Taken from crowdexpert.com
The leading example is the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Courses at their Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology help students gain an understanding of crowdfunding practices and how to use them in the early stages of entrepreneurial finance.
The program, led by the College of Engineering’s Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership, works to develop innovative theoretical and applied research related to entrepreneurship and the funding of small to medium sized businesses. The program’s main focus is on the most recent innovations in startup finance, using crowdfunding as a source of investment money for startups.
The benefit of crowdfunding is that this type of investment offers potential not just for seed capital but also for market validation and attention from attention from larger potential investors and partners.
”I am starting to see more teams pursue crowdfunding campaigns as a way of testing the consumer demand for their products before pursuing traditional investment. Crowdfunding has given the most experimental products (biotech, drone, Internet of Things, etc.) a way to prove they are not as risky as investors may originally perceive them. Crowdfunding is not displacing angel investing–I’m seeing more and more startups leverage crowdfunding as a pre-emptive due diligence tool to attract angel investors. I think we will soon see traditional investors insist that non-software startups conduct crowdfunding campaigns as a prerequisite to institutional investing.”
– Ken Singer, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET) at UC Berkeley.
“Students across the world are already using crowdfunding for student run businesses, to fund the growth of their companies growing out of accelerators, and to support social entrepreneurship. The opportunity is for universities to leverage their press and social media reach to effectively support some of these student ventures. There is a great deal of interest in models to use crowdfunding to commercialize technology, though the models are very early. Universities have a thousand compelling stories to tell, and by humanizing the impact of their research, they will learn to fund and support grad students, post-docs and projects.”
– Richard Swart PhD, Director of Research, Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance at UC Berkeley
“As a practical matter, it is extremely important that students are aware of it, able to use it if appropriate for their startup. Crowdfunding is something that students in entrepreneurship, marketing, PR, communications, strategy and finance should study. They can experiment with it inside their student run startup and start building community and social media skills,” said Richard Swart, Director of Research for the Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance at Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.
The Program for Innovation in Social and Entrepreneurial Finance, also at UC Berkeley, researches the effect of crowdfunding on globally, collecting data on how it effects business, employment, law, and finance. You can see their report about crowdfunding to the world bank here: http://www.infodev.org/crowdfunding
“Governments are desperate for reliable data to help them fashion crowdfunding and P2P lending policies to support entrepreneurship and innovation. The partnership between CCA and UC Berkeley has already led to the first international academic symposium on crowdfunding research, which was also attended by crowdfunding leaders from more than 20 nations. By bringing together the true leaders in the space with top academics, CCA and Berkeley was able to facilitate research partnerships and serves as a case-study of how research can support thought leadership. Due to this symposium, representatives of the SEC asked Dr Richard Swart to organize an academic working group which discussed specific questions related to Title III. Dr. Swart was also invited to address a committee of the British Parliament and met with representatives of the Dutch Government. Governments need to fund early stage research projects in crowdfunding to encourage more academics to research and write about the field” – Richard Swart PhD, Director of Research @ the Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance at UC Berkeley.