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Frequently Asked Questions
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Where Do We Begin?

Member Basics

Programming

Enrollment Issues

Grants and Crowdfunding



Where Do We Begin?

 

Q: Where do we start?
A: It all depends on two main questions:

"Where are you right now?” and "Where do you want to go?”

If you do not have any entrepreneurship offerings at all and want to create two certificate programs, a two-year degree and full-featured, and a one-stop entrepreneurship center with multi-use incubator — then you’ve got some work cut out for you. Regardless of your goal or the distance you are from that vision, it can be done. You just need to use NACCE to help you make the most of your time and efforts.

Our member colleges save time, money, and are most effective in their efforts because we share our best practices, ideas, and feedback.

The Basic Steps Are:

A) Explore your options through NACCE resources. Use the Presidents for Entrepreneurship action steps as a framework in building your strategy. Our quarterly journals and our webinars are great places to learn how other colleges are approaching entrepreneurship.

B) Examine your college culture and local economy to determine what kind of offerings make sense for your school and community.

C) Identify and gather your local allies (both on and off campus) and use them to help you create and then implement your plan.

QuickTip: To speed up the process of creating a plan for entrepreneurship education and training in your community check out the Quick Start Guide series and the online How To Do It training.

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Q: How do we begin to utilize NACCE resources?
A: The very first thing to do is to understand what we have and how to find it. At various times you’ll likely go through three basic stages

Stage 1: Gathering
If you are very early in the planning phase you will probably want to peruse our resources to gather ideas of what is possible by hearing how other colleges have put their programs together.
 
NACCE Resources:
NACCE’S Quarterly Journal: Community College Entrepreneurship: (Members Only)
Webinars: (Members Only)
Conference Archive: With PowerPoint presentations from the last 10 years
Curriculum Examples:(Members Only)

Stage 2: Searching
Once you get an idea of where you are headed, you can search the NACCE site for related content.

To search the entire NACCE site, look for the "Community Search” button in the upper right hand side of each page. Some items are open to the public, and some are reserved for members only.
Make sure to log in so you can have access to all the results from the search.

Stage 3: Reaching Out
At some point you will find that the NACCE site does not appear to have what you are looking for. Do not worry, there is another resource to draw from – your fellow members.

If you have not already done so go here and sign up for First-Word, the NACCE members-only list-serv. See the next question below for more information on our list-serv, First Word.



Q: What is a List-Serv?
A: List-serv is a group email list. When creating a List-Serv email, compose a subject line and message. When sent to the list-serv email address (given once you sign up) the email will be automatically stamped with "[NACCE]” at the beginning of the subject line. The name of NACCE's list-serv is "First Word.

First word enables you to post questions for the network to respond to or offer feedback. It is a great way to get answers, ideas and help in solving challenges related to your entrepreneurship plans, projects, and programs. It is also where we post messages about funding, conference and publicity opportunities. When posting a question, make sure the subject line is brief but descriptive. Subject lines that are too vague or hyperbolic might not get good results.

Here are some Examples:
These lines are too vague or hyperbolic and will probably get ignored.

Subject: I want your opinion

Subject: Tons of money!

These lines are simple but direct requests that are more likely to get opened and acted upon.

Subject: Educating educators about entrepreneurship?
Subject: Examples of entrepreneurship center funding proposals

Each reply by a member will appear as a separate email unless you opt for just one daily email by checking the "Digest" option when you sign up.

The NACCE main office can give you overviews and trends, but your fellow educators can be more specific and may have more relevant examples and suggestions.





Member Basics

Q: How do I change my Password?

A: Below are step by step instructions:

  1. Go to NACCE homepage and select "Sign In”
  2. Under "My Profile” Select "Manage Profile”
  3. Under the top section marked "Information & Settings” select the "Edit Bio” option
  4. You can then select "(change)” in the password field to select and submit a new password. You may need to first re-enter the old password.

If you have not done so already, please also take some time to fill out your profile and upload a picture. You can always add more to it or change things later.

