UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Xiao-Ping Chen, Unviersity of Washington, to host a research seminar discussing ‘Catching fire and spreading it: A glimpse into displayed entrepreneurial passion in crowdfunding campaigns.’
Crowdfunding is an emerging phenomenon that enables entrepreneurs to solicit financial contributions for new projects from a mass audience. Drawing on the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion and emotional contagion theory, we examine the importance of displayed entrepreneurial passion when seeking resources in a crowdfunding context. We propose that entrepreneurs’ displayed passion in a crowdfunding project’s introductory video increases viewers’ experienced enthusiasm about the project (i.e., passion contagion), which prompts them to contribute financially, and to share campaign information via social-media channels. Such sharing further facilitates campaign success. Additionally, we propose that perceived project innovativeness strengthens the positive effect of displayed passion on the social-media exposure and funding amount that a project garners. We first test our hypotheses in two studies that use a combination of survey and archival data collected from the world’s two most popular crowdfunding platforms, Indiegogo (Study 1) and Kickstarter (Study 2). We then conduct an experiment (Study 3) to validate the proposed passion contagion process, and the effect of displayed entrepreneurial passion at the individual level. Findings from these three studies significantly support our hypotheses. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.