To IPO or ICO, that is the question?* - Part 1 (Link to Part 1.5 at end)

SMJ Exponential Growth Partners, Inc. Logo
  • *Or JOBS Act (Crowdfund, Reg A+), Reverse Merger, x chain, etc

So, earlier this year I started my first Delaware C-Corp via the Gust Launch Program ( (and yes I highly recommend this program to make sure that your corporate governance, legal, accounting and operational i’s and t’s are definitely dotted and crossed correctly).

Gust Launch - (

Utilizing this program has sped up the amount of time it would have taken to do the same tasks properly on my own. The out-of-pocket stage (aka bootstrapping) to seeking outside funding stages have happened quite faster than any of the LLCs I've previously started by months, if not years.

Now here is where it gets interesting…

The “issue”…? Trying to break the band up before its’ first rehearsal.

Honestly, I was trying to skirt under the radar for a few months in regards to what this company is doing; listed as an investment and holding company SIC 6719 | NAICS 551112. In reality, it’s a venture production studio powered by a hybrid transdisciplinary think tank, r&d lab with pre-ideation / pre-napkin stage (aka before you scribble any inkling of an idea you may have or ideas you may not even know you have) to deadpool stage resurrecting funding mechanisms beginning with in-house, partnered and acquisitions successfully completing training camp style stage-related physical, digital and virtual drills culminating in end of camp gauntlets (yes, actual gauntlets).

In five (5) cursory conversations since starting this company in March, I’ve discussed;

  1. components included and size of the ecosystem being created
  2. amount of original, in-house, user-generated and exclusive first-run content we’ll be producing, aggregating, curating, syndicating and cultivating, (in another lifetime I just wanted to be the A/V Productions aka Multimedia Guy)
  3. data bins and silos created from content via a proprietary Human + AI module
  4. direct / indirect incentivizing and rewarding of ecosystem components
  5. how to pay for it all

From general conversations, I’ve evidently triggered the “buzzword meter”. These past few weeks the individuals I’ve talked to have spoken to others who in turn have contacted me wanting me to postpone or outright abandon (via acqui-hire) what I am doing to do them a favor** on projects that they have a vested interest in (with two of them recently having IPOs but their stocks have begun to waver.

**All I keep thinking to myself is how nice the roofs are where these companies operate from (shout out to the show Silicon Valley)

So because of the unexpected “breaking up the band” conversations to shore the projects of other companies, quite profitably might I add, it’s led me to rethink my traditional fundraising stages approach because I honestly don’t know if my actual gameplan / roadmap will be allowed to see the light of day.

For the rest of 2017, my partners and I will be tackling which path to take by asking the tough questions about…

  • Traditional - Friends & Family to eventual IPO
  • New - Crowdfund to Reg A+ (JOBS Act) Mini-IPO
  • Emerging - x chain-based setup to ICO
Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

While I’m posing my question as an “either / or” scenario, I find myself not hating if someone has a hybrid approach combining traditional, new and emerging (as noted above) or, an entirely new approach.

Photo by Natalia Y on Unsplash

If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to thank you for doing so.

Join us as we proceed down this interesting path of discovery. Next article in this series will be posted on November 15, 2017.

Contribute a clap or comment if you have any feedback on this article.

Once again, thank you for tuning in. Until next time…Excelsior!

Part 1.5 - (Link)