Michigan Inventors Coalition Presents: A Day for Inventors and Entrepreneurs on Investment Crowdfunding
By Emma Gilbert, Research Assistant
About the Project
The Michigan Inventors Coalition (MIC), a conglomeration of several local inventor groups across the state organized to help Michigan inventors learn, network, and grow, has identified that sourcing funding to launch sales is the largest hurdle to inventors’ success. After exhausting traditional outlets for funding, inventors are left forced to table their business. However, investment crowdfunding, an economic development tool quickly gaining traction and success, especially after the passage of the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) legislation in 2013, poses a new opportunity for inventors.
Investment crowdfunding is process by which entrepreneurs solicit a large number of small investments in their idea, business, or invention from the public to support the development or launch of their product. Investment crowdfunding poses two core benefits for inventors: (1) it provides financial support for entrepreneurial start-up costs, which far exceed production costs and (2) demonstrates market interest in the business. Additionally, investment crowdfunding is a tool accessible to any interested inventor or entrepreneur, which provides a sense of virtual universal usability and accessibility for any Michigan entrepreneur needing financial support to achieve their goals—thus, supporting its validity as a sustainable economic development tool.
Who is MIC?
The Michigan Inventors Coalition has worked with inventors across the state for eight (8) years and has been pivotal in the establishment of local inventor groups across Michigan for fourteen (14) years. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office considers the organization to be the top group in the country assisting inventors find success. Several successful inventor projects affiliated with MIC include Float n’ Grill by Mike Bashawaty and Jeremy Quillico, N99 Facemask invented by John Hopkins and manufactured by Medical Products Innovation, and The Style n’ Wrap™ by Rhonda Geneva.
MIC hosted a virtual investment crowdfunding event to support inventors bridge the gap between the financial obstacles they face and accessing “unconventional” resources to support capital raises for the growth of their business. The event took place on Thursday, October 14th. There were three components to the event. First, at 1 pm, the CEO of Mainvest—an investment crowdfunding platform focused on community driven investments—Nick Matthews, presented to the larger audience, and at 2 pm Kathleen Minogue, founder and CEO of Crowdfund Better—a crowdfunding technical assistance organization--also spoke. Later, MIC hosted a Pitch Event where four inventors gave presentations on their invention and business. Then, attendees ranked each of the inventions on a 1-5 Likert scale. After the event, the inventors received investment crowdfunding assistance from Mainvest and Crowdfund Better.