George Popescu is the Founder and CEO of Lending Times. The online publication was founded in January of 2016 with the goal of bringing peer-to-peer (“P2P”)—aka marketplace lending news—analysis, and data to its niche group of readers. Lending Times is Popescu’s latest venture, with his resume boasting upwards of 10 founding positions for profitable businesses. George originates from Romania and relocated to Paris in his early years. After receiving two master degrees in France, George relocated to Boston in 2003 to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his third masters degree. His vast formal education spans electrical engineering, computer science, 3D printing, and nanosciences—so how did he switch paths to become a serial entrepreneur, investor and fintech expert?


One of Popescu’s most notable business endeavors is Boston Technologies, bootstrapped in 2007 and grown to a $20 million dollar business, garnering attention from Inc. magazine as one of the top 500 fastest-growing private companies worldwide. George sold Boston Technologies in 2014, making room for many other ventures. We had a sit-down lunch with the scientist-turned-serial-entrepreneur to learn about what he attributes this success to.

Sharestates’ Interview With George Popescu

Sharestates: You’ve had quite the impressive track record. To start, how did Boston Technologies come about?

George Popescu: Well, I was interning and making student wages, and my girlfriend at the time made a deal with me. We agreed that if she grew her hair out, I would take her to Paris for vacation to see my parents. I had no money whatsoever.

Sharestates: Where were you living at the time?

George PopescuBoston. This was 2007 and I was finishing my masters at MIT for 3D Printing. So I made this deal and she grew her hair, and I had to find the money for two plane tickets. I put an ad on Craigslist (“MIT grad student who will do work for money”), and one company responded offering to pay me three times what I was then making to do IT work for their office. The company was a foreign exchange brokerage called Tradex Swiss. On my first day, they had a problem with their trading platform. I had no idea how to fix this so I used Google and then called the manufacturer of the trading platform in Russia. I eventually figured out that the spikes in the platform were resulting from an in-house user interference.

Sharestates: How did you figure that out so quickly when the brokerage company could not? 

George PopescuIt was research, like in a lab; I had to figure it out by asking questions and using trial and error. They were very impressed. So then they asked me to build a bridge from their platform API to the bank API. I had no idea what they were talking about, so I went back to Craigslist and found a developer who could solve the problem. I created a contract with him where I paid him per milestone and I kept the intellectual properties. Therefore, I was taking no risk. After building this bridge and selling it to a few clients, I realized there was a potential market for this. I presented the add-on to the Russian manufacturers and went into business.


Sharestates: It seems like you just fell into fintech, is that the case?

George PopescuYes, it picked me, I didn’t pick it.

Sharestates: Well maybe you owe that girlfriend something for the motivation.

George Popescu: (laughing) Yes, yes I do.

Sharestates: What caused you sell BT while it was doing so well?

George PopescuThe currency business is non-stop from Sunday evening to Friday afternoon. I was exhausted, so I sold it. The main value was in the business development and marketing of the company according to the buyer. So I was glad it had value to sell.

Sharestates: What did you think you would be doing now instead?

George PopescuWell, I don’t know. Teaching at a University and being able to afford a BMW by 40. My father was a professor; all I knew was academia. One of my professors at MIT told me “you’re made for business, get out of here.” I was mad for two days, but he was so right.

Sharestates: What do you want to do next?

George PopescuI love to travel; I want to travel more with Lending Times. I love New York, the diversity and culture, and the fact that you can walk everywhere. But to live here one needs a very large income. I co-founded a brewery last year. Down the Road Brewery was founded in February of 2015. I brought that from 0–40k a month in revenue and then sold my shares in December 2015. I actually loved making beer, but the head brewer wanted to be the sole owner and I had so many other opportunities that I agreed to move on. I think I want to live on a vineyard and travel back to New York often.

George’s startup career began when Tradex Swiss presented him with the famous bridge problem in March of 2007, leading to Boston Technologies starting that April. Boston Technologies later went on to support some of the largest foreign exchanges like MF Global, FXCM, and Citibank, to name a few. Part of Boston Technologies’ success was having its headquarters in Boston, yet hiring someone to work with international companies specifically to cover time zone changes and provide around-the-clock service.

Lending Times was founded in January of 2016. George is also a co-founder of, a fintech company that lends capital to younger borrowers. George founded BT Prime in April 2010, and Steam Sport Car Rentals in February 2010.

You can reach out to George here:

Interested in learning more about marketplace lending? Join George’s Meetup group! (His next event is Thursday, June 9)

To register for the Lending Times Daily Digest, signup here.

Do you know someone in FinTech with an amazing story? We’d love to hear it. Send us an email at and tell us more!

Interested in learning about real estate investing? Download Our Free Real Estate Crowdfunding White Paper

It’s Earth Day! Today, we celebrate just how much the planet means to us. We recycle, go for a walk, and eat clean. Yet, it is the individuals and institutions that daily take care of the earth that are truly making a difference.


