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AARP Using Crowdfunding to Start Your Business

by Joe Eaton, Sitting pretty: Jim Martin’s Active Desk team hopes to draw investors through crowdfunding. — Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux Investing in You Take charge of your money at 50, 60, and 70. Can you count on working until you’re 70+? Behold the world’s easiest retirement plan The best ways for you to spend $100 Like many entrepreneurs, Jim Martin built his big idea in the garage. Martin, a 55-year-old associate professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, fashioned a pedaling workstation from an old recumbent bicycle and some lumber. The bike-desk, he thought, would not only help deskbound workers pump off the pounds, it could also make a great business. But Martin faced the classic start-up quandary: How to fund it?Building enough desks to launch a business could run $250,000. A traditional lender would be unlikely to stake him that much on anuntried business. Was he willing to cash out his retirement and tap his daughters’ college fund? “I guess I am just too conservative for that,” Martin says. Instead, he turned to the university’s Technology Commercialization Office, which helps faculty convert research into businesses. It suggested a new tool for raising start-up cash — […]

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