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Callahan Pact Creates Crowdfunding Platform

posted Nov 22, 2014, 10:26 PM by J Shaw   [ updated Nov 22, 2014, 10:27 PM ]
Callahan & Associates has launched a strategic alliance with GrowthFountain that may allow credit unions to help pioneer the crowdfunding trail.

GrowthFountain will provide support, tutorials and tools to help startups and small businesses to raise capital, according to the crowdfunding marketplace.

In addition, the platform will provide forums to facilitate personal connections, so businesses can find talent, solicit advice and meet the right people necessary to advance their cause, the company said.

Jon Jeffreys, a managing partner at Callahan in Washington, D.C., told CU Times that the proposed changes in equity crowdfunding will enable credit union members to invest in local businesses, an opportunity traditionally reserved for wealthy investors.

“At Callahan, we see crowdfunding as a way to take the People Helping People philosophy into the digital age,” Jeffreys explained. “We believe there will be a real first-mover advantage in this market. That’s why we’re so excited about our partnership with GrowthFountain.”

Numerous cooperatives have already expressed interest in utilizing GrowthFountain, he said.

“We are confident credit union members will relish the new investment opportunities as much as the entrepreneurs within their communities appreciate gaining access to capital, connections, and support never before seen,” Jeffreys added.
The $1 billion Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union said it plans to offer GrowthFountain as a tool for members that want to raise money for business ventures or invest in the local community.

“The Growth Fountain initiative is an innovative way of allowing us to assist business owners in making connections, to provide an important service to community members and to help local economies grow,” Mark Cochran, president/CEO of the credit union in Lowell, Mass., said. “It aligns with our mission and is a winning proposition for everyone.”

Credit union members will have access to investment options that directly support and grow their local economies, Jeffreys said.

“Before this partnership, the 100 million credit union members did not have a reliable way to invest in small businesses, which are the backbone of the communities in which they reside,” he added.

Ken Staut, CEO of GrowthFountain, said credit unions are the ideal facilitator for crowdfunding.

“We believe that crowdfunding will be a complete game changer and we’re convinced that credit unions, not banks or investment shops, are the best bridge connecting people with these opportunities,” Staut said, adding crowdfunding helps to level the playing field for small businesses.

“Currently small business finance options are cost prohibitive and inefficient, and small organizations have difficulty attracting the right talent, getting the right advice and connecting with the right people,” Staut said.

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