A Workshop on

The Role of Crowdfunding in the STEM Ecosystem

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation

Organized by the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 8:30 - 5:00

Holiday Inn Alexandria Carlyle

Mount Vernon Room

2460 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria VA 22314

Meeting chair: Morris Cohen

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech

mcohen@gatech.edu, 404-894-8415



8:00 - 8:30

Refreshments and Registration

8:30 - 8:45

Introduction by meeting host and social media instructions

Dr. Morris Cohen

8:45 - 9:45

Panel Discussion: Scientists who have used crowdfunding


What are the benefits and challenges of crowdfunding?

How does it interplay with other funding sources?

How does crowdfunding impact the interactions between STEM investigators and the general public?

Moderator: Dr. Jai Ranganathan, University of California Santa Barbara



Dr. Doug Golick, University of Nebraska

Dr. Nicole Hashemi, Iowa State University

Dr. Robin (Buz) Kloot, University of South Carolina

Dr. Kathleen Pryer, Duke University

9:45 - 10:00


10:00 - 10:45

Panel Discussion: Legal, Ethical and Financial Implications for Crowdfunding Campaigns


Are there any issues with intellectual property or federal funding laws that should be considered?

Does crowdfunding have an impact on translation of research to entrepreneurship?

How can we ensure that crowdfunded projects are vetted to be achievable and technically sound?

Moderator: Dr. Ann Larrow


Dr. William Michael Cunningham, Creative Investment Research

Dr. Ethan Mollick, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton

Adrienne Gonzalez, GoFraudMe


10:45 - 11:30

 Crowdfunding factors that may lead to inclusion and exclusion within the STEM community

Dr. Lauren Rhue, Wake Forest University

11:30 - 12:00

Facilitated Discussion involving entire audience on morning sessions

Moderator: Morris Cohen, Georgia Tech

12:00 - 1:00

Boxed Lunch Provided for Registered Attendees: Turkey, Ham, Mushroom, Caprese


Welcome from NSF/BIO

Dr. James Olds, Assistant Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences

1:15 - 1:45

Crowdfunding Platforms in the academic sector: A Case Study and Lessons Learned

Ms. Allison Mercer, Georgia Tech

1:45 - 2:45

Panel discussion: Crowdfunding Platforms in the private sector


Does crowdfunding have any impact on transformational or interdisciplinary research?

Moderator: Dr. Lauren Rhue, Wake Forest


Dr. Mark Jackson, Fiat Physica

Dr. Jai Ranganathan, Sci Fund

2:45 - 3:00


3:00 - 3:15

NSF’s interest in crowdfunding

Dr. Arcady Mushegian, NSF Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

3:15 - 4:00

Fireside Chat*:  Open Innovation in the Federal Government

What might the role of crowdfunding be in Federal R&D?

*10 minute presentations followed by discussion among speakers, then Q&A

Facilitator: Dr. Arcady Mushegian, NSF

Dr. Sandeep Patel, US Department of Health and Human Service

Ms. Christina Yeung, FTC Office of Technology Research and Investigation

4:00 - 4:20

Final guiding question - discuss at tables

 Can the public and private sectors work together toward funding and rewarding good STEM research?

All participants

4:20 - 4:45

Open discussion about the final questions

Moderator: Dr. Morris Cohen

4:45 - 5:00

Next steps, thank you, closing

Dr. Morris Cohen

Acknowledgements: This workshop is funded by NSF Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences under Award #1745230 to the Georgia Institute of Technology