Corporate Finance & Securities

Washington Senate Passes Version of House Crowdfunding Bill

Friday afternoon the Washington Senate passed its version of a state crowdfunding bill by a 46-2 margin. It was a bit dramatic for those of us invested in the bill, as the Senate had to put the bill to a vote by the end of the day Friday, and it wasn’t certain the bill would be considered. But the Senate passed the crowdfunding bill with only few hours to spare.

The Senate bill is largely similar to the crowdfunding bill passed by the Washington House of Representatives on February 13. But, the Senate bill includes an amendment drafted by Senators Angel and Hobbs that makes a few crucial improvements.

Details of Washington Senate Crowdfunding Bill

We’ve already looked at the House’s original crowdfunding...

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Business Startup

Washington House Passes Crowdfunding Bill

A few weeks back, we provided you with an overview of Substitute House Bill 2023, the new legislation that would bring crowdfunding to Washington state.

Crowdfunding allows companies to raise funds from the public in exchange for equity in the company (as opposed to just company swag or first delivery of a product). The bill—which has now passed the House by a vote of 89-9, but is waiting to be passed through the Senate—includes obstacles that may trip up companies trying to take advantage of the new crowdfunding rules in Washington. Since our last discussion of this topic, the bill was amended, and we’ve highlighted some of the major amendments below.

Highlights from the Amended Bill

The notable changes to the bill include:

A definition...

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Business Startup

Slower Than Expected: A Look Into the Timeline for Implementing the JOBS Act

Flashback to April 5, 2012: President Obama puts pen to paper and signs the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS Act). The President declares that startups and small businesses will “now have access to a big new pool of American investors—namely the American people.” Entrepreneurs rejoice as the potential impacts of this bill could be huge for startups and small businesses. The bill provided a framework and the SEC was handed the reins to draft rules that would govern much of new legislation. The SEC was given a 90-day deadline to implement the JOBS Act.

Flash forward more than 9 months (roughly 270 days later) to January 9, 2013: The SEC has yet to finalize the rules governing the JOBS...

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Business Startup

Update: Cybersecurity Bill Blocked By Filibuster

We recently wrote a post about the new cybersecurity bill, which has been on the Obama administration’s top national security priorities. The bill was blocked Thurdsday by a Republican filibuster in the Senate. This latest development severely impairs its prospects of passing this year. The Senate voted 52 to 46 to cease debates, which falls short of the 60 required to force a final vote on the bill.

The cybersecurity bill would have established optional standards for the computer systems that oversee the country’s critical infrastructure, like power grids, dams, and transportation. The bill has received widespread bipartisan support, but there has been a fight over the proposed amendments to the legislation. In hopes of ending the battle over the bill,...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup 2012 Week 30: Market Glitches, Insider Trading, Olympic Updates

U.S. Stock Market News

Glitches in System Cost Knight Capital Group $440 million Knight Capital Group, one of the largest trading firms in the U.S., stock plunged nearly 50% by midday Thursday, trading at its lowest price since 1998. The steady plunge resulted from faulty software forcing the company to buy a great number of stocks at an inflated value and then sell all those stocks at a lower price, which sent dozens of U.S. stocks swinging more than 10 percent.

The company is scrambling to secure a buyer or investor to facilitate a potential merger to save the company after the severe loss. Knight intends to continue trading and market-making while it considers its options.

U.S. Securities Regulation

Bristol-Meyers Executive Accused of Insider Trading In...

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Business Startup

Microsoft Supports, Congress Debates Cybersecurity Act

Local computer giant, Microsoft, has recently publicly announced its support of a federal bill designed to combat cybercrime by increasing cooperation between companies and the government to enforce laws and investigate cybercrimes.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414) is currently weaving its way through Congress. President Obama recently released an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in support of the goals of  the Cybersecurity Act. The bill provides for a private, industry-goverment collaboration on setting cybersecurity standards, and the sharing of cyber threat information among critical infrastructure providers and the government, including liability immunity from suits related to breaches and attacks.

Obama wrote, “We need to make it easier for the government to share threat information so critical-infrastructure companies are better...

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Business Startup

News Roundup 2012 Week Four: Apple, Executive Compensation, Online Privacy, Venture Capital

Apple in the News

Apple has huge quarter; launches revolutionary textbook platform; includes draconian terms in book publishers’ end user license agreement

Lots of Apple news this week. The technology giant posted its best quarter ever with revenues of $46.3 billion per quarter and a $13.87 net profit per share. The company sold 37 million iPhones and over 15 million iPads.

Apple also had exciting news about launching a new platform for textbooks. Apple has partnered with text book producers such as McGraw-Hill to make interactive textbooks for iPads. Textbooks in this format will be cheaper, easier to update, more environmentally friendly, and more portable. The interactivity and format will surely be a better and more exciting platform for those trying to learn...

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Business Startup

The Social Purpose Corporation: A New Corporate Form in Washington?

Update: Legislation creating social purpose corporations has passed both the Senate and the House, and is expected to be signed by the Governor this month.

The Washington State Senate and House are considering legislation that would create a new corporate form: the social purpose corporation. The Senate bill is SB 6230, and the House bill is HB 2239. The legislation was drafted and requested by the Corporate Act Revision Committee of the Washington State Bar Association.

Background Under current Washington law there is no ideal corporate form for businesses that want to consider both the bottom line and a social mission. You can create a business that focuses on profits, a corporation. Alternatively, you can create a business that focuses on a social mission,...

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Intellectual Property

Bid Farewell to SOPA

The chief sponsor of SOPA, Lamar Smith (R-Texas), reported Friday that SOPA will be pulled “until there is wider agreement on a solution.” Smith said he has heard all the criticism andconcerns regarding the proposed anti-piracy legislation. He said “it is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”

It’s not surprising that the bill was pulled Friday, following widespread Internet protests, White House opposition, and several key players in Congress dropping their support for SOPA and PIPA. Both bills have been pulled for now.

It’s interesting how quickly things change in Congress. Just two days ago, Smith told the Wall Street Journal that he would...

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Intellectual Property

Co-Sponsors of SOPA and PIPA Abandon Ship

As promised, we’re bringing you the latest SOPA (and PIPA) updates. The latest news came late in the day Wednesday, a day where major sites including Wikipedia, and Reddit (and the Google banner) blacked out their sites to protest the overly broad anti-piracy legislation, SOPA and PIPA. SOPA co-sponsor Ben Quayle (Arizona), and PIPA co-sponsor Marco Rubio (Florida) announced they will no longer support the bills. Sen. Quayle pulled his name Tuesday, while Sen. Rubio didn’t pull his name until Wednesday.

Sen. Rubio announced his withdrawal through Facebook, noting that he believed the bill was being rushed through Congress and is likely to have unintended consequences if passed. Rubio is also trying to persuade his fellow co-sponsor, Harry Reid (Nevada), to...

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