Call it venture capitalism for the masses. The U.S. Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act is about to inject new energy into crowdfunding, a web-based approach to raising business capital. Through an amendment to the Securities Act, the JOBS Act lets start-ups raise money from the public via crowdfunding platforms like Fundable and RocketHub, as long as those platforms register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Once regulations are in place, this year or next, that change “will provide an entirely new class of capital and open up trillions of dollars of new funding to small businesses in the U.S.,” says Eric Corl, president and co-founder of Columbus, Ohio–based Fundable.

....