Are the Life and Death of an Early‐stage Venture indeed in the Power of the Tongue? Lessons from Online Crowdfunding Pitches

Hadar Gafni, Dan Marom, Orly Sade

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Abstract

Research Summary: While presenting initiatives to potential backers, entrepreneurs can choose the extent to which they presents themselves, versus presenting the idea. We investigate this decision and its effect on the success of fund‐raising on a leading crowdfunding platform (Kickstarter). We employ a textual quantification method validated by robustness tests. Our dataset was collected using custom software and includes more than 20,000 online business pitches and their results. We find that in Kickstarter fund‐raising, entrepreneurs’ descriptions matter—projects (especially art related) that frequently mentioned entrepreneurs’ names experienced higher rates of success, controlling for relevant variables.
Managerial Summary: Many entrepreneurs are interested in learning how to deliver successful fund‐raising pitches on crowdfunding platforms. We investigate the decision to mention frequently the entrepreneur's name and its effect on the success of fund‐raising on a leading crowdfunding platform (Kickstarter). We collected information about 20,000 online business pitches and their results. We find that in Kickstarter fund‐raising, entrepreneurs' descriptions matter—projects (especially art related) that frequently mentioned entrepreneurs' names experienced higher rates of success. We conducted an experiment that indicated that projects whose entrepreneurs mentioned themselves more substantially were associated with higher levels of trust and higher levels of perceived knowledge of the entrepreneurs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStrategic Entrepreneurship Journal
Volume13
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-23
Number of pages21
ISSN1932-4391
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online: 14 May 2018

Keywords

  • Crowdfunding
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Kickstarter
  • Pitches
  • Pre-seed financing

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