Kiva Launches Kiva NYC To Grow Local Small Business

Kiva NYC Connects Local Small Business Owners with 0% Interest Crowdfunded Loans to Help Them Start, Sustain and Grow Their Enterprises, the leading global microlending nonprofit, announced the launch of Kiva NYC, a new multi-year initiative to help level the playing field for lower-income small business owners in New York City. The program will bring 0% interest crowdfunded loans to hundreds of New York City small business owners who are socially impactful and financially excluded from mainstream lending options.

The launch was celebrated last night at a special small business marketplace event in New York City featuring Kiva President and Co-Founder Premal Shah, Kiva borrowers and former President Bill Clinton. “The world needs two things more than anything else. It needs positive identity, the belief that our common humanity matters more than our differences. And it needs a system of inclusive universal empowerment so that we can live and prosper together, raise our children together, and have an entirely different future than what dominates most of the headlines today,” said former President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation. “That’s why Kiva in the United States is so important.”

Kiva NYC is part of Kiva’s effort to expand risk-tolerant and patient capital from city to city across the U.S. that was announced as a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action in 2011. Since, then twelve other Kiva City programs have launched and Kiva loans are crowdfunding in 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Recently marking its 10 year anniversary, Kiva has provided crowdfunded loans to support more than 1.7 million entrepreneurs globally. After a successful roll-out of the community-based platform Kiva Zip, in select cities, Kiva is broadening its reach across the United States through a new social underwriting loan model, reinserting the idea of “character into credit” and giving business owners who may not qualify for traditional loans access to needed capital.

Kiva’s new “social underwriting” model differs from conventional small business lenders: a borrower’s credit-worthiness is based on one’s ability to recruit friends and family to fund a small portion of their loan, demonstrating trust among the people who know them best. Kiva does not require a minimum FICO score, collateral, or a minimum operations period for the business – which is unique compared to most non-profit U.S. microlenders. More than 90 percent of loan requests on Kiva are fully funded.

Kiva NYC represents a dramatic expansion of Kiva’s work in the New York City area. Kiva has already connected thousands of small dollar lenders to nearly 250 local entrepreneurs from every borough, including businesses owned by immigrants, neighborhood shops working to stay in their community, and businesses founded to support local food ecosystems and local emerging artists.

“New York’s small businesses are the heart of this city. They bring color and vibrancy to the neighborhoods, create quality jobs, and enrich the cultural fabric of this city,” said Premal Shah, President of “They have the passion and the plan, but often they lack just a small amount of capital to start or expand. Through this initiative, we can all be a part of their success.”

Visitors to can choose the entrepreneur they want to help crowdfund with a loan of $25 or more. Every dollar lent to a small business owner in NYC will be matched up to $1.1 million thanks to generous donors including the MetLife Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and others. Individual loan requests average $5,000 and are offered at 0% interest and no fees. As the entrepreneur repays, lenders can relend to another person on or withdraw their money and put it back in their pocket.

Kiva NYC is made possible by generous supporters including the lead sponsor, MetLife Foundation. Supporters include Pershing Square Innovation Labs, The Moody’s Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, and Surdna Foundation, with generous in-kind support from PayPal.

To become a lender or a borrower visit

About is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy and realize their potential. Since 2005, Kiva and their growing global community of 1.4 million lenders have crowdfunded over $750 million in microloans to nearly 1.7 million entrepreneurs in 80 countries, with a 98% repayment rate.

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New Rollover Business Startup (ROBS) Book Launches New Website

Turning Retirement Funds into Start-Up Dreams Book written by Adam Bergman, IRA Financial Group partner, launches new website.

Turning Retirement Funds into Start-Up Dreams – financing and retirement funding options for your start-up business, launched a new website: The website offers information on the book and the author, Adam Bergman, Esq. The book is also available on Amazon and all major book retailers.

The newly published book offers an in-depth overview of the various financing and retirement funding options available to entrepreneurs and business owners, including the viability of the Rollover Business Start-Up Solution (ROBS).

Turning Retirement Funds Into Start-Up Dreams is the next best thing to a private consultation with author Adam Bergman, Esq., a leading expert on IRAs and 401(k) plans. And what you’ll discover is that investing in yourself with your own retirement funds could be a viable option for you under the right circumstances.

