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Tag Archives: Entrepeneurship Centers

Using Equity Crowdfunding Sites to Finance Incubators and Accelerators at Leading U.S. Colleges and Universities

15 Mar

Launching an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem to Fund College / University Incubator and Accelerator Programs

By Robert Hoskins

Financing Incubators & Accelerators

Most large colleges and universities in the United States have an Entrepreneurship Center or something similar, but schools in smaller population centers lack the presence of well-staffed Incubators and/or Accelerator programs that are necessary to provide students with access to professional, seasoned business, finance, investment and marketing mentors. The value of providing wisdom gained over 20 to 30 years of real world experience from subject matter experts is a critical part of the startup mentoring process.

And even with the right team of mentors in place, these incubator and accelerator programs will need their own investment syndicate to a yield sufficient pool of investors to amass enough investment seed capital to fund startups that advance from an incubator to an accelerator program.

The benefits of providing investment capital are clear to everyone but sometimes the biggest challenge for smaller communities is aggregating the first million dollars to get started and maybe another 4 million dollars to keep the program funded until startups progress far enough to be purchased by a larger company or go through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The minimum startup capital needed to finance 10 startups per year at $100,000 each will require at least a million dollars. Sometimes there simply are not enough local resources to achieve this goal.  This challenge showcases the value of equity crowdfunding sites and how marketing equity crowdfunding sites on the internet can make it possible for remote angel investors and venture capitalists to shop for potential investment opportunities at your school from anywhere in the world.

SBIR/SBTT Technology Transfer Programs

Colleges and universities can also tap into federal funding via Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) programs that offer up to $2 billion per year of funding for university incubators and accelerator programs.  Competition is fierce for this funding, but with right application it is possible to obtain funding.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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