Apply Using the Gust Platform
The American Samoa Venture Fund (ASVF) accepts applications using the Gust platform, which has the added benefit of creating a public profile for each applicant on a site that is popular with venture capital and angel investors throughout the globe, should the applicant so choose.
Have concerns about compliance with applicable securities laws? See “Possible Securities Law Issues regarding the Use of the Gust Platform” below.
If you’d like a copy of the application questions, you can download them in PDF form here.
In addition, we ask that you upload an executive summary or business model canvas, and will evaluate up to five legal-sized pages of information. As under 1 percent of American businesses receive venture capital funding, so too is the ASVF limited in the number of American Samoa businesses that it is able to fund. We ask that you ensure that your business is in industries targeted in Territorial economic development strategies before you apply. The most common reasons that applications are rejected include:
- The business is operating in industries not aligned with the Territory’s economic development priorities as set forth in the American Samoa Economic Development Implementation Plan, FY-2014-2017
- Lack of potential market for goods/services of business
- Inexperienced management team
- Salaries are disproportionately high given the development stage of the business
- ASVF funding would be used to repay outstanding debt or for ineligible passive investment
- The business is based outside American Samoa
Terms and Conditions
By applying to ASVF using the Gust platform, you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions:
- All information that you have provided is true and accurate and that you will indemnify ASVF against any harm resulting from inaccuracies in your submission (as well as any follow-up information that you may provide).
- ASVF staff will share your application information with its associates, including members of its Investment Committee, potential co-investment partners and other professionals, for the purposes of conducting due diligence on a potential investment. You agree that this is an acceptable use of the information.
- ASVF is not responsible for any information becoming public. You should not supply ASVF with any information that you would not be comfortable disclosing in public.
- ASVF attempts to evaluate all applications on an equal basis, and is unable to fund many applications. The decisions of the ASVF management are in part subjective but binding. You agree that you will not seek either legal or other recourse if your application is not accepted for funding.
Possible Securities Law Issues Regarding the Use of the Gust Platform
In light of amendments to Federal securities laws pursuant to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, some applicants may have concerns vis-a-vis whether use of the Gust platform undermines the customary Federal securities law registration exemption relied upon by most startup businesses (now known as a Rule 506(b) exemption).
Although ASVF is not a law firm, we, nonetheless, offer why we remain comfortable with the use of, and reliance on, the Gust platform.
For more about the JOBS Act, see “The JOBS Act and Crowdfunding” below.
Currently, the Gust platform is only open to accredited investors and does not permit any “general solicitation” of those accredited investors. It is our understanding that these parameters have previously been found to be consistent with a Rule 506(b) exemption, and recent amendments do not appear to change that outcome. In addition, the Gust platform permits a “private” submission that would only enable ASVF to see a submission. Thus, if a “private” submission is made, no other investors on the Gust platform would be able to view the submission.
Therefore, ASVF has no uneasiness in using the Gust platform for its SSBCI-assisted program. This interpretation, however, does not constitute legal advice; it is strongly recommended that those who have issues in this regard discuss this matter (along with all securities law matters) with qualified legal counsel.
The JOBS Act & Crowdfunding
The JOBS Act passed Congress with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Obama in April 2012. The measure is designed to encourage small business and startup funding by easing various federal regulations. It allows businesses to accept small contributions from private individuals — also known as “crowdfunding” — without making an initial public offering. But unlike most crowdfunding options, the JOBS Act gives regular people a chance to become investors.
Fa’afetai tele lava for your interest in the American Samoa Venture Fund.