In April 2012 Sherwood “Woodie” Neis along with his good friend, Jason Best launched Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA), a consulting company that advises U.S. and international entrepreneurs, investors, business groups and government agencies. At that time, Best was an entrepreneur-in-residence at the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership, an entrepreneurial program for engineering students.
In November Berkeley’s Fung Institute announced a new academic program in crowdfunding, spearheaded by Neiss and Best. The idea is to draw on CCA’s expertise and the university’s data research abilities to develop best practices for early-stage startups and investors interested in crowdfunding.
“I see the role of this crowdfunding center as one of an umpire,” Ken Singer, managing director of the Fung Institute’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, says. “I’d like for the center to be the voice of reason … the place where people go to see, At what point does it make sense for us to get crowdfunding, and at what point does it not make sense?”
Indeed, Singer has high hopes for the university’s alliance with CCA. “Almost every initiative like this that I’ve seen has grown and become pretty substantial with its own identity,” he says.