Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have already had a big impact on how entrepreneurs raise funds for their small businesses, but a provision in the JOBS Act may take crowdfunding to new heights.
"Crowdfunding is going to be the new lottery," said Patrick Chung, a partner at the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. "Regardless of whether people actually make money, the first megahit to be crowdfunded will keep this lottery going for a decade or more."
The JOBS Act's Title III, whose rules haven't been finalized, basically would enable small companies to sell securities via online open platforms to both accredited and nonaccredited investors.
(Read more: Here's what the 2014 tech IPO pipeline looks like)
"On the one hand, crowdfunding is going to to be very positive, allowing entrepreneurs to raise capital easier and faster," Chung said. "On the other hand, in a world where money is becoming easy to come by, it also places a premium on investors who can actually help with the business."
In other words, while small companies will have more access to capital from a wider range of investors, experienced investors will have an edge because they can offer funds, experience and connections, he said.