This announcement is posted on behalf of Jim Newton, founder of TechShop.
September 23, 2013
I have some very exciting news to share with you about the TechShop community and our aggressive expansion plans.
Today, the "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act", also known as the JOBS Act, became law in the United States. The JOBS Act allows a small company to advertise that it is seeking to raise money through the sale of securities. Before the JOBS Act, it had been illegal for companies to advertise the offering of securities, and the law restricting that advertising had been in place for 80 years! That restriction tied the hands of small companies and made it very difficult or even impossible for them to legally attract funding.
The JOBS Act, which is a bipartisan law overwhelmingly passed by the Senate and the House and signed into law by President Obama, became law today. It will be invaluable to start-up companies because it will make it easier for them to seek investment, and will lead to the creation of many new companies and many new jobs.
Today, in concert with the JOBS Act becoming law, TechShop has launched an aggressive campaign to raise up to $60 million in funding through the sale of TechShop stock in amounts of $25,000 or more, and through the acceptance of loans of $25,000 or more from individuals. These funds will be used to build and support new local TechShop locations.
Here is a link to the official press release about TechShop's $60 million crowd-funding campaign:
When I opened the first TechShop in Menlo Park CA back in 2006, it was only possible to crowd-fund the money we needed because it was legal to advertise our fundraising efforts in the state of California. California is one of only two states in the United States that allows such advertising...the other is the State of Texas.
It was only because we were allowed to advertise that we were able to reach out to our community and ask individual people to loan us $25,000 each. We crowd-funded TechShop San Francisco and TechShop San Jose the same way, raising about $2.5 million for each of those locations in a matter of weeks.
Before the JOBS Act, TechShop has crowd-funded almost $10 million so far to open our existing locations, but we had to do it either within California, or through direct communication with potential investors and lenders. It was difficult to do this because we could not advertise outside of California, so our tried-and-true method of crowd-sourced fundraising from our community was not scalable outside of the state. This has limited our expansion.
Now, because of the JOBS Act, we can pursue funding from individuals across the country and fulfill our mission to provide every person in every community with access to TechShop's tools, resources and information. This will allow us to drive the restoration of American manufacturing, help to create new companies and new jobs, and empower even more people to be makers!
Here are the next cities in which we would love to build TechShop locations:
Cedar Valley IA
Chandler AZ (opening Nov 2013)
Grand Rapids MI
Los Angeles CA
Menlo Park CA (moving to a new location)
New York City NY
St. Louis MO
Washington DC (in Arlington VA)
If your city is not listed above, here's the most exciting part: As part of our $60 million fundraising campaign, we have set up a way on our web site for people to vote to determine which community the next TechShop will be located!
For more information about how individuals, companies, institutions, and governments can invest or become lenders in TechShop, and how they can vote for their hometown to be the next to have a new TechShop location, please visit our investment page.
Please help us spread the word so we can open new locations in the communities that want, and need, TechShop the most.
Founder and Chairman, TechShop, Inc.