The United Nations Environment Programme lays out the exact waste problems we are facing in their 2015 Global Waste Management Outlook. This extensive report covers just how much waste we are producing and how we plan to eliminate and dispose of this waste.

You may be wondering exactly how marketplace lending is helping the environment. There are many ways that investing in real estate through crowdfunding is beneficial to the planet; let’s look at a few.

Less Paper, More Digital Documents

Traditionally, when applying for a loan, banks would require an endless stack of paperwork simply to determine approval. If you weren’t approved that stack of paperwork stayed on file for years. Can you image how many trees died just for a loan denial over the years? Typically real estate crowdfunding only uses paper documents for closings, otherwise the entire process is done digitally. You can upload projects for review, check the status of projects, as well as invest online using secure portals.

This is not to say that you will never put pen to paper throughout the investing and borrower processes, but the amount of waste will be noticeably less than that of traditional methods.

Financing Community Development

Think about the old vacant homes in your neighborhood or nearby. Don’t you wish someone would purchase those homes and restore the value to the property as well as the neighborhood at large? Marketplace lending, specifically real estate crowdfunding provides loans to real estate borrowers who seek to develop fix-and-flip properties.

A benefit that is not often recognized is that the neighborhood quality is going up through these developments. Previously abandoned and foreclosed homes will now undergo rehab developments that will help to attract buyers. This is a cyclical chain that was kicked off through marketplace lenders providing short term loans to qualified developers.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Means Less Time Waiting

Real estate crowdfunded loans close in a fraction of the time that it would take to close a loan through a traditional method, you have time to do more of the things that really matter. Now you can start that garden that you have always wanted, or work out, recycle more, and volunteer. The options are endless.

On this Earth Day, create a habit of doing good not just to yourself and those around you, but to our planet as well! Here’s a list of great Earth Day quotes from some of the world’s greatest thinkers:

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of it’s beauty, its riches or its romance.”

Theodore Roosevelt

“I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.”

Mother Teresa

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

Franklin D Roosevelt

Join Now To Discover Simplified Real Estate Investing 

Investing in real estate can seem like a daunting task without working knowledge of the industry. There are several ways to get started in real estate investing, many of which have traditionally been accessible only to those highly connected to the deals, the exclusive “old boys’ club”. Marketplace lending (also known as peer-to-peer (P2P) or real estate crowdfunding (RECF)) has taken the spotlight lately as a premier passive real estate investment style open to the crowd.

Investing through Marketplace lending is a great way to become acclimated to the crowdfunded investment process. While zeal for the industry grows, it is important to remember that there are regulations dictating eligibility for real estate crowdfunding investment, for Sharestates the foremost being that an investor must be accredited.

What Does it Mean to be an Accredited Investor?

The requirements for being an accredited investor are defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The intent (according to the helpful definition provided by Investopedia) is to assure investors “are financially sophisticated and have a reduced need for the protection provided by certain government filings”.

The basic requirements for an individual to be considered an accredited investor are:

  • A consistent annual income exceeding $200,000 (or a joint annual income of $300,000 or more if married).


  • A net worth of $1 million or more, excluding the value of primary residence.

In the case of crowdfunding platforms, investors will be asked to assert that they meet this criteria.

Consequences of the JOBS Act

As previously covered in our blog post about changes to the JOBS Act, there are more updates which take effect on May 16, 2016 allowing real estate crowdfunding platforms to include non-accredited investors. This means that the investment options for those who do not meet accreditation requirements are expanded. There are still some rules that will heavily regulate investments for the non-accredited investor:

1. In a 12-month time period, startups cannot receive more than $1 million in total investments from non-accredited investors.

2. Non-accredited investors are not permitted to invest more than $2,000, or 5% of their annual income if that income is less than $100,000.

The reason that the SEC heavily regulates investments is to ensure all investments are safe for the platform as well as the investor. It is to the benefit of the investor and the health of the industry that the SEC keeps investment options controlled.

The JOBS Act Title III opened marketplace lending to non-accredited inventors but with very specific rules. One of those rules limites raises to $1M or less. Sharestates loan sizes are much larger than $1M. Title III also requires audited financials for raises over $500,000 and most short term real estate holdings to not have audited financials. These are only two of the stipulations that currently prevent Sharestates from opening its loans to non-accredited investors. To learn more about the Title III stipulations visit

Transparency of Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms

You may be asking, what’s in it for me? Why do I have to adhere to these strict investment rules? Aside from the previously-acknowledged security that comes with industry regulation, investors can expect additional transparency commitments from real estate crowdfunds. In other fund-based real estate investments, investors can simply designate how much they would like to invest into real estate with no knowledge of where exactly the funds were going. Marketplace lending has changed this completely. Now, investors can select the very property that they want to invest in, as well as review documentation regarding that property.

