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December 30, 2013

Woody Harrelson turns to crowdfunding to finance paper firm

Actor’s company hopes to raise $5m through Canadian site.

By Joe Curtis

Woody Harrelson has decided to crowdfund his eco-friendly paper business.

The movie star, known for roles in the Hunger Games saga and White Men Can’t Jump, hopes to raise $5m for Prairie Paper Ventures, which has developed a method to turn wheat straw left over from harvests into paper, in a bid to save trees.

Harrelson’s firm turned to Optimize Capital Markets, a Toronto-based equity crowdfunding site, offering 20% of the company for $5m, in order to keep up with demand and launch a com[lately ‘tree-free’ product range in the new year.

Co-founder Jeff Golfman told Bloomberg Businessweek: "I’ve been an entrepreneur for 27 years, and it’s very difficult to raise money through traditional channels, whether that be debt or equity."

And Optimize CEO Matthew McGrath believes equty crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition to serious investors.

He said the average deal on his site is worth between $3m and $5m, with a general average minimum spend of $100,000 per investor – Harrelson’s firm requires $500,000 minimum.

Prairie Paper Ventures has 47 days to reach its target.

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