Crowdfunding university research and tech commercialization: 6 sites that are doing it


A piece in Forbes this week calls attention to a recent trend in technology commercialization at universities: the use of crowdfunding.

The article focused on a collaboration between the University of Utah’s Technology Commercialization Office and the crowdfunding site RocketHub, which resulted in the University Tech Vault, a portal specifically for projects that come out of the university.

Come to find, there are several other sites aimed at supporting donation-based crowdfunding for research projects, some of them created in partnerships with, or entirely around, universities. Most of the ones I found are still in beta mode, which demonstrates the newness of this alternative method of funding research. Feel free to leave any I missed in the comments.


uStartups: Launched last fall by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2), uStartups’ goal is to help university science projects continue when other funding sources have dried up. Unlike other crowdfunding sites, researchers keep the donations pledged even if they don’t meet their funding goals. It’s just getting up and running; so far, there are only a few live projects from University of Texas and University of Chicago.

Innovocracy: Two projects from the University of Rochester have been fully funded on the platform, which was created especially for research.

Superior Ideas: For now, this site is the home of research solely from Michigan Technological University, although there are plans to eventually add projects from other universities. A couple of health-related projects have already run successful campaigns, including one studying the connection between sleep apnea and heart disease.

Microryza: Founded by two former University of Washington researchers, this science-focused platform hosts a variety of research projects from both within and outside of universities.

iAMscientist: This is a global community of science, technology and medical researchers who share and fund research.

[Crowdfunding image from BigStock Photos]

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