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3 Other Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Crowdfunding While crowdfunding has become a popular means of raising investment by giving rewards, there are some emerging platforms that want to take crowdfunding one step further.

By Adam Toren

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There's a lot more to the crowdfunding concept than just indiegogo and Kickstarter. While they are a major force in getting cool projects off the ground, there are other outlets and uses for crowdfunding that may surprise you, including platforms that enable you to act like an investor and back other entrepreneur's projects.

Related: 5 Kinds of Crowdfunding You Never Thought Of

Under the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) that was put into effect by President Barack Obama, the playing field of investing has opened up to smaller accredited investors. Think you might be interested in participating in a crowdfunded startup or maybe a commercial real estate investment through crowdfunding? Here are three ways entrepreneurs can get in on crowdfunding for investment or as a means for raising capital, not just rewards.

1. Fundable is a nice crossbreed of the two uses for crowdfunding: investment and investing. Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Wil Schroter, Fundable wants to change the way startup founders get access to capital and the investment options of backers.

What's the main difference if you're looking to crowdfund your business using Fundable over another platform such as Kickstarter or indiegogo? With Fundable, you choose whether you want to go the rewards route or the share-options route for getting the capital you need. The ability to choose how you get your funding puts more options in your hands for getting the capital you want.

Related: Crowdfunding Generates More Than $60,000 an Hour (Infographic)

2. Asset Avenue. Get involved in commercial real estate with this crowdfunded property-purchasing powerhouse. Backed by Adam Chapnick, one of the principals of indiegogo, this crowdfunding platform allows you to get involved in commercial real estate by funding property deals as an investor.

Asset Avenue breaks down the complex and high barrier to entry of commercial real estate projects so that you can participate as an accredited investor and help crowdfund projects with confidence in the hard asset of property. It's also reassuring that it's a crowfunding platform whose growth is being managed by a crowdfunding expert.

3. Fundrise is another cool investment platform that is founded on the idea that anyone can and should be able to get involved in real estate in their area. Co-founded by Daniel Miller and Benjamin Miller, their combined expertise and experience in finance and real estate led them to realize there was a better way to do real estate deals that involved the "little guy" and tons of transparency about fees and ROI.

Fundrise offers up plenty of low price-point entries (starting at $100) and in localized regions so you can make more informed investment decisions based on the areas you already know. The platform wants you to enjoy the rewards of backing real estate that impacts your community, in ways you can understand and see.

Related: The JOBS Act Provision That Could Change IPOs Forever

Related Book: Cash from the Crowd

Adam Toren

Serial entrepreneur, mentor, advisor and co-founder of

Adam Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Phoenix, Ariz.

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