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Rob Murray Brown’s whole career has been based in the SME and Start Up World. Firstly as a trader on his own account in the early 80’s, when the clackity clack of the telex machine meant you had mail; through the creation and expansion of a specialist housewares importer and retailer, to a very early commercial satellite mapping experiment; setting up Scotland’s leading bespoke tile retailer; back to retail consultancy and then onto events management. Some of these have been successful and some have not. He is convinced you learn far more from the latter.
In between these, he took a full time MBA at Cranfield, his wife had two boys and he grossed 68 on a Championship Links.
Since 2011, when equity crowdfunding started in the UK, Rob has been directly involved in this sector. He saw it as a lifeline for start ups and growth businesses to access much needed capital after the 2008 crash. He soon became concerned that investors were not being given all the information they needed to make sensible decisions. And he could see why. So, he set about trying to correct this information asymmetry.
The first step was the creation of the now almost famous blog – Fantasyequitycrowdfunding. The FCA are regular readers. This has grown organically because there is a need. The blog now has around 1000 readers a week. Rob set up ECF Solutions in 2016 to help companies use equity crowdfunding responsibly. And from this has come ECF.Buzz - a place for investors in this sector to learn and exchange experiences and knowledge.
ECF.Buzz has a unique database of over 1200 companies that have used equity crowdfunding and offers a record of what they have gone on to achieve. By studying these experiences, ECF.Buzz believes investors and indeed the whole start up sector, can learn how to get this right.
Hardman and Co’s Brian Moretta in conversation with ECF Buzz Founder Rob Murray Brown on start up investing, equity crowdfunding and what’s a good read.