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Crowdfunding: More than money, a powerful new way of jumpstarting entrepreneurship education

Crowdfunding platforms are efficient and economical ways of training entrepreneurs in many ‘real world’ fundamentals of entrepreneurship by providing a powerful combination of market validation, product validation and customer feedback. The crowdfunding process forces entrepreneurs to sharpen their pitches, refine their ideas, and learn to to engage and empower advocates. It’s the new machinery of the lean startup. We will present results of research done from studying, interviewing and analyzing data from the past five years of popular crowdfunding platforms. Recommendations will be offered in response to the following questions: What are the major aspects of crowdfunding that can be applied to entrepreneurship education? How can educators integrate crowdfunding into both curricula- and project-based entrepreneurship education programs? How can educators use crowdfunding platforms to reinforce learning of ‘lean startup’ techniques and other modern startup skill sets? How can educators use crowdfunding platforms to stimulate student interest and engagement in the entrepreneurial process?

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