Learning and Performance in Serial Crowdfunding

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Entrepreneurship scholars have long been interested in serial entrepreneurs who engage in multiple entrepreneurial ventures. The opportunity to learn from experience and find ways to systematize entrepreneurship is intriguing, and new technological developments such as the availability of crowdfunding platforms provides new possibilities in this direction. Various theories have been suggested for why past experience may have both positive and negative effects on the subsequent performance of entrepreneurs. In this thesis, I ask: do the theories about the positive and negative effects of past entrepreneurial experience on subsequent performance apply to the crowdfunding context? Do positive effects prevail over negative effects in aggregate? What are the specific mechanisms through which the effects of past crowdfunding experience on subsequent crowdfunding performance are realized? Building on a comprehensive data collection effort, I find that with experience, crowdfunders tend to adjust their goal levels downward, which results in lower pledge amounts for their campaigns (although it increases their chances of success). They also learn through experience to design better campaigns by including more visual elements, more reward tiers, and lengthier descriptions, and these in turn improve subsequent performance. The evidence in this research generally supports the proposition that after controlling for these mediation effects as well as social capital, crowdfunding experience still has a positive direct effect on performance.
Serial Crowdfunding, Serial Entrepreneurship, Learning by Doing, Goal Adjustment, Crowdfunding Campaign Design
Hosseini Amereei, S. A. (2018). Learning and Performance in Serial Crowdfunding (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca..