CircleUp’s Ryan Caldbeck Channels His Passion Into A Creative Financing Marketplace

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Business As Usual In The New Silicon Valley

As crowdfunding is all the rage today, there are entrepreneurs like Ryan Caldbeck of CircleUp who approach opportunities a bit differently. A former private equity analyst focused on consumer retail, Caldbeck noticed consumer retail businesses were often rebuffed for venture capital but yet good businesses run by many smart people. He spotted a gap in the financing market, and hence CircleUp was born, a marketplace connecting accredited investors to a curated list of private consumer retail companies.

In this discussion, Caldbeck shares with us why CircleUp leverages the benefits of a marketplace model to connect capital with companies, how they select and accept companies into the platform (only 2% make it), and how he and his co-founder started the business, which included rounds and rounds of regulatory and legal work with their partners. For founders innovating around the edges of finance and/or those building marketplace businesses, this talk with Caldbeck could prove useful.

Editor’s Note: Michael Abbott is a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, previously Twitter’s VP of Engineering, and a founder himself. Mike also writes a blog called uncapitalized. You can follow him on Twitter @mabb0tt.