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Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship Centers

Paid Mentorship Management Consulting Fees Can Help Fund College University Incubator and Accelerator Programs

14 Mar

Allowing Mentors to Earn Revenue while Colleges/Universities Collect a Commission for Facilitating the Knowledge Transfer is Great Way to Bring Leading Expertise to Remote Areas

By Robert Hoskins

Paid Mentor Management Consulting Fees

Another option for schools to generate funding is to create a management consulting practice in tandem with college and university incubators and accelerators. Many sources of mentorship can be attracted by allowing the subject matter experts to generate revenue by providing mentoring services for a consulting fee. 

Incubators/accelerators could take a 15% commission out of the consulting fee to add monthly recurring revenue to their incubator and accelerator programs. Payments for services can be paid in cash and/or might include an option to purchase equity shares in the first class of equity shares being offered during the seed fundraising round.

Using this strategy, schools with video conferencing capabilities can tap into talent on a worldwide basis. Using teleconferencing and distance learning applications schools can access the world’s leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and private equity investors, even in remote locations.

A single community college might not able to afford a speaking engagement with Guy Kawasaki, Elon Musk or Richard Branson, but working with numerous community colleges in any given state they could launch a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign to solicit enough cash to pay for an event that could be broadcast to a network of participating schools.  These single session tutorials, mentoring sessions or consulting engagements could be setup in a very similar manner to the very popular TedX talks.

Other sources of revenue can be earned by hosting conferences, trade shows, pitching competitions and/or training classes.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Want to learn more about setting up a college/university crowdfunding ecosystem?

Please fill out this form to get started:

 

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How to Generate More Revenue for Co-Working Startups by Launching a Rewards or Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem

13 Mar

How Equity Crowdfunding Can Take College and University Co-Working Spaces and Incubators to the Next Level

By Robert Hoskins

Generating More Co-Working Revenue with Crowdfunding

Most major universities and colleges have set up on-campus Entrepreneurship Centers, Innovation Labs or co-working spaces to facilitate an environment that encourages students to use their creative minds to develop innovative ideas and turn them into successful startup businesses.

Joining a co-working space allows students setup an affordable office or working space to rub elbows with like-minded individuals and discover people who have the same set of goals and objectives as they do.  This provides a unique opportunity for new startup founders to cross pollinate each other and fertilize new ideas that sometimes leads to the decision to co-found a business together.

Part of the draw for co-working spaces are community lunch rooms, founder dating events, after-hours cocktail parties, social mixers and Meetup groups, all of which can provide access to great sources of well-educated, but very cost-effective labor pools.

All of these activities serve a useful purpose in allowing co-founders to find talented workers that will be needed to help their new businesses begin harvesting new ideas and business concepts, put them on paper and turn them into a high impact startup ventures.

In addition to people, co-working spaces provide cheap office space, meeting rooms to setup video/teleconferences, board rooms for team meetings, video production facilities to shoot pitch videos, access to data centers and hardware/software laboratories where new ideas can be tested on the latest and greatest smartphones, smartwatches, tracking tags and bracelets, tablets, laptops and wearable technology devices.

For larger audiences, a large auditorium or theater provides the perfect venue for visiting guest speakers, corporate presentations, pitch contests and many other type of large meetings with panel discussions.

Below is an example of what a well-planned co-working floor plan might look like courtesy of the T-Rex facility in Missouri.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

T-Rex Co-Working Facility in Missouri co-locates two venture accelerators, venture capital companies, an SBA-funded resource center, and a training and mentoring organization along with other incubator companies

Source: T-Rex Co-Working Facility in Missouri co-locates two venture accelerators, venture capital companies, an SBA-funded resource center, and a training and mentoring organization along with other incubator companies


Co-working spaces have the ability to offer very affordable working spaces for students and local entrepreneurs that want to start a student or family-owned business. Renting out space for $250 to $500 per month and serving 250 entrepreneurs would create potential monthly recurring revenue opportunity worth $62,500 to $125,000 or up to $1.5 million per year.

An average size cubicle is 75 sq. ft. so serving 250 co-workers would require approximately 18,750 sq. ft. to provide very comfortable dedicated working spaces, but many average co-working desks are much smaller.

