Capital raising for startups & crowdfunding
Raising capital is HARD. In fact, it’s the hardest task any CEO will every do. Mr. Woessner mentors and helps US small businesses raise capital, bringing to bear and assist his “real world” experience in the small-business, start-up ecosphere:
- Helping the start-up, emerging businesses he’s been affiliated with raise over $120M in capital from Main Street retail investors and Wall Street professional investors.
- Executing more than 100 major corporate transactions, including public and private debt and equity financings, M&A transactions, and joint ventures in four countries.
- He is a recognized subject matter expert on the topic of the difficulties US small & emerging businesses face in accessing capital, with articles published by equities.com and elsewhere.
- His work experience encompasses:
- serving as Senior Counsel to the Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives where he was special advisor to the Chairman for capital formation, public capital markets, and fintech issues.
- serving as General Counsel to two technology NASDAQ-listed companies.
- corporate/securities attorney with a major Dallas-based law firm representing start-up, emerging business.
Mr. Woessner’s early career
Mr. Woessner, of Dallas, Texas began his career as a corporate securities/merger & acquisition attorney at a major Dallas-based law firm, where one of his law partners was former Florida governor and US Senator Rick Scott. He subsequently worked in the public, startup & smaller-cap company ecosphere for 25+ years. This resulted in years of real-world, hands-on experience working in the trenches, in the capacities of General Counsel, senior executive and CEO, obtaining those qualities required to lead and mentor the Company, which is struggling to survive — let alone thrive — as a privately-held, “cash poor,” startup.
Business experience in startup, smaller-cap company ecosphere
His years of real-world, hands-on experience working in the trenches, in the capacities of General Counsel, senior executive and CEO , make him uniquely qualified to advise and mentor companies who are working to thrive, and in some cases merely survive, in the “rough and tumble” world of startup and smaller cap company ecosphere. Since Mr. Woessner has been CEO of a smaller-cap company, he had had to make the tough decisions that many of his clients are required to make and helps his portfolio company clients avoid the mistakes he made.
During the years in the startup & smaller-cap company ecosphere, in his roles as either as attorney, business principal or investor Mr. Woessner participated in over 100 corporate transactions (M&A, public offerings, private placements, acquisitions, divestitures, NASDAQ listings, bank financings, equity investments, international joint ventures, technology licensing arrangements, government procurements and others). Moreover, Mr. Woessner managed dozens of the typical legal controversies that often arise for public companies, such as securities class action lawsuits, employment discrimination litigation, “whistleblower” claims, patent and trademark infringement disputes, ordinary course of business contract disputes, and FINRA and SEC inquiries.
Capital raising & crowdfunding experience
With respect to capital, as all CEOs and CFOs of companies know: raising capital is not a “nice to have” – it is required for survival. Without capital, the business dies. In the capacities of investor, entrepreneur, general counsel or CEO, Mr. Woessner managed or participated in approximately 50 corporate private and public debt and equity financing transactions. These transactions raised over $200M dollars, inclusive of $80M raised from a “cash out” strategic sale transaction.
In addition to learning the legal mechanics and various “deal structures” for corporate financings through this experience, Mr. Woessner has mastered the art and science of the investment presentation (“pitch”) to raise capital. To wit, he helped raise approximately $22M, inclusive of $12.4M raised in connection with up-listing from the OTC markets to NASDAQ, for a smaller-cap company whose revenues approximated $5.9M. To put the NASDAQ up-listing accomplishment in perspective => more people routinely make it to the top of Mt. Everest every year than the number of companies that up-list from the OTC to NASDAQ.
Stock liquidity & strategic sale/business exit
If the Company does become a publicly-traded company, besides his expertise in capital raising and crowdfunding, Mr. Woessner possesses particular expertise in increasing a company’s stock trading liquidity (without which companies have virtually ZERO chance of raising capital in the public markets), helping companies navigate the byzantine paths of Wall Street, and listing on NASDAQ.
With respect to a strategic sale or other business exit, because of Mr. Woessner’s work on dozens of merger and acquisition transactions during years in private law practice as noted above, he is exceedingly familiar with both the business and legal processes for conducting a strategic sale or other business exit.
Knowledge of Wall Street practices
Despite all of the press about the startup ventures funded by venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, venture capital investors fund approximately only 1/20th of 1% of all US startups and virtually no minorities. In 2018, only 1.4% of the minutely small percentage of capital provided by venture capital firms went to women-owned ventures, according to the Barron’s article here. Wall Street remains the financial capital of the world. All startups and smaller-cap companies at one time or another in their life cycle need to go to Wall Street to obtain capital. Mr. Woessner understands Wall Street practices and has extensive relationships there. This enables him to find the best investment banker to represent your company in a financing or acquisition or strategic sale or other business exit.
