Abstract

Acquiring financial capital is an important topic in entrepreneurship. With adequate financial resources, entrepreneurs can jumpstart their venture ideas (Brush et al., 2001). Convincing potential resource providers to invest in their ventures is challenging for entrepreneurs because of the uncertainty involved in opportunity valuation (Hitt et al., 2001). Numerous ideas of nascent entrepreneurs fizzle out due to the lack of financial resources (Aldrich & Martinez, 2001). Uncovering why some ventures are able to secure funding while others are unable to do so is critical to address.

Language, communication, and stories play crucial roles in resource acquisition (Lounsbury & Glynn, 2001). “Stories help generate interest and commitment among potential resource providers by connecting to broader contextual narratives in such a way that the proposed endeavor appears original and distinctive” (italics added, Martens et al., 2007, p. 1108). We used the crowdfunding context to address how originality/novelty impacts resource acquisition. We anchor on Schumpeter’s theorizing (Schumpeter, 1934) which considers novelty as a foundation of value creation (Amit & Zott, 2001) to hypothesize that projects which are unique relative to past projects will be successfully funded. We explore different degrees of uniqueness to identify the boundary conditions of our general hypothesis.

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