Wow 2012 has been quite a whirlwind. It started off in South America back in January, followed by a few weeks in Europe in May and the summer months have been spent in Canada. In that time, the core focus has been to research the trends that are shaping the new era of business. All that research has amassed itself on the blog, so we thought it would be a good idea to hit the pause button for a second and summarize.

There have been three core phases of research:

  • Crowdfunding
  • New Financial Ecosystem
  • The New-Era Business

The research for each phase is broken down below.


Joel spent the first two months of the year studying crowdfunding in South America.

The first part of the trip was spent in Argentina talking to Latin America’s first crowdfunding platform (read post on My CFS blog).

The second part of the trip was spent in Brazil, talking to entrepreneurial organizations like Aliança Empreendedor (read post on My CFS blog), and a host of Brazilian crowdfunding platforms, most notably Catarse (read post on My CFS blog).

The journey was all documented on the blog and a report was created to summarize the trip.The idea was to study crowdfunding in a culture where it would be most natural based on the social and cultural dynamics of the people.

+ My Crowdfunding Study
+ My CFS Report

+ Read the article on Shareable – Crowdfunding’s Future in Latin America

A follow up post will be written in the coming weeks to update the situation of the current crowdfunding market in LatAm as there has been a lot of action!

New Financial Ecosystem

In May, Joel headed off to London to study the emergence of the new financial ecosystem.

While everyone was focused on the legalization of crowdfunding for investment purposes (crowdinvesting) in the US (the JOBS Act), Seedrs opened its doors to become the first regulator-approved crowdinvesting platform on the planet. Joel spent his time in London attending events, such as the Next-Generation Financial Forum, and chatting to companies who are leading the charge, such as Seedrs.

The conclusion was that we are at a tipping point in the financial industry, where Wall Street cronyism gives way to an open and transparent financial ecosystem.

+ Finance 2.0 Wall Street Meets the Web

Beyond crowdfunding and crowdinvesting platforms, there were several other exciting initiatives launching in London, signifying the beginning of a new era in finance.

Lots has shifted there in the last few months, so we will provide an update of those activities coming up shortly.

The New-Era Business

As we are heading into a new era of business, we wanted to rethink the way businesses are created and develop a new process to bring ideas to market.

That’s why in the summer months in Canada, where the market does not exactly move at light speed, Joel focused on brainstorming a new process for entrepreneurs to launch a company given the new tools (ie. crowdfunding) and the new financial ecosystem.

The blog series, called Building Blocks for the New-Era Business, was broken down into three categories:

+ Building Blocks for the New-Era Business

PLAN – developing the core tools to properly plan out a new venture

TEST – creating an experimental process to test demand using crowdfunding platforms

SPREAD – taking queues from the social movements to spread an idea in the market

This experimental process was designed to be collaborative and provide entrepreneurs with tools to get feedback and test demand, while using the bare minimum amount of resources.

There will be more research to come, but this provides a good summary of the core topics that were studied so far this year. The focus will now shift to the application of the knowledge gained from this research, so stay tuned!

Also, be sure to check out the summary of our research on crowdfunding strategy, linked below. To stay on top of our published research, bookmark this blog, as we will post any major updates here.

If you have any questions or feedback about our research, or are interested in purchasing our top-level content, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Update: December 2012

Over the last several months, we have researched several new topics, including:

The New Era of Business

We have done in-depth research into the two industries that we are particularly passionate about:

FOOD – breaking down the Main Ingredients, Food Production and The Way We Eat

+ A New Era of Food

FASHION – breaking down the Raw Materials, Textile Production and What it Means to Be Fashionable

+ A New Era of Fashion

In each research blog, we source examples of high-level companies from around the world who are leading the charge, and develop our Market Beacons, companies who we think represent where the future lies. Then we talk about the road to Action, using our Building Blocks and Crowdfunding Strategy research as good starting points.

Crowd Finance

Building on our research on crowdfunding, we have further dived into the Crowd Finance landscape and started to take a look at applications of this new form of financing.

In October, we wrote about how the crowdfunding landscape is evolving:

+ The Crowdfunding Ecosystem – Evolved

Then we started to look at how new tools like crowdfunding can be applied to advance certain industries and important causes:

+ Youth Entrepreneurship + Crowdfunding+

+ Renewable Energy + Crowdinvestment

Recently, we were in London to look at how the overall Crowd Finance ecosystem is emerging and what it means for Small Businesses:

+ London + Crowd Finance …

+ The Small Business Finance ®evolution

More to come …

+ BMBreakdown: ETSY
+ Time For BMi

PLAN – the Business Model

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