Bridges to Italy Announces Strategic Partnership with the "Next Generation Entrepreneurship & Global Crowdfunding Forum"

Metropole Capital Group, in association with Variety magazine, announced a first of its kind business forum to take place on November 16, 2012 in Santa Monica, California at the JW Marriott Hotel. The first annual "Next Generation Entrepreneurship & Global Crowdfunding Forum" is a full day event which promises to convene an unprecedented and exclusive mix of active entrepreneurs, angel investors, VCs, accelerators, and crowdfunding experts and advocates. This dynamic and high-powered group will discuss current and future trends on capital formation for emerging growth companies..

Victoria Silchenko, CEO and Founder of Metropole Capital Group, a Los Angeles based corporate advisory firm with strategic links in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), is the Forum’s founder and host. According to Silchenko, the main goal of the Forum is to present participants, particularly capital-starved new ventures, with realistic financing solutions that can be used immediately or in the near future. We all would like to see how the innovative crowdfunding model fits into the well-established system of capital formation options including VCs, accelerators, and incubators.

"We are very excited about this strategic partnership with the Forum since we believe that it provides a unique opportunity for Los Angeles-based entrepreneurs to gain access to some of our region’s most successful business minds who will share their experience and knowledge," said Bianca Dellepiane, founder of Bridges to Italy "In our specific case, we see a growing interest from Italian entrepreneurs in understanding how CROWDFUNDING, which has been recently legalized in Italy as well, will play a role in the overall fundraising strategy of a startup.  This Forum may provide a model to do just that."

One of the distinguished speakers, Eric M. Jackson, CEO of CapLinked, a business transaction platform for managing capital raises, asset sales, and M&A deals, elaborated by saying, "Early-stage financing is undergoing a sea change. Startups in high growth industries continue to have an ever-increasing number of options for funding their companies, including friends and family, angels, seed funds, and even crowdfunding. Understanding where to go for funding and how to structure your financing round is more critical than ever."

David Carter, a prominent guest speaker, is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor who is the co-founder of Amplify, a leading accelerator in Los Angeles. He is also one of the investors of CapLinked. Carter envisions the future of all of these trends, both local and global, stating, “Crowdfunding will fundamentally change small business finance as we know it. The Next Generation Entrepreneurship & Global Crowdfunding Forum provides a great opportunity to join industry leaders in discussing the current state of crowdfunding and its future benefits for all of us.”

Another highly anticipated guest speaker, Larry Namer, co-founder of E! Entertainment, and now the President of Metan Development Group, a premier China-focused media, entertainment and technology company, offers a global perspective to the Forum. “Chinese investors are very interested in the EB-5 programs,” says Namer, who conducts business extensively in the PRC. “These provide a green card if they meet the criteria. They are also interested in investing in US companies that can help them become global players as opposed to China-centric players.”

New tech-driven networking platforms are quickly ushering in this next generation of entrepreneurs and investors, according to Colin Mangham, CEO & Founder of Daily Brand Group, a leading innovation consultancy. “We’re seeing a lot more of these participatory funding models … people ‘voting with their wallets’ for companies they believe in, similar to how you might ‘like’ something on Facebook, and almost as easy to do,” said Mangham. “This is opening up opportunities on both sides of the transaction to a broader and often impassioned audience, especially for impact investments in which performance is measured not just financially but also as a function of societal impact.”




Principal Sponsors of the event include Metropole Capital Group, Variety, Daily Brand Group, Marcum, Silicon Valley Bank, Wells Fargo; supporting partners are Start-Up California,, CrowdFund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA), Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Pasadena Angels, Innovation Economy Konnect, Dream It Alive, The California Stock Xchange, Consulate General of Canada (LA office), Consulate General and Promotion Center of the Argentine Republic, Slavic American Chamber, FrankfurtRhineMain Corp, Bank To The Future, Marchmont Innovation News, and Global Entrepreneurship Week. The forum is hosted by Sandro Monetti – an internationally acclaimed journalist, author, performer and BBC contributor.