Increase the facility’s size to accommodate a kitchen/lunch room, conference rooms, rest rooms and one large auditorium and the total space required would be around 25,o00 sq. ft.

Co-Work Space Business Plans

Thinking about opening a co-working space, but need help with writing a good business plan?  We Googled a bunch of business plans and here are three co-working business plans that we thought are worth a look:

If you want more examples, please check out this list of the Top 75 Co-Working Spaces in America.

Rewards or Equity Based Crowdfunding Platform

Once a co-working space has been set up, the next step in the process is to launch a rewards-based or equity-based crowdfunding ecosystem so that members of the co-working space can use the site to raise seed stage investment capital to get their companies up and running.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Need help setting up a co-working space?

Please fill out the form below to get started:

How University Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) Can Speed Up Operations by Launching Rewards and Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystems

13 Mar

Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding to Facilitate Faster Technology Transfer for Colleges and Universities that Want to Promote Innovation and Entrepreneurship

By Robert Hoskins

Streamlining University Technology Transfers

Most major universities have a Technology Transfer Office (TTO) or Technology Licensing Office (TLO) that provides information via a technology licensing website that details policies, disclosure procedures and staff contact information. However, the bulk of educational sites in the United States focus much more on providing material to researchers within the university and to outside investors.

With a few exceptions, many of them provide little useful information to external audiences regarding how the college or university is doing at stimulating technology transfer and commercialization for technology being developed by the school’s R&D departments. 

Technology transfer is the process of transferring scientific findings from one organization to another for the purpose of further development and commercialization. The process typically includes:

  • Identifying new technologies
  • Protecting technologies through patents, copyrights and other IP
  • Forming development and commercialization strategies such as marketing and licensing to existing private sector companies or creating new startup companies based on the new technology

Equity Crowdfunding can help schools move away from the highly ineffective TTOs, which are notorious for their laborious processes and red tape that tend to put more technology in a dusty warehouse than into a real world business practice. There is a true need to move away from short-term licensing and royalty agreements utilized by most schools and migrate toward long-term equity investment strategy that can generate billions of dollars in revenue versus short-term millions.

Creating an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem is an excellent way to provide students, faculty, alumni and the local community with opportunities to begin investing in a college’s or university’s future.

According to an article entitled “Improving University Technology Transfer and Commercialization” by Darrell M. West, universities are only earning around $2.5 billion in licensing fees on a federal investment of approximately $90 billion per year. The article highlights why schools should consider policy and operational changes that would improve their disclosure and rate of return for all of their research and development projects for a wide variety of reasons.

Equity crowdfunding represents the best way to streamline the process of creating new businesses from within a university’s various colleges. Students need to enjoy a superior educational experience while actually going through the process of launching startup business ventures that can give them the power to steer their own career path and create immense circles of wealth for everyone involved.

Most top universities are now setting up Innovation Labs and Entrepreneurship Centers to achieve this goal, but they usually fall short when setting up effective business incubators that provide experienced mentors and accelerator programs that actually provide the millions of dollars needed in seed investment capital to get these startups up and running.  Equity crowdfunding is the best way to find startup funding without taking on too much risk for schools that need a jumpstart.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Want to setup a Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem?

Please fill out this form to get started:

Starting a University Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem to Build Better Alumni and Local Community Relationships

12 Mar

Crowdfunding Sites Provide Alumni with a Personal Way to Begin Investing in their Alma Maters’ Promising Startups and Reap the Benefit of Making a Lot of Money if They Invest in the Right Projects

By Robert Hoskins

Stimulating Alumni and Local Community Engagement

Establishing an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem is a great way for colleges and universities to reconnect alumni with their alma maters and engage them to begin investing in the school’s future.  

Unlike giving donations to a school with no idea of how the money is going to be spent, investing directly in equity crowdfunding campaigns not only gives alumni a way to give back to the university that that helped launch their careers, but also provides them with a personal way to begin investing in creative projects that are near and dear to their hearts as well as reap the benefit of making a lot of money if they invest in the right projects.

