Berkeley Preps for 2nd Annual Symposium on Crowdfunding

Fung Institute

Issues Call for Research Papers.

The 2nd Annual Symposium on Crowdfunding sponsored by the Coleman Fung Insitute for Engineering Leadership, UC Berkeley College of Engineering, is scheduled to take place on September 11th and 12th, 2014.  This symposium will take a global look at the developing phenomena of social finance for SMEs and Innovation  – whether strictly “crowdfunding” or more broadly the application of social finance mechanisms including Peer-to-Peer lending, Peer-to-Business lending, and all other forms of crowdfunding and crowdfund investing.  This year’s gathering will benefit from the support of the Kauffman Foundation and their involvement.  The event is not open to entrepreneurs but is an academic meeting via invitation.  Organizers have also issued a call for papers (see below) from researchers, policy directors, governmental leaders and academicians.

Dr. Richard Swart at SVCrowdfundDr. Richard Swart, the Director for the Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial & Social Finance at the Fung Institute, part of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, commented on the forthcoming event;

“In the past year the discussion has shifted about crowdfunding and the role of academia. Nearly all major business academic conferences are starting to hold tracks or pre-conference activities to educate their members on this field.

More importantly, governments, NGOs and major organizations are starting to devote serious resources to study and promote crowdfunding and alternative finance. UC Berkeley is the pre-eminent academic event each year where scholars globally gather to discuss crowdfunding research and policy. Last year representatives from more than 20 nations attended the event. The unique blend of formal presentations by scholars, and presentations by international thought leaders is designed to create interchange between policy makers and leading researchers – the field is evolving too rapidly and too many decisions are being made without reference to solid data for the field to wait for journals and formal channels to create dialogue between policy makers and academics.”

Berkeley Symposium 2013Since the 2013 conference, the number of platforms has more than doubled, and despite significant delays in enacting rules to allow equity crowdfunding in the United States, many nations have adopted laws and rules to allow crowdfunding.

There is growing interest from NGOs, Foundations, Philanthropic groups, universities, and other groups in the application of crowdfunding mechanisms to solve both complex global challenges as well as fund hyper-local programs.

The conference will begin with lunch on Thursday, September 11th and includes dinner that evening.  It concludes in the afternoon of September 12th.  They are inviting distinguished scholars to present their views during moderated panels, as well as top thought leaders internationally. This format will allow for the exchange of best practices, questions and research insights from leaders in the international community.

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