Sidenote: I’ve lost my password or I cannot remember my username.
A: Your username will be your email address (unless you have changed it.)
To get a reset-password link emailed to you just request it here.


Q: How do I search the NACCE website?
A: Make sure you are logged into the NACCE site so you will be able to access items in the restricted member area. Look for the "Community Search” button in the upper right hand side of the page. Log in to your user account, and type in the topic key words you are interested in.


Q: What if I cannot find what I’m looking for?
A: If you cannot find what you are looking for contact the NACCE main office, or sign up for First Word, our community’s members-only List-Serv. See "What is a List-Serv?" for more information.




Q: Who can I add to my membership?
A: Each organization’s membership allows for up to 11 members, the President, a key contact (key member) plus 9 more members (also called Sub-Accounts).

The key member can assign member seats to faculty, staff and even active partners in your entrepreneurship program. Besides faculty and staff members directly involved with entrepreneurship, you can also include contacts at business support organizations, university partners, advisory board members, individuals who work for the college district, or anyone involved with your entrepreneurship efforts.

If the organizational member is a college district then they can add multiple members from one of their colleges. They cannot however assign member seats to multiple colleges.

There are also individual memberships available to those that qualify. However individual memberships are not eligible to compete for funding opportunities such as the Coleman Elevator Grants or Sam's Club Shared Vision for Small Business Competition

Each seat enables that member to access all the NACCE knowledge and communication resources. Here’s a list of the member benefits.

Q: How do I add someone to our membership?

A: The college's key member is the person who can make member additions and changes. When they key member has identified what they'd like to add to the membership they can simply email their Member Ambassador with the following information for each group:

To add new members to the membership

  • Names
  • Email addresses
  • Professional titles
  • Mailing Address


New members will receive an invitation with a link to create a NACCE member profile (good for 30 days). Once they've completed their member form and profile they'll receive a brief note that their record is established and awaiting approval.

Within the next few business days, the record will be approved and they'll recieve their official "Welcome to NACCE" email with their login credentials.

To take members off of the memebrship

  • Names
  • Reason why they're being taken off (For example: No longer with the college, or they're still at the college but are no longer involved with entrepreneurship)


Replacing members on the membership

  • In cases where one person has left, a new person has replaced them with the same title, address and so forth, we can make a simple change of their name and email using the same record.
  • In this case they can simply email their Member Ambassador with all the pertinent information to make the change.


Note: If members leave your college please make sure to contact NACCE so we can remove them from your membership.



Programming


Q: What is an entrepreneurship center?
A: An entrepreneurship center is any point where current and/or potential entrepreneurs (clients/students) can access information and other resources.

It can be a simple as a web page with a scheduled time and place where clients/students can speak with instructors and/or advisers. It can also be as elaborate as a dedicated building with multi-use incubation space, access to business development organizations along with a busy calendar of organized events such as business plan competitions, classes, seminars, workshops and entrepreneur/student club meetings.

Q: What kind of program has the fastest return on Investment?
A: Below is a brief list of the four most common types of entrepreneurship programs we see. They are listed starting from the shortest to the longest in terms of ROI.

They can all be great, but if you have to start in only one place that enhances or adds to the success of your small business community is usually has the fastest ROI.
See Business Growth or Improvement programs

The goodwill, alumni and track record that comes with these offerings can help you establish firmer support from the business community (especially from entrepreneurs) which can assist you with building a longer-term investment projects such as a cross campus or other academic program.

Types of entrepreneurship programs:

Academic/Business: 2-year entrepreneurship or (Small) Business Management/Administration degree with entrepreneurship emphasis. This one usually takes the most time and resources to develop. It was where colleges typically started about a decade ago, however current and potential entrepreneurs can be found in any discipline, therefore, NACCE recommends building cross campus support and integration of entrepreneurship rather than stand-alone entrepreneurship degrees.

