UC Berkeley to hold research conference on crowdfunding

The University of California, Berkeley, will host an international academic conference on crowdfunding next week. Cal’s College of Engineering is organizing the Oct. 17 and 18 event, titled “Crowdfunding: Setting the Research Agenda.” Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chief Economist Hal Varian will speak at the event, as will Jason Best and Sherwood Neiss of Crowdfund Capital Advisors. Julia Groves, managing director of the UK Crowdfunding Association, will also talk. UC researchers are interested in crowdfunding — a relatively new way of raising money for businesses or other ventures via appeals on social networks — particularly in the wake of the federal Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups Act, which relaxed some rules on how companies can ask for equity investments. Richard Swart, who leads crowdfunding research at Cal’s Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership, which is hosting the symposium, said part of the focus on the conference will be on “mechanisms to protect new investors.” The World Bank will also put out a new report on crowdfunding — which Swart himself helped to write — at the event. Money from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation helped pay for the event. Read the agenda for the conference here. Steven E.F. Brown is web editor […]

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