Building an Equity Crowdfunding site to market college and university projects to alumni and the rest of the world can help:

  • Build Better Relationships with Alumni;
  • Migrate Alumni from Blind Donations to Targeted Equity Investments;
  • Generate Substantially More Revenue to Finance School Programs;
  • Increase Long-Term Return on Investment; and
  • Produce Much Better  Global University Marketing Opportunities.

Equity Crowdfunding Sites are Great Marketing Tools

Not only do crowdfunding campaigns provide a great opportunity for students to raise money for their startup companies, but the marketing that is done to drive investors to their crowdfunding profiles is a great way for colleges and universities to market their school’s brand name and recruit new students in a similar manner to running TV advertisements during college football and basketball games.

The difference, however, is that instead of producing a bland 10,000 ft. overview of a college’s academics, research and development facilities and a fly over of the university campus, each equity crowdfunding campaign has the opportunity of demonstrate exactly what is actually going on inside their R&D departments, computer science data centers and bio-tech wet labs. It is a new way to streamline the Technology Transfer process.  

Equity Crowdfunding is a much more cost-effective way to bring new technology and businesses to market and can earn schools substantially more money via equity investments than licensing agreements or royalty deals. 

Entrepreneurship Centers, Incubators and Accelerators

In addition, crowdfunding sites allow schools to promote the fact that they are now offering entrepreneurship centers, co-working spaces, incubators with mentorship programs and accelerators that can help raise money to fund new startups.  Equity crowdfunding ecosystems and alumni angel networks will make is possible to attract more millennials, smarter entrepreneurs and aggressive startup high-tech and bio-tech companies seeking a fertile environment in which to launch their business ideas.

For example, look at the successful marketing campaigns that the Coolest Cooler or the Pebble Time SmartWatch crowdfunding campaigns are generating for Kickstarter.  Not only are they transforming Kickstarter into a global brand, but with 18 days left to go the Pebble Time SmartWatch has raised over $17 million. These marketing, PR and social media campaigns have generated massive amounts of free, positive and credible publicity. The same type of exposure can be generated for any college that has startups marketing their university’s equity crowdfunding campaigns via the internet and social media networks.  

Equity Crowdfunding Generates Nice Revenue Streams

Not only is the free, positive publicity great for promoting a school’s brand name, but collecting a fee similar to Kickstarter’s five-percent crowdfunding site commission fee is also a great way to make money to fund the school’s incubator and accelerator programs.

For example, the Pebble Time SmartWatch crowdfunding campaign’s site commission fee will deposit more than $1,000,000 into Kickstarter’s bank account for doing little more than setting up an e-commerce site. A simple task for any computer science college. 

College and university crowdfunding sites will start slow at first like Kickstarter did but given the strength of the university’s mass communication department, it could be much quicker.  Regardless, over a five-year period, a school’s crowdfunding site has the same opportunity to create a massive crowdfunding ecosystem like Kickstarter’s which to date has collected almost ~$2 billion in investment seed capital over the past 5 years.  

It you are a school administrator, what would injecting $2 billion into your Technology Transfer Office do for your college or university?  And that is straight rewards-based crowdfunding.  What would the same $2 billion return if just 10% percent of your startup companies went public and raised $100 million each? Once the first several dominos fall the financial returns would sufficient enough to continue growing a stronger pool of wealth with each generation of graduates. This method is precisely how Palo Alto, San Jose and San Francisco built the Silicon Valley in California into a global angel investor and venture capital powerhouse.

Alumni, Mentors and Future Students

Future students, leading mentors and disconnected alumni will suddenly have a purview into exciting projects and developments that are percolating behind the scenes in a very similar manner to Kickstarter. Crowdfunding will make it possible for the local community and general public to see the huge innovations that are going on behind the scenes, which will create the desire to get involved in the process so they too can strike it rich. Suddenly, alumni will be very motivated to keep in touch and invest often. 

Conclusion:

The crowdfunding industry is clearly fueling a new generation of makers that realize that it is more possible now than ever to bring their creative ideas to life with other people’s money, not just on the east and west coasts, but anywhere in America.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Want to setup an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem for your college?

Please fill out this form to get started:

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