New Projects

A study on a crowdfunding platform, a look at MOOCs that help young adults in emerging economies access education, and Google's partnership with three schools to study of the implications of the Internet of Things (IoT).


The Kauffman Foundation has granted funding to Nir Vulkan, associate professor of business economics at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School in the United Kingdom, and Thomas Åstebro, professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at HEC Paris in France, to explore equity crowdfunding. Over 18 months, the pair will identify criteria most likely to lead investors to support a project. They will conduct the study on Seedrs, a European crowdfunding platform founded by Oxford MBA graduates Jeff Lynn and Carlos Silva.


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has partnered with course review site in a two-year US$1.55 million study of the potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to help young adults in emerging economies access education. Focused on Colombia, the Philippines, and South Africa, the study will analyze 70,000 reviews posted on CourseTalk to learn who takes MOOCs and why, and how to develop MOOC-based training. The University of Washington’s Technology and Social Change Group will conduct the study with the nonprofit IREX. For information, visit


Three universities have partnered with Google in a three-year study of the implications of the Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to a system of Internet-connected sensors and other technologies that communicate with each other to benefit users. The universities include Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Stanford University in California; and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Each school has received Google funding to design and test IoT technologies, from apps that manage privacy to tools that allow users to develop personalized IoT experiences.