|By Business Wire||
|April 8, 2014 07:01 AM EDT||
Geostellar, America’s first and largest online solar marketplace, announced today that it is partnering with PENSCO Trust Company, a leading alternative asset custodian, to crowdfund capital for the marketplace through the Geostellar Solar Energy Market Growth Fund.
Leveraging the equity crowdfunding provisions of the Federal JOBS Act, accredited investors can now participate in the $1 million Geostellar campaign at Return on Change (ReturnOnChange.com/Geostellar), an equity crowdfunding platform for “triple bottom line” companies that value the positive societal and environmental benefits of their work along with the financial profits.
“Until recently, only professional, well-connected investors could participate in the financing of promising ventures,” said David Levine, CEO of Geostellar. “With this offering, we’re setting a new standard for the availability, transparency and accountability of private companies in the sale of tax-advantaged securities.”
Geostellar has quickly raised more than $600,000, surpassing the reserve set for the campaign. A unique variable cap on the promissory note conversion price, which values the company at two-times the amount of money raised in the offering, balances risk and reward for investors. The security offering also provides all investors with such customary terms as anti-dilution provisions and superior liquidation preferences that are typically negotiated by sophisticated investors. CrowdCheck, an investor protection company for crowdfunding and online investments, is performing corporate due diligence on Geostellar for the benefit of investors.
“As more and more investors look for products that are socially and environmentally responsible to generate income, self-directed IRAs have grown in popularity over the last few years as a way to invest in privately held companies,” said PENSCO CEO Kelly Rodriques. “As a result, we’ve seen an increase in the number of investors that are using self-directed IRAs to invest in alternative investments in areas like solar energy and private company stock. We are excited about our partnership with Geostellar on this offering.”
In addition, four energy and technology industry leaders have joined Geostellar’s Board of Directors to ensure accountability to all stakeholders and to uphold the highest standards of corporate governance. With the CEO of the company, David Levine, serving as Chairman, the Board now includes the following members:
- Paul Feldman is an experienced executive in the energy business and technology industry who currently serves as Director (past Chairman) of the Midwest ISO, which manages electricity generation, transmission, monitoring and optimization across utilities in the midwest US, Board Leadership Fellow for the National Association of Corporate Directors and Advisor to the US Department of Energy. Among other roles, Mr. Feldman has served as General Manager for Enterprise Products at Novell, CEO of Columbia Energy, CEO of Utilicorp Energy Services and Vice President at AT&T.
- Tracy McKibben is a seasoned financial strategist with over 15 years experience in the energy sector who currently serves as the President & CEO of MAC Energy Advisors and Partner at Sphaera Energy. Previously, Ms McKibben served as a Managing Director and Head of Environmental Strategies for Citigroup Global Markets and advised the President of the United States, the National Security Advisor and Cabinet Secretaries as the Acting Senior Director of the National Security Council the Director of European Economic Affairs and EU Relations for the National Security Council. Upon first entering government service, Ms McKibben was appointed Special Counsel to the US Department of Commerce by the Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans. She began her career practicing law as a corporate litigation counsel for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld after earning her Juris Doctor at Harvard Law School.
- Scott Rotruck is a key leader of Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC’s Government Relations, Energy and Shale Gas Practice Groups as the Director of Energy & Transportation Services. Mr. Rotruck’s prior experience includes serving as Vice President of Corporate Development and State Government Relations at Chesapeake Energy, fifteen years as an executive with Anker Energy and CONSOL, ten years in the railroad industry with CSX and Norfolk Southern Corporation and service in higher education as the Economic Development Director and Senior Advisor to the President of West Virginia University, where he also taught entrepreneurship in the WVU College of Business and Economics.
- Howard Teich, Ph.D. is an organizational depth psychologist, leadership coach and group facilitator serving both emerging companies in the Bay Area and established enterprises such as Clorox, Intel, HP, Microsoft, SAP and Wells Fargo. Dr. Teich is in private practice as a therapist and is the author of Solar Light, Lunar Light, a seminal work on complementarity in archetypal consciousness. In addition to his doctorate in clinical psychology, Dr. Teich holds a masters degree in business from the University of Oregon.
“We are proud to host Geostellar’s crowdinvesting campaign on our platform,” said Sang Lee, CEO of Return on Change. “Geostellar’s disruptive technology in the fast-growing solar energy sector creates an appealing opportunity for our investor community.”
Federal securities law defines an accredited investor as one of the following:
- A natural person who has individual network, or joint net worth with the person’s spouse, that exceeds $1 million at the time of the purchase, excluding the value of the primary residence of such person.
- A natural person with income exceeding $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or a joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 for those years and a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year.
About $18 trillion are currently held in tax-qualified retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s and Roth IRAs. This represents an important new source of capital to finance the growth of socially and environmentally positive ventures, create jobs, fuel innovation and grow the economy. The funds raised in this equity crowdfunding campaign will be used to develop, release and promote the next generation of the Geostellar solar energy marketplace and Solar Mojo app for iOS, an important new multi-user platform that directly connects homeowners, community partners, solar providers and independent agents, scheduled for launch on May 22nd at the US Department of Energy SunShot Grand Challenge Summit 2014.
Geostellar is America’s first and largest online solar marketplace, helping homeowners secure the best deal on solar energy by comparing and tailoring a wide variety of installation and financing plans. Through advanced simulations on an intuitive social platform, Geostellar lowers the cost of solar, making it more competitive with conventional electricity. The result is more accessible, affordable and plentiful clean solar power for America. The company is the recipient of numerous awards, including selection as an IHS Energy Innovation Pioneer, the Global Cleantech100, the Global Cleantech Cluster Association’s Best of Solar and the AlwaysOn GoingGreen Global 200. Visit www.geostellar.com.
PENSCO Trust Company has been helping investors use their retirement account funds to invest in real estate, private equity and other non-exchange traded assets since 1989. As the industry’s premier self-directed IRA custodian, we know exactly what it takes to buy, hold and sell alternative assets in retirement accounts.
As the trusted custodian of over $10 Billion in assets, PENSCO works with over 50,000 clients across the U.S.
To learn more, visit www.pensco.com or call (855) 291-4733.
About Return on Change
Return on Change is an online crowdinvesting platform connecting startups and investors. Working with companies in the CleanTech, EdTech, Life Science, Tech, and Social Enterprise industries, their mission is simple- to efficiently connect entrepreneurs and investors through technology and crowdinvesting from front to back.