Berkeley Crowdfunding Symposium Produces International Research Agreement

Taken from Berkeley College of Engineering News Center

The first international agreement to share research data on crowdfunding — an increasingly popular financing model that allows entrepreneurs to raise capital using social media — was framed during an Oct. 17–18 symposium organized by the College of Engineering’s Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.

The symposium, Crowdfunding: Setting the Research Agenda, convened more than 100 scholars, policy experts and government officials from more than 20 countries to describe the rapid growth of crowdfunding in their regions. Organizers say this is the first international academic symposium on crowdfunding, an innovative funding technique that connects small businesses and start-up ventures with multiple investors.

Symposium participants formed an international working group on data sharing and cooperation in crowdfunding and appointed Richard Swart, director of research for the Fung Institute’s Program for Innovation in Social and Entrepreneurial Finance, and Dan Marom, co-author of The Crowdfunding Revolution, as co-chairs. The working group has received agreements from several crowdfunding associations to aggregate their data in a platform being developed by Swart at Berkeley.

The symposium also served as a forum for releasing the first international study of crowdfunding’s potential for the developing world. The report, published by the World Bank, outlines the promise as well as the risks of crowdfunding as a tool to finance innovation and growth in such regions as East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. It also provides an in-depth case study of crowdfunding’s potential in funding clean energy and climate technologies.

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