RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Earlier this week, WRAL TechWire broke the news that Triangle investor and crowdfunding advocate Mark Easley was bringing Localstake, a crowdfunding platform for both startups and people wanting to make investments, to North Carolina. In an exclusive Q&A, Easley explains the process behind the LocalstakeNC decision as well as his role and the new group CrowdfundNC, a spinoff of sorts from the advocacy group he helped create to lobby for passage of crowdfunding by the North Carolina General Assembly last year.

Localstake NC

  • Why did you decide to work on bringing this site to North Carolina?

Raising money for any startup or small business is a lot of work, so I know that having an experienced investment crowdfunding platform with good tools and support is key to making crowdfunding work.

I have seen that happen in other locations like Silicon Valley, LA, Boston, Austin, and elsewhere. Having our own dedicated North Carolina platform greatly improves our ability to make investment crowdfunding a success here.

  • Why pick LocalStake?

I evaluated several potential investment crowdfunding platforms to see which one might be the best to bring to North Carolina. I decided to work with Localstake after a good vetting process including a visit to their headquarters in Indianapolis. Localstake has a good track record with both federal and instrastate crowdfunding offerings, and they are particularly strong at supporting the small business offerings like revenue share loans.

This is a good match for how the NC PACES Act works, and they are already supporting intrastate offerings in Indiana, Michigan, and Colorado. Localstake is a good fit and a good team for us, and co-founders Ryan Flynn and Brandon Smith are excited about the opportunity in North Carolina.

So we decided to proceed with creating Localstake NC, which is the North Carolina exclusive version of their platform.

  • How did you meet the folks involved?

 I have been tracking the industry for the last 5 years and took note of the good work that Localstake was doing in Indiana. I contacted Ryan and he first came out to visit North Carolina a couple of years ago to help us with our crowdfunding education efforts here.

  • Did you have to receive state certification/licensing?

Yes, Localstake had to become a registered broker dealer in North Carolina in order to sell securities here. They completed that process working with the Secretary of State Securities Division about a month ago. That is the same group that regulates the NC PACES Act. Localstake NC is now certified to make securities offerings in North Carolina.

  • Are you an investor in the platform?

No. Localstake is a profitable and well run company that does not require additional investment at this time.

  • Did it cost you and others involved money to bring the site to North Carolina?

Yes, there was some engineering work involved to create the new Localstake NC platform, so I provided some funding for that effort. Localstake will reimburse those funds as their business ramps in North Carolina.

  • Who else is involved with you on this program?

We are expecting a lot of support around the state for getting investment crowdfunding off the ground from anyone who is interested in helping startups and small businesses grow and raise money, including startup incubators and accelerators, chambers of commerce, small business support groups, angel investor groups, early stage VCs, startup and small business conferences, educational services companies, community colleges, university entrepreneurial programs, the NC Commerce Department, and more.

  • Who else is involved in CrowdfundNC?

CrowdfundNC is the educational and services part of the effort. I am the publisher and editor, and I am also coordinating and providing connections to service partners that can help crowdfunders with their offerings and campaigns. We already have a very good list of service providers on board.

Localstake NC is partnering with to support investment crowdfunding in North Carolina. At you can find the tools and services from the top investment crowdfunding experts in North Carolina to help you put together the right offering, create and market your crowdfunding campaign, and get the funding you need.

Our services partners are North Carolina crowdfunding specialists including crowdfunding advisors, law firms, marketing agencies, sales channel advisors, video creation services, business planning advisors, technology development companies, CPAs, HR service companies and more for the startup and small business community.

  • Are you seeking additional members? How would the join? 

Yes, we would like to add more North Carolina service providers around the state that specifically have services related to crowdfunding. Please see our currentServices list for examples. We believe that having local resources to work with is key for the crowdfunders to be successful. Service providers that are interested should contact me by email at

  • Who is eligible? 

Any service provider that has services specifically useful to the investment crowdfunding process. Examples would be crowdfunding advisors, law firms, marketing agencies, sales channel advisors, video creation services, business planning advisors, technology development companies, CPAs, HR service companies and more for the startup and small business community.

I will review your services with you to determine if it is a good fit for the crowdfunders.

  • Is any funding or investment required?

That depends on the current situation for the service providers. Some may need to develop some crowdfunding specific programs and services to work with the investment crowdfunding clients.