Post JOBS act, I believe a tool like kickstarter could be used to sell micro portions of equity in a company.
"What violates our terms?
- Offering any monetary return on investment or real property, including: real estate, annuities, lottery contracts, profit-sharing, cash, securities, equity or debt-repayment"
The site actually had some excited-sounding announcement about the JOBS act recently, but I can't seem to find it.
Taken from http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter%20basics#Doe...
"Does Kickstarter take some percentage of ownership or intellectual property of things made through Kickstarter?
Absolutely not. Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work."
If I'm not mistaken in this context I'm pretty sure "percentage of ownership" is synonymous with equity. At least the way equity as a word is being used in the context of this conversation.
I suspect existing law forbids them from selling equity.