Investors now have the option to view rehab budgets, purchase contracts, appraisals, and any other public information associated with the investment property. It is clear that real estate crowdfunds have the same commitment to their investors, as the investors have to the platform. This fosters a lasting relationship that can be seen in the repeat users of each platform. As marketplace lending grows, regulations will grow and change as well. This is just the very beginning of an industry that is here to stay!

LendIt Forum: April 11-12th, 2016 in San Francisco

Our networking and social media guide for the LendIt USA Forum 2016 is a great opportunity to learn from and interact with experts in real estate lending and investing.

Start Your Networking Process with the Experts at the LendIt Forum

Below is a list of all the confirmed speakers so far, as well as links to some of their social media pages. Use this tool to help jumpstart the networking process, and for a little background information on each speaker. This forum is where platforms and investors come to learn, network and do business. Register for the LendIt Forum here.

Join us at #LendItUSA to Learn More from Real Estate Marketplace Lending Experts

Please use the event hashtag #LendItUSA and join the social discussion! Follow @LendIt and @vestedsays for ongoing updates both before and during the conference.

Renaud Laplanche — Founder/CEO, Lending Club: @LendingClub

LinkedIn Profile

Ron Suber — President, Prosper Marketplace: @ProsperLoans

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Noah Breslow — CEO, OnDeck: @OnDeckCapital

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Daniel T. Ciporin — General Partner, Canaan Partners: @canaanpartners


Al Goldstein — CEO/Co-Founder, Avant: @Avant_US


Anthony Hsieh — CEO/Chairman, LoanDepot: @loanDepot

LinkedIn Profile

Nigel Morris — Managing Partner, QED Investors


Kathryn Petralia — COO/Co-Founder, Kabbage: @KabbageInc

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Peter Renton — Chairman/Co-Founder, LendIt: @LendIt

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Jackie Reses — Square Capital Lead, Square Capital: @Square

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Ram Ahluwalia — CEO/Co-Founder, PeerIQ: @PeerIQNews

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Steve Allocca — Vice President/General Manager of Global Credit, PayPal: @PayPal

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John Arensmeyer — CEO/Founder, Small Business Majority: @SmlBizMajority

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Paul Behm — Cheif Information Officer, B2R Finance: @B2RFinance

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Louis Beryl — CEO/Co-Founder, Earnest

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Brian Biglin — Chief Risk Officer, LoanDepot: @loanDepot

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Brock Blake — CEO/Founder, Lendio: @Lendio

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Elizabeth Braman — Chief Product Officer, RealtyMogul: @Realty_Mogul

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Bo Brustkern — CEO/Co-Founder, NSR Invest: @NSRInvest

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Matt Burton — CEO/Co-Founder, Orchard: @orchardplatform

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Brendan Carroll — Partner, Victory Park Capital

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Simon Champ — CEO, Eaglewood Europe LLP

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Nick Clements — Co-Founder, MagnifyMoney: @magnify_money

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Alejandro Consentino — CEO/Founder, Afluenta: @afluenta

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Don Davis — Managing Partner, Prime Meridian: @PMIfunds

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Will Davis — CEO/Co-Founder, Able Lending: @AbleLending

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Daniel DeMeo — CEO, CAN Capital: @CANCapital

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Darrell Esch — VP/General Manager: Small/Medium Business Lending, PayPal: @PayPal

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Garient Evans — VP of Client Services, ID Analytics: @ID_Analytics

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John C. Williams — President/CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: @sffed

Christian Faes — CEO/Co-Founder, LendInvest: @LendInvest

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Mark Fitzpatrick — Managing Partner, Glide Capital

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Jason Fritton — CEO/Co-Founder, Patch of Land: @PatchOfLand

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Robert Frohwein — CEO/Co-Founder, Kabbage: @KabbageInc

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Dave Gilbert — CEO/Founder, National Funding: @NationalFunding

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Dave Girouard — CEO/Founder, Upstart: @Upstart

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Glenn Goldman — CEO, Credibly: @credibly360

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Sam Hodges — Co-Founder/U.S Managing Director, Funding Circle: @FundingCircleUS,

Alexander Graubner-Muller — CEO, Kreditech: @Kreditech

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Jacob Haar — Co-Founder/Managing Partner- Community Investment Management

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Sherif Hassan — Founder/Managing Partner, Herio Capital@heriocapital

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Jared Hecht — CEO/Co-Founder, Fundera: @fundera

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Jilliene Helman — CEO/Founder, RealtyMogul@Realty_Mogul

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James Herbert — CEO,

David Johnson — CEO, First Associates: @1stAssociates

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Bill Kassul — Partner, Ranger Capital

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Levi King — CEO, Nav: @navSMB

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David Klein — CEO/Co-Founder, CommonBond: @CommonBond

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Liz Lasher — Director/Fraud and Compliance Solutions, FICO

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Doug Lebda — Chairman/CEO/Founder, LendingTree

