Clemson launches crowdfunding website

Staff Report
gsanews@scbiznews.com
Published Jan. 16, 2014

Clemson University launched a new crowdfunding portal to finance projects by students today, making it the first S.C. school to do so.

The site, ClemsonIdeas.com, will be used to raise money for startup companies with a special focus on projects by students in Clemson’s Master of Business Administration program. The site is hosted by a third-party provider, and all of the funds raised will go directly to the person seeking support, according to a news release. Clemson will not receive any funding from the site, and it is not affiliated with any university giving program.

“Crowdfunding has become a credible source of funding for early-stage companies,” Spiro Institute Board Member and Capital A Partner David Mendez said. “Success at this stage for an entrepreneur can lead to other forms of debt or equity financing provided by early-stage investors to accelerate growth and create jobs.”

The website launched with five proposals and will only be open to proposals from Clemson MBA students for the time being. Organizers plan to include projects from university faculty, staff, students and alumni in the future. The proposals come from a range of disciplines and include a cycling safety device, an information technology awareness program targeting K-12 students, an aerospace business network, a local yeast company and a men’s formalwear company.

“We want to do everything we can to help our entrepreneurship students succeed, and ClemsonIdeas.com is a natural outgrowth of that effort,” College of Business and Behavioral Science Associate Dean and Spiro Institute Executive Director Gregory M. Pickett said.

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