Who should NOT join Gust Launch?
Unfortunately, designing Gust Launch specifically for high-growth startups means the platform isn’t the best option for every new company. To use features other than incorporation, we’ll need to talk with you to help you determine if Gust Launch can help you execute on your plans for your business.
Most importantly, we can’t provide incorporation services to international founders, so if you do not live in the United States or don’t have a social security number (or ITIN), we regrettably cannot help you start and run your business. We’re hoping to change that soon, but for now, Gust Launch is for US founders only.
Second, our legal and financial partners have to follow professional and legal guidelines, which means founders on Gust Launch must be operating businesses in categories for which those partners can comfortably provide services. Founders will not be able to receive the full value of Gust Launch if they are operating in any of the following businesses:
- Money services (like lending)
- Marijuana (recreational or medical)
- NGO, not-for-profit, or charity
- Selling prepaid debit cards
- Operating as a virtual currency exchange
- Operating ATMs
- Dealing in precious metals or stones
Most high-growth businesses do not operate in these categories, so we rarely have to turn founders away, but we have to check because of our partners’ requirements.
The next set of considerations we’ll ask you to make relate to your fundraising plans. Gust Launch is designed according to startup-standard investment practices, so there are certain fundraising situations that will not work well with Gust Launch. The most common is an ICO (“initial coin offering”)—fundraising by issuing cryptocurrencies. The legality of ICOs is currently dubious, so an ICO tends to prevent later investors from being interested, which in turn means Gust Launch won’t be able to offer value to your startup after you’ve issued your token.
In addition, we currently don’t support equity crowdfunding (i.e. selling actual shares to a large number of minor stakeholders). Normal crowdfunding, such as advance product sales in exchange for discounts or perks, is fine as long as your contributors don’t receive equity.
The last fundraising situation we do not support is the creation of more than one class of common stock, because it deviates from the structures and practices professional investors expect from startups.
If you’re not sure if your startup is a good fit for Gust Launch (or if you have any questions), we’re always happy to talk.