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Initial Coin Offerings: The New Fundraising Sensation

  • Rise NY 43 West 23rd Street New York, NY, 10010 United States (map)

The SEC is taking a stance on ICO's and calls The DAO a security. What does this mean for the future of token sales and how may that effect you?

Gnosis ICO raises $12.5 million worth of ETH in 10 minutes

Bancor ICO raises $153 million worth of ETH in 3 hours

Tezos ICO raises $232 million worth of BTC and ETH in 12 days


These 3 companies are just a small sub-set of blockchain related start-ups that are using a brand new fundraising model; typically called an intial coin offering or token sale, to skirt the traditional VC fundraising strategy and collect direct from the people. 

An Initial Coin Offering, or ICO leverages the techinical innovation that inherently comes with digital tokens on blockchain networks. The majority of ICOs thus far have created their own ERC-20 token and offered a percentage of the tokens created for sale. Most commonly on the Ethereum blockchain. The danger in calling these crowdsales ICOs lies in the publics familiarity with the term IPO, initial public offering.

Companies have been using IPOs for years to raise capital. To assume the two are one in the same, however, would be incorrect. The differences between them are both vast and subtle and with no clear guidence from regulators; the legal standing of these digital tokens may prove risky for companies and investors.

Despite the risk, cryptocurrencies recently topped a $100 billion market cap and are bringing in bigger investors who are offered pre-sale prices better than the general public.


Get answers to questions like:

  • How does the recent SEC publication on the DAO affect the legality of ICOs?

  • Are you at risk because of the SEC stance? 

  • What is an ICO and what is it like to raise one?

  • Are ICOs worth investing in as a non-institutional investor?

  • How will regulatory guidelines affect investment strategy?

  • What are SAFT notes and how are they being used with large investors?

  • What is the typical distribution model for these tokens?

  • How are these organizations structured?


Spend an evening discussing these topics and more with:

  • Shawn Wilkinson, CEO/CTO at Storj Labs Inc.

  • Josh Garcia Esq., Associate at Cooley

  • Chris Dannen, Founding Partner at Iterative Capital Management

  • Bradley Miles, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Techstars


August 3rd in the auditorium at Rise NY, a Barclays Innovation Programme


"Anyone who’s anyone in tech today knows the three-letter acronym for jumbo-size fundraising: ICO." 

- Huffington Post,  July 4, 2017


"Forget an IPO, Coin Offerings Are New Road to Startup Riches"

- The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2017


Seating is Limited. Purchase Today.

For those of you not in NYC this event will be LIVESTREAMED. We will also do our best to get as many of the livestream audiences questions answered during the Q&A sections. You will recieve an email with a link to the unlisted YouTube livestream no later than 6:15p EST August 3rd. 



6p: Networking and Cocktails


6:30p: Launching an ICO - plus 10 min Q&A

Shawn Wilkinson, Founder and CEO of Storj goes in-depth about what it's like to build and launch an ICO. 


7p: How the Law views ICOs -plus 10 min Q&A

Are ICO tokens securities? Are ICO companies running afoul of securities laws? Will the SEC come after the startups and founders offering them? If you are an investor, how can that affect you? 


7:30p: The varieties of ICOs - plus 10 min Q&A

Learn the difference between an appcoin and a blockchain token. How are the tokens created and distributed? What to look for in evaluating an ICO and what are some red flags. 


8p: Is the ICO Playing Field Fair - plus 10 min Q&A

Understand how different token sales are structured, including the percentages that go to founders vs what is offered to the public. Do big investors get preferential treatment? If yes, how much? Should you buy in an ICO or wait until the token hits an exchange?


8:30p: Post-event Networking




Shawn Wilkinson

CEO/CTO at Storj Labs Inc.


Josh Garcia, Esq.

Associate at Cooley

Josh Garcia works with the brightest minds in the fintech space. His expertise spans various bodies of financial regulation: securities, commodities, money transmission, consumer protection, lending, payments, among others. Josh works closely with cryptocurrency exchanges, investors, and blockchain developers to navigate the complex legal risks of bleeding edge technology. He also responds on behalf of clients to inquiries and enforcement actions of financial regulators.


Chris Dannen

Founding Partner at Iterative Capital Management

Chris is the author of the first 101-level Ethereum textbook “Introducing Ethereum & Solidity”. He is a former corporate strategist for Fortune 50 companies and a published business and technology writer focusing on enterprise technology.


Bradley Miles

Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Techstars

Bradley is the bestselling author of #BreakIntoVC: How to Break into Venture Capital and Think Like an Investor. Bradley previously led research for CoinDesk, the world leader in news and information on digital currencies, and architected their State of Blockchain report and spotlight study on ICOs. 




Rise New York is a global community of startups and corporates creating the future of commerce and fintech by helping startups and entrepreneurs connect, co-create, and scale innovation. In partnership with Barclays, we listen, nurture and oxygenate through our international network of Rise hubs. Rise New York also houses a world-class event space and is home to the U.S. cohort of the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars.