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Mary Jo White

Today's the first day to form crowdfunding stock exchanges for the masses

Today's the first day to form crowdfunding stock exchanges for the masses

For companies that want to match start-ups with small-time investors, today is the first day to ask for permission from federal regulators -- and one local firm wants to be at the front of the line.

Santa Monica's StartEngine plans to announce this morning that it has applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a registered funding portal. Those portals will act as stock exchanges where, starting in May, small companies will be able to sell shares directly to the masses.

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