Cross Campus: (These can be either Academic or Non-Credit depending on your state definitions): Generally these are anywhere from 15-30 credit hours or 45-90 contact hours and yield an entrepreneurship certificate designed to be integrated with or compatible with 1 or 2 year degrees, diplomas or certificates.

These can give a faster ROI than standard business/entrepreneurship degrees, but their big strength is diversity. They can appeal to anyone who sees their program as a foundation for starting their own business – but do not necessarily identify themselves as business students.

Popular entrepreneurship certificate pathways include: Automotive, Cosmetology, Construction, Trades, CDL/Trucking, Digital Design, Graphic Arts, HVAC, IT, Welding, Wine-making, or programs that are natural portals to venture creation in your community.

Accelerated Programs: These are generally offered as non-credit, but can be offered as credit courses as well. There are many different types of programs but one on the most common type is a 9-12 week accelerated programs are focused on helping students take their current skills and re-market them through a business in the fastest route possible. Examples of these programs include FastTrac (Kaufman Foundation), CoreFour and NxLeveL. There are also unique and specialized programs that have been developed by NACCE colleges. Here’s an example of one focused specifically on food product development.

Business Growth or Improvement: (for current entrepreneurs) These are generally non-credit however they can be offered for credit programs as well. These help already up and running business owners expand and/or increase profitability or simply help them with key function better by understanding standard practices.

This is the fastest ROI, both in terms of enrollment and fulfillment as well as from a support perspective. Cultivating this group can be a wise investment since entrepreneurs who credit the college with helping them accelerate their businesses, may be more open to supporting the college’s entrepreneurship efforts.

These programs can be created by the college or purchased already constructed.

Many of the established programs have minimum time-in-business and/or revenue requirements. Some examples include, Goldman Sachs’10,000 Small Businesses initiative and Interise’s Streetwise MBA program and PeerSpectives Roundtables from the Edward Lowe Foundation.

On page 14 of this journal, member Steven Bryant, Executive Director, Cook Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington, describes how their Cook Center CEO Roundtable (a PeerSpectives program) helps grow their local economy by enabling entrepreneurs to find the help they need as well as help each other.


Q: How do I post content to my member profile?
A: How to post pictures, or other attachments to your NACCE profile:
Once logged in, look for and select "Manage Profile” (on the far right margin of the page).

If you have not done so already please take a few minutes and fill out your profile and upload a picture. You can always add more to it or change things later.
Under "Content & Features” choose the option based on the type of file you have:
  • Photographs (jpeg, gif, or png formats) Photo Gallery
  • Word, Excel and PDF and other files Files and Links

To Post a Photo:
  • If you have made a specific album prior to posting pictures you can easily select that album to upload it into the album.
  • Look for the "Photo gallery” icon under "Content & Features”
  • Then follow this click-path:
  • Upload a Photo
  • Choose File: Now navigate to where the picture is located and select it.
  • Add a photo caption. This will appear directly below the photo and serve as a title.
  • Tag the photo with any appropriate keywords or terms, separated by commas (optional)
  • Under "Comments” decide whether you’d like to allow comments or not. (We recommend that you do allow them to give your NACCE colleagues an opportunity to converse about them).
  • Under "Visible to:” please select "Members only”.

To Post Doc, XLS, or PDF Files:
  • Look for the "Files and Links” icon under "Content & Features”
  • You should automatically be in the "Manage Files and Links” view, which will allow you to add and edit what files appear on your profile page.
  • Click "Add a New Item”
  • Under Item Type: Select ‘File’ (unless you’re posting only a URL)
  • Type in an appropriate name
  • Under ‘Visible to” check ‘Members Only’ (unless you want to be the only one who can access this file).
  • Click ‘choose file’ and navigate the intended file
  • In the description box below, type in a brief description of the file’s contents.
  • Make sure to check the box to the left of the Upload Agreement.
  • Click ‘Submit’ to upload the item

Take a look at the updated Files & Links page and make sure that the graphic in the "Visible” column is the one of two people (which means members can see it) and of the one of the red padlock (which means it’s hidden from members).

