Tapping the Community In response to difficulties of fundraising, a number of new funding models are emerging that leverage “crowds” or communities as funding sources. Sites like Kickstarter and Profounder enable entrepreneurs to seek investments from a large unknown online community. These tools level the playing field, focus attention on the merit of a venture, and, in some cases, enable entrepreneurs to completely sidestep the traditional funding landscape. The founders of Coffee Joulies, patent-pending coffee temperature regulation “beans,” initially posted their product on Kickstarter hoping to raise enough money for a first round production. The entrepreneurs (dubbed the Two Daves), to their surprise ended up raising over $300K from hundreds of individual donors and future customers. With this funding, they’ve initiated manufacturing of their product in upstate New York and already have 8000 pre-orders to fill. Another recent funding option takes a different approach, one that relies on micro-social networks. For instance, the Baylor Angel Network is comprised largely of Baylor Alumni interested in investing in early stage companies and staying engaged with their alma mater. Students carry out due diligence and much of the technical work thereby making it easier for new and smaller scale angel investors to become involved. The Designer Fund, the brainchild of Enrique Allen founder of 500Startups in Silicon Valley, is a community of internet and technology designers who formed to create a platform of investment, mentorship and resourcing specifically for designer founder companies.