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Yee Lee — Co-Founder/CEO, Vouch Financial@LendingTree

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Spencer Li — Vice President of Product, Fincera

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Tom Lockard — Independent Representative, Fundrise eREIs TM: @fundrise

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Emmanuel Marot — Co-Founder/CEO, Lending Robot: @LendingRobot

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Jeffrey Meiler, Founder/CEO, Marlette Funding: @MarletteFunding

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Douglass Merrill — Founder/CEO, ZestFinance: @ZestFinance

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Sasha Orloff — CEO & Founder, LendUp: @LendUpLoans

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James Paris — EVP Capital Markets and Corporate Development, Avant@Avant_Capital

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Vince Passione — CEO/Founder, LendKey: @LendKey

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Sachin Patel — Global Co-Head, Capital Markets, Funding Circle: @FundingCircleUS

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William Phelan — President/Co-Founder, PayNet: @PayNetOnline

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Mark L. Rockefeller — CO-Founder/CEO, StreetShares: @StreetShares

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Jeffrey Rodgers — President/CEO, LiftForward: @LiftForward

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Robert Rosenberg — Director/Entrepreneurial Programs, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

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Brendan Ross — President, Direct Lending Investments LLC

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Ohad Samet — Co-Founder/CEO, TrueAccord: @trueaccord

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Brad Selby — VP, Merchant Services, Affirm

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Nick Shalek — Partner, Ribbit Capital

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George Shand — Managing Member/CIO, Echelon Asset Management

Eyal Shinar — CEO/Founder, Fundbox: @fundbox

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Pete Steger — Head of Business Development, Kabbage

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Bryan Sullivan — EVP/CFO, LoanDepot: @loanDepot

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Denise Thomas — CEO/Co-Founder, ApplePie Capital: @applepiecapital

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Brian Tuite — Chief Business Development Officer, SquareTwo Financial: @SquareTwoOnline

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Robert Wardrop — Executive Director, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, University of Cambridge Judge Business School: @CambridgeJBS

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Peter Thiel — Entrepreneur and Investor

Scott Whaley — President, Real Estate Investor and funding Association: @rrepig

LinkedIn Profile


To register with Sharestates click below:

Register to learn more about real estate crowdfunding and investing


Real Estate Crowdfunding presents itself as the first opportunity in quite some time that allows accredited individuals to invest in what has traditionally been an inaccessible market. Finding quality real estate fit for short-term investment is a challenge; gaining access to that real estate for personal investment is even harder.

The solution to this in the late 20th century was publicly-traded REITs. Today the transparency of real estate crowdfunding offers investors the opportunity to see exactly where their money is going. Investors can research and review properties and choose which are best suited for them to invest in.

Recently, these real estate crowdfunding platforms have been gaining much public attention from landing large institutional investments. While this is helpful for the health and development of these platforms, some individual investors may be wondering why institutional investors have access to the “crowd’s” platforms. Bisnow linked up with Sharestates to address just that. Why are big-time investors permitted to invest with the crowd, and if their investment dollars are allowed into the crowd, how much is too much?

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Bisnow: You guys hit $100M raised through your site, how long did that take, and how much of that was through institutional investors, instead of what we would think of as the traditional “crowd?”

Allen Shayanfekr: That’s was mostly over the last 12 months, since our launch in February. It was about 80% institutional, 20% individual. When we originally set out to launch this platform we were of course targeting individual investors, and they still are very much our focus. But we realized that in order to make sure the company was healthy and going to be around for the long haul to eventually catch those individual investors, we needed to be able to drive volume. So we did end up bringing these institutions on board. But more than that it brought a lot of legitimacy to our platform to have these institutions on board with us.

Bisnow: How so?

Allen Shayanfekr: It actually made our individual investors feel more at ease knowing that they’re investing side-by-side in the same deals as these big institutions. Rather than parsing it out and having a separate database of loans, or having our institutions in a separate database, we’re funneling both the individuals and institutions into the same projects.

Bisnow: If you’re taking on so much funding from institutional investors, what separates you from being just an online hedge or private equity fund?

Allen Shayanfekr: Well, the goal is eventually for us to lower the ratio—we want our individual investor base to be the majority of the platform. But, being a startup, there’s multiple roadblocks you’re going to hit. For us, in order to target that individual investor base, it’s really about marketing and advertising the brand out in front of people and making them feel comfortable—and we need the funding to do that.

Read the full interview at

How do you feel about individuals investing alongside institutional investors? Join the conversation by commenting below, we would love to hear from you.

They take care of us when we’re sick and tell us we need to excercise more. How lucky for us to have a day to celebrate our doctor’s. In honor of National Doctor’s Day we considered some recent headlines in the medical field, as well as those in the fictional world. We have all heard the saying that “life imitates art” and this is true in the art of storytelling as well.

