Women in Equity Crowdfunding: Elyssia Patterson from Vested.ca
Elyssia Patterson, SFU School of Communication Alumna, bridged her knowledge from communication and business to created Vested, one of the few equity crowdfunding companies in Canada.
Growing up, Elyssia always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She started off with offering PR and marketing freelance services to media companies and later on established her own non-profit company, Wired 4 Giving, which helps non-profit and social ventures with communication and fundraising needs. To compliment her Communication Degree, she went off an completed her Masters of Business Administration in Australia. Her unique blend of experience strengthened her knowledge of capital funding for small and medium start-ups which led to equity crowdfunding at Vested Technology Corp.
In a Nutshell: Equity Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is the raising of funds through the collection of small contributions from the general public “the crowd” using the Internet and social media. Crowdfunding has its origins in the concept of crowdsourcing, which is the broader concept of an individual reaching a goal by receiving and leveraging small contributions from many parties.
Traditional Funding – large amounts from one, or a few sources
Crowdfunding – small amounts from numerous groups or individuals
Equity crowdfunding – the sale of a stake in a business to a number of investors in return for equity in the company
Did you ever imagine yourself doing what you are doing now? What did you want to do right after graduation?
"I actually wanted to work in the not-for-profit sector in fundraising right after graduation. In a sense that is what I’m doing now. I never imagined working in equity crowdfunding, however, it’s such a new, exciting field in Canada that it appealed to me. It enables BC residents to invest in campaigns and companies that wouldn’t be accessible to them otherwise." - Patterson
How is it like being a woman in tech?
"It is still highly dominated by men and a lot of the investors and companies are looking for expertise in either investing or being funded. It really is more a matter of how I communicate to them. My background in Communications has allowed me to simplify the process to maximize their comprehension of the process from start to finish. People are easily overwhelmed by tech and I think my approach of simplifying the process has enabled vested.ca to be successful. There aren’t many women currently in tech, however there is a gradual increase in population joining this sector. Since I work with many CEO’s and executives, much of my time is to help them realize that crowdfunding is completely different than raising capital and I have to get them to change their perspective. It is very rewarding when a campaign successfully reaches its financial goal in under one month due to unique approaches that I’ve implemented. One was recognizing that conventions are a significant source of investors and I initiated debit investing in which an investor can sign up and pay immediately for an investment in one of Vested’s companies. The whole process takes under 7 minutes from the time they sign up to finishing the investment." - Patterson
Elyssia Patterson, BA, MBA
Director of Business Development at Vested.ca