I conceived of iSelect the day that Congress passed the JOBS Act.
What the JOBS Act said is that, in the past when people were raising money for private deals for new startup companies, they couldn’t advertise or solicit to broad audiences. You had to have a relationship with the person that you were raising the money from, which imposed a certain level of honesty and forthrightness, because you were dealing with people that you had existing relationships with, your peers.
The JOBS Act said you can sell to a broad audience of people and you can advertise to them.
I had became concerned that everything that we had been doing in the St. Louis area, and a lot of the other towns like St. Louis across America, where we had been investing for years and years to build the infrastructure to have a real venture capital community and to see real results. And, if you look around St. Louis, you can see the results. We have billions of dollars of development happening in our city because of earlier investments in venture capital.
I became concerned that that was all going to go away if you had the ability to go raise money from people with just a slick advertising campaign.
If there wasn’t real diligence, and real work, put into making sure the companies that came onto the platform that were being invested in were solid, good companies and that the management teams were competent and not fraudulent. And that they had the capability to actually execute their business plans.
So we set about, at iSelect, to build a platform that really provides that level of diligence to investors, that really looks into the companies rather than just advertising, and marketing, and trying to raise capital through slick advertising campaigns.