Monthly Archives: August 2015

EB-5 Direct vs. Regional Center: Make Sure Your Business Plan is Properly Developed to File by September 30th

Marisa Marconi
August 26, 2015 by

This month is a busy (and nail-biting) one for the EB-5 world. With the EB-5 Regional Center program set to expire at the end of September, Congress in recess until after Labor Day, and a whole host of issues that need to be addressed once Congress is back in session (Iran nuclear deal, anyone?), there is concern and a lot of speculation about what will happen to the EB-5 program, especially given the recent push to reform it. I wrote about the bill introduced in June by Senators Grassley and Leahy in a recent blog post, and in the months since, another bill has been introduced in the House by Representatives Gutiérrez and Lofgren. Whether these bills will be adopted, amended, or Congress will kick the reform can down the road a little longer and simply reauthorize the program are the unanswered questions that every stakeholder has in mind this month. I will leave speculation about what route Congress will take to those experts in the industry who have their finger on the legislative pulse. In the midst of this uncertainty, though, what is clear is that those with projects that can be filed before September 30th are clamoring to do so.

We here at MasterPlans have definitely seen a surge of new EB-5 projects come our way, many of them on a tight time frame. We’re seeing new projects for direct EB-5 investments as well as large-scale projects sponsored by Regional Centers. Both types of projects require a Matter of Ho compliant business plan, but the development, content, and information relayed in EB-5 direct plans versus EB-5 Regional Center plans is quite different. Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to submit an article to EB-5 Investors Magazine, one of the leading publications in the industry, about this very topic. The article addresses the differences between EB-5 direct and EB-5 Regional Center business plans, and outlines how each type should be developed to ensure it is Ho compliant. The article was published in the magazine’s July issue, alongside some other very interesting articles about the pending legislation as well as some updates on the impact of the EB-5 program with vignettes of real people whose jobs were created as a result of EB-5 projects. It’s a good read, and I encourage stakeholders to check out the site, magazine, and of course, my article.

For those who are planning on filing before September 30th but still don’t have a Matter of Ho compliant business plan ready, give us a call. Even if you’ve made a business plan draft already but need to have it reviewed to ensure compliance, we can check it over. Whether your case is for an EB-5 direct investment or a bigger project sponsored by a Regional Center, MasterPlans has got you covered.

The Growth & Impact of Comic-Cons

Thomas Wilson
August 7, 2015 by

Recently I attended the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) which is the 2nd largest comic book convention in the world (trailing only New York City’s Con) and is considered the crown jewel of the pop culture convention circuit. I have been going to SDCC since 2008 and have seen the steady growth in awareness of the show: today it attracts far more than just people in the comic book industry – it has become a mecca for the general population. As a kid I read about SDCC in my Wizard or Comic Scene magazine and I always wanted to go simply to meet my favorite creators and see some original art. Now, as a professional in the industry, I am able to make that happen for work reasons, but I never dreamed that SDCC would evolve into the large-scale pop culture event it has become.

After starting out in 1970 with a paltry attendance of 125 people, attendance hit around 130,000 each of the last 5 years and could easily exceed that if the San Diego Convention Center hadn’t reached capacity. Tickets went from an easy get weeks before the show to selling out in minutes over the 8 years I have been attending. Preview Night, which starts at 6pm, went from a lightly attended formality to a full-blown attendee day with some collectables selling out completely in the 3-hour window before the real Con even got underway.

Some of the highest grossing films (the Marvel movies) and one of the most watched TV shows (The Walking Dead) have their roots in the comic book world. With more and more of the entertainment industry being fueled by the main content featured at SDCC, interest in SDCC has soared. This interest has helped raise the profile of other Cons around the country and the world since the demand is so great, creating a new “pop culture convention” industry. And you’ll see all levels of entrepreneur at these Cons: a CEO of a successful publisher pitching their upcoming stories, a veteran comics illustrator selling original drawings, an up-and-coming comics illustrator pitching his talents or stories to publishers and Hollywood producers, a cosplayer with a strong social network following selling prints, an actor assuring the faithful that their portrayal of a beloved character will be true to form – all trying to capture the attendees’ dollar.

MasterPlans has written comic book focused business plans and I have been lucky enough to design a few – even adding my own custom illustrations to give it a more authentic comic feel. If you are in need of a business plan or even custom illustrations, MasterPlans is your one-stop shop for all your business plan needs – tell them Thomas sent you!


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