Michigan 1 of 5 schools included in new service, Upstart, that allows grads to raise funds for career ventures

Submitted by Hands Free on August 8th, 2012 at 8:02 PM




As the article states, Upstart is a service similar to Kickstarter that allows graduates to raise money to pursue starting a business, research, or other venture, in lieu of entering the workforce right away.  It seems like an interesting concept that will appeal to entrepreneurs, as well as provide another opportunity for those squeezed by our tight job market.

Aside from the service, it's great to see Michigan included in yet another exciting, new program.




August 8th, 2012 at 8:21 PM ^

Wow that's a really cool idea. Kind of like kickstarter, but not only do you feel good about contributing to a nice idea, you're also helping a fellow wolverine. Glad to see we're a part of it, wouldn't be surprised to see it take off.


August 8th, 2012 at 9:29 PM ^

I am not sure if the concept will hit, also, because of the nature of the other crowd funding options out there. If you're really swinging the big hammer in terms of entrepreneurial idea then why wouldn't Kickstarter go your way, anyway? (or VC if you really have something).


August 9th, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

This will not replace Angel/VC funding but will instead lead to a separating equilibrium of people with actual ideas going to friends and family or angel investors for seed funding and people who are not sure what they want to do, but have the background to be relatively successful (remember the no-repayment clause only comes into play when the graduate is making less than $30k--very tough to do for most Michigan grads for example) going to Upstart. Also, I don't think many wealthy funders would really be looking for an ROI with this. Many funders will be active here for tax reasons.

As a whole, Ann Arbor is becoming a more entrepreneurial community. For example check out http://www.seelio.com/. This was started by three Michigan grads, was launched at U of M, and has already been used by some pretty competitive employers such as Teach for America. I may be biased because of the block M's that are in the pitch video, but I think it will be successful.


August 8th, 2012 at 8:38 PM ^

I feel like this is the direction society is moving in general. Kickstarter is great for all the things people want to see but would otherwise not because publishers only want to invest in big projects. its kind of an a la carte. I deffinately see this going places, and more projects similar to this as well.


August 8th, 2012 at 9:22 PM ^

The backers - acquaintances, alumni or other accredited investors - provide funding that will typically range between $20,000 and $50,000 in exchange for an agreed share of the graduate's future income over a 10-year period. Upstart determines the portion of future annual income to be shared based on the total sum raised and the person's qualifications, including academic record and field of study.
It may be difficult to start a business for this little money and the mentorship really needs to happen prior to graduation than after. I also am not sure I'd want to give up a "portion" of my future income.