Kickstarter founder to give corporate ethics talk

March 10, 2014  

Perry Chen

Perry Chen 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Perry Chen, creator and chairman of crowdfunding site Kickstarter, will speak March 27 as part of the Purdue University Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics.

Chen will speak at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the College of Education's James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship, Krannert School of Management and Discovery Park.

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects from films, games and music to art, design and technology. Donors can contribute small sums of money to help get a project started.

Chen has worked as a day trader, waiter, gallery owner, preschool teacher, author and musician. "So I can empathize with pretty much anyone who uses my site," he says of Kickstarter, which he co-founded in 2009 with Yancey Strickler.

Crowdfunding began as a way to fund band tours and albums. Chen says that Kickstarter was born out of his frustration at being unable to organize a concert.

Since its launch, 5 million people have pledged more than $800 million to fund almost 50,000 creative projects. Kickstarter takes a 5 percent cut.

"If ventures don't meet their fund-raising goals, the donations aren't processed," Chen says.

Chen grew up in New York City and lived in New Orleans for eight years, where he worked on music and had the idea for Kickstarter. He also co-founded Southfirst gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2001.

The Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics began in 2003. Speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines discuss business ethics and the role citizens play in corporate ethics, providing an overview of the impact of corporate ethics on business, the economy and society as a whole.

Chen's talk is sponsored by Purdue Federal Credit Union, ArcelorMittal and Phillips 66. 

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, 

Source: Tim Newton, Krannert director of external relations and communications, 765-496-7271,

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