New Stock Exchange Planned for Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Stock Exchange Planned for Del.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (WBOC) - A group of high profile business leaders - called Delaware Board of Trade - is banking on smaller businesses in a smaller state. They are planning a new stock exchange based in Delaware.

It is a first for the First State. This so-called "crowd-funding" stock exchange is also a first for the nation.

The current plan is to put the new stock exchange in downtown Wilmington. The city and the state are already a major financial center for America - along with cities like Charlotte and New York.

Thanks in large part to a favorable business system for them - many companies incorporate in Delaware - including more than half of the Fortune 500. Fortune 500 companies are traded on major indices like the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

A big part of the new Delaware exchange is to cater to smaller businesses, too small to get onto those indices. 

David Grimaldi, New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer, says a company could raise in a 12-month period up to $50 million through stock bought by many, many investors on the exchange. It is an option outside the traditional venture capital route of getting funding.

"Companies may very well be coming from Silicon Valley to be funded here rather than staying there," he said.

Recent changes to federal regulations created a new niche the exchange is trying to take advantage of. Larry Hamermesh, a Widener University law professor, says it's too early to know if that niche is a viable one.

"It's brand new," he said. "Whether there's a real market there and if they build it, people will come, it's hard to know."

He says the people behind the project are the kind that would have a good sense ahead of time if it would work. Assuming it does, Grimaldi believes the exchange will help Delaware extend its image as Corporate Capital of the World.

"Not only can we be the place to incorporate your business but also the place to raise money to fund your business. It's a natural synergy," Grimaldi said.

Grimaldi says it's an ambitious timeline, but the new stock exchange could be up and running by the start of next year.

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