This book provides a detailed analysis of various ways you can finance a business venture, including using personal savings, acquiring a traditional loan or SBA loan, using a credit card, approaching family or friends, and crowdfunding. It then discusses in detail the amazing benefits—and limitations—of the self-directed IRA, 401(k) plan loan option, and the Rollover Business Start-Up(ROBS) as business funding solutions.

Illustrating these approaches through a fictional conversation between Ken, who would like to quit his job and start a water business, and a helpful tax attorney named John, this book clearly explains how each funding structure works so you can apply the information to your entrepreneurial dreams. “The new website provides a detailed overview of the various way one can fund or finance a start-up business using personal and/or retirement funds.“ stated Steve LaVista , head of digital marketing with the IRA Financial Group “Few people, including many attorneys and CPAs, realize that it might be possible for you to legally buy, finance, or invest in your own business with your retirement funds.” Stated Mr. Lavista.

Adam Bergman is a senior tax partner with the IRA Financial Group, LLC, the markets leading provider of Self-Directed IRA LLC and Solo 401(k) plans. Mr. Bergman is also the managing partner of the law firm The Bergman Law Group, LLC. In addition, Mr. Bergman is a recognized expert on IRAs and 401(k) Plans and is the founder of the and the Mr. Bergman is the author of the book titled, “ Going Solo: America’s Best Kept Retirement Secret For the Self-Employed,” available on Amazon, and is a frequent contributor to Forbes. Mr. Bergman has advised over 12,000 clients on the self-directed IRA LLC and Solo 401(k) Plan solutions.

Mr. Bergman has been quoted in a number of major publications on the area of self-directed retirement plans. Mr. Bergman has been interviewed on CBS News and has been quoted in Businessweek, CNN Money, Forbes, Dallas Morning News, Daily Business Review,, San Francisco Chronicle, U.S. Tax News, the Miami Herald, Bloomberg, Arizona Republic, San Antonio Express, Findlaw, Smart Money, USA Today, Houston Chronicle, Morningstar, and American Lawyer on the area of retirement tax planning.

Prior to joining the IRA Financial Group, LLC, Mr. Bergman worked as a tax and ERISA attorney at White & Case LLP, Dewey LeBoeuf LLP, and Thelen LLP, three of the most prominent corporate law firms in the world. Throughout his career, Mr. Bergman has advised thousands of clients on a wide range of tax and ERISA matters involving limited liability companies and retirement plans. Mr. Bergman received his B.A. (with distinction) from McGill University and his law degree (cum laude) from Syracuse University College of Law. Mr. Bergman also received his Masters of Taxation (LL.M.) from New York University School of Law.

Mr. Bergman is recognized as a leading retirement tax-planning expert and has lectured attorneys on the legal and tax aspects of Self-Directed IRA LLC and Solo 401(k) Plans. Mr. Bergman has also been retained by several leading IRA custodians, including Entrust, to offer expertise on the Self-Directed IRA structure. Mr. Bergman is a member of the Tax Division of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association.

IRA Financial Group is the market’s leading provider of self-directed retirement plans. IRA Financial Group has helped thousands of clients take back control over their retirement funds while gaining the ability to invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate without custodian consent.

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Investment Bank Launches

Middle market investment banking firm announces the launch of, a website focused on mid to late-stage startups seeking capital, consulting and other financial advisory services., a division of Merit Harbor Group, LLC announces the launch of, a website focused on showcasing the company’s unique consulting angle on some of the most promising startup companies. Because most of the company’s work is outside the realm of the earliest-stage startup companies, the company has launched this new site with a focus geared toward startup companies that are post-revenue, but still seeking both capital and consulting assistance to take them to the next level of growth.

Later stage companies that have typically have been around for one or more years, have existing customers and a trajectory that leans toward further growth into the future are the best fit for the firm’s services. The focus away from the earliest, nascent companies helps to filter out some clients that may lack experience–or at least have not yet shown they have the skills to take a company from its initial stage to a proven profitable business.

In some instances, the company will work with startups, particularly those with a hot product or that fit within the parameters for the new Regulation A+. Such startups could include companies with interesting and scalable technology, an existing large user-base, or a business that has thought about going public to raise capital, but wanted to do so using an alternative method. The new law with Regulation A+ allows firms to raise up to $50 million from both accredited and non-accredited retail investors in a public offering. It’s what the crowdfunding industry is calling a “mini-IPO.”

