The Invest Georgia Exemption
In a rare move, Georgia is ahead of the curve in connecting startups to early stage capital. Thanks to the Invest Georgia exemption, Georgia based for-profit corporations are able to raise capital from non-accredited investors up to an aggregate total of $1,000,000. No single (non-accredited) investor may invest more than $10,000. The investor and issuer must both be Georgia based (intrastate investment only). The bank that the money is deposited in must also be authorized to do business in Georgia. You can read the full exemption here.
This is great news for early stage tech startups in Athens and Georgia. Startups still will not be able to advertise for their offerings, but they will be able to access a wider pool of investment capital. More importantly, individuals will be able to get involved in early stage investments and share in the upside of these investments. That’s exciting news for innovation in Georgia.
The hardest part of a startup is not accessing capital. It is simply one step in proving you have the entrepreneurial fortitude that it takes to be successful. The hard part of building a company is making it work. That being said, anything the state can do to ease regulations on very early stage companies is good news for future innovation and growth. That should be the exact role the government plays in helping the startup ecosystem; minimizing the hurdles to launching. After that, it is up to the entrepreneur to build a great company.