VentureCrowd CEO Vivian Stewart slams lengthy crowdfunding legislation process

The newly appointed chief executive of crowd-sourced equity funding platform VentureCrowd, Vivian Stewart, has labelled the leisurely pace at which the government passed equity crowdfunding funding laws “embarrassing”.

“Aussies are entrepreneurial and we’ve earned the right to stand on the world stage,” the renowned tech entrepreneur and investor told The Australian Financial Review.

“But sometimes structural things around the way we do business have let us down. The delay in getting the crowd-sourced equity funding legislation up and running here is an example of an un-Australian way of not being innovative. It was embarrassing to see these other large first world countries moving faster than us.”

The comments from Mr Stewart come after the government released draft legislation earlier this month to open up crowd-sourced equity funding to private companies, a scenario which has existed for years in New Zealand, UK and the US.

Mr Stewart, who co-founded Sydney Angels and is the managing director of consulting firm Callafin and a director of Superloop, is VentureCrowd’s third chief executive since April 2015. In that time Rob Nankivell held the top spot, followed by Artesian Venture Partners managing director Luke Fay taking on the interim chief executive position in November 2016.

Mr Stewart said the leadership changes were driven by an evolution in the strategy of the platform.

“I come from the investment community, while Rob was from a property background. Originally VentureCrowd thought they might do fractional property ownership, but now they’ve decided… to focus on alternative asset access,” he said.


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