StartEngine Review – Invest in Startups Online

I'm Donny. I'm a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.

StartEngine allows investors (accredited and non-accredited) to invest in startup companies. Founders and startups also benefit from this funding portal.

Smaller businesses can raise about $5 million, while large enterprises can raise approximately $75 million.

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Our Partner

Equity Crowdfunding


  • 50% company retention rate
  • Over 500+ offers funded
  • Network of 760+ prospective investors
  • Leadership with a proven track record
Overall Rating
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Key Takeaways

  • StartEngine is a popular equity crowdfunding platform for investors interested in startups.
  • The company allows a minimum investment starting at $100.
  • Investors pay a transaction fee of 3.5%, depending on their preferred startup.

Pros & Cons


  • Low investment minimums (from $100)
  • Open to all investors
  • 10% bonus shares via the Owner’s Bonus
  • Over 500k opportunities


  • It’s not ideal for short-term investors
  • Higher processing fee

Are you passionate about a startup and would like to be part of its growth? Are you keen on helping a startup grow and make a profit once it starts being successful?

With StartEngine, you can begin your investment journey through crowdfunding startups. StartEngine has raised more than $500 million and funded over 500 companies.

In this StartEngine review, I’ll take you through how the platform works and ways of investing with StartEngine. Ready? Let’s dive in.

StartEngine icon

Quick Summary

Minimum Investment: $100

Processing Fee: 3.5%

Promotion: 10% bonus shares via the Owner’s Bonus

What is StartEngine?

StartEngine is a popular equity crowdfunding platform for investors interested in startups. The platform provides accredited and non-accredited investors with access to an array of startups across multiple industries.

Whether you wish to invest in high-potential industries or ordinary niches, the platform has got you covered. You can invest in robotics, renewable energy, space exploration, food and beverage, medical, hospitality, or communications.

StartEngine was established in 2014 by CEO Howard Marks and Ron Miller. The company enjoys strategic advice from Shark Tank TV host, Kevin O’Leary, popularly known by his nickname “Mr. Wonderful.”

Their goal is to bring all investors into one platform where investment is made easier.  The platform lists companies from different industries on its website, allowing investors to choose where to invest.

You don’t have to be wealthy to start investing with StartEngine. You can begin your investment journey with as little as $100. To date, StartEngine has over 760,00 investors.

How It Works

When investing, I’d prefer buying actual equity and investing in the companies I support. Luckily, that’s what StartEngine does.

You don’t have to stick to a platform that limits you to specific companies. When you join StartEngine, you will find dozens of startup companies looking for investors.

To get started, browse through various companies to find the ones that help you make money. A quick snapshot of company profiles will show the company’s number of investors, the amount raised, price per share, and minimum investment required.

Research further to determine if the company will be a good investment. For example, you can look into what the company does and the key reasons to invest with them.

Once you’ve got everything you need, create an account to start investing.  You can move to any campaign page and click “Invest Now.” Submit your payment method, and voila!

You’ve started your investment journey in a startup.  People that need funding can do Regulation Crowdfunding or Regulation A+ campaigns. 

With Regulation Crowdfunding, startups can raise $1.07 within a year. For Regulation A+, startups can raise $50 million within a year.

Ways to Invest

StartEngine offers several investment options that limit the amount you can invest in a startup. This StartEngine review has covered various investment options you can choose.

These include:

  • Regulation Crowdfunding
  • Regulation A+
  • StartEngine Secondary
  • Owner’s Bonus

Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF)

If your annual income or net worth is less than $107,000, Reg CF limits non-accredited investors to investing a maximum of 5% of annual income or 5% of net worth, whichever is greater.

What if your net worth and annual income exceed $107,000? In this case, Reg CF limits you to invest 10% of net worth or 10% of yearly income, whichever is greater.

Regulation A+ (Reg A+)

This investment option allows you to invest in Reg A+ companies. As a non-accredited investor, you can invest up to 10% of your annual income or 10% of your net worth.

StartEngine Secondary

Would you like to trade your shares in Reg CF and Reg A+ companies? As a secondary market, StartEngine allows non-accredited investors to trade their startup investments.

With StartEngine Secondary, you can sell shares of companies you don’t want to continue investing with. You can also cash out shares of companies that were successful.

Owner’s Bonus

This is a subscription program the company allows you to purchase. The owner’s Bonus costs $275 annually and is auto-renewable. The program gives investors 10% bonus shares on their purchased investments.

However, there’s something you need to note. The 10% bonus shares apply to startups participating in the program. To determine whether a company participates, look for the “owner’s bonus” symbol on the company’s campaign page.

With this program, you can benefit from priority waitlist positions if you invest in oversubscribed startups. You’ll also receive email notifications when there’re new and lucrative bonus-eligible opportunities.

How Much Does It Cost?

Investing with StartEngine may not cost you anything. You can create an account for free and choose a startup to start investing in.

StartEngine charges startups that seek funding. The startup might offset the cost by charging investors a processing fee of 3.5%.

Who is StartEngine Best For?

StartEngine is best for non-accredited and accredited investors seeking to invest in startups.  Some startups will only allow accredited investors to invest with them.

Such startups block out non-accredited investors aspiring to join the marketplace.  As a non-accredited investor, StartEngine provides you with lucrative investment opportunities.

However, unlike accredited investors, the platform limits the amount to invest. The investment amount depends on the regulation that your startup is using.

Startups might use Regulation A+ or Regulation Crowdfunding to raise capital. Ensure to know the regulation your startup uses before investing.

You can also find out whether the startup requires a minimum investment.  Like any other investment, you can win or lose when investing with StartEngine.

This StartEngine review helps you know how best to benefit from the platform.  Generally, winning or losing depends on the startup you choose to invest in.

While startups are riskier to invest in, selecting one with the potential to grow can be a game-changer.  To get the best out of your investment, seek advice from a financial professional to help you make informed decisions.

Investing in a successful startup allows you to earn income from dividends from your shares. Alternatively, you can sell your shares and earn money.

Should You Use StartEngine?

Whether an accredited or non-accredited investor, you should use StartEngine to invest in your preferred startups. The platform offers a variety of investment options and over 500 opportunities.

You can start investing in startups with a minimum investment of $100.  Visit StartEngine, create an account and start investing.


StartEngine allows everyday people to invest and own shares in startups and early growth companies.

StartEngine icon


Is StartEngine a legitimate company?

StartEngine is a legitimate company open to anyone over 18 years. It’s among other crowdfunding platforms launched after the 2012 JOBS Act.

Can you make money investing with StartEngine?

You can make money investing with StartEngine, but that depends on the success of a startup. Investors earn money through dividends or the selling of shares at a profit.

Will I get access to Kevin O’Leary?

As a StartEngine entrepreneur, you will access Kevin O’Leary to help you see the benefits of equity crowdfunding. Unfortunately, Kevin O’Leary won’t be accessible to investors looking for investment advice.

Is there a minimum investment requirement?

The minimum investment spans from $100 to $1,000, depending on the startup you pick.

I'm Donny. I'm a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.

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