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Crowdfunding: A new meaning for fund-raising & user innovation

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Sara Jane GONZALEZ, Debora BETTIGA and Jing SHAO


Crowdfunding has emerged as an innovating