Communication Strategies of New Ventures: Similarities and differences between reward-based and equity crowdfunding

Problem

New ventures are typically confronted with contradictory requirements. On the one hand, they have to prove the uniqueness and distinctiveness of their innovative business ideas. On the other hand, new ventures are forced to document their conformity with shared business standards which are common to legitimate members of the market category to which they claim to belong. These conflicting requirements are crucial to innovative projects especially in crowdfunding where diverse investors are looking for investment opportunities. Reward-based crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding are different forms of investment supported by online platforms (e.g., Kickstarter, Crowdcube, and others) which allows innovative new ventures to raise capital from a diverse ‘crowd’ of Internet users. The crowd investors get rewards or securities like equity, debt, or revenue shares in exchange for their investments. How do new ventures try to balance the conflicting demands of uniqueness and conformity to mobilize resources and support from diverse stakeholders? Do entrepreneurs communicate their ‘legitimate distinctiveness’ differently to reward-based and equity-based crowds? Do diverse stakeholders from different types of crowdfunding evaluate legitimizing communication strategies differently and with what impact on the economic success of innovative ventures? What are the preconditions and effects of different communication strategies on economic evaluation and success? The master thesis should conduct a literature review and an empirical investigation of communication strategies of new ventures in reward-based and equity crowdfunding to examine similarities and differences in different crowdfunding types.

Objectives

  1. Conducting a literature review about communication strategies of innovative new ventures in reward-based and equity crowdfunding.
  2. Developing of a data extraction tool (e.g., web crawler) to collect data about legitimizing strategies and communication behavior of new ventures in crowdfunding.
  3. Conducting an empirical study about the impact of communication strategies on the degree of success of campaigns in reward-based and equity crowdfunding.
  4. Developing recommendations to improve communication strategies of new ventures with regard to different crowdfunding types.

Contact Person

Dr. Michael Florian