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Crowdfunding Concepts


With the success of crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indigogo, there have been questions raised about liability, feasibility, execution and appropriateness of this new method. Who is it good for? What are the benefits and advantages? Answers to these and other questions will be explored, followed by an opportunity for Q&A during this interactive panel discussion on the popular new funding source.

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Session will consist of three panelists talking about different points related to crowdfunding including Shawn Rice, Jenn Turner, and Laura Schmitz.

Shawn Rice

Shawn Rice is a transactional entrepreneurial attorney in Wisconsin focused on start-up and smaller businesses. He practices primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate, business, real estate, banking and finance, and estate planning. Shawn provides counsel and strategic direction to business clients and individuals, guiding them through a variety of transactional matters. Shawn focuses his practice on business, corporate and commercial matters. He advises businesses of all types and sizes, from closely-held, family companies to multi-national corporations.

He has extensive experience providing counsel on general business matters such as start-up and formation, limited liability companies, joint ventures and partnerships, corporate governance, shareholder relations, bank and other financing, securities, real estate matters, and contracts including venture capital, franchises, employment, vendors and consulting arrangements. Shawn also maintains an active practice assisting clients with mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, including leveraged buy-outs and business succession planning. Shawn also represents local nonprofit organizations and financial institutions.

Jenn Turner

Jennifer Turner has applied her background in theatre, event planning and marketing to work for small companies like Midwest Scenic & Stage and large organizations such as the Milwaukee Area Technical College. She is currently the director of communications and a founding member of the Bucket Brigade, a for-profit social enterprise focused on collaboration and social technology. She also volunteers as the communications director and community manager for School Factory, a nonprofit organization that supports and creates transformative educational communities such as makerspaces and hackerspaces around the globe. In Milwaukee, she helps support the work of programs like Bucketworks and BarCampMilwaukee. Her passion is the application of research, market mapping and public dialogue to enhance the collaborative and communicative potential of organizations.

Laura Schmitz

Laura Schmitz is the business development manager at the UW-Milwaukee Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She provides individual counseling to second stage companies who want to develop and grow their business. Her specialties include marketing strategies, market research, customer relationship management and cash flow analysis. Since joining the SBDC in 2007, Laura has counseled more than 200 clients. Laura also teaches classes in marketing and business planning. 

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Who Should Attend

This course is designed as an introduction to the basics of crowdfunding. Great for anyone in a small business or nonprofit who is curious about this new capital sourcing technique.

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Dates and locations to be announced.
Fee: $15
Wisconsin SBDC Network

US Small Business Administration

The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Call 414-227-3240 or email An EEO/AA employer, the University of Wisconsin provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA requirements.


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