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Crowdfunding for University Start-Ups

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: January 24, 2013

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The recent passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act effectively lifted a previous ban against public solicitation for private companies raising funds. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to set rules regarding equity crowdfunding campaigns involving unaccredited investors — a development eagerly awaited by entrepreneurs and TTOs. According to many experts, the advent of equity crowdfunding may bring a critical new source of capital to early-stage technologies and start-ups, and in the meantime new portals for donation-based crowdfunding are springing up rapidly — many of which plan to transition into equity-based funding once the SEC rules are established.

But university participation in crowdfunding is not necessarily a slam-dunk. Regulatory challenges — some known and others still to be defined — as well as legal issues and major practical challenges must be addressed before venturing into this new, uncharted territory. It’s important for TTOs and start-ups to understand exactly what crowdfunding is, how it works, what the real potential for generating funding is, and what the risks and drawbacks are. That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics has secured three top experts to lead this cutting-edge program:

Crowdfunding for University Start-Ups

Join Tony Stanco executive director of the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) and executive director of the Angel Investors of Greater Washington, attorney Scott Popma with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, and Mikael Totterman chairman of the university-focused crowdfunding portal Innovocracy for this timely distance learning program. Here’s a quick look at the agenda:

  • Controversies and Risks
    • Ensuring IP protection
    • Due diligence
    • Fraud risk
    • Investor protection vs capital raising
  • Opportunities
    The four basic model crowdfunding platforms and the opportunities as well as limitations and drawbacks for each:
    • Donation-based
    • Equity-based
    • Pre-sale product
    • Debt
  • Latest Developments
    Hear the very latest update on SEC regulations:
    • Title 3
      • Crowdfunding exemption
      • Exclusion of crowdfunding investors from shareholder cap
      • Funding portal regulation
      • Relationship with state law
    • Title 2
      • Access to Capital for Job Creators
      • Regulation D
    • Title 4
      • Small Capital Formation, aka Regulation A+
  • Case Study
    Lessons learned from implementing academic crowdfunding to support start-up formation from the University of Rochester

PLUS: Crowdfunding success stories and how they can help inform your crowdfunding strategy and decision-making

Your Expert Presenters:

Tony Stanco is Executive Director of the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) as well as Executive Director for the Angel Investors of Greater Washington. Previously he was the director of the Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer and Commercialization (CET2C) of The George Washington University. Mr. Stanco was a senior attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he worked on more than two hundred IPOs. He also has worked on innovation policy, including start-up creation and funding by angel investors and VCs. At the School of Engineering and Applied Science at The George Washington University, Mr. Stanco also works with universities and governments around the world on innovation policy, start-up finance policy, software policy, Open Source, cyber-security, and e-Government issues. He has appeared before the US Congress, various US defense and civilian agencies, the World Bank, the European Commission, the United Nations, Inter-American Development Bank, and the Organization of American States, among others. Mr. Stanco teaches the Lab to IPO course dealing with start-up formation and funding.

Scott J. Popma is a Partner with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP.Mr. Popma practices patent litigation before the federal district courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, primarily in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and electrical areas. He has extensive experience in all aspects of pre-trial, trial, and post-trial proceedings. In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Popma advises clients on a wide variety of patent matters, including portfolio analysis, licensing, due diligence, and IP issues relating to crowdfunding. He also provides opinions of counsel relating to infringement, validity, and patentability.

Mikael Totterman is chairman of Innovocracy and a serial entrepreneur focused on technology commercialization from academic institutions. He is chairman and founder of iCardiac Technologies, the world’s largest dedicated cardiac analytics provider to pharmaceutical companies. Prior to iCardiac Technologies Mr. Totterman was the chief operating officer of VirtualScopics Inc., a leading developer of image-based biomarkers for improving pharmaceutical development. During his tenure at VirtualScopics, he led several of rounds of venture capital funding as well as striking strategic investment relationships with Pfizer, Inc. and GE Healthcare. Earlier in his career, Mr. Totterman also served as a principal at 3Com Ventures, a $250 million venture capital fund based in Santa Clara, CA, as well as building 3Com’s Network of Global Strategic Alliances with companies including Philips, Siemens, AT&T and British Telecom. He has held positions at Boston Consulting Group as well as Gemini Consulting. Mr. Totterman currently serves on the board of directors of Qmetrics Technologies and is a Founding Advisory Board Member of HTR Lean LaunchPad.

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