You can also create your own blog and pages for posting things such as a running column, links and other information.



Enrollment Issues

Q: How can I increase enrollment in our entrepreneurship program & how can I insure that we have the enrollment needed to sustain our program?

A: Enrollment issues usually focus on three basics:
  1. Selection: Offering the right options for your community
  2. Promotion: Getting the word out in the most effective and cost-efficient manner
  3. Tracking: Documenting your success to ensure referrals, favorable publicity and capitalize on opportunities for funding.
In brief, selecting the right offerings that meet your community’s needs and desires will set the foundation for all your entrepreneurship efforts.

Once you have made the best selections as possible you will need to promote them throughout your entire community. Not only will you want to reach those that are already considering starting a new venture, but you will also want to create awareness within your whole population as to the possibilities of pursuing an entrepreneurial path. Some will discover that it is not the path for them or will discover that they are not ready yet to take the plunge. You will want to figure some attrition with each class or course cycle.

Once your program is running you will want to document your successes in various ways so you can:
A) Share testimonials with prospective students

B) Share stories, numbers (self-created jobs, additional jobs, revenues etc.) and any data that makes the case for maintaining and expanding your entrepreneurship efforts with potential funders and supporters.

Selection: Offering the right options for your community
Whether discussing individual classes or certificate or degree programs, the key questions are:

"Who are our markets”?

If your college’s key service areas are rural towns with high job losses from a declining industrial base, then your main population is likely to be older, less interested in longer credit options and probably looking for training that can give them modest but immediate results.

By contrast if your service areas are more urban, affluent and young they may be more interested in an in-depth entrepreneurial path that culminates in a 4-year degree from a prestigious or nearby university.

Most likely you will have multiple potential markets to address, in which case you will have to consider which you want to address first and plan for the rest.

Next, try to determine which markets are likely targets for your college and community. If you are concerned about enrollment, amassing the largest group of potential students will help you build critical mass and then reveal richer niche areas of demand. To appeal to the widest span of demographics try to offer as many pathways to completion as possible. The more choices students have for how long and how deep their education is, the wider your range of potential students/customers will be. If your population is often dependent on financial aid you will also need to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your state’s particular rules and restrictions.

For example, a simple 12-hour entrepreneurship certificate might stack into a variety of career and technical programs, or into a business degree, or be complete by itself or even be offered as non-credit for students not interested a formal studies program. A non-credit seminar and workshop series might offer a certificate of completion or competency for completing some or all of the seminars or workshops offered.

Below are some potential markets. Try to determine which ones are the best matches for your community by talking to potential students, entrepreneurs and people who are well connected with business and demographic trends in your service areas, such as your local SBDC, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, Workforce Investment Board and micro-enterprise NGOs. Think about what strengths your area has as far as talent as well as the critical needs. For example, if several small towns are rebuilding from natural disasters then the construction-related trades will likely be in demand. Therefore holding a series of own-your-own business boot-camps for those in the skilled building trades could be a popular draw.

Possible Target Markets
  • Middle & High Schools
  • Current Business Students
  • Current CTE (Career & Tech. Ed.)
  • Alumni Business graduate
  • Alumni CTE graduate
  • Current/Established Business Owner (There are many sub-sectors to this)
  • Nascent Business Owner (pre-start)
An example of multiple pathways would be the cross-campus, short entrepreneurship certificate that usually ranges from 9-16 hours.

It could stack into a variety of career and technical programs, or into a business degree, or be complete by itself or even be offered as non-credit certificate for students not interested a formal studies program.

A non-credit seminar & workshop series might offer a certificate of completion or competency for completing some or all of the seminars or workshops offered.

Remember that you do not necessarily need to create original offerings from scratch. Look around at all your local business support providers in your communities. Are there ones offering non-credit programs that the college might be able to partners with? If so check into collaborating in some way.


