SERIES: Bringing Austin and Music Together: David Taylor,

David Taylor is the co-founder of an online platform that enables unaccredited investors to invest in the booming oil and gas industry.

crudefunders-logoFeaturing interviews with some of Texas’ leading entrepreneurs, this series of articles will feature ideas, advice and recommendations from businesses outside the music industry. I believe this “cross pollination” will benefit both sides of the equation.

David Taylor is the co-founder of an on-line platform that enables unaccredited investors to invest in the booming oil and gas industry.

What makes CrudeFunders unique?
CrudeFunders was formed to allow every Texan to take advantage of the large profits associated with investing in the drilling and developing of new oil and gas reserves. We are the first on-line, legal crowdfunding marketplace offering direct investment in oil well drilling projects to non-accredited investors via the Texas Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption.

Who are your investors?
For the first time since the 1920’s, both accredited and non accredited investors can now participate in what used to be a pretty exclusive “club”. For as little as one thousand dollars, any Texan can buy an equity stake in an oil & gas project. Accredited investors can also leverage the platform and can invest larger sums on larger projects. So, really, our investors are any Texan that wants to invest in oil and gas exploration.

How has your business or industry changed over the last five years?

n 2012, President Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act—the JOBS Act. This legalizes equity crowdfunding enabling individuals to invest in start-up companies in exchange for equity. Until October 2014, only accredited investors were allowed to invest in start-ups–individuals who can claim a net worth of $1 million or more or who earn greater than $200,000 per year or $300,000 for a couple.

This, obviously, left out a lot of people who couldn’t participate. With the passing of Title III of the Jobs Act, the S.E.C. ruled that anyone can participate in crowdfunding—accredited or not. Texas—the promised land of plenty in the oil and gas industry– is one of the first states to pass the Title III portion of the Jobs Act which will allow direct investment in oil well drilling projects to non-accredited investors via the Texas Instrastate Crowdfunding Exemption.

How does being based in Texas help your business?
Besides the obvious, being in Texas gives us access to the entire ecosystem of the oil industry and a large, active investment community. We also benefit from the Texas tech economy in many ways including access to talent and innovation.

As an entrepreneur, what advice do you have for Austin’s music industry?
I am a firm believer that this industry has reinvented itself over the past decade and one thing is clear to me…music will never go away. It matters to everyone, effects everyone, and is constantly evolving. There is always a way to make money in an industry that touches so many, but it may not be in traditional models so be aware and be quick because it may not last long!

It is similar to the Oil & Gas business that I am in, it has it’s ebbs and flows, but one thing is for sure…it is integral in so many aspects of life that it is not going anywhere for a long time. I have been an investor into the music scene for over a decade and I have learned many things in regards to the business side as well as the performance side. Three of the most important things that I have gleaned from the industry are:

  1. If you are doing it for the money…you are in the wrong business.
  2. You can be the most talented musician in the world, but if you don’t have a strong work ethic and good sense of humor…you are in for a long and hard road.
  3. If you want a long career in music, you don’t always want to be the front man…sometimes the best bet is to be behind the scenes and be a smart business man.

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