About Us

Superior Ideas is operated by Michigan Technological University to help bring university research and public service projects to life.

What is Superior Ideas?

Superior Ideas is an entity of Michigan Technological University that helps bring university research and public service projects to life. By harnessing the power of crowdfunding, we can raise funds for small, high-quality university research and public service projects that are not normally suited for grant funding. Funding is raised through many small donations, with social media and word-of-mouth spreading the news of exciting projects.

How Superior Ideas Works

Researchers have a lot of great ideas. But oftentimes groundbreaking ideas simply cannot generate the funding they require to get off the ground via conventional means. That's where Superior Ideas steps in.

When researchers have the next big idea, we want to make sure they have every opportunity to carry out their project. We have created a pretty big idea too: assisting university researchers from across the country to generate funds for their projects using Superior Ideas. We offer this new funding option to researchers at any US university. Researchers at other institutions who are interested in partnering should contact Superior Ideas.

Researchers will be invited to submit projects, outlining their research goals and need for funding. Once both Superior Ideas and the researcher's home university approve a project, a profile—featuring written and multimedia components—will be developed to describe the project. The project will then appear on the site, and can begin accepting donations right away.

For more information about how the project process works, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Information for Donors

There is no shortage of great research ideas—or of for-profit websites employing crowdfunding. However, Superior Ideas offers two distinct advantages:

  1. Superior Ideas is operated by Michigan Tech, a public non-profit university, enabling donors from the United States to claim a charitable donation for federal income tax purposes.
  2. Superior Ideas verifies the validity of each project posted on our website; since we are run in conjunction with a leading research university, we can ensure only the best of the best are being offered to potential donors.

Not only does your donation help your pocketbook with a tax deduction, but it also provides scientists with the support necessary to make new discoveries. When you donate, you are providing funds for research ideas that are most important to you. You are helping to create the future.

To show gratitude for your support, some researchers offer incentives at specific donation levels. Each project's unique incentives are set by the researcher.

Information for Researchers

Crowdfunding is a great mechanism for public outreach and involvement in your research program. It's ideal for small projects that are not independently suitable for grant funding or other traditional scholarly support methods. Superior Ideas offers two substantial advantages over for-profit crowdfunding sites:

    1. Superior Ideas coordinates with a researcher's home institution and transfers funds directly to the institution for use—allowing you to avoid personal income tax liability in most situations. On other sites, researchers may incur personal income tax liabilities in some situations if they directly receive the funding.
    2. By coordinating with your home institution to list projects on Superior Ideas, you assure donors of your project's legitimacy, and leverage your institution's resources in support of the research project.

If you are interested in listing your research idea on Superior Ideas, please contact us.

Information for Universities

Superior Ideas is operated by Michigan Technological University, a public non-profit university in Houghton, Mich. Superior Ideas offers two main institutional advantages over for-profit crowdfunding sites:

    1. Superior Ideas requires home institution approval prior to listing a research project for funding, which ensures conformance with home institution internal policies and procedures. This process also provides a means of assuring the project's legitimacy to donors.
    2. When your institution partners with Superior Ideas, you will sign a standard agreement identifying terms and conditions for listing a project, transfer of funds, ownership of intellectual property, and other common institutional concerns.

Please contact us if for more information about partnering with Superior Ideas.

Superior Ideas exists to empower both researchers and donors by providing a platform for university researchers to describe their innovative—and ambitious—projects to the public, and donors can express their interest—and support—with just the click of a mouse.

Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.