The city of Bellevue might create a crowdfunding platform to take advantage of a state law that eases restrictions on equity investments.
Consultants are completing a feasibility study for the city and will provide a recommendation by the end of the month, according to a Puget Sound Business Journal report.
The platform would help businesses source funding from non-accredited investors, or individuals with a yearly income of less than $200,000, in exchange for equity in the company. The platform would function much like existing crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter.
The crowdfunding law allows non-accredited investors to donate up to $2,000 or 5 percent of their annual income or net worth in a year. Businesses now can raise up to $1 million each year through crowdfunding campaigns.
“The big deal about this law is it will allow people who are not accredited to get into the crowdfunding game, and it allows a lot of companies to accept funding from accredited people,” startup attorney Joe Wallin said in November.
Bellevue councilwoman Lynne Robinson told the PSBJ that any Washington-based company would be able to apply to be on the site, but companies headquartered in Bellevue would be able to use the site for free.
“The city isn’t trying to make money off anybody,” Robinson said. “It’s trying to give them the opportunity to succeed.”