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Startup founders will have another tool for raising early stage capital starting next month. On May 16,

  2016 the SEC is allowing companies to use crowdfunding to raise  money. 

House Panel Passes 8 Bills Including Adviser Act Reform, Crowdfunding  

Oct 30, 2015
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday adopted rules implementing a 2012 law that opened the door to securities crowdfunding.

With an eye to protecting investors, the crowdfunding securities offerings can only be made through brokerage firms or new Internet funding portals that must be registered with the SEC.

Under the new rules, people with annual income or net worth less than $100,000 will be allowed to invest a maximum of 5 percent of their yearly income or net worth, or $2,000 if that is greater.

Those with higher incomes can invest up to 10 percent. An individual can't invest a total of more than $100,000 in all crowdfunding offerings during a 12-month period. Investors generally couldn't resell their crowdfunding securities for one year.

For their part, companies will be allowed to raise a maximum of $1 million a year from individual investors without registering with the SEC.

 Companies will have to provide information to investors about their business plan and how they will use the money they raise, as well as a list of their officers, directors and those who own at least 20 percent of the company.

The SEC was given some discretion in the 2012 law, known as the JOBS Act, in the information to be demanded from companies and limits imposed on investments.

The goal of the 2012 law was to help entrepreneurs raise money quickly when they couldn't attract attention from venture capitalists or traditional deep-pocketed investors. At the same time, the law eased the SEC's regulatory reach by giving the startups an exemption from filing rules.

But some investor advocates and other critics express concern that this new arena of investing could be a breeding ground for fraud.

The draft regulations include some pretty onerous requirements for companies looking to raise money. There’s a 21-day “cooling off” period during which companies can’t raise before they go to market and after they apply for approval to fundraise, says Eakin.

In addition the draft regulations require annual financial audits for companies raising more than $500,000; portals have issuer liabilities in case of wrongdoing, portals need to use established criteria to “vet” deals; and finally, nebulous rules on success-based compensation for portals.
                             What new SEC crowdfunding rules mean for your small business
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                              Crowdfunding advice from a metro Detroit portal founder
                            Do the homework on crowdfunding portals

2015 - San Francisco-based Indiegogo announced that it would try to make that process a little easier by launching “InDemand,” a service that will allow campaign owners who reach their fundraising goals to continue using the site to take pre-orders, market their wares and track customer data. The company has been piloting the program for more than two months with selected projects, and with the move, becomes something of a niche e-commerce platform that moves beyond just crowdfunding.

The crowdfunding app formerly known as Tendr has rebranded to become OFF3R and will begin aggregated US based equity crowdfunding deals.

They show prices and success stories and also have an affiliate program.

Unlike other crowdfunding platforms which focus mainly on fundraising, Crowdtivate will also provide entrepreneurs with mentorship and business incubation support, said StarHub's chief technology officer Mock Pak Lum. - 

 - Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.

Oculus initially raised cash on Kickstarter Inc., a service that rewards donors with test versions of its wares and other token compensation. - Everyone should have the opportunity to raise money.
indiegogo it is researching an entrance into the equity crowd funding market — giving investors equity in companies in exchange for money. Experts expect equity crowd funding may eventually change the way small businesses are financed. -  Raising Money -- small loans
\ - Personal Asset Loans - -Empower People Around the World for $25 -Private Equity and Venture Capital

Product crowdfunding is great for your competitors.
The single biggest risk is that your potential competitors can monitor the market interest and demographics. Public exposure for the project means your pricing, design and feature list in addition to your exact launch timing is there for competitors to evaluate and react to.

AIG to Sell Crowdfunding Insurance, Looking to Make Money Off Investors’ Worries

The New York company is set to launch what it is calling “Crowdfunding Fidelity,” an insurance product developed to protect investors on equity crowdfunding platforms against fraud.