Founded: 2012

Country: United States

Non-Accredited Investors: Yes (Georgia only)

Business Selective: No

Investor Selective: No

Notable Alumni: cMEcompete, YOANI – The Film


While most of the U.S. languishes in the pre-equity crowdfunding Dark Ages, one state is ahead of the curve. Thanks to the Invest Georgia Exemption, non-accredited investors in the Peach State can buy into new businesses without having to wait for the JOBS Act to be implemented. This enclave of ECF legality has given rise to a noteworthy portal, the Atlanta-based SterlingFunder.

Founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs David Lilenfeld and Ty Rhame and investor Jim Shaw, SterlingFunder allows non-accredited investors to invest in Georgian businesses, so long as they are 18 or over and a resident of the state. The site also caters to accredited investors from across the nation, and plans to open up to all interested American investors, accredited and non-accredited, once the SEC makes it legal to do so.

The portal has the distinction of being used to run the first U.S. ECF campaign open to (Georgian) non-accredited investors when it began selling shares of social networking platform cMEcompete. The campaign is working its way up to $400,000 raised.


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