Mr. Sherwood Neiss, a Principal of the Managing Member, has a strong track record of building and leading successful companies as a chief financial officer. FLAVORx, Inc., a company associated with Mr. Neiss as a co-founder, won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award, as well as the Inc. 500 award three years in a row for building one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. This company was the June 2003 featured story in Inc. Magazine. Mr. Neiss is a serial entrepreneur and investor, and has had a long history of successful investments, raising over $25 million in capital and successfully exited a company FLAVORx, Inc. he co-founded. In a January 2014 article, VentureBeat listed Mr. Neiss as the twelveth most influential thought leader in crowdfunding.
Mr. Neiss is in the forefront of the crowdfunding industry. As the co-founder with Mr. Best of CCA, Mr. Neiss has a thorough understanding of the industry. He currently serves as the co-founder for the Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance program through the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. As a serial entrepreneur and investor during the 2008 financial crisis, Mr. Neiss saw a need for a change in outdated securities laws. Mr. Neiss co-authored the Crowdfunding Exemption Framework with Mr. Best which became the basis of Title III of the JOBS Act to legalize “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. Neiss as one of the ten most influential people in crowdfunding. He co-authored the World Bank’s research report “Crowdfunding’s Potential for the Developing World” with Mr. Best that included a forward by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL. He is also the co-author with Mr. Best of “Crowdfund Investing for Dummies” published by Wiley & Son’s, and along with with Mr. Best, contributed a chapter for “Crowdfunding – A Guide to Raising Capital on the Internet” published by Bloomberg.
Mr. Neiss 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 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. Neiss was selected as a recipient of the Crowdfunding Visionary Award and received special recognition at the 2012 Fortune Magazine Leadership Conference.
An avid public speaker, Mr. Neiss speaks at universities and seminars around the world discussing crowdfund investing, entrepreneurship and how to build successful companies. Some of Mr. Neiss’s speaking engagements have included: South by Southwest (2013 and 2014), the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai (2012) and Kuala Lumpur (2013), the World Bank InfoDev 2014 Funder’s Meeting in Kenya, MIT Entrepreneur Summit in Istanbul, Amplify Festival in Sydney, Harvard Business School, UC Berkeley Global Academic Symposium on Crowdfunding, the U.S. Treasury, the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit, the Angel Capital Association, the World Economic Forum and Kauffman FastTrac Entrepreneurial Author Series. In 2013, the U.S. State Department flew Mr. Neiss to Croatia, Israel and Washington, D.C. to discuss crowdfunding. In June 2013, Entrepreneur Magazine featured CCA in its Innovator’s Series. Mr. Neiss has appeared on Bloomberg, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC Asia. He has also been interviewed by media outlets including: Fast Company, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Politico, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and has a been a contributor to TechCrunch and VentureBeat.
He has also made presentations to various governmental bodies, including testifying three times before the U.S. Congress (both House and Senate) and presenting at the SEC and FINRA. He regularly addresses foreign governments, giving testimony as to how they can bring economic benefits to their citizenry through implementing their own versions of the crowdfund investment framework.
Mr. Neiss started his post-MBA career on Wall Street before moving to Silicon Valley. Using his entrepreneurial drive, Mr. Neiss turned a personal adversity facing his family into a multi-million dollar company that is today helping millions of sick children, animals, and adults improve their health by being more compliant with their medicines.
As the co-founder of FLAVORx (www.flavorx.com), Mr. Neiss structured an approach and built a business model that generated millions of dollars in revenues while growing the business from one pharmacy to over 80 percent of the pharmacies in the United States, which culminated with the successful sale of the company in 2007. In 2009 and 2010, he won two back-to-back Startup Weekend pitch events in Miami, one being a concept for an equity based crowdfunding platform.
When not working, Mr. Neiss is an avid traveler. He lived in Japan for a year and, following the sale of FLAVORx, took his second backpacking trip around the world. In addition to speaking at universities and businesses globally, he invests in real estate in the U.S. and Brazil, is part of a private equity group in Los Angeles, has collaborated on a clean tech project in Puerto Rico, and is involved with several other start-up ventures. Mr. Neiss holds a MBA from The Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.A. in Political Science and Japanese from Tulane University.