The Medical World: A Breeding Ground for Innovation and Creativity

The most successful doctors (on and off the screen) are those who can solve the toughest medical problems. We have considered three notable fictional doctors and their real life counterparts in celebration of doctors today.

House Diagnoses

House, which aired from 2004-2012, featured the tales of Dr. Gregory House, a character often compared to Sherlock Holmes due to his use of deductive reasoning.

House would eliminate diagnoses logically as each were proven to be impossible, the same way Holmes solves mysteries. In one specific episode, House treated a patient suffering from colbalt poisoning. His diagnosis came, after much deliberation, from an unexpected source. House’s patient was suffering from severe heart failure as a direct result of her previous hip replacement.  The patient had her hip replaced and now debris from the replacement were making her ill. The replacement contained colbalt features which elevated colbalt levels in her blood, ultimatly causing severe heart failure.  What makes this story interesting isn’t the illness or diagnoses. It seems that Dr. House inspired a real life diagnosis of colbalt poisoning.  In May 2012, a patient was referred to a clinic in Germany with complaints of loss of sight and hearing, as well as fever. 

Doctors learned that the patient had severe heart failure, but they did not find any evidence of coronary artery disease. Upon futher evidence, doctors concluded that the patient was suffering from Cobalt poisoning from his previous metal-on-plastic hip replacement.  Doctors were able to schedule a new hip replacement with ceramic materials and begin the healing process for the patient. While there is now some controversy as to whether the doctors diagnosed the colbalt posining as a result of watching the show House or through their own reasoning, the story gained enough traction to be featured in the Huffington Post

High Profile Plastics

In 2003 the controversial FX original NipTuck took the world by storm. The plot of the 6 season award winning show followed Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy. The partners brought their practice to the spotlight in Los Angeles, by performing high profile surgeries for A-list celebs, family, and annonymous patients.  Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy agreed on one thing, they wanted to prove that they were the best the industry has seen, though they didn’t always agree on “how”. During every consultation, the pair would ask the patient to “tell us what you don’t like about yourself” and the two would take on the project of “fixing” the patient. The world watched on for six years as the duo took on some of the riskiest plastic surgeries, all while listening to their favorite tunes and dealing with life. It seemed that there could never be a plastic surgery practice with as much charisma, charm, and controversy as McNamara/Troy.

Dr. Miami

That is until Spring 2015… Snapchatters were taken aback when Dr. Miami began snapping his plastic surgeries, live! For those of you who may not know, SnapChat is the latest social media craze where users can upload ‘snaps’ of their lives that  automatically delete after 24 hours. Snapchatters can now watch Dr. Miami (Dr. Michael Salzhauer) who is a board-certified plastic surgeon, perform some of plastic’s most intimate procedures. This may sound like a legal nightmare, yet aside from getting patient consent, Dr. Miami has a marketing strategy. He is quite clear about what types of procedures he likes to perform and understands that the optimal patient is under 50. Social media is the perfect way to reach his ideal audience of women aged 18-40. Potential patients can see exactly what they will undergo in surgery and what the results will look like. It’s the perfect review!  The similarities between Dr Miami and team McNamara/Troy are strong. Both surgical teams are not afraid of a little controversy and use mainstream culture to their advantage. Snapchatters watch Dr. Miami perform while he dances to his favorite music and discusses current events. He is the new and improved McNamara/Troy, all in one, causing us to be intrigued by plastic surgery all over again. (That being said, we think you look perfect just the way you are!) Now for our next comparison…

Innovative Change Agents


Innovation is at the core of any memorable surgery. This is much of the intrigue of Grey’s Anatomy, as the surgical staff are constantly coming up with new ways to fix old problems. The team has been healing and enhancing the quality of fictional lives since 2005 for 12 seasons. One of the more memorable surgeries perfromed on the show was the use of 3D printing to build vital organs. Meredith Grey initiated the acqusition and use of the printer and for each subsequent season, at least one surgery is possible because of the printer. The first use of the printer was a nerve wracking episode where viewers were anxiously waiting to see if the printer would work.  The 3D printer has been used on the show to create a heart, new piece of the rib cage, kidneys, as well as many other body parts. It has become an invaluable tool in the fictional show. Yet could something like that be possible in real life?  This may seem like an impossibility, yet recently Dr. Ralph Mobbs, an Australian neurosurgeon, used a 3D printer to replace vertebrate in one of his patients. The patient had a cancerous tumor at the top of his spine where the neck and head connect. Dr Mobb’s stated “It involves exposure at the top of the neck, where the neck and the head meet, and it’s essentially [detaching] the patient’s head from his neck and taking the tumor out and reattaching his head back to his neck.” The replacement piece of vertebrate was generated from a 3D printer and proved to be a success. The surgery took 15 hours and was a world-first. The patient is alive and has a much better quality of life due to medical innovation.

