Startup Founders’ Personality Attributes in Crowdfunding Campaigns: The Relevance of Hubris and Charisma in Raising Seed Funding Online

AbstractStartup founders often display personality traits associated with charisma and hubris. Existing literature contains rich evidence on the relevance of these traits for traditional investments settings that involve a personal interaction between the entrepreneur and the investor. However, the state of theory development on how hubris and charisma also influence the outcomes of raising seed funding online from non-professional investors can still be considered as nascent as a result of missing empirical evidence. We draw upon dual-process theory and argue that hubris and charisma are of particular relevance as they trigger intuitive decision-making processes of non-traditional investors. Our empirical setting involves a true experiment based on three versions of a crowdfunding pitch video that was recorded in collaboration with a professional actor. The primary outcomes suggest that both hubristic and charismatic entrepreneurs are more successful in sourcing capital from the crowd as they are perceived as more trustworthy and passionate.

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