What happens when you put tech royalty and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician from one of the greatest bands of all time Talking Heads in the same room? The answer is RedCrow.
RedCrow is a crowdfunding platform that was co-founded by CEO Brian Smith, a former Morgan Stanley financial advisor and wealth manager. By his side is Jerry Harrison who is more than just a rock star as the former keyboardist and guitarist with Talking Heads, but a serial entrepreneur too.
Having already co-founding an internet music resource called Garageband back in 1999, Harrison in currently working towards launching the equity crowdfunding portal RedCrow this November.
What sets RedCrow apart from other crowdfunding platforms is its strong emphasis on making a 'social impact.' RedCrow hopes to make a difference by putting healthcare, cyber security, machine learning and "environmentally focused" investments into the spotlight.
RedCrow also aims to set itself apart with a company vetting process it says is much more thorough than that of other crowdfunding platforms. No company can appear on the Red Crow's "Invest Now" platform without an extensive due diligence process. At launch, for example, they will begin only supporting a select set of companies in the medical technology vertical that has been have been vetted by a team of experts, such as Dr. Stephen Shaya of J&B Medical.
A multi-phase diligence process ensures that each company has an extraordinary team, a solid business plan, and a brilliant product or service that would benefit society if the company could be appropriately capitalized. The core ethos at Red Crow is "invest in what you know," and Harrison advised this are the reasons that they market directly towards professionals in the medical and scientific industries.
There is also a "Discovery" section aimed at giving the crowd a voice to determine which companies they think to deserve to be on our flagship "Invest Now" platform; advised Harrison. The team we'll be listening in and closely watching their response every day for ideas that fit their ethos.
For "verticals" such as medical technology, traditional investors like VCs often won't take a risk until they're more advanced in development. In a Catch-22 scenario, these companies need early funding to get to that point. This is where Red Crow is aiming to change the game by introducing the crowd.
It remains to be seen if this idealistic strategy will give companies a jumpstart that can save or improve thousands or even millions of lives. But the idea of using experts and the crowd to resolve real problems could be a game-changer.
The website itself is eye-catching in the same way that I remember looking at the artwork on a vinyl Talking Heads album cover. On my podcast, I spoke to CEO Brian Smith and Chairman Jerry Harrison about how their worlds have collided to create a platform that makes a difference.