ATEC Crowdfunding Month Begins at University of Texas in Dallas

Crowdfunding Event Runs from November 6th to December 5th

crowdfunding monthWith the news of Texas intrastate crowdfunding fresh on the minds of the crowdfunding world, the Arts & Technology Program (ATEC) at the University of Texas in Dallas (UTD) have launched a 30 day effort to promote on-campus crowdfunding campaigns. The ATEC Crowdfunding Month, which started Thursday, November 6th and runs to Friday, December 5th, will highlight crowdfunding campaigns executed or supported by faculty and students.  All campaigns can be found on Kickstarter and Indiegogo or by visiting the 2014 ATEC Crowdfunding Month page.

Dr. Roger Malina, the Arts and Technology Distinguished Chair and ATEC Associate Director, is assisted by PhD student David Marlett. Marlett is also a Research Fellow in the ArtSciLab of ATEC and the Executive Director of the National Crowdfunding Association. He offered the following statements on the event:

Marlett on-campus crowdfunding:

“There are many terrific crowdfunding programs popping up at universities across the globe. That goes for UTD as well, which is looking to launch an on-campus crowdfunding platform in 2015. One thing that makes ATEC Crowdfunding Month unique is that it is platform agnostic, in that the campaigns can be on whatever platform the student or faculty member wishes.”

Marlett on the impact of a designated crowdfunding month:

“This makes it easier for the university as a whole to support and promote the student and faculty campaigns, and helps coordinate some of the otherwise duplicative efforts among the campaigns themselves.”

Dr. Malina on being excited for the possibilities of the event:

“We are enthused to get this going and see how it will work. Besides being beneficial for the projects themselves, it gives us a great opportunity to help our students learn crowdfunding and crowdsourcing methodologies. That experience could be invaluable in their future endeavors.”

The student body at University of Texas in Dallas (UTD) are certainly no strangers to crowdfunding, which will help this event succeed. In 2013, four Arts & Technology Program (ATEC) students ran a successful campaign to support their web-based, animated series, The Cyanide and Happiness Show. In fact, calling it “successful” may be an understatement. They raised $770,000 on a $250,000 funding target. For those interested in statistics, that is more than 300% of their original goal.

As for this year’s campaigns, there are four unique choices. Here are their descriptions and direct links:

  • CREATIVE DISTURBANCE– ATEC students and faculty seek $20,000 for an international network and podcast platform supporting collaboration among the arts, sciences and new technologies communities.
  • INNERSPACE ATEC students seek $25,000 to complete their highly stylized and original independent video game.
  • 3D360 FOR BLUE HIGHWAY – An ATEC student seeks $12,000 for 360 degree / 3D camera equipment to film shorts from a feature length film for the Oculus Rift.
  • UP IN THE AIR, DOWN ON THE GROUNDAn ATEC student seeks $6,000 for a short, light-hearted animated film.

On a related note, intrastate crowdfunding in Texas has become the hottest topic in American equity crowdfunding and will be until federal Title III equity crowdfunding is enacted. With over 20 million residents of legal age to participate, Texas intrastate crowdfunding will be a promising opportunity for both entrepreneurs and investors. As the largest state to join the intrastate movement, Texas has set the stage for how a large, intrastate operation should work.

In related news, intrastate crowdfunding in Texas has become the hottest topic in American equity crowdfunding and probably will be until federal Title III equity crowdfunding is enacted. With over 20 million residents of legal age to participate, Texas intrastate crowdfunding will be a promising opportunity for both intrastate crowdfunding texasentrepreneurs and investors. As the largest state to join the intrastate movement, Texas will set the stage for how a large, intrastate operation should work.

However, not all Texas CEO’s are on-board with the idea, as noted in a recent Austin Business Journal article. At truCrowd we are very confident in the success of Texas intrastate crowdfunding, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion, especially CEO’s of Texas-born companies. Here are six diverse opinions on whether these men and women are encouraged or wary of Texas intrastate crowdfunding:

Mason Arnold – CEO and Co-Founder, Greenling.com

“The proposed rules are great for startups; not so great for the unaccredited investor. There are some platforms that will help with business research and education, but most people making direct investments will likely have no idea the chance of return on capital is so small.”

Daniel Marcos – CEO, Gazelles Growth Institute

“I’m very encouraged! This will start the democratization of startup financing in Texas.”

Bryan Menell – CEO, Mahana

“Someone who is only able to invest $5,000 per year is going to be an inexperienced investor. As a startup CEO, I’m looking for seasoned investors who fully understand the risks, have seen the ups and downs, and have a diversified early stage portfolio.”

Gary Hoover – CEO, Bigwig Games Inc.

“Any step toward freeing up microcapital flows is a big step in the right direction.”

Jan Triplett – CEO, Business Success Center

“Crowdfunding allows ordinary people to invest like the “big dogs.” There will be those who risk too much, who get taken, no matter what rules are in place. This is a learning experience for everyone — and a gamble. We only limit gamblers by age; the same applies here. If you are an unaccredited investor, know the rules, don’t risk what you can’t afford — and stay aware.”

Shari Wynne Ressler – Founder and CEO, MWR LEGAL + Incubation Station

“I’m highly encouraged but wary. The JOBS Act provision that allows for non-accredited investors to make small investments in startups is a historic change that has the potential to democratize startup investing in powerful ways. Imagine if you could only buy stock in a General Mills or General Electric if you had a net worth of $1 million. That would ensure that only the wealthy had the opportunity to make an equity investment in a publicly-traded company. That is effectively the rule with regard to investing in private companies today. There’s much concern over the growing inequality gap in the U.S., and the more we can skew the rules in favor of the Average Joe rather than Warren Buffett, the more diversified and robust our economy will become. For the entrepreneurs I work with, opening up equity investments to their network of friends, family, and colleagues is a great way to raise money. But under the current rules, those individuals are “donors” making a gift, not “investors” seeking a return. The JOBS Act alters this fundamental inequity in the fundraising landscape. I am wary that some of these new investors will lack the ability to vet investment choices. On balance though, I welcome these changes, and argue that all investments in startups are risky — regardless of the wealth or sophistication of the investor — and that the JOBS Act has incorporated investment caps to limit losses for unaccredited investors.”

Do you have your own opinion on Texas intrastate crowdfunding? Please leave your comments and opinions below!

Posted in crowdfunding, Equity Crowdfunding, funding, Intrastate Crowdfunding, Start-ups, Uncategorized

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