Crowdfunding has grown considerably over the past few years, branching out from its origins in Kiva style microloans through creative crowdfunding on Kickstarter to the menagerie of projects and ventures that are supported via the crowd today.
As it’s a social approach to business, I try and ensure that any research in the field is covered and made digestible for you all. Whilst there has been a steady trickle of research in the field over the years, that trickle could get more substantial, as UC Berkeley have recently announced the creation of a dedicated unit to study crowdfunding.
The hub, called CrowdBerkeley, aims to be the place to go for research and learning on the topic. It’s a partnership with the Fung Institute, whose engineers have been aggregating data from the various crowdfunding platforms to provide the basis for study of the field.
“The goal of CrowdBerkeley is simple: we aim to leverage the excellence of UC Berkeley to learn, educate, and inform entrepreneurs, policymakers, and researchers on how crowdfunding can shape the economy and society,” says Tyson. “We will pursue this work in a way that reflects the long-standing tradition of the University of California at Berkeley as a university of innovation.”
If you have an interest in crowdfunding, then the output from the new department should be well worth following (or you can check in here if you prefer).
The move is part of a wider involvement in crowdfunding on the Berkeley campus. Their Berkeley-Haas business school is including crowdfunding in their MBA curriculum, and have conducted a number of so called ‘teach-ins’, where academics and students mingle and work with crowdfunding partners.
Students from the school have also launched a number of crowdfunding campaigns on the likes of WeFinance and Indiegogo, whilst there is also a campus based platform called Berkeley Crowdfunding for student based projects.