A typical client for the company fits outside the definition of a true startup. In most cases the company works with clients that are profitable and growing with annual earnings above $3 million. branches outside this typical client definition to help service some of the most promising startup companies, assisting them by providing both capital and consulting in their quest toward growth and eventual exit.

About is a division of Merit Harbor Group, LLC a middle-market investment bank with offices in several cities across the United States. Like other boutique investment banks, the company helps with buy and sell-side mergers and acquisitions and capital raises. In addition, the company has a consulting practice that helps companies with organic and inorganic growth as they scale. That is, the firm employs in-house consultants that assist in preparing a business for growth and scale before, during and after a capital infusion. Such growth could include the hiring of an internal CFO, more salespeople or assistance with multiple buy-side acquisitions. The recent launch of is aimed at tying together some of the firm’s unique services for growing middle market companies. Those interested in following the company can subscribe to their investment banking blog.

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World’s First Connected Emergency Evacuation Mask

Thousands of fires are reported each year and 74% of deaths are caused by ambient smoke including burns. This is why Canadian-based Emurgenz Innovation Inc. has designed PEBA (Personal Emergency Breathing Aid), the world’s first emergency escape mask allowing its user to automatically contact emergency services, such as 911 in North America, while protecting the respiratory tract and the eyes, in addition to being equipped with lights.

Robert Beaulieu, President of Emurgenz Innovation Inc., says : “I designed this tool to save lives, period. I have often witnessed horror stories when my father was a firefighter with the City of Montreal. Since the first meetings of the project initiation, I dream to present it to the citizens and to the Minister of Public Security. I offer a tool that is simple, effective, at the cutting edge of technology and very safe.”

The mask contains an automatic connection to emergency services wherever in the world the service is accessible. Moreover, PEBA is the first emergency escape mask with powerful LED lights positioned in front, to enlighten the user, allowing to go out quickly and more safely during a fire evacuation. Compact, you can put it on in less than 5 seconds, which makes it easy to use for children 10 years and older, the elderly and the disabled.

“On August 24, 2001, circumstances showed that I have saved the lives of many people. Today, I join PEBA because I think this product could also help save the lives of our loved ones,” says Captain Robert Piche, Spokesperson for PEBA.

People can purchase their PEBA by visiting the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, starting on October 22, 2015 at the following address:

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NextGen Crowdfunding Conference: The New Era Where All Investors Can Fund Innovative Companies

At the NextGen Crowdfunding Conference, to be held on November 19 at Loew’s Santa Monica Beach Hotel, the focus will be on game-changing ways in which everyday investors can now fund startups and emerging businesses.

Top industry leaders will discuss new forms of crowdfunding along with the potential impacts on entry-level investors, startups, venture capitalists, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles.

“We created this inaugural event to help entrepreneurs and investors better understand the new crowdfunding rules that became effective on June 19, 2015. I know how founders and new investors both want to be on the cutting edge of new opportunities. I believe that equity crowdfunding will have many transformative impacts from helping startups and investors to spark a new economy,” said Aubrey Chernick, entrepreneur and founder of NextGen Crowdfunding.

The conference will be co-sponsored by the Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA), the leading association for the crowdfunding industry.

The NextGen Crowdfunding Conference features:

Keynote Presentation – Futurist Rob Tercek, author, TEDx speaker

Is Equity Crowdfunding Appropriate for Startups?

The Current and Future Directions of equity crowdfunding (Reg A, Title III)

Will Crowdfunding be a Seismic Event for California?

Will Silicon Valley VCs Become Less Relevant?

Is Los Angeles Becoming the Nexus for Equity Crowdfunding?

How Crowdfunding Can Benefit all Investors and Spark a New Economy

Equity Crowdfunding Marketing Bootcamp

NextGen Spark: Crowdfunding Showcase

Crowdfunding Pitch Competition

“Recent regulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission offer emerging business new ways to raise money via equity crowdfunding. I have been a securities attorney for more than 35 years and there has never been a more exciting time for small businesses that want to raise capital,” said Samuel Guzik, Founder Guzik & Associates, President, Crowdfunding Professional Association.

