Abstract

The entrepreneurial ecosystem includes a variety of people and groups (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000), notably customers and investors. Crowdfunding is unique in that aspiring entrepreneurs are able to interact with and solicit for financial support within a virtual community, a dynamic that allows for rich conversation, critiques, and unparalleled transparency with would-be investors (or “backers”) at a very early point in the process (Belleflamme et al., 2013). Very little literature currently exists on crowdfunding due to its recent ascent, but what does exist is focusing in large part on factors related to the success of projects within the platforms.

This study explores a social, temporal aspect of crowdfunding—meaning the nuances of the relationship between investor (or “backer”) and the entrepreneur (or “project creator”) and the virtual community that exists—and, how these interactions may influence future entrepreneurial behavior, both in terms of time of action and characteristics of that action. Our perspective is one of contagion and spillover, specifically how one’s experiences and self-efficacy (Boyd & Vozikis, 1994) as a backer impact future behavior as a creator.

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