Q: What is cross campus curriculum and what is an infusion model?

A: There are many variations depending on the college. However the idea is basically to break entrepreneurship out of the "business-only” box, distill it down to a core message, then make it available to every viable learning path across the curriculum.

Here are some CTE programs that are likely candidates for starting a business:

Automotive technology, building and construction trades, culinary, cosmetology, esthetics, graphic design, HVAC, hospitality, interior design, IT services, photography, web design, etc.

In recent years the emphasis has turned from long-term degrees to shorter term certificates that stack into or added onto various career & technical programs. Two-year degrees with established articulation paths to 4-year and universities are still important and fill a specific need for advanced skills. However shorter certificate and accelerated paths often offer greater accessibility for a larger part of the community.

The infusion model takes it one step further and includes addressing the administrative functions of the college itself and making them more entrepreneurial by addressing the culture and challenging convention.


Q: What are some examples of programs that work with a cross campus curriculum approach?
A: Any learning path (certificate or degree) that can serve as an independent business is appropriate including: Agriculture, Automotive Technology, Construction, Engineering, HVAC, Hospitality, IT, Cosmetology, Culinary, Graphic Design, Manufacturing, Photography, and Welding and too many more to list.

We’ve even seen typical academic paths show strong student interest and benefit from entrepreneurial training.

The creative arts are especially competitive and have a growing number of graduates who will end up as self-employed for at least part of their career.

Search Terms: For more information, on the NACCE site, use search terms such as: Cross campus, infusions, across the curriculum, Entrepreneurship Certificates, mini-certificates, Business Plan Certificate

NACCE Resources:
Webinar:
Check out this webinar to hear Cayuga Community College (Auburn, NY) talk about their approach to infusing entrepreneurship in almost every corner of the campus.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: The Infusion Model
How to Infuse Entrepreneurship Across Campus
Click here to download video
Click here to download PowerPoint Slides


QuickTip: To speed up the process of creating an entrepreneurial culture on your campus check out Quick Start Guide #2, Building A Creative and Innovative Culture At Your Community College

Promotion: Getting the word out about your program in the most effective and cost-efficient manner
By following the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Action steps, you will find the first step is identifying your internal and external team. This is key because when trying to reach all your potential markets you will need to identify your allies both inside the college and outside in the greater community so that together you can accomplish more than you will separately.

Identify Your On-Campus Allies
Identifying and staying in contact with other people at your college who have an interest in entrepreneurship can offer great benefits to your growing program. Besides preventing duplication of efforts you might find natural feeder paths to your program or be able to provide a helpful referral to one of your students.

With tight coordination credit and non-credit programs have teamed up to promote their unique strengths, sometimes even in the same marketing campaigns or pieces.

For example the brochure promoting your program might also promote one-day seminars for ‘Social Media for Small Business’ or ‘Understanding Cash-Flow‘ workshops. They might promote classes that teach QuickBooks or Email Marketing.

A simple one-program brochure or flyer then becomes a mini catalog of offerings for both would-be and current business owners.

Seeing more options – credit, non-credit, short training and longer programs positions the college as the go-to source for whatever kind of entrepreneurial training someone might be looking for.

When combining programs from different departments, make sure you know how permanent these offerings are or keep your printing batches small so you can update them with changes.

Offering NACCE member seats is a great way to reach across to different departments that may have an interest in entrepreneurship. Besides the business departments, workforce development, continuing education, technical and trade, as well as SBDCs your community’s, micro-enterprise organizations and economic development agencies are often interested in entrepreneurship education resources. As long as they’re involved with your programs or planning they can also hold a NACCE seat on the college’s membership.

Also view "Who can I add to my membership?” in Member Basics FAQ.

Identify Your Community Allies
Every community has a local business and business support organizations that can act as messengers by repeating and amplifying your marketing messages. See examples below.

Make a list of contacts you have in these areas and ones you don’t. Reach out to them individually or establish a meeting space and time and invite everyone to it so everyone can explore and expose what everyone is doing.

