Get to Know Our CEO

Welcome, everyone, to InCrowd Capital! 

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself and how InCrowd came into being.  As our name suggests, InCrowd ensures that everyone, from entrepreneurs to investors, local institutions and key stakeholders, feels like they are a part of the InCrowd.  InCrowd’s mission is to grow and promote entrepreneurial communities across the country.  We are not just another platform where entrepreneurs come to raise money; we also promote and build awareness of programs in local communities that assist entrepreneurs in their efforts to start or grow their businesses.

InCrowd was created from a love for finance and a passion for working with entrepreneurs.  After studying accounting and finance at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, I spent three years as an investment banking analyst with Morgan Keegan (now part of Raymond James), where I worked on middle-market mergers and acquisitions.  It was there that I learned more about transactional finance and was able to work with and learn from successful entrepreneurs – our clients.

After my time at Morgan Keegan, I knew I wanted to get more operational experience and to grow an understanding of what it actually takes to run a business.  I moved to Nashville (where I would also meet my amazing wife, Laura) in 2008 and spent close to five years working for Choice Food Group, a regional food company with manufacturing, distribution and retail divisions, where I joined on to run the retail division.  

While at Morgan Keegan, I developed knowledge and a growing passion for alternative investments such as private equity and venture capital, and it was not long before I decided that I wanted to invest in startups.  The problem was that I was not an accredited investor; I was unable to invest in the assets that I wanted to, just because I was not wealthy enough.  It was this realization that sowed the seeds of the original InCrowd idea, where everyday investors, like me, could invest in startups. However, it would be five years before Congress passed the JOBS Act.

In waiting for the laws, we came to realize that there is also a large audience of accredited investors who want to invest in startups, but are intimidated by the process.  They do not know how to or have the time to screen deals, negotiate deal terms, deal with legal and tax implications, etc.  We turned our focus to bringing these new investors off of the sidelines and into the investment community through education and a platform that welcomes newcomers to the startup investing scene.  Launching in October 2013, InCrowd's new angel group has opened up sources of capital for entrepreneurs that were there all along, but were just not yet comfortable making the leap into startup investing.

InCrowd was born out of a love for finance and investing and a passion for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.  At InCrowd, we know what it takes to be an entrepreneur and we know how hard it is to get started as an angel investor.  We look forward to helping entrepreneurs and investors, like you, with your journeys toward investing in, or starting and growing your businesses!

Phil Shmerling