Howard Marks: What I Learned In 2014

It's usually pretty slow from the news front around the holidays, so every year, we feature a few "end of the year" posts from movers and shakers here in Southern California's tech industry. We'll be featuring a few of these every day through the New Year. Our first post over the holidays is from Howard Marks--who co-founded Activision--and recently founded startup accelerator StartEngine, and who has been very active in encouraging the technology industry in Los Angeles.

What was the most significant event for you or your company this year?

After investing in 60 startups, we realized that the biggest pain point was to help them raise the first $1M in financing. Not only did they have to work 24/7 to build their startup, but they also had to invest the same effort in raising capital. We decided to solve this by building an equity crowdfunding platform to help thousands of startups raise the capital they need. The innovation is that startups will be able for the first time to raise capital directly from consumers and fans.

What was your biggest lesson learned in 2014?

Although Congress voted in the JOBS ACT and President Obama signed it on April 2012, we learned the hard way that the SEC works very slowly. It has been two and a half years since the law was in place and the SEC has not yet finalized the rules for title III which will allow startups to raise up to $1M directly from consumers and fans.

What technologies or things are you looking forward to most in 2015?

Our hope is to see the SEC release the JOBS Act title III and IV. This will finally revolutionize the way startups get funded. No longer will startups needs to find accredited investors and VCs if they want to raise capital. They will raise capital directly from their fans and consumers.

Howard Marks is the co-founder and Managing Partner of StartEngine, the largest startup accelerator in Los Angeles with the mission to help make Los Angeles a top tech entrepreneurial city. Marks was the founder and CEO of Acclaim, co-founder of Activision and Chairman of Activision Studios. As a games industry expert, Marks built one of the largest and most successful games studios in the industry selling hundreds of millions of games.