The constant innovations in science and technology are allowing exciting new ways to improve overall health — these doctors are just a few examples of life imitating art and vice versa. We in the fintech (aka: financial technology) industry love seeing traditionally-ridgid sectors fused with technology. Dr. Miami’s use of social media to promote his work as well as the innovations in plastic surgery are a lesson for anyone who is unsure of how to remain relevant in an technological world. Printing organic materials seems like something too futuristic to achieve, yet the merging of science and technology is here.  Do you know of any amazing innovation in the medical world? Comment below, we would love to hear the story!

Every year, on March 17th, New York streets are a sea of green. Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the most celebrated holidays and has the longest and largest annual parade in New York. One of the most prominent stops during the parade is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue. Did you know this cathedral is one of the earliest examples of a real estate crowdfunded property in New York City?

Saint Patrick’s Day is globally celebrated on the death date of the patron saint of Ireland, which took place on March 17, 461. History states that Saint Patrick removed all the snakes from Ireland and used the leaves of a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. Following his canonization, many celebrated him by wearing shamrocks; later that practice turned into wearing green clothing. After the potato famine of 1840 in Ireland, many Irish natives migrated to America, bringing with them traditions and celebrations such as this one.

The First Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City

March 17, 1762: the first-known Saint Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York as homage to the Irish culture of those who had migrated to America. Since then, the parade has grown exponentially and is organized entirely by volunteer efforts. The City of New York estimates that 200,000 participants and 3,000,000 spectators participate each year.

History of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral

On June 8, 1809 the cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral was placed. This church was the second Catholic church in New York at the time. Following the declaration of New York as an episcopal see, the church determined that it would need “to erect a Cathedral in the City of New York that may be worthy of our increasing numbers, intelligence and wealth as a religious community, and at all events, worthy, as a public architectural monument, of the present and prospective crowns of this metropolis of the American continent.”

The Largest Crowdfunded Project of The Time in New York

In 1853, architect James Renwick vowed to undertake the design of a new, all-white marble cathedral. Renwick estimated the total cost of the project at $850,000; not including furnishings. After inflation $850,000 would be worth a whopping $26,562,500.00 today. This was no small feat by any standard, so the church undertook the project using the fundamentals of real estate crowdfunding.

The first commitments the church received came in the form of $1,000 pledges from 130 of the most prominent families in New York ($1,000 investment would be worth $31,250 today). Other commitments came in varying amounts from local Irish immigrants. The first cornerstone of the new cathedral was laid in 1858, yet was halted soon thereafter due to the need for additional funding and the commencement of the Civil War. For these reasons, it was not resumed until 1865. Leap forward to 1978, following a renovation completion, local churches held a month of fairs, leading to a profit of $172,625 which covered all remaining furnishing costs.

A Day to Remember

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral opened it’s doors to the public on May 25, 1879. Without the combined efforts of the crowd, the iconic building would not be around today. Renovations on the property are ongoing and anyone can donate to the cause by clicking here. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is proof that crowdfunding is not a new concept. Many buildings in the state of New York have been crowdfunded and built using crowdfunding principles.

Do you know of any interesting crowdfunded projects? Comment below and share the stories with us!

From all of us here at

Here is a networking and social media guide for the FinTech Rising event, a great opportunity to learn from and interact with experts in the FinTech community. 

Start Your Networking Process with the Investment Experts 

At next week’s FinTech Rising, you can expect to learn about lending, personal finance, payments, retail, SaaS, and analytics. This networking guide is designed as a tool to help you research and connect before the event. What you will find below is the list of all the confirmed speakers and presenters, as well as links to some of their social media pages, to help jumpstart the networking process, and for a little background information on each speaker. This guide will allow you to know more about the peers you will be meeting at the event.

Enjoy! #FinTech #FinTechRising

2016 FinTech Rising Speakers

Ryan Felt – Co-Founder/CEO, SeedInvest@SeedInvest

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David Teten– Partner, ff Venture Capital@ffvc

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Alex Bangash– Founder and Chairman, Trusted Insight@TrustedInsight

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Alejandro Cremades– Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, OneVest@Onevest

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Atish Davda– Founder and CEO, EquityZen@EquityZen

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Stephane Dubois– Founder and CEO, Xignite@xignite

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Derek Webster– Founder and CEO, CardFlight@CardFlight

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Dan Ruch– Founder and CEO, Rocketrip@Rocketrip

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Jalak Jobanputra– Founder and Managing Partner, Future Perfect Ventures@futurepvc

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Emilio Ragosa– Partner, Morgan Lewis (Moderator): @MorganLewisLaw

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2016 FinTech Rising Presenters


P2P Cash





Smart Token Chain




To register with Sharestates and learn more about real estate crowdfunding, click below:

Register to learn more about real estate crowdfunding and investing We hope this was helpful for you! Leave a comment below telling us how great the forum was!

