Student Entrepreneurs Experience Crowdfunding Through Suffolk University Course
Suffolk University has introduced one of the nation’s first experiential courses on crowdfunding, where students launch campaigns to fund their own start-up companies through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Students in the Sawyer Business School class have launched crowdfunding campaigns throughout the week of Nov. 14, coinciding with National Entrepreneurship Month.
“While a few other universities are discussing crowdfunding as part of traditional course content, the real-world approach to this course makes it different,” said Entrepreneurship Professor Jennifer Dinger. “Suffolk students in this class are learning how to turn their business ideas into action, and they are going after the funding to support those enterprises.”
The concept for the crowdfunding course came out of conversations between Dinger and Professor Chaim Letwin, a colleague in the Sawyer Business School’s Management and Entrepreneurship department. Dinger and Letwin both study crowdfunding and how campaign components relate to people’s decisions to contribute money to a particular project.
The ventures include:
WarmUp Protein Coffee, founded by Suffolk senior James Testa of East Boston, WarmUp is targeting the high-protein coffee to fitness-focused people on the go.
The Wicked Fisha, founded by Suffolk senior Chuck Gibson of Malden, Mass., plans a line of innovative fishing equipment, starting with a cooler/tackle box combo that eliminates the hassle of lugging multiple boxes to a fishing destination.
Buddha Bus Yoga provides traveling yoga classes out of a mobile studio. Founded by Suffolk Junior Sara Maloney, of Groveland, Mass., the business offers on-site classes at various locations.
Goliath Gallon, founded by Suffolk senior Zack Smith of Methuen, Mass., makes a reusable, BPA-free and easily-cleaned gallon bottle for ice, fruits, amino acids, etc.
NEO Miners is a card game focused on resource management and economic principles, with a space-travel theme. Founder Jason Moker is a Suffolk senior from Georgetown, Mass.
Vegitano is a health food brand offering alternatives to people who follow a vegan diet or are allergic to dairy and/or gluten. The startup was founded by Willied Hessein, a Suffolk senior from Miami, Florida.
The Upward Bound Project is aimed at raising money for the social good. The campaign is focused on funding Upward Bound students to participate in Startup Suffolk, a bridge program for rising high school seniors.
Information on student crowdfunding campaigns can be found at entrepreneurship.suffolk.edu/crowdfunding.php