MNvest Equity Crowdfunding (how to fund your business online)

by Zach Robins and Ryan Schildkraut | at MinneBar 10 | 2:45 – 3:35 in Zeke Landres | View Schedule

MNvest is a new way to fund Minnesota companies. Currently in front of the legislature, the system would permit equity crowdfunding, or the ability to raise small amounts of capital from many people online. MNvest is intended to provide wider, cheaper, and faster access to seed funding for entrepreneurs and growing businesses. Over the course of this session we will discuss the proposed system and identify opportunities for Issuers, Portals, and Investors. In the meantime, please learn more and sign the petition at


Zach Robins

I'm a Securities attorney at Messerli & Kramer and co-founder of, promoting the state's investment crowdfunding law.

Ryan Schildkraut

Ryan Schildkraut is a business transactions attorney who advises companies of all sizes on a wide range of business matters, including entity formation, fundraising, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, real estate, and tax. Ryan adds value for clients by quickly focusing on the meaningful issues in the transaction and efficiently leading the parties through the structuring, negotiation, documentation, and successful closing or completion of each deal.

Ryan regularly counsels start-up companies and entrepreneurs on selecting the appropriate type of entity for their businesses, drafting organizational documents (including shareholder agreements, LLC agreements, and member control agreements), raising money from investors, hiring employees and independent contractors, negotiating commercial leases, and developing customized business contracts. He is a strong advocate for Minnesota entrepreneurs and small business owners. After years of working with clients who felt that federal and state laws impeded their ability to raise money from investors, Ryan co-authored proposed legislation called MNvest, which would legalize securities crowdfunding in Minnesota. He has organized a group of politicians, business leaders, and other supporters in a grassroots campaign to educate Minnesotans on crowdfunding and to persuade the Minnesota legislature to enact MNvest.

Ryan is dedicated to helping companies grow their businesses through acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic partnerships, securities offerings, and re-financings. He also advises business owners in the sale of their businesses.

Although Ryan works with all types of businesses, he has extensive experience in the following industries:

Software and Technology: Prior to attending law school, Ryan graduated first in his class from the nationally-ranked Information Technology Management program at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. His background in systems architecture and software development is a valuable resource to Ryan’s clients in high-tech industries, who regularly rely on his expertise when drafting and negotiating terms of software licensing agreements, software development agreements, and similar technology-related contracts.

Craft Brewing: Ryan represents start-up and mid-sized craft breweries on a variety of matters, including raising money from investors; securing debt and equipment financing; obtaining required permits, navigating through complex licensing regulations; negotiating brewery leases, beer distribution agreements, and beer ingredient procurement contracts; selling distribution rights; and applying for trademarks and protecting other key intellectual property assets.

Multi-Unit Franchise Operations. As an integral part of Winthrop & Weinstine’s Franchise Legal Team, Ryan works closely with buyers and sellers in significant M&A transactions involving the purchase and sale of multi-unit franchise operations. Ryan regularly reviews and negotiates purchase and sale agreements, loan agreements, franchise agreements, lease agreements, landlord estoppels and consents, subordination and non-disturbance agreements, and other real estate documents. Since 2010, Ryan has assisted multi-unit franchise owners in M&A and financing transactions involving more than 500 restaurants throughout the United States, with an aggregate transaction value of more than $360 million.

In 2014 and 2015, Ryan was named a "Rising Star" by Minnesota Super Lawyers®; these highly regarded attorneys are 40 years old or younger, or have been practicing for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are named to the list.

While in law school at the University of Minnesota, Ryan served as President of the Business Law Association and as an editor of the Minnesota Journal of International Law. He also studied international law at Monash University Law School in Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Canterbury School of Law in Christchurch, New Zealand. He is a diehard fan of the Green Bay Packers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.