Dre Thompson_IdeaFunding


While many startups choose to bootstrap their business, some founders require access to capital to build and grow their businesses.


Startup Tucson and our partners offer a variety of opportunities to connect promising businesses with capital. 

Liz Pocock_IdeaFunding

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the raising of large sums of money through nominal investments/donations from a large group of people. In 2016, Regulation Crowdfunding was signed into law allowed companies to raise now up to $5,000 per year through crowdfunding and allow no accredited investors to participate in equity investing through crowdfunding.

To be an accredited investor, you must meet at least on one of the following requirements:

  • Have certain professional certifications or designations or other credentials
    or their status as a private fund’s “knowledgeable employee”

  • Have a net worth exceeding $1 million individually or combined with a spouse or spousal equivalent (excluding value of primary residence)

  • Have earned income exceeding $200,000 ($300,000 if combined with a spouse or its equivalent) during each of the last two calendar years. The individual must also demonstrate credibility he or she will at least maintain these income thresholds during the current year.

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The significance of this law is the promotion of EQUALITY.

Since 1933, the Securities and Exchange Commission has prevented everyday people from enjoying in the success of companies such as Uber that have made many millionaires even billionaires over the decade.

Equal access in not just limited to investors however. Startups often struggle to raise capital from banks and especially from Angel Investors. People start businesses for various reasons that serve various purposes. There is such a focus on finding the next unicorn that many startups that still offer value get overlooked and even shunned. Not only do founders struggle to raise money because they are the next Airbnb or Amazon, but unfortunately despite that process that has been made, BIPOC founders struggle to access traditional fundraising options due to the ghosts of systematic racism from earlier decades that still create significant hurdles.

People crowdfund for three primary purposes

  • Raise capital to start and grow their business

  • Raise money for a charitable cause

  • Develop creative project or new technology

Startup Tucson will be assisting founders raise capital to start and grow their business through crowdfunding platforms KIva and Wefunder

Why Crowdfunding?

Here at Startup Tucson, our goal has always been (and will be!) to nurture the business idea's of the community into thriving businesses.The Greater Tucson Entrepreneurial Ecosystem has had great success creating businesses that can go nationwide and diversify our economy and create new jobs. In the business world, the motto "Capital is King" still holds true, even more so for businesses wishing to scale. Unfortunately, one of the major pillars of our entrepreneurial ecosystem, the investment community, is greatly underdeveloped. Startups struggle to raise the capital needed to grow in Tucson and as a result either stagnate or leave for cities with strong investment communities such as Boston, Denver, or Austin. 

The Goal of the Collaborative Capital Program is to;

1. Provide non-traditional means for founders to raise capital through crowdfunding platforms Kiva and Wefunder

2. Develop the investment community in the Greater Tucson Metropolitan Area.



Kiva is a loan-based crowdfunding platform.  This means that individual donors will contribute to your campaign, but they will need to be paid back over 36 months.  They are 0% interest loans.  Typically Kiva loans are between $1,000 - $10,000.   During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kiva offers loans up to $15,000 and a 6-month deferment.

Working with Startup Tucson we will help you to get set up on the Kiva platform, craft a compelling story, and provide you with support and marketing templates. Our team will work with our partner to help to cross-promote your campaign. We understand that raising funds of any kind is not easy. We are here to help so that you don’t have to go at it alone. 

Minimum Requirements

  • Business is based in the U.S.

  • At least 18 years old

  • The debt to income ratio is lower than 80%

  • Not in current bankruptcy or foreclosure

  • Not a registered sex offender or terrorist

  • No violent or financial criminal convictions in the last five years

  • Must have a PayPal account to receive funds


As Kiva’s local operating partner, Kiva Tucson works with borrowers throughout the application, fundraising, and repayment process to help them succeed.



WeFunder is an equity-based crowdfunding platform, which means investors give money to a business and receive ownership of a small piece of that business.  

Working with Startup Tucson, we will help you to get set up on the WeFunder platform, craft a compelling story, and provide you with support and marketing templates. Our team will work with our partners to help cross-promote your campaign. You will also have access to mentors that specialize in funding and have experience with non-traditional fundraising. 


We understand that raising funds of any kind is not easy. We are here to help so that you don’t have to go at it alone. 


There are a lot of things founders need to be prepared for before launching a crowdfunding campaign, and we will work side-by-side with your company throughout the whole process.  We will not run your campaign for you but will give you the tools you need to succeed. 


Additionally, companies working with Startup Tucson and CIC will receive a small discount on their platform fees (6.5% versus 7.5%). This is a 1.0% discount on Wefunder’s standard fees of 7.5%.


Our team provides startups with tools and resources to plan and launch a successful campaign on whichever platform is best for you.   

Minimum Requirements:

  • 18 and over

  • Business bank account 

  • Business entity 

Startup Tucson’s Prerequisites for Founders:

  • Established product

  • Website and social media presence and developed brand

  • Revenue Structure

  • Business bank account 

Before we begin the process, we need to learn a little bit more about your business and goals. Please complete our capital interest form


Community partners


Startup Tucson is an affiliate member and partner of the Desert Angels. We work closely with local and regional venture capital organizations to ensure our startups have the right preparation and connections to successfully raise capital. 

Check out our Tucson Ecosystem Guide for a full list of local and regional capital organizations.