to make "smart" decisions. A law like that needs to be repealed. The Free Market Rules!

    4. Slava Menn 4-time creator on March 20, 2012

      Thanks @Bill and @Shaun. We left the most important thing out of the project update: we're not actually seeking investment - it was more a hypothetical in line with the current bill that Congress/Senate are passing on Crowdfunding (link below). @Shaun, after playing the VC game in a previous startup, we never want to do it again :)

    5. Missing avatar

      Shaun Lay on March 20, 2012

      I didn't think I was investing in Gotham... I'm putting down payment on a cool piece of kit for my bike. Investing implies that the backers own some part of of Gotham... I don't want that to happen. I want to see you guys make and keep the profits from your ideas rather than some schmuck with capital buying out your awesome idea.

    6. Bill Phelan on March 20, 2012

      The best kind of "crowdfunding" is right here, and this is the right formula for investing for the average person. You offer a product. You take orders. You deliver on orders. And if you cannot generate enough interest in what you do, you do not get orders. I am sure you will find investors who track progress on this site, and want to consider investing based upon the track record you can build. Always better to spend your time talking to customers rather than investors. Kickstarter has completely changed the game on the process of identifying customers cheaply, so enjoy it!!