Jason W. Best, a principal of the Managing Member, brings over ten years of executive leadership experience co-founding and leading SaaS healthcare companies, one of which earned the Inc. Magazine 500 award two years in a row as one of 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. As a successful entrepreneur, Mr. Best has not only invested in his own early stage companies but has been part of two executive teams that raised over $40 million in capital. He understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs and the important role that capital, execution, and active mentorship play in the development of successful high-growth businesses.
Mr. Best is at the forefront of the crowdfunding industry. As the co-founder with Sherwood Neiss of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (“CCA”), a consulting firm serving certain governments and multi-lateral organizations including the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, professional investors, crowdfunding professionals and the entrepreneurial community, Mr. Best has a thorough understanding of the industry. He currently serves as the co-founder for the University of California at Berkeley Program on Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance and is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Fung Institute’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, both of which are within UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering.
Prior to founding CCA, Mr. Best worked with U.S. national medical societies, the Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical manufacturers to change outdated regulations, dramatically increasing patient safety while reducing time and costs for physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. With the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, Mr. Best saw the need for changes to outdated securities laws and pursued solutions to address such issues. He was a co-author with Mr. Neiss of the crowdfund investing framework (the “Crowdfunding Exemption Framework”) which became the basis of Title III of the JOBS Act to legalize the “equity-based” and “lending-based” crowdfunding. He and his co-authors worked closely with the White House, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to pass crowdfunding legislation. He was honored to attend the White House ceremony when President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law in the Rose Garden on April 5, 2012.
CCA has worked in over 30 countries on six continents with investors, entrepreneurs, multi-lateral organizations and governments regarding infrastructure, regulatory and capacity building projects to reduce early-stage finance challenges and effectively utilize crowdfunding to create successful ventures, innovation and jobs. Forbes.com ranked Mr. Best as one of the ten most influential people in crowdfunding. He co-authored with Mr. Neiss the World Bank’s research report “Crowdfunding’s Potential for the Developing World” that included a forward by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL. He is also the co-author with Mr. Neiss of “Crowdfund Investing for Dummies” published by Wiley & Son’s, and along with Mr. Neiss, contributed a chapter for “Crowdfunding – A Guide to Raising Capital on the Internet” published by Bloomberg.
Mr. Best serves on the advisory boards of several crowdfunding companies. He is a co-founder and former board member of the Crowdfunding Professional Association, which is a U.S. trade organization for crowdfunding. He is also a co-founder and former board member of the Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Advocates, the advocacy group for the crowdfunding industry currently working with the SEC and FINRA to establish and maintain crowdfunding rules and industry best practices. In 2012, Mr. Best was selected as a recipient of the Crowdfunding Visionary Award and received special recognition at the 2012 Fortune Magazine Leadership Conference.
Mr. Best regularly speaks at conferences around the world discussing early stage finance, crowdfund investing as a new asset class, and how crowdfund investing might support economic growth and political stability and provide an onramp to capital for high growth businesses. He also discusses entrepreneurship and how to build successful companies. Some of Mr. Best’s speaking engagements have included: South by Southwest (2013 and 2014), TEDx, the White House, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai, the World Bank Global Technology Innovation Forum in South Africa, MIT Pan-Arab Business Forum in Qatar, the Aspen Institute/Fortune Tech Brainstorm, Brookings Institute Working Group Forum, the Pacific Alliance Entrepreneurship Summit in Chile, UC Berkeley Global Academic Symposium on Crowdfunding, the Angel Capital Association, and the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Rome. In June 2013, Entrepreneur Magazine featured CCA in its Innovator’s Series. Mr. Best has appeared on CNN, BBC, CNBC and CCTV America providing commentary and analysis of the crowd finance industry. He has also been interviewed by media outlets including: Fast Company, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Politico, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and has a been a contributor to TechCrunch and VentureBeat.
Mr. Best has twice delivered U.S. Congressional testimony on small business financing/the JOBS Act, led crowdfunding industry meetings with the senior officials within SEC and FINRA, and spoken with governments and investors globally. He engages leaders in discussion on utilization of the crowdfund investment framework as a starting point to enable capacity and infrastructure to create new early-stage investment vehicles.
He is an avid traveler having lived and/or worked in Europe, Central and South America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa region. Mr. Best holds a MBA in International Finance from the Thunderbird School of International Management and a B.A. in Business Management from William Jewell College.