096581 – Selected topics in Economics

Selected topics in Economics

Instructor: Dr. Dan Marom                                            

Office hours: By Appointment

E-mail: me@danmarom.com

Credits: 2.5

Course Goals:

  • Provide students with a basic understanding of the fundraising aspects of entrepreneurship, the process of raising funds for a new business and the conventional fundraising mechanisms available today.
  • Introduce students to a new fundraising mechanism – crowdfunding – while giving them a grasp of the fundamentals of crowdfunding, as well as a practical understanding of what it means to create a crowdfunding campaign.
  • Provide food for thought and, perhaps, a glimpse of the future by exploring the non-monetary benefits of crowdfunding and the ways to leverage a successful campaign.

Course overview:

The constant change and innovation of today’s fast-paced business world leave no room for stragglers, especially in the competitive field of start-up financing, where the harsh reality is “keep up or get left behind”. Hundreds of millions of people try each year to launch new businesses with only a third of the businesses actually being launched. Thousands more try and fail every day. That’s why it’s important for any aspiring entrepreneur to learn as much as possible about all of the options for available and to take advantage of anything and everything at their disposal.

When it comes to fundraising and business financing, crowdfunding is definitely the new kid on the block. Compared to more conventional options, such as venture capitalists and angel investors, crowdfunding has been around for a relatively few years and has only begun to trickle into mainstream awareness in the last year or two. However, as conventional funding sources have cooled off in recent years due, in no small part, to global economic shifts, crowdfunding has emerged as a bona fide go-to option for entrepreneurs and even established businesses seeking to finance their projects.

In this course we will learn about the basic principles of crowdfunding and how it contrasts with other fundraising mechanisms. We will learn about the different forms of crowdfunding, the different platforms which exist today and how to best take advantage of the competitive crowdfunding landscape as an entrepreneur. We will gain a better understanding of the crowdfunding process by participating in a practical workshop to create our own crowdfunding campaign. Finally, we will look at crowdfunding within the context of a larger phenomenon and try to discern methods of harnessing it to empower our business ventures.


A A detailed plan of a crowdfunding campaign.


Group assignment.

A1. Presentation – 10 minutes.


25% out of the final grade Presentations’ day (lesson #11).
A2. Detailed action plan, structured by the crowdfunding framework –

~10-15 Pages.

50% out of the final grade Submissions by email – two weeks after the semester ends.


(both documents)

B The Crowd empowered Startup.


Personal assignment.

Concrete action plan for implementing multiple crowd engagement mechanisms into your venture –

~5 Pages.

25% out of the final grade



Course schedule and agenda:

1 Course overview, mutual introduction & Case Study 2 Academic hours
2 Intro to Entrepreneurial finance 2 Academic hours
3 The venture capital world (Part 1) 2 Academic hours
4 The venture capital world (Part 2) 2 Academic hours
5 Case study 2 Academic hours
6 Crowdfunding 101 2 Academic hours
7 Frontiers of Crowdfunding 2 Academic hours
8 The Crowdfunding framework –

hands-on workshop

4 Academic hours
9+10 Two weeks without lessons – planning the crowdfunding campaigns
11 Elevator pitches – presentations of the crowdfunding campaigns 4 Academic hours
12 The Crowd empowered Startup 2 Academic hours
14 Summary 2 Academic hours
Total: 26 Academic hours