Editor’s note: Despite all the bad weather Tuesday night, a big and enthusiastic crowd turned out for a seminar on crowdfunding in North Carolina. Veteran entrepreneur and investor Bill Warner, who is co-founder of EntreDot which put on the event, provides an inside report exclusively for WRAL TechWire.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Despite the snow and ice, an enthusiastic crowd of business owners and business professionals, thirsting for understanding about how crowdfunding is evolving in NC, attended EntreDot’s Crowdfunding Seminar held at The Frontier in RTP.

A team of crowdfunding professionals, led by Mark Easley, one of RTP’s leading technology startup advisors and crowdfunding advocates, kicked off the event with a summary of how pervasive crowdfunding has become in the last couple of years. People can see for them selves by simply going to his crowdfunding website, where they will learn that hundreds of millions of dollars have already been provided through platforms like Kickstarter and all the emerging investment crowdfunding platforms throughout the United States and Europe.

Steve Reaser, co-founder of the NC JOBS [crowdfunding legilsation] team, took the audience through an eye-opening explanation of the process for how a crowdfunding transaction is done. Bottom line, Steve said, “be well prepared” and do it the right way. This is not a “get rich quick” scheme. Investment crowdfunding is a regulated activity, so you have to follow the SEC rules and provide a “compelling story” to your potential investors. When done right, the rewards can be tremendous.

Jon Spinney and Sean Steigerwald, founders of Malartu, North Carolina’s first crowdfunding platform, told the audience about the nuts and bolts of how their crowdfunding platform could assist entrepreneurs in getting both debt and equity financing. The platform will be released very soon.

Everyone Needs to Know about Crowdfunding

If you are starting a business or expanding a current one, you need to know about crowdfunding as an alternative for getting the financing you need.

New crowdfunding platforms are emerging every week throughout the US. They are becoming more diverse, spanning every industry from high tech, through services businesses, to retail outlets. This is certainly great for the tech and biotech world, but every small business owner needs to know about this form of financing as well.

Learn how to do this the right way and get the right kind of business, financial and legal advice along the way. It could pay big bucks for your business, and provide an avenue for financing that people have never had before.

More Information Coming

In order to pick up all the people who couldn’t make it to the seminar, EntreDot will be offering the seminar again in April. Look on Eventbrite for EntreDot Crowdfunding Seminar. Registrations will open soon.

About the author: Bill Warner is a founder and director of EntreDot, a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs start new businesses through their entrepreneurship and mentoring programs.