Featured speakers at the NextGen Equity Crowdfunding Conference include:

Robert Tercek, Industry Consultant and Visionary for Digital Media , Author, TEDx Speaker Samuel S. Guzik, President, Crowdfunding Professional Association, Leading Crowdfunding Securities Attorney

Richard Swart, One of the top thought leaders in crowdfunding and alternative finance

Georgia P. Quinn, Co-founder and CEO of iDisclose, Crowdfunding Securities attorney

Ron Miller, CEO of StartEngine

Ryan Feit, CEO of SeedInvest

Rick Smith, Managing Director of Crosscut Ventures

Doug Ellenoff, Partner, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP

Registration for the full-day conference, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM is $99.00.
Learn more about the conference here.
Sign up by going to:

About NextGen Crowdfunding:

NextGen Crowdfunding is the go-to place for the new era of crowdfunding. It’s the place to learn about both current crowdfunding activities and about new crowdfunding directions. As a purpose driven company, NextGen Crowdfunding believes that many everyday investors want to support emerging businesses that are chasing the American Dream. It’s a way for everyone to invest in the future and to spark a new economy.

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John Livesay Partners With Judy Robinett, Launches Global Network Of Investors And Startup Founders In Private Facebook Group

John Livesay, host of the podcast, The Successful Pitch, partners with #1 best selling author Judy Robinett to create private Facebook group ecosystem for global investors and successful startup founders to network and get their startup funded fast.

John Livesay, host of The Successful Pitch podcast and Judy Robinett, Inc., #1 best selling author of How to Be A Power Connector, announced today the collaborative launch of The Successful Pitch Podcast Guest Group private Facebook group for guests of The Successful Pitch podcast, allowing guests access to an exclusive network of global investors and successful founders who share insights and criteria to becoming insiders in the world of getting funded.

“I am thrilled to have Judy Robinett, with her expertise in funding and connecting people, as my co-host of the Facebook group,” says Livesay. “The venture capital experience and relationships she brings to the table is what makes her known as the woman with the ‘Titanium Rolodex.’ Who knows? Maybe our guests will get to know each other so well they end up funding one or more startups.”

The creation of the The Successful Pitch Podcast Guest Group Facebook network models Judy’s book concept of being in the “right room” with key players to accelerate entrepreneurs and investors business goals. While many founders and investors may network within their own city, they don’t know or have introductions to key investors in their industry nationally let alone globally. Livesay’s The Successful Pitch podcast hosts guests worldwide.

“Partnering with John Livesay was easy, as his network of expert guests spans the globe from key players like Australia’s Alan Jones at BlueChilli Group, Israel’s Danny Cohen at Carmel Ventures to London’s Lex Deak at QVentures, making him a true power connector,” said Robinett.

Additionally, Livesay is contributing to Robinett’s new mastermind, “Crack The Funding Code,” where she is accepting qualified startup founders in an exclusive mentorship to assist them in getting their startup funded fast.

About John Livesay

As a funding strategist, John Livesay helps CEOs craft a compelling pitch that engages investors in a way that inspires them to join a startup’s team. He is the Pitch Mentor at, the number one accelerator in Upstate New York. After a successful 20 year career in media sales with Conde Nast where he worked across all 22 brands in their corporate division [GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, W and Vogue] and created integrated programs for clients such as Lexus, Hyundai and Guess, John won salesperson of the year in 2012 across the entire company. John’s book, The 7 Most Powerful Selling Secrets and has been translated into Spanish and Russian. John has a B.S in Advertising from the University of Illinois.

About Judy Robinett

Judy Robinett is the author of How to Be a Power Connector: The 5-50-150 Rule, released by (McGraw-Hill, 2014), and the coauthor of a chapter in Crowdfunding for Dummies by Sherwood Neiss, Jason W. Best, and Zak Cassady-Dorion (Wiley, 2013). Robinett has served as the CEO of both public and private companies and in management positions at Fortune 500 companies, as well as serving on the advisory boards of Illuminate Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California; Pereg Ventures, a venture capital firm based in New York; Springboard Enterprises based in Washington, DC.

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Pascal Cagni Appointed Chairman Of Hardware Club To Build The Next Generation Of Hardware Startups

Hardware Club, the highly selective club of Hardware Startups, has appointed as its new Chairman Pascal Cagni, who spearheaded Apple’s growth in Europe for 12 years and is the founder of C4 Ventures.

