052: Jamey Edgerton (Nvsted)

Jamey Edgerton on Innovation City

“There’s a lot of focus for non-traditional financiers to invest in these startups, because, quite frankly, the big banks aren’t really doing it.” — Jamey Edgerton

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Jamey Edgerton. Jamey is the CEO of Nvsted and the Senior Vice President at St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Nvsted is a St. Louis-centric crowdfunding portal. The Economic Development Partnership, where Jamey is responsible for directing the business development and finance divisions, is the economic and financial engine for St. Louis City and St. Louis County. Jamey joins the podcast today to talk about the power of small investors, St. Louis’ strong entrepreneur ecosystem, and why he believes St. Louis can be competitive with bigger, cooler cities.

They discuss:

  • St. Louis’ strong entrepreneur ecosystem; a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of VC and Angel investors
  • Working in finance prior to 2008
  • Finding opportunities for non-traditional financiers to engage with startups
  • The difference between accredited and non-accredited investors, and the law that changed (The Jobs Act; Reg. C Title III) that allowed everyday people to invest in private businesses
  • “Why should rich people have all the fun? Why should rich people have all the risk?”
  • Changing the law legitimized bootstrapping via crowdfunding; all the money goes into an escrowed account that isn’t accessible until certain benchmarks are met
  • The Dead Valley (the investment gap that occurs for early-stage businesses)
  • Crowdfunding helps bridge the gap between family and friends’ investments, and venture investments or buyouts
  • Getting through the lean years
  • Crowdfunding vs. Investment:
    • Crowdfunding started as donation platforms, not investments
    • Nvsted actually sells securities, shares, or promissory notes
  • Anybody can apply for Nvsted
  • Things you need to qualify for Nvsted
    • A compelling business plan
    • Bad Actor background checks
    • Escrow Account
    • Advisory Committee/Lead Investor
  • Benefits to an investor: Building up the business community in Missouri
  • Investors don’t have to be from Missouri, they can be from anywhere
  • Creating a low barrier to entry for companies and investors
  • The power of a young workforce
  • St. Louis has just as many young minds as other cities, how do we convince young people to come and live here?
  • The differences between St. Louis City and St. Louis County: less of an issue than they used to be
  • St. Louis’ World Trade Center working with the Brookings Institute to develop a foreign investment plan
  • A lot of tools for people who want to build businesses: ITEN (IT Entrepreneur Network), LaunchCode, and St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, and many more
  • Why all business owners need to learn how to sell, no matter what else they’re good at
  • Nvsted doesn’t take a fee unless the fundraiser is successful; no upfront fees go to Nvsted