Meeting and regular communication with a community dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial development is a great way to eliminate duplication, increase referrals and collaboration as well as getting others to repeat and amplify messages about your program to their specific audiences. If a meeting isn’t possible, try to start a monthly email, a list-serve or a Facebook page or group.

Likely Supporters
  • All economic development offices
  • All business support organizations such as SBDC's (Small Business Development Centers)
  • All SCORE chapters, Chambers of Commerce and neighborhood CDC’s. Economic development offices can be at city, county and regional levels
  • Micro-enterprise development and micro-lending organizations. Check AEO for ones in your area: http://bit.ly/MicroEnterpriseSupport
  • Local business/civic groups such as Rotary, Kiwanis & Toastmasters and Young Professionals
  • Industrial Groups for the industries that are strongest in your area
  • Real estate brokers and developers
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • University affiliated entrepreneurship based programs and organizations
  • Utility company representatives focused on community and economic development
  • Local marketing, accounting, advertising and legal firms
  • Local newspapers, especially business editors and writers.
  • Successful entrepreneurs with an interest in rebuilding the economy.
  • Research librarians or economic data collection specialists.
  • Local houses of worship or any group concerned about the local economy.
Marketing Methods
Besides printed brochures and several lengths of written copy for social media, you’ll need to draw a mental perimeter around your entire campus and community and try to think of all the ways you can reach your target markets (above). Who do they listen to? Where do they look for information?

Check out this marketing checklist.

Here are some examples of member marketing pieces.

QuickTip: To get up to speed quickly learn about how you can find and leverage Community Partnerships you can also purchase the Quick Start Guide #3 "Creating Community Partnerships in Support of Entrepreneurship” for a distilled collection of examples on how successful colleges have pulled their local communities together to support their vision for supporting entrepreneurial development and education.


Q: How can I find testimonials if we are just starting, or restarted our program?
A: If you are trying to launch a new program or revitalize an old one you are not likely to have a lot of success stories from former students. However, you may still have some entrepreneurial allies in your alumni community that will be willing to come and speak to former students, or give an overall testimonial about the college that highlights your program.

For Example:
"I received my technical training at Hampden County Community College and now I have a successful business with 5 employees. I only wish I had an option to get an entrepreneurship certificate like the one they are now offering. It would have saved me a lot of time, money and frustration.”

Many entrepreneurs are very empathetic to the needs of nascent and would be entrepreneurs and can be tapped to speak to students, judge a business plan competition or fill many other supportive roles. Some can also be tapped for potential funding.

Tracking: Documenting your success to ensure referrals, favorable publicity and capitalize on opportunities for funding of all the three factors (selection, promotion) tracking is the trickiest. Loosing track of students and what they will be doing as far as their future ventures can be a challenge.

One of the first steps is to contact your alumni relations department or person, and ask what outcome questions they ask in surveys they use to track former students. The vast majority of them only ask about job type and status and sometimes income. As soon as possible try to get your alumni relations office to recognize and ask for entrepreneurial outcomes – for all alumni.

Questions like:
"Are you working: full-time, part-time, unemployed” need another outcome such as "self-employed” and "owner of a business with employees”.



Grants and Crowdfunding

Q: What grants are available for entrepreneurship programs and projects?
A: If you’re looking to build financial traction for your entrepreneurship initiatives, we recommend starting at a smaller scale while building organizational and community buy-in, then exploring avenues for programmatic self-sustainability, and eventually looking to external funders for additional support. A great resource in helping you build a plan is NACCE’s How To Do It Kit, an online training in which you will find a wealth of information on different approaches to fundraising as part of an overall plan for launching and scaling your entrepreneurial efforts.



Q: What grants are available for NACCE member entrepreneurship programs and projects?
A: NACCE members can apply for two specific grant programs to help start or expand their entrepreneurship programs.

