Tech Transfer Central

Do-it-Yourself Crowdfunding for Universities

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: October 16, 2014

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University TTOs looking to support early-stage technologies are, by all accounts, eyeing the crowdfunding landscape eagerly. With removal of the ban on general solicitation and the advent of equity crowdfunding for accredited investors, there appears to be great potential for TTOs to tap into this growing funding option. And for universities, the existing resources of a development office and a huge existing “crowd” in the form of alumni makes crowdfunding a natural.  

While it may seem like a safe bet to rely on major registered portals like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub or dozens of others like them to launch a crowdfunding campaign, there are many obstacles to overcome before your project can even be considered. Many of these portals have restrictions such as product categories, pre-campaign funding requirements, time limits, and achievement goals — not to mention hefty administrative fees and commissions.

A growing number of universities are going the independent route — taking a do-it-yourself approach to crowdfunding by creating and managing their own crowdfund platforms and campaigns from the ground up.  Though the rewards can be great, the DIY route comes with its own administrative hurdles, as well as compliance and financial risks. That’s why Technology Transfer Tacticshas secured three experts to lead this cutting-edge webinar:

Do-it-Yourself Crowdfunding for Universities

You’ll get expert guidance from attorney Scott J. Popma, co-founder and principal at Destination Crowd Capital, LLC, who will discuss the latest regulatory updates. Jim Borzilleri, president and co-founder of Crowd Engine, Inc., will provide valuable insight into low- and no-cost plug-ins and customizable platforms you can start using right away. And, you’ll get practical advice on starting, growing and managing your independent crowdfunding platform from Natasha Chopp, research development and marketing director for the Michigan Tech’s independent crowdfund, Superior Ideas. Here is a more detailed view of the program agenda:

Latest Regulatory Developments

  • Hear the very latest update on SEC regulations as they pertain to:
    • Donation-based funds
    • Equity-based funds
    • Funding portal regulation
    • Title 3 – why its current iteration is flawed and what to expect in Title 3 “version 2.0”
  • See how some states are sidestepping the JOBS Act’s rules and understand the pros and cons of such actions

Tools for creating your fund from scratch

  • Learn how to incorporate WordPress plug-ins
  • Hear about crowdfund platform services that:
    • Don’t require you to write code
    • Are commission-free

Case Study and Practical Guidance

  • Hear how Superior Ideas has funded 44 projects over the last two years
  • How to prepare researchers for this type of funding
  • How to find your “crowd” and cultivate your network of investors
  • How to set up and run a crowdfunding portal
    • Handling web page management
    • Processing donations
    • Marketing the crowdfund
    • Handling tech issues
  • Investor communication issues

Your expert presenters:

Scott J Popma

Scott J. Popma
Co-Founder, Principal
Destination Crowd Capital, LLC

Natasha Chopp

Natasha Chopp
Research Development and Marketing Director
Superior Ideas
Michigan Technological University

James Borzilleri

James Borzilleri
President and co-founder
Crowd Engine, Inc.

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