Knowledge of Washington DC and Capitol Hill
Through Mr. Woessner’s professional experience in the public policy arena, he has a keen understanding of how the US Congress operates and how the federal agencies operate, with many personal and professional relationships in Washington, DC.
More information about Mr. Woessner appears below
Following his graduation from the University of Minnesota Law School where he graduated magna cum laude, Mr. Woessner began his legal career as a corporate securities/merger & acquisition attorney with the Dallas-based law firm of Johnson & Gibbs, where he practiced law with US Senator Rick Scott, formerly the 45th governor of Florida.
Following private legal practice, Mr. Woessner jumped into the micro-cap and nano-cap business ecosystem where his early business endeavors were intertwined with David P. Cook, the founder of Blockbuster Entertainment.
Mr. Woessner joined Amtech Corporation (NASDAQ: AMTC) as a senior executive, which had also been founded by David P. Cook. Amtech was the developer of a radio frequency identification technology which is used for electronic toll collection throughout the U.S. Toll collection systems installed by Amtech include the “EZ-Pass,” system used throughout the Northeast; the “SunPass” system used throughout Florida; and the “TollTag” system, used throughout Texas and Oklahoma. The system is also used to track the movement of railroad cars throughout every inhabited continent of the world. The Amtech family of affiliated companies grew to a nearly $200MM in revenue before being sold.
Subsequent to Amtech Corporation, Mr. Woessner was one of ten employees who joined Mr. Cook to attempt to create an online system that would enable consumers to download music. “CustomTracks,” as this business venture was named, was half a dozen years too early as the record companies did not grant the necessary licenses to enable the company to digitize their catalogs so that consumers could download songs.
This core group of employees, including Mr. Woessner, then redirected their energies to creating an e-mail security services provider named ZixCorp (NASDAQ: ZIXI), another company founded by David P. Cook. The ZixCorp system is used today by healthcare providers and insurers to comply with the privacy and security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. ZixCorp has continued to grow year-after-year from zero revenues in the year founded. In 2017, the company created positive cash flow of $18.2M on annual revenues of $65.7M.
Following his tenure with ZixCorp, Mr. Woessner has helped companies up-list from OTC to NASDAQ and with capital raises through Regulation CF crowdfunding.
In addition to his extensive legal and business experience in the smaller-cap company ecosphere, Mr. Woessner is a certified Toastmaster, and has also made numerous TV appearances, including two on the Fox Business Network:
- Mornings with Maria Bartoromo, with The Brewer Group with Jack Brewer, UN Ambassador for Peace & Sport and former National Football League (NFL) player
- Varney & Co., with former NFL Washington Redskin running back Clinton Portis, and with former NFL Chicago Bears Defensive Tackle Tommie Harris.
Mr. Woessner’s corporate governance credentials include a director certification from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
- 25+ years of business and legal executive experience among the start-up and nanocap/microcap company ecosystem helping guide and nurture start-up and nanocap/microcap companies, either private or publicly-held, to find commercial success.
- Brings experience as CEO of a nano-cap/microcap company to help clients avoid pitfalls and succeed
- Particular expertise in raising $$$ for emerging companies, tactics to increase stock trading liquidity, resolving business and legal controversies and developing business strategies to accelerate growth and leading companies “across the chasm,” while avoiding legal liabilities inherent in today’s Dodd-Frank business and legal environment.
- Negotiated business and joint venture arrangements in China, Japan, Canada and U.K.
- Magna cum laude graduate of a top 20 law school, a summa cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University
- Director certification from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
- Certified Toastmaster
Business and Legal Expertise
- Raising money for and nurturing micro-cap & nano-cap companies
- Transitioning companies from private to “public”; reverse mergers into public shells
- Resolving litigation and business disputes that are impeding business progress
- Mergers & acquisitions – completed over 40+ in career
- Investor relations/stock trading liquidity initiatives
- Public/private financings
- Securities laws compliance
- Joint ventures/partnerships
- Governmental affairs
- Intellectual property protection
- Employment/human resources
- Software/technology licensing
- Former Senior Counsel to the Financial Services Committee of the US House of Representatives where he was special advisor to the Chairman for capital markets and fintech matters
- Chief Executive Officer for a NASDAQ-listed law enforcement SaaS company
- Senior Vice President & General Counsel for a NASDAQ-listed encrypted email service provider
- Vice President & General Counsel for a NASDAQ-listed radio frequency identification (RFID) company
- Shareholder, Johnson & Gibbs, P.C., Dallas, Texas (corporate/securities & mergers and acquisitions)
- Texas A&M University, Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude
- University of Minnesota Law School, Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude; Law Review, Order of the Coif, Legal Writing Instructor