Media Advisory: Forbes ’30 Under 30’ Entrepreneur James Beshara to speak at WFU

According to a recent article in Entrepreneur, crowdfunding nearly tripled last year — growing from $6.1 billion in 2013 to $16.2 billion in 2014. In 2015, the industry is expected to generate $34.4 billion to support a wide variety of initiatives and organizations, including museums, symphonies and classrooms that are feeling the pinch from tightened government purse strings.

On Thursday, April 16, James Beshara, CEO and co-founder of the crowdfunding platform will receive the University’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award as part of an annual event recognizing successful Wake Forest entrepreneurs. Beshara, a 2008 graduate, will participate in a discussion on entrepreneurship and crowdfunding with Andy Chan, Wake Forest’s vice president of career development, at 5 p.m. in the Magnolia Room in Reynolda Hall. The award ceremony will follow at 5:45 p.m.

The event is not open to the public, but media are invited to attend the Q&A and awards ceremony.

Named to Forbes 2015 list of “30 Under 30,” Beshara’s advice for young entrepreneurs is to focus on what the customer wants. “Starting a business is not about getting people excited about what interests you. It’s about finding out what interests others. When a company builds a tool that serves a need, people find new and unexpected uses for it.”

The Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award recognizes a Wake Forest alumnus, parent or friend who has demonstrated outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, achievement and social responsibility. Past award winners can be found here.

Limited time is available for interviews with Beshara on Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17. Contact the news office for more information.

About Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

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