Crowdfunding in STEM

Crowdfunding in STEM

By Lucy Zhang, CFB contributing editor

Startups and small businesses are becoming more prevalent in this age, where technology has facilitated communication. However, getting the necessary financial backing can be difficult. Bank loans require a somewhat tedious, bureaucratic process and are difficult for small companies to use. Fundraising through car washes is bake sales is extremely limited. However, there is a relatively new form of funding, called crowdfunding. Crowdfunding allows for anyone to invest in any project, company, startup, or product. It circumvents the many barriers for financial backing and occurs directly between the investor and owner.


One often overlooked area is crowdfunding for education–more specifically independent research and projects. Granted, crowdfunding sites such as Adopt-A-Classroom and Donors Choose exist to fund schools that lack resources to complete class projects or students who need financial aid to attend a class or college. However, there have been few productive sources that fund research projects.

The site Experiment features many brilliant scientists who aspire to further their inventions or research. According to a user review on CrowdsUnite, Experiment is easy to use and geared towards “traditional scientific research”. This specific type of crowdfunding provides an extremely important outlet for students both in high school and college. One synthetic biology competition, iGEM (international genetically engineered machine) which is held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consists of teams all over the world from high schools and colleges. However, registration for the competition and payment for lab equipment require over a thousand dollars, a hefty sum for new teams that do not have sponsors or adequate resources. Crowdfunding is a viable option to raise enough financial backing. In fact, the University of California at Santa Cruz iGEM team is crowdfunding for their project, Sustainable Next Generation Biofuel Production. However, most high school research teams rarely think of such options, relying on fairly ineffective fundraisers instead.

Crowdfunding can also sponsor individual Intel research projects, Google science fair projects, and Siemens research projects. The Lemelson-MIT program called InvenTeam provides $2000 given that the team or school backs that money with the same amount. Again, crowdfunding is an easy way to reach that goal. Not only that, but web pages created to attract funders allow for greater media coverage and public awareness. The people who invest truly want the project to succeed, generating a source of confidence and public value.

The USA has always advocated education in the youth, especially in the face of competing countries with rapidly expanding technological advancements. Crowdfunding enables such a development among the youth. While there are sites such as Experiment that help fund research, they have yet to grow in popularity and reach the amount of attention that could raise enough money. Thus, before anything, students must be educated about the opportunities and advantages of crowdfunding in order to realize their aspirations to start their own independent innovative projects.

Source :

Business Development at
Twitter: @CrowdsUnite


Tags: , ,


How Crowdfunding Has Changed the Startup GameSingularity HubCrowdfunding has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, funneling millions of dollars into thousands of projects. Technology in particular is one of the leading categories on popular fundraising platforms like Kickstarter an [...]

The GuardianCrowdfunding: the new buzzword for academics needing research moneyThe GuardianArchaeologist Dr David Petts, from Durham University, has also used crowdfunding, raising almost £25,000 to fund a project on Lindisfarne, off the Northumberland coast. The dig, in June, led to [...]

Airbitz, BitPay, and Wefunder leverage bitcoin and new US ...Brave New CoinEquity crowdfunding platform, Wefunder, recently started accepting bitcoin. On the same day, popular bitcoin mobile wallet provider Airbitz announced the ...Wefunder Launches 10 New Regulation Crowdfunding Offe [...]

CNNMoneyDorothy's fading red slippers saved by $300000 in crowdfundingCNNMoneyThe ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the beloved 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" are set to undergo a major conservation effort following a successful crowdfunding campaign. The Smithson [...]

Raise Money for Personal Bills on Crowdfunding SitesKiplinger Personal FinanceWhile crowdfunding is often associated with business start-ups, many people are finding it a fruitful way to raise money for personal needs. Sites such as YouCaring, GoGetFunding, GoFundMe and GiveForward ha [...]

Crowdfund InsiderReport: Title II Crowdfunding Data on Three Year Anniversary Tops $1.47 BillionCrowdfund InsiderFifty Dollars Money Grant Crowdnetic has published its annual Crowdwatch report on Title II investment crowdfunding as enacted under the JOBS Act of 2012. Title II, or Reg [...]

How The Fix Crowdfunding Act Continues To Help Improve The Success Rates Of Small BusinessesCBS LocalIn July of this year, Republican Patrick McHenry from North Carolina spearheaded two important bills. Both passed through the House in a landslide vote as part of The Fix Crowdfunding [...]

BloombergCouples Desperate For Children Turn to Crowdfunding FertilityBloombergCrowdfunding has become a popular mechanism for many couples who can't afford the high costs of IVF, or adoption and surrogacy. “It's not an easy thing to share publicly,” says Crystal Barrett, 33 [...]

City turns to crowd funding to help replace boardwalk over Flint RiverMLive.comFLUSHING, MI -- The city of Flushing has opened a crowdfunding campaign to replace a wooden boardwalk over the Flint River. The goal is to raise $50,000 in 60 days on Patronicity, a crowdfunding website, to [...]

AZCentral.comTiny companies lure investors under Arizona crowdfunding lawAZCentral.comInvestors who make bets under the state's one-year-old crowdfunding law certainly have the potential to get in on the ground floor, but they must be patient and might not receive any returns. Th [...]

CFB Finance

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |