investing

How You Too Can Become a Venture Capitalist

It can be as simple as buying shares in a business through a crowdfunding portal.

Thanks to a slew of crowdfunding portals that let individuals buy shares in budding businesses, now you can be a venture capitalist. At least 11 sites are up and running, with 25 more in the works pending approval from regulators. Here’s a look at some of the opportunities—all of which are highly speculative.

-- At StartEngine.com, find Web-based start-ups such as GameTree, a social-networking platform for video-game players, and Gigmor, which connects musicians with performance opportunities.

Wefunder.com offers stakes in services such as QMedic, a medical alert outfit, and Kibin, which helps students with writing essays.

-- At SeedInvest.com you can explore MF Fire, maker of a clean-burning woodstove that you can operate with an app, and StartMart, which leases shared work space in downtown Cleveland.

-- To channel your inner Steven Spielberg, check IndieCrowdFunder.com. Not much is under way yet, but operators hope to help fund Hollywood talent for movies and TV projects, and they’re reaching out to women in particular through the site’s Five 4 Entertainment Equality program.

For a list of registered portals, visit Finra.org.

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