Articles Published March 18, 2014 at 1:36 am

by David Drake

If you’re interested in crowdfunding, then you would have heard of these ten most influential women in the US crowdfunding industry right now. These women are changing the world—and they know it.

We are entering a new era for female entrepreneurs. Those who are creative and smart, who have a new way of looking at things, who can use their imaginations and then make their visions real, can change the way things work in this country and around the world.

1) Amanda Palmerwho used to be a member of The Dresden Dolls,  made a lot of noise when she decided not to bring her own musicians on tour. It is very expensive to travel with a small army of employees—so she decided to hire local musicians wherever she performed. Her new businessmodel could well become the standard even for mainstream artists.

2) Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars raised $5.7 million on Kickstarter. Kristen is currently appearing in House of Lies and co-producing Hit and Run. She has been busier than Nicolas Cage, acting in nine films in two years, including Safety Not Guaranteed (which I recommend if you like sci-fi). She is single-handedly changing the film industry as we know it.
3) Jessica Jackley, now CEO of ProFounder, has been honored by Fast CompanyThe Economist, and USA Network for philanthropy, technology, and innovation. But she really became a game-changer when her heart was moved by rural African entrepreneurs and co-founded Kiva, the world’s first p2p micro-lending website, in 2004. Now people with as little as $25 help fund entrepreneurial dreams across miles and oceans.
4) Danae Ringelmann founded the rewards-based crowdfunding platformIndiegogo. In 2010 she started working and lobbying for what would become the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, signed into law by President Obama on April 5, 2012.
5) Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the SBE (Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Council, was tremendously influential in the crowdfunding movement through her professional network and her Beltway relationships. Her influential organization is focused on policies, resources, and educational initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship and small-business growth.
6) Jennifer Lawrence, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her work in the movie Silver Linings Playbook, a film crowdfunded on Kickstarter, has been instrumental in helping promulgate the power of films and other projects funded by the crowd to fans everywhere.

7) Candace Klein recently raised more than $2 million for SoMoLend. Then she co-chaired CFIRA (Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates), negotiating with the SEC to implement the JOBS Act Crowdfunding Title 3.

8) Jennifer Kassan, CEO of Cutting Edge Capital, is the pillar of crowdfunding. Before the crowdfunding bill even existed, she was working with John Katovich to build the case and the legal structure for equity crowdfunding as we know it today.
Jenny-Kassan9) Sara Hanks brings decades of legal work at the SEC and the federal government to the crowdfunding arena. She is co-founder and CEO ofCrowdCheck, which does the kind of high-level due diligence and background checks that will be needed under the new law.  Watch her, she is going to get a lot more attention.

10) Aggie Kobrin started CrowdFundingLive in 2011 with Deb Augur and Debe Fennell, funding several small projects, including the film Killing Buddha. She started CEC Global Events, an events-management and media production company, and an independent film distribution company called Off Hollywood Media.

I wonder what would happen if she gets Jennifer Lawrence to star in a $20 million film directed by the Brothers Strause with a soundtrack by Amanda Palmer, crowdfunded on Kickstarter with Kristen Bell, and distributed by her company?

Note: This article originally appeared on CEO World Magazine with this link on October 22, 2013


David Drake is an early-stage equity expert and the founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a New York City private equity advisory firm, and The Soho Loft – The Voice of Capital Formation – a global financial media company with divisions in Corporate Communications, Publishing and Expos. You can reach him directly


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