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RESearch Track

Track Co-Chairs: Arndt Werner, University of SIEGEN, & kerstin Wagner, HTW chur

Description of the track

The global crowdfunding landscape is growing. Not only in the US, but also in Europe a large number of national and international platforms offer their specific web-based services today. This has led to a growing interest in this topic, not only by entrepreneurs and project initiators, but also by media, policymakers and scholars from different disciplines. Crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs to collect money from large audiences, the crowd, in which each backer provides rather small amounts. In return, “backers” receive different returns, such as equity shares, a product, service, other non-monetary rewards or a particular interest rate. Next to the US-based large platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo, numerous crowdfunding platforms worldwide provide specific features in respective national contexts. Still, research on European platforms with a national market coverage is rare. Much more work from different disciplines (e.g. management, information science, media and communication) is required to further explore details on the behaviour of backers, the success drivers of specific national platforms and the emerging dynamics inside (on-page) and outside (off-page, offline) these platforms.

Key topics and research questions of the track
  • (Donation-based and reward-based) crowdfunding motivates private backers to engage in campaigns for reasons that are not economic. How do theories on prosocial behaviour and egoism help to predict why people donate in campaigns? How does the reward structure (pre-order vs. symbolic rewards) influence the behaviour of backers and the funding success?
  • How does the emergence of (equity-based) crowdfunding encourage the extension of theories in entrepreneurial resource acquisition areas such as the venture capital, angel investor, and IPO?
  • How can theories from different disciplines (economy, marketing, psychology, information sciences, media and communication, etc.) help better understand success of entrepreneurial crowdfunding?
  • How do media and communication activities inside and outside of platforms affect dynamics and success patterns of crowdfunding projects?
  • Crowdfunding unfolds potential effects that go beyond capital acquisition, such as the attraction of new customers or the establishment of a new sales channel. How do project initiators project create beneficial effects of crowdfunding in terms of marketing, sales, customer relationship management (CRM), resource planning and product development (“co-creation”) during and after the crowdfunding campaign?

We particularly encourage country-specific conceptual and empirical research papers that extend and develop our understanding of crowdfunding (reward-, donation-, equity- and lending-based) and will deliver academic outcomes but also practical and policy implications.

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