MISSOULA, Montana - A new investment platform has launched to empower Montana businesses to raise investment capital directly from the general public, helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses free from the control of traditional financial gatekeepers.

Crowdfund Mainstreet and the Missoula-based Center for Community Ownership have collaborated to create Crowdfund Montana, an investment crowdfunding portal where Montana businesses and organizations can post offerings that anyone can invest in, regardless of their wealth or income levels.

Investment crowdfunding is similar to traditional crowdfunding - think Kickstarter or GoFundMe - where many people come together to fund projects. Investment crowdfunding is different, though, because it allows the funders to receive a financial return on their contribution, and in some cases own shares in the companies they are funding. Investment crowdfunding is a true investment, not just a donation.

“I am incredibly excited that Crowdfund Montana will make investment crowdfunding more available to Montana businesses,” said Andrew Connor, director of the Center for Community Ownership. “Access to start-up and growth capital is a major obstacle for entrepreneurs, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. Crowdfund Montana will help our businesses thrive and creates a wealth-building opportunity for people who would rather invest in Montana than in Wall Street.”

Crowdfund Mainstreet, a nationwide investment crowdfunding portal, saw tremendous potential in creating a platform specifically for the purposes of funding Montana businesses. “We are a values-driven company that seeks out community-oriented and mission-aligned companies to support. Montana has such a strong sense of pride and place that we thought it was the perfect opportunity to cultivate a community of people who want to invest in local businesses,” said Michelle Thimesch, Crowdfund Mainstreet’s Founder & CEO.

Crowdfund Montana’s website(https://crowdfundmontana.com/) is live, and its first investment offering is already posted. Connor and Thimesch will host an online launch and Q&A event from Noon - 1:00 PM MT on Wed., Oct. 20th that is open to everyone and will introduce attendees to the platform and its first investment offerings.

Anyone interested in attending the online launch event can register here to get an invitation and video call information: https://forms.gle/VN9cJYXSkCHe6UPq9