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating amazing women in finance. Women pioneering the world of finance is not a new phenomenon, yet one that we celebrate as we strive for gender equality. According to CNNMoney US, only 14.2% of the top five leadership positions at the companies in the S&P 500 are held by women. Pretty shocking right? According to the Women in Business 2015 report by Grant Thornton, 32% of global businesses have no female leaders. That same report states “Eastern Europe stands out as a constantly good performer with 35% of senior roles held by women.” Cheers to them, and seeing that number grow to 50%.

These statistics only show female representation in top positions, not disparities in pay. The bottom line is, we still have a long way to go in achieving gender equality, yet celebrating how far we have come is a great motivator. Women are changing the face of finance in . Although this list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface, it serves as an ode to women around the world — here’s to an even better 2016!

8 Amazing Women in the World of Finance

1. Elham Hassanzadeh

Making big waves thanks to her work with Iranian natural resources, Elham Hassanzadeh’s  aim is to increase Western investment flow into Iranian oil markets, following changes in sanctions. She  was recently featured in Bloomberg Business for her work.

2. Heather Cox 


Heather is the new face of Citigroup’s Fintech Unit. Under her leadership, Citigroup will revolutionize the consumer experience by centralizing mobile banking for all features including investments.

3. Chanda Kochhar

Chanda is the CEO of ICICI Bank in Mumbai, India. She has been actively expanding ICICI’s mobile banking. ICICI has seen a 14% increase in profit under Kochhar’s lead. Kochhar is looking to take advantage of new regulations that will allow foreign investments up to 74% in full Fungibility.

4. Sallie Krawcheck 

A former Wall Street Executive, Sallie recently received $10 million in funding to create her own niche investment platform. Ellevate is an investment platform catering to women who want to make their money work for them.

5. Mary Callahan Erdoes


Mary is the CEO of J.P.Morgan Asset Management, with assets of $2.4 trillion. She has a long-standing history of financial leadership and is titled the ‘Queen of Wall Street’ by the New York Post. She has served with J.P.Morgan for over 18 years.

6. Ruth Porat

A former CFO of Morgan Stanley, Ruth now serves as the CFO of Alphabet (parent company of Google). Since taking on her new role, Porat has the great task of bringing Wall Street to Silicon Valley. In an article published last year, Business Insider notes that Ruth’s strong work ethic puts most employees to shame.

7. Annika Falkengren 

The head of Sweden’s Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Annika Falkengren is one of the highest paid and most influential women in European finance. She has made headlines in the last few years for her positive efforts in the area of climate change — going so far as to cut ties with companies that are not working towards environmental sustainability.

8. Peggy Johnson 

Peggy is the Executive Vice President of business development for Microsoft. She was recently featured in Business Insider for her position on women being the next emerging market. Johnson is personally responsible for the expansion that Microsoft has  seen lately.

Are we missing your favorite female in finance? We would love to hear stories of other gal-game-changers and feature them in a future post. Please share below!

It’s almost time for the 2nd Annual Crowdfunding and Marketplace Lending Forum for Real Estate, and we’ve put together a handy social media guide for your convenience.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Forum: March 10-11th, 2016 in New York

Below is a social media guide for the 2nd Annual Crowdfunding and Marketplace Lending Forum for Real Estate, a great opportunity to learn and share with experts in real estate investment and up-to-date information on lending for real estate in New York.

Real Estate Crowfunding and Marketplace Lending Experts

This is a list of all the confirmed speakers, as well as links to some of their social media pages. Use this tool to help jumpstart the networking process, and for a little background information on each speaker. This forum will inform investors of the benefits of real estate crowdfunding and marketplace lending platforms as they are expected to hit the $3.5 billion mark, this year.
To register for this event
2nd Annual Crowdfunding

Enjoy! #IMNEvents #IMNInvestments #IMNRealEstate

Paul Kang- President/CIO, Altacap: Linkedin

Michael Ning- President/CEO, Arque Capital, LTD: Linkedin

Thomas Ling- Director, Arsenal Real Estate: Linkedin

Jeremy Valeda- Managing Partner, Athens Capital Partners: Linkedin

Rich Rechif- President, Balboa Real Estate Group: Linkedin

Ben Bazer- Founder, Bazer Investment Group: Linkedin

Eli Braha- Managing Member/ CIO, Berkley Acquisitions LLC: Linkedin

Aaron Mesmer- Principal, Block Real Estate Services LLC: Twitter Linkedin

Brad O’Halloran- Executive Director-Investor Relations, Managing Principal, Brennan Investment Group: Twitter Linkedin

Bruce Arinaga- Broad Reach Retail Partners

David Manheimer- Managing Member, Brooklyn Standard Properties: Linkedin

Myles Bruckal- Principal, Bruckal Group: Linkedin

Joel Block- Chief Deal Maker, Bullseye Capital: Linkedin

J Martin Tate- Partner, Carman Tate Lehnhof Israelsen (CTLI): Linkedin

Jacob Sacks- Principal and Co-Founder, Cayuga Capital Management LLC: Linkedin

Aaron Gorin- Managing Member, Cedar Grove Capital

Mark Crawford- President and Managing Director, Crawford Park Financial, Inc: Linkedin