Alongside renowned investors, Pascal Cagni invested in Hardware Club’s initial financing round. Other strategic investors include Bruno Maisonnier (founder of Aldebaran Robotics), Marie Ekeland (founder of France Digitale & Daphni), Stephane Distinguin (founder of Fabernovel), and Ryota Matsuzaki (ex-Rakuten Director and founder of Kibidango).

Sonny Vu (co-founder and CEO at Misfit) and Jeff Burton (co-founder of Electronic Arts) also joined its board of advisors.

Launched 12 months ago by co-founders Alexis Houssou and Barbara Belvisi, Hardware Club’s mission is to help founders scale up their companies. “The Hardware Renaissance has unleashed an immense potential which needs to be fostered. We are here to help startups that have an already proven demand to become the next giants of consumer electronics,” explains co-founder Alexis Houssou.

Hardware Club selects the most promising hardware startups worldwide and provides them with a whole new level of support on hardware-related challenges, including an unprecedented set of resources and partnerships. The platform has already closed partnerships with leading manufacturing firms including Foxconn, Jabil and Quanta Computer and global distribution networks such as Amazon, Target and Media-Saturn.

Since its launch, Hardware Club has attracted a significant amount of attention among the hardware ecosystem and very quickly became the world’s largest community of hardware companies. It now officially counts 86 selected members from 20 countries including companies like Misfit, Thync, Narrative, Click&Grow and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Once companies are selected to become members, their access to the community, resources and partnerships are free of charge. Hardware Club also operates as an investment firm, investing in a number of its early stage members. For instance, Hardware Club was the first investor in Prynt, the Instant Camera smartphone case that raised over $1.5M on Kickstarter last February. More recently, Hardware Club made 2 seed investments in robotics startups: Keecker, the world’s first smart home robot and Reach Robotics, the company behind the amazing Mecha Monsters robots.

“In the hardware industry more than any other, time matters. Startups often lose months looking for the right manufacturing partners, trying to get in touch with the relevant merchants or raising funding rounds. Hardware Club was designed as a solution to this challenge with the aim of facilitating large-scale manufacturing, global distribution and financing for hardware startups,” commented co-founder Barbara Belvisi.

Pascal Cagni, newly appointed Chairman at Hardware Club said in a statement, “When I met the team last year, I immediately shared their vision of supporting hardware startups by leveraging the power of a large community. Combined with key partnerships into the hardware eco-system, Hardware Club should become the catalyst of a new generation of successful hardware startups.”

In 2000, Steve Jobs appointed Cagni as Apple’s General Manager and VP Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA). Here, Cagni grew annual sales significantly from $1.2bn in 2001 to $40bn in 2012. Today, he serves as a board member of Vivendi SA and Kingfisher plc. He recently joined, alongside Anna Wintour, the board of directors of Condé Nast owned e-commerce website He is also the founder and partner at C4 Ventures, his London-based Venture Capital firm.

Barbara Belvisi, co-founder at Hardware Club commented, “We’re thrilled to welcome Pascal as our new Chairman. There are very few people with this level of experience and vision. His insight within the hardware business will be invaluable to us.”

To achieve its vision, Hardware Club recently welcomed two new partners: Jerry Yang, a former Qualcomm-Atheros senior engineer and Caroline Lair, a former Apple employee, to strengthen its team and widen its support on manufacturing & distribution. With offices recently opened in Paris, Taipei and San Francisco, Hardware Club is now all set to make the hardware renaissance truly happen.

About The Hardware Club

Hardware Club is the first global scaling platform for hardware startups.

Hardware Club selects the most promising startups worldwide and helps them with key hardware issues like manufacturing and distribution. Hardware Club has its own investment arm that invests in some of the Club’s startups during the pre-seed, seed and series A rounds.

All members benefit from unlimited and free access to a dedicated set of resources: private events worldwide, a community of more than 150 hardware founders, an online platform and strategic partnerships with top-tier manufacturers, distributors and service providers.

Everyone at Hardware Club is stage, geography and sector agnostic. Based in Paris, Taipei and San Francisco, Hardware Club believe the hardware revolution is global and so are they.

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