By Griffin Moores

Kickstarter campaigns, clockwise from top left: monkii bars 2, 2017 Make Sh*t Happen Planner, Living Ink, Change Composites

Since the launch of sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, platforms that let people crowdfund cash have exploded in popularity. Some companies have even begun offering peer-to-peer lending options for refinancing student loans or investing in real estate.

Professors and students across the College of Business have been studying the changing economic landscape to better position themselves as entrepreneurs and educators.

We talked with four Colorado State University graduates and two business educators to share their best approaches for creating successful crowdfunding campaigns and to see where the industry is headed next.

monkii bars 2

College of Business Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA graduate David Hunt led the company he co-founded to a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $1 million to create monkii bars 2, a portable suspension training kit.

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Meraki Printing

Chelsea Williams co-founded Meraki Printing after graduating from the College of Business and raised over four times her original Kickstarter funding goal, collecting over $140,000 to bring the company’s 2017 Make Sh*t Happen Planner to life.

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Living Ink

After going through the College of Business’s Venture Accelerator program, CSU microbiology alums Steve Albers and Scott Fulbright launched their company Living Ink through a $60,000 Kickstarter campaign.

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Change Composites

When Nate Saam didn’t meet his company’s Kickstarter goal of $50,000 he didn’t give up, he changed direction to integrate his life-saving helmet technology into other products to help prevent brain injuries.

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Our Educators

Grace Hanley Wright

Management instructor in the College of Business

When Wright co-founded Ascent, a nonprofit that aims to combat maternal mortality and rare diseases, she and her team used GoFundMe to finance two rounds of market research.

In the classroom, Wright has incorporated crowdfunding principles into her entrepreneurship and sustainable venturing courses, teaching students not just from a book, but from personal experience.

Vickie Bajtelsmit

Finance/real estate professor in the College of Business

Vickie Bajtelsmit has taught in the College of Business for 25 years, covering everything from financial planning, investments, corporate and entrepreneurial finance to insurance and risk management.

Bajtelsmit keeps tabs on the shifting landscape of crowdfunding, sharing her insights with graduate and undergraduate students in her classes.

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