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Michael Seay

DBA Graduate - 2019

Thesis title

Crowdfunding: Origins, disruption, its impact on the entrepreneurial finance model and equity based crowdfunding's impact on that model

Supervisor(s)

Lois Shelton
Purpose – This thesis explores crowdfunding literature in an attempt to better explain the preliminary research on crowdfunding including its origins, the impact of academic research of early nascent literature through a systematic literature review and subsequent meta-analysis of all crowdfunding research up to 2018 as well as exploring equity crowdfunding campaign characteristics through a paper-based thesis. Design/methodology/approach – Due to the nature of the paper-based approach, the papers contain various methodologies both qualitative and quantitative in nature which include exploratory analysis, a systematic literature review, meta-analysis implementing regression analysis and ordinary least squares method for the last article. Findings – The papers submitted in this thesis provided interesting results. Crowdfunding is a definitive new form of financing for the entrepreneur as well as the corporate entity. Many themes became prominent including: the emergence of crowdfunding, changes in the role of information, social capital, investor behavior and the outcome of increased access to capital and information as it relates to crowdfunding. The meta-analysis is the first of its kind to analyze the success of various crowdfunding campaigns with a focus on equity crowdfunding. The final paper examines the characteristics of a successful equity crowdfunding campaign. Research limitations/implications – Crowdfunding is so new that there are numerous areas of research that must be explored. The largest limitations on research in this field is lack of reliable empirical data to construct reliable analysis for empirical papers. The research will continue to evolve rapidly due to the interest of both academics and the investment community alike. The research put forth in this thesis as well as my co-contributors in the academic community that are researching crowdfunding will impact both the entrepreneur and the investor. The institutional investor including venture capitalists and angel investors have seen this impact of a large influx of capital into the entrepreneurial finance model as total crowdfund investments surpassed VC and Angel investment in 2016. Originality/value – Both academics, entrepreneurs and investors will benefit from the information put forth herein including the first systematic literature review to organize and extrapolate themes from all early nascent significant literature as well as exploring the origins of crowdfunding as it emerged from crowdsourcing. Putting forth empirical evidence that shows the funding gap of early entrepreneurial finance being filled by crowdfunding is a significant shift in the finance funding cycle that has not been seen since the early 20th century. Key words - crowdfunding, access to capital, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, systematic literature review