An Investment-Based Crowdfunding Platform for Small Businesses

We’re highlighting small businesses from around the country as nominated by you, our readers. If your favorite small business is using Twitter to communicate with customers, let us know about it @fbsmallbiz with the hashtag #mysbc, and it may be featured as an upcoming Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Spotlight: Bolstr

Who: Cofounders Charlie Tribbett and Larry Baker, both 28, @Bolstr

What: An investment-based crowdfunding platform for small businesses

Where: New York City

When: November 2011

How: Tribbett and Baker met while interning at JPMorgan. The two men went on to work in finance,  and found themselves asking 'What about small business?'

“The system is just broken,” Tribbett said. “I was standing on the trading floor when huge companies couldn’t access capital. If they couldn’t, then how are the Main Street guys faring?”

The two set out to create access to capital for businesses who need investments under $100,000. Bolstr works by leveraging the concept of garnering support from the community and word-of-mouth crowdsourcing to fund startups. The company’s model was established before President Obama signed the JOBS Act and the idea of crowdfunding started to gain traction.

Quote from the owner: “When we founded Bolstr, we were reacting to a market problem,” Baker said. “We were looking to solve a gap in the market, and have created a true alternative opportunity to access capital that works today, within the current regulatory environment.”