State support for colleges and universities here is dwindling. It’s dropped about $150 million since its high mark in 2008. Back in March, Colorado State University president Tony Frank told us that state funding for higher education could dry up completely within a decade. According to one study, he said, "Colorado is projected to be the first state to run out of those funds somewhere in the 2024 range."

This is a major reason schools are starting to go the way of independent musicians and entrepreneurs, raising money online through services similar to Kickstarter. It’s one of the original crowdfunding sites, which collect a lot of small donations for really specific projects; each one has a short, often artsy video explaining the project. CSU is among the first schools in the country to launch a crowdfunding site. Charisse Bowen, head of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at CSU, talks with Ryan Warner about why the school is pursuing crowdfunding, and how much it thinks it can raise.

[Photo: From the crowdfunding campaign for the project Smart Fit Chicks, part of the CSU Institute for Entrepreneurship pilot test of its crowdfunding platform]