October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

University Crowdfunding: A New Capital Approach For Tomorrow’s Innovation

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

In its most recent Mind the Gap Report,  innovosource,  identified crowdfunding as an emerging investment vehicle that may be better positioned to support the capital requirements of translational research, proof of concept projects, and early-stage start-ups than more traditional capital sources, like venture capital and angel investment. This funding approach taps into the masses for smaller, more manageable investments versus larger investments from a few. Crowdfunding, if properly executed, could provide new avenues for funding of promising university technologies and start-ups; however, many questions (and curiously) still remain surrounding its adoption and useful implementation.

“Separating fad from utility is key.”, says Jacob Johnson, founder of innovosource, “Crowdfunding is a very cool concept, and people should be excited about its possibilities; but, it’s also unproven in regards to developmentally-rigorous technologies, still under federal policy review, and hazy in ownership rights and ROI. The world has seen that you can crowdfund a web service and an art studio, but can you crowdfund biotech?”.

To answer that question and move the conversation forward, innovosource is starting with the perspectives and insights shared in this first installment of The University Crowdfunding Report

This Report recognizes that crowdfunding is early in the university adoption cycle and therefore can support the conversation most by sharing perceptions from current/aspiring university crowdfunding managers and stakeholders at research universities and associated organizations. Insights from the 43 participating universities and organizations in this Report include:

•Positioning of crowdfunding in the university capital continuum
•Current perceptions and adoption status
•Preferred approaches and platforms
•Understanding and resolution of significant barriers to adoption

The University Crowdfunding Report is an introduction to university crowdfunding for those interested in implementing a platform or understanding the general issues surrounding this emerging investment approach. It’s a tool to begin the discussion of university crowdfunding on your campus or at your organization. More thorough investigation of best practices and platform features will come in future reports as the approach evolves.

“We will start with solid information, and then look to identifying and developing and sharing approaches that can work in concert with other gap funding mechanisms. Any approach must be optimized to work within the university innovation environment and existing commercialization mechanisms.”,says Johnson, “We are here to support the realization of breakthrough technologies and start-ups from the university environment. If crowdfunding has a place in this equation, we want to play our part”.

The University Crowdfunding Report is the beginning.

For more information, please visit

Contact: innovosource, connect@innovosource.com

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