CU-Boulder launches new crowdfunding platform to support student, faculty and staff projects

The University of Colorado Boulder today launched CU-Boulder Crowdfunding, an online pilot platform to help drive the ideas generated by students, faculty and staff.

Crowdfunding is the practice of sourcing small contributions from a large number of people to provide funding for a particular project or campaign, usually via the Internet.

“We’re excited about the prospect of using crowdfunding to jumpstart promising projects developed by students, faculty and staff,” said Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “For our initial pilot we looked for projects across a range of academic and research disciplines, as well as for projects that provide outreach.”  

DiStefano emphasized that crowdfunding will not provide revenue for university operations, but is designed to connect and engage audiences with teams looking for supporters and project funding.

Eight teams of CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff created crowdfunding campaigns with specific project funding goals, deliverables and timelines. The projects include:

  • developing a way to inexpensively convert CO2 into fuels using sunlight;
  • establishing a scalable research and educational platform for swarm robotics;
  • partnering business and engineering students with industry experts to evaluate promising new clean technologies and create go-to-market strategies to help accelerate development;
  • the creation of training resources for community leaders, teachers and administrators to support LGBTQ youth;
  • two senior thesis film projects, one that addresses mental illness and one that is a coming-of-age film;
  • placing law students in high school classrooms to teach constitutional law; and
  • preserving Colorado’s history by digitizing historical documents.

“CU-Boulder Crowdfunding provides a new channel and a unique opportunity to engage with CU-Boulder’s audiences,” said Ray Johnson, a faculty lecturer in the Leeds School of Business and project lead for the campuswide initiative. “This platform will assist us in building and maintaining a network of project supporters from a diverse group of interested and engaged audiences.”

Supporters can follow the progress of projects, share a project with their own community and social network and contribute by way of a charitable donation through the CU-Boulder Crowdfunding website. Each project has a video, a detailed description of the project team, and its mission and goals, including a budget breakdown and section on use of funds.

The initial pilot of CU-Boulder Crowdfunding is a 30- to 45-day funding period and 100 percent of the funds raised will be used for the project tasks and related expenses.

To see the CU-Boulder Crowdfunding projects go to

Malinda Miller-Huey, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-3115
Ray Johnson, CU-Boulder Crowdfunding project lead