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The Startup Funding Network (SFN), Startup Weekend Miami winner, is an equity-based crowdfunding platform. “If you’ve ever raised capital,” says team leader Sherwood Neiss, “you know that laws prohibit anyone from publically soliciting money from more than 35 friends and family who aren’t millionaires. The [initial investment] most startups need doesn’t exist because the traditional means of financing, have disappeared. Winning Startup Weekend idea doesn’t mean you will have the capital to succeed.”

That’s why Neiss and his team are stepping in. They want to allow the community to take over where the Government and Wall Street have left off. And the time seems to be right. Both the SBA and the Kauffman Foundation state that the bulk of net new jobs are created by young, small businesses. With the recession, over 9 million people are out of work. “Many of those people have great ideas that with the right capital and a support network could start some innovative companies. These companies will provide jobs and taxes to stimulate the economy and replenish the government’s coiffeurs.”

Washington, DC seems to be listening. Neiss was recently called to testify at a Congressional hearing regarding Capital Formation. He has the backing of major entrepreneurial politicians like Representative Darrell Issa who also Chairs the powerful Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Neiss has the backing of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council and has met with the SEC and the SBA. And he’s even snagged the interests of Whoopi Goldberg who wants to help inner city communities.

Neiss and his team aim to update the security laws so that all the great ideas emanating from SWs have access to the capital they need to grow and hire. Visit their website to learn more about their initiative and to get involved.