The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center hosted Crowdfunding 2015 Conference on September 23 in Muskegon. WMSBF was a sponsor of this conference. The conference examined what crowdfunding is, legalities of it, marketing, and how to start a crowdfunding campaign. Keynote speaker for this event was Sandra Conchrane, Technology Business Consultant with the Michigan Small Business Development Center.
There are over 12,000 websites available for those looking to start a crowdfunding campaign, and more sites are being added every day. Crowdfunding is a financing tool that has been around for years, but only recently became popular. It allows for donation collection, pre-order sales for new products, individuals loaning money to support start-up businesses or new product lines, and raising capital for a start-up business through selling shares.
Crowdfunding does not just provide funding for start-ups and non-profit, it can also be used as a marketing tool. It can provide information on if there is a market for a product or service, as well as, create market awareness. During Ms. Conchrane’s presentations she reiterated the usefulness of crowdfunding to get feedback on the market.