Ryan L Parkin- Managing Partner, Cress Capital LLC: Twitter

Stephen Cassidy- President, Denholtz Associates: Twitter Linkedin

Arik Lifshitz- CEO, DSA Property Group: Linkedin

Jay Caplan- Managing Director, Envisage Properties: Twitter Linkedin

Matthew Burk- CEO, Fairway America LLC: Twitter Linkedin

Minh Le- Assistant Director, FINRA:Twitter Linkedin

Mark Roderick-Shareholder, Flaster Greenberg PC: Twitter Linkedin

Scott Purcell- Founder, CEO, FundAmerica: Linkedin

Elvin Ames- Managing Member, Golden Investments LLC: Linkedin

Mark Lancaster- President, Great Lakes Fund Solutions INC: Twitter Linkedin

Rachel Mattai- Consultant, Hoboken Brownstone Company

Justin Lee- CEO & Founder, JL Investing LLC: Linkedin

Joseph Delaney- CEO, J.V. Delaney & Associates

Robert D Ginsberg- Managing Director, Kaufman Jacobs: Linkedin

David Drake- Chairman, LDJ Capital: Twitter Linkedin

Alain Sajous- Managing Partner, League Properties LLC- Partner, SBM Capital: Linkedin

Maksim Netrebov- President, Maks Financial Services: Twitter

Mark Mascia- President & CEO, Mascia Development LLC: Twitter Linkedin 

Paul Murad- President, Metroplex Group: Linkedin

Eric Siragusa- Principal, MHP Funds LLC: Linkedin

Cherif Medawar- Real Estate Hedge Fund Manager & Author, MIGSIF: Linkedin

Matt Nitschke- Managing Director-Alternative Solutios Group, Millennium Trust: Twitter Linkedin

Gregory D Kammerer- Vice President of Capital Markets, MLG Capital: Twitter Linkedin

Mark Solovy- Managing Director-Technology Finance Group, Monroe Capital: Twitter Linkedin

Shravan Parsi- CO-CEO & Principal, NAPA LLC- Linkedin

Stuart Morton- Managing Director, Nimble Asset Management: Linkedin

Douglass D O’Donnell- CEO, The O’Donnell Group INC- Twitter Linkedin 

Joaquin de Monet- Managing Principal, Palisades Capital Realty Advisors: Linkedin

David Disick- Managing Partner, Papagayo Development Group

Tim Herriage- Managing Director, Pinpoint Equity Group

Danny Karran- Director, Property Investment Advisors

Kathy Fettke- CEO & Co-Founder, Real Wealth Network: Twitter Linkedin

Charles Duddy- Vice President, Twitter Linkedin

John Grosso- Investments Manager, Realtyshares: Twitter Linkedin

Mark Masterson- Director of Investments, Realtyshares- Twitter Linkedin

Jon Grabowski- President & CEO, Red Cedar Capital Partners LLC

David Wieland- Founder/CEO, Realized: Twitter Linkedin

Donald Deans- Strategist, Sandlapper Securities

Toni Sutherland, Sandlapper Securities

Nicholas Rotello- President, Seven Two Partners LLC: Twitter Linkedin

Allen Shayanfekr- CEO & Founder, Twitter Linkedin

Larry Davis- President, Shorewood Group- Linkedin

Sydney Armani- CEO, Silicon Valley Crowdfund Ventures

Jon Haahr- Senior Managing Principal, Silver Portal Capital: Twitter Linkedin

Justin Pierce- Founder & President, Snow Goose Homes LLC: Linkedin

Bob Sonnenblick- Chariman, Sonnenblick Development LLC: Linkedin

Damian Lynch- Director of Acquisitions, Sperryfiola Real Estate Services: Linkedin

Andrew Syrios- Partner, Stewardship Investments: Linkedin

Aaron Cuha- Co-Founder & Managing Director, Synergy Group INC: Linkedin

Lilah Blackstone- Assistant General Counsel- Department of Insureance, Securities & Banking, The District of Columbia: Linkedin

Max Sharkansky- Managing Partner, Trion Properties: Linkedin

Mitch Paskover- Managing Principal, Trion Properties: Linkedin

Jillian Sidoti- Partner, Trowbridge Taylor Sidoti LLP: Linkedin

Kim Lisa Taylor- Attorney, Trowbridge Taylor Sidoti LLP: Linkedin

Christopher Crippen- Managing Director, US Residential: Linkedin

Sanford Coggins- President/CEO, Vision Wise Capital:  Linkedin

Kim Wales- CEO, Wales Capital: Twitter Linkedin

Dan Carter- Founder, Windmill Investments: Linkedin