  1. For the past 6 years, the Coleman Foundation has provided more than $503,000 in grants to NACCE members, through the Coleman Elevator Grants competition. It’s the only competition of its kind and one of the most exciting events at our conference.
  2. One of our newest offerings is the Sam's Club Shared Vision for Small Business Competition which offers awards up to $10, 000 to education programs serving currently operating businesses.

What about federal grants?
NACCE is always working with federal agencies to identify potential funding opportunities for our members. Check out our weekly blog, The Resourceful Educator, on our website for tips on resources and grants for entrepreneurship initiatives at community colleges. 

What about private foundations?
Pursuing grants for entrepreneurship education programs is a popular choice among community colleges. Make sure one of your first stops is your college grants office so that your efforts are aligned with the college. There are many funders interested in promoting entrepreneurship as a choice and in accelerating the success of small businesses. Grant providers have a wide range of interests in entrepreneurship including funding research, targeting certain geographic regions, assisting certain kinds of entrepreneurs such as women and minorities and spurring innovation and new technology. Be sure to subscribe to NACCE’s weekly e-news and to visit the NACCE website frequently to get funding updates!

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Q: What's crowdfunding?
A: There are actually two kinds of crowdfunding

  1. Classic crowdfunding or crowdfunding for contribution: This type of crowdfunding is the simplest and has existed since ‘passing the hat’. In the last few years online, platforms (such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo) have provided a simple way to do this by connecting campaigns to people’s social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.). In most offerings there is a specific goal and target date as well as target dates for shipping products. If the total is not met by the target date, the funds are returned to those who had pledged them.
    The ideal offering is considered to be an innovative or creative product that can be showcased in a 3 minute video that can be shipped to potential contributors as a premium (or ‘perk’ for their contribution. The contributor or customer holds no equity in the company.
  2. Equity crowdfunding A.K.A. investment crowdfunding, crowd financing: This kind was recently passed as a bill (part of the JOBS Act in 2012) that will enable businesses to offer shares of their business to the general public through an online and socially integrated platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.). As of May 2013 the SEC has not yet published the rules to enable platforms to offer it but they are expected to very soon.

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Q: Who are the key players?
A1: For classic/contribution based crowdfunding, the main players are:

However there are many more and new ones sprouting up daily.
Sign up for their emails and you’ll get glimpses of their most interesting and successful campaigns.
As of this writing Indiegogo and RocketHub and some others allow for open-ended funding which lets you keep what you get rather than the all-or-nothing type of campaign.

A2: For equity or investment crowdfunding

These are too numerous to list but here are two early contenders which have been recommended to NACCE by Zak Cassady-Dorion of StartUp Exemption one of the 3 entrepreneurs who crafted the senate bill (HR2930) or the crowdfunding investment bill (part of the JOBS Act.) Here’s their site and their story.

NACCE Presentation

Everything You Need To Know About Crowdfunding PDF

  • Tim Putnam, Associate Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, North Iowa Area Community College (IA)
  • Jeff Carter, Co-Founder, Hyde Park Angels (IL)

NACCE Webinar:

Crowdfunded Capital- New Funding Options for Entrepreneurs

The emphasis here is on the investment option (still waiting for SEC to set the rules for as of May 2013) but classic perks-based crowdfunding is touched on.
In many cases small, startups and especially creative type of businesses will be better suited to classic crowdfunding that’s mostly fueled by pre-product sales.


Articles:

How To Get Your Projects Crowdfunded And Created: The Kickstarter Alternatives
Pebble Technology Becomes Kickstarter Test Case
The Pebble is classic crowdfunding’s ‘Poster Child’. This campaign raised over $10M
Watchmaker Pebble: From Crowdfunding Hype to Product Launch

Video:

This video gives a full lesson on running a successful classic crowdfunding campaign with perks or contributions. Though not for investment crowdfunding (which won’t be available till sometime in 2013) many of the same principles would apply. In fact the classic crowdfunding with product or perk sales may still be more appropriate for many micro businesses.

Incubate DIY Conference (27:29)

 

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