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Paper info: The role of equity crowdfunding in the start-up business network


The role of equity crowdfunding in the start-up business network


Chiara Cantu
Catholic University
Chiara Cantu ,
Daniel Schepis
University of Western Australia
Daniel Schepis , Giorgia Sepe and Alessandra Tzannis

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 35th IMP-conference in Paris, France in 2019.


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In recognizing that obtaining appropriate financial resources is one of the most critical external processes for start-ups, we have seen a rapidly evolving industry comprising a variety of new sources and formats. Among these new formats, online equity crowdfunding is considered an increasingly popular source of capital for young entrepreneurial firms. Prior research has focused on the factors affecting the funding success through equity crowdfunding platforms, however a detailed and empirical understanding of other benefits accrued is still lacking, particularly in relation to the network effects from new investor connections. This research aims to answer the following research questions: (1) what is the role of investors in the business network of the start-up? and (2) what are the main resources provided to the start-up by business partners and investors? Through a case study approach of an Italian start-up supported through birth and scale- up stages by equity crowdfunding, this study provides interesting insights on the main benefits for the start-up, the role of investors and the resource shared in terms of both financial resources, knowledge and competencies.