Drawing upon the strength of the crowd through crowdfunding,
crowdsourcing, and crowd intelligence


UC Berkeley’s The Crowd Empowered Organization introduces strategies that teach corporate decision makers how to transition from traditional and costly marketing strategies to becoming a “crowd empowered organization” by engaging a broad base of current and potential customers in a broad range of experiences.

In this unique program, some of the world’s leading experts in crowd empowerment will share their insights as well as demonstrate strategic approaches and best practices on how to use the power of the crowd. The course will be taught through observation of current and historic trends, data analysis and case studies of such major brands as Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, American Express, Condé Nast and Dodge—major corporations that have already launched successful crowd empowerment campaigns.

Participants will learn how to harness the wisdom of the crowd for financing through crowdfunding, product development and testing, market research, and open innovation. They will learn new ways to:

  • Improve social media reach and enhance brand perception
  • Understand opportunity of social network analytics and how drawing upon the wisdom of the crowd takes data deeper
  • Identify key concerns of your intended market without running expensive focus groups
  • Gain customer buy-in for product launches
  • Decrease R&D costs and new product/technology risks while increasing access to innovative and market validated products and services
  • Increase employee and community engagement through co-funded crowdfunding campaigns of corporate social responsibility initiatives


The Crowd Empowered Organization is designed for corporate professionals responsible for major brand and marketing strategies and exploring emerging strategies to further enhance their consumer engagement initiatives, deepen brand positioning in the marketplace, and improve both local and global corporate social responsibility initiatives.

This course is geared towards

Marketing strategies and plans: to improve the overall effectiveness and return on campaigns, decrease market research costs by letting the crowd validate market demand, and improve engagement with prospective and future customers.

Innovation and new product development: to decrease commercialization and market research costs through crowdfunding campaigns and out-sourced R&D centers, and to use enterprise crowdfunding platforms to provide early and risk-free means of market concept testing of new products and technologies.

Social responsibility initiatives: to grow visibility and overall brand building power, increase community engagement through philanthropic efforts, refine measuring of ROI on philanthropy, and improve the effectiveness and reach of sponsorships.

The Program Berkeley 2015

Coming Early in 2015—Watch for more information here

The Crowd Empowered Organization is designed to give you an in-depth experience and understanding of how the collective wisdom of the crowd—via crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and crowd voting—can enhance overall organizational effectiveness while reducing costs and time-to-results. You will explore each of the following topics for its impact on your organization and your customers.

Day 1
Introduction to The Crowd Empowered Organization
The Power of the Crowd Deconstructing the Success of Dodge Dart Registry
History of Social Finance: How it all started
Building a Framework for Crowd Empowered Organizations
Crowdfund Empowerment and Collective Wisdom Harnessing Distributed Innovation and Externalizing R&D
Crowdfund Empowerment and Collective Wisdom Harnessing Distributed Innovation and Externalizing R&D (cont.)
M & A and Crowdfinancing
Crowdfunding Internal Innovation
New Business Models
New Product Development and Marketing with the Crowd
Closing Discussion
Networking Reception
Day 2
Review of Day 1 and Q&A
Sales/Marketing & the Power of the Crowd
Case Study: What is A&E Doing?
Social Responsibility and Social Innovation
Tactics / Frameworks / Tools
Tying It All Together

The Faculty

Richard Swart
Richard Swart is the world’s leading expert in crowdfunding and crowd empowerment. As Director of Research for UC Berkeley’s Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance, and a leading global expert on crowdfunding, Richard is an experienced strategist, academic, startup co-founder, and a board member or advisor to several firms in the crowdfunding and web application space. He has particular interest in the intersection of crowdfunding and lean startup methodology, and international expansion of crowdfunding. He was lead author of a major white paper for the World Bank on the potential impact of crowdfunding and co-author of the UK Alternative Finance Market Study release with Nesta, UC Berkeley and the University of Cambridge. He has worked with a number of startups and has become a key organizer in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. He is a former COO of an Internet startup that had a successful exit in 2010. Richard's work has been covered by major publications including Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, Washington Post, LA Times, NPR, CNBC, BBC, Financial Times, and many more.
Lee Fleming
Faculty Director of the Coleman Fung Institute of Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley, Lee is a global authority on innovation. He teaches engineering leadership, and his research investigates how managers can increase their organization's chances of achieving innovative breakthroughs through different types of collaboration, the integration of scientific and empirical search strategies, and the recombination of diverse technologies. He is currently using big data techniques to study innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge flow, science policy and the impact of non-compete agreements.

Invited Speakers

Trish Costello
Trish is CEO & Founder of Portfolia, which engages opinion leaders and consumers as investors and market-makers around entrepreneurial companies. With a subtle focus on women, Portfolia’s innovative platform enables individuals and affinity groups to bring both their money and robust social networks to the companies, teams and products they want to see succeed in the marketplace.

Trish is also CEO Emeritus of the Society of Kauffman Fellows, the Silicon Valley-based global institute that educates, prepares and networks emerging leaders in venture capital, which she co-founded and led for 10+ years. Trish served as the Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College. She was on the founding team of Child Health Corp of America, creating new ventures from technologies and processes spun out of the nation’s top pediatric research facilities. She leads the National Science Foundation SBIR Sub-Committee on Commercialization and has held advisory/board positions with Springboard, National Venture Capital Association, the SBA and various start-ups.
Alon Goren
CEO of Invested.in, Alon leads one of the nation’s leading crowdfunding firms that provides strategy, implementation, and guidance to global brands on leveraging the power of crowdfunding. He has led the design of extremely successful corporate crowdfunding campaigns for multiple major organizations. He will be discussing major brand crowdfunding projects from both a tactical and strategic perspective.
Jeremiah Owyang
Jeremiah is the Chief Catalyst and Founder of Crowd Companies, which focuses on how large companies tap the collaborative economy, maker movement, and customer collaboration. He focuses on how disruptive Web technologies—such as social media, the collaborative economy, and interactive marketing—impact the relevance of corporations to customers today and in the future.
Abigail Kiefer
Abby co-founded Red Clay, which is a platform built to design exceptional products. It gives any company, from a startup to global enterprise, access to hundreds of vetted freelance designers and provides software to manage an entire design process to go from concept to prototyping within weeks.

Abby Kiefer has a gift of bringing people together. She is driven by the belief that more people are better than one when it comes to solving problems. It's also a major reason for passion and work on local and national urban planning and policy.
Jason Best
Jason co-founded the University of California, Berkeley ‘Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance’ and is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UC Berkeley’s ‘Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.’ Prior to his work in crowdfund investing, Jason was a successful healthcare technology entrepreneur with 2 companies in San Francisco, California. Most recently, he was on the executive leadership team of Kinnser Software that was ranked by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US, for two consecutive years.
Darren Marble
Darren is the Co-founder & CEO of FilmBreak, a technology-driven marketing agency for corporations and content creators. Darren leads FilmBreak's CrowdfundX practice, helping clients across industries to effectively plan and execute strategic rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns. Prior to FilmBreak, Darren spent 10 years as a Sales Director in the Oracle partner community, working directly with decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies on a range of software and services projects.

Darren is a featured LinkedIn guest blogger and active public speaker, having recently spoke as a guest lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, USC Marshall School of Business, UC Irvine, the CSUN Entertainment Alumni Network, and the ESGCI Business School in Paris, France.
Judd Hollas
Judd is founder and chief inventor of EquityNet. Prior to founding EquityNet, he served as Division Manager for Beta-Rubicon, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in technology assessment and business due diligence services. He conducted extensive research on methods of conventional due diligence, causes of private enterprise failure and methods for risk prediction, marketplace characteristics in the private equity industry, and it was during this time that he developed the business model for EquityNet.

Judd has 20 years of experience as an independent technology analyst and investment manager in the private and public domains. He has personally invested in over 30 emerging technology companies in a wide range of industry sectors, including various software sectors, semiconductors, biometrics, networking, wireless communications, and conventional and alternative energy. He developed and applied proprietary quantitative models, statistical methods, and research approaches that were critical to his investment management performance. He worked previously on process modeling and supply chain automation of complex systems as a process chemical engineer for Phillips Petroleum.
Dan Marom
Dan is a thought leader in the crowdfunding field. He has co-authored a pioneering book on crowdfunding, "The Crowdfunding Revolution" alongside Kevin Lawton. He has given many lectures around the globe, is a consultant for entrepreneurs, corporations and policy makers, and holds several advisory board memberships. He brings insights developed through rigorous analysis of data as part of his research work in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The UC Berkeley Faculty Club

In a quiet, wooded glade on the Berkeley campus – close to everything but removed from the crowds and chatter – is a treasure most people know little about.

Since 1902 the Faculty Club has been a secluded retreat, luncheon club, meeting place, tavern hotel, and party facility for faculty, administrative personnel, staff, alumni, and community members closely associated with Cal. Women have enjoyed full membership benefits for decades.

The Club building is an architectural gem of Craftsman design, by architects Bernard Maybeck and John Galen Howard. It’s listed internationally, as one of the finest examples of the style. The carved beams, the fireplaces, the stained glass windows all reflect Maybeck’s awareness of a special northern California aesthetic that still arouses a warm response in visitors and members alike.

Getting and Staying Here


The Faculty Club on the UC Berkeley Campus
1 Faculty Club, Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 540-5678

Due to limited parking resources on campus, we suggest that you use BART or a taxi:

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART): Trains operate from Fremont, Richmond, Bay Point/Concord and San Francisco/Daly City and include service to Oakland and San Francisco International Airport. The Berkeley BART station is 1-1/2 blocks west of the Berkeley campus and about 1 mile from the Faculty Club.

Taxi and shuttles are available from the following airports:

  • San Francisco International – 25 miles, ~ 45 minutes
  • Oakland International – 15 miles, ~ 25 minutes
  • San Jose International – 45 miles, ~ 70 minutes

Hotel Durant — (800) 238-7268
2600 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA, 94704
Hotel Durant is within walking distance of campus.

Hotel Shattuck — (510) 845-7300
2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA, 94704
The Hotel Shattuck is within walking distance of campus. For reservations, please call and ask for the UC Berkeley rate.

Doubletree Berkeley Marina — (510) 548-7920
200 Marina Blvd., Berkeley, CA, 94710
The Doubletree is situated on the Berkeley Marina; a complimentary local area shuttle is provided and can drop you off on campus. For reservations, please call and ask for the UC Berkeley rate.

Claremont Hotel Club & Spa — (800) 551-7266
41 Tunnel Rd, Berkeley, CA 94705
The Claremont Resort is within a 5 minute cab ride of campus. For reservations, please call and ask for the UC Berkeley rate.

Sponsors & Sponsorship

Sponsorships are available. Contact Don McCrea for more information at crowd2014@berkeley.edu or (510) 643-6908.




For more information


For Program Inquiries and Sponsorship Opportunities:

Don McCrea
+1 510-643-6908


For Program Registration & Enrollment:

Keith Gatto
+1 510-644-4464