The role of human capital in Italian equity crowdfunding campaigns

ENTREPRENEURSHIP (Prof.ssa Zucchella)

The role of human capital in Italian equity crowdfunding campaigns


Objectives. This paper analyses the factors correlated with the campaign success of equity crowdfunding.

Methodology. Based on a novel dataset of 98 firms, three indicators of campaign success (number of investors, funds received, and funds as a share of target) are estimated as a function of different dimensions of human capital (team size, education, and work experience).

Findings. We find that campaign success is correlated to team size, the share of members with higher education (i.e., PhD), and the share of members with business education. We also find a non-linear relation with team size, and a significant relationship with the diversification of the team’s education.

Research limits. Our work is based on a small sample and a relatively short time-window. The data collected so far does not allow for causal interpretation. Moreover, data on campaigns that did not achieve the target are still unavailable and will be collected in the future.

Practical implications. Our study sheds further light on the role of team characteristics as signals of quality. Startups more likely to succeed in raising funds through crowdfunding have larger funding teams, with scientific (i.e., PhD) and business skills, and a diversified educational background.

Originality of the study. We contribute to a recent body of empirical studies on the determinants of equity crowdfunding campaigns success. Besides confirming previous findings with a novel dataset, we provide new evidence on the relevance of signals of founding team quality (e.g. diversification of educational) and a non-linear relationship between team size and campaign success.

#education #equity crowdfunding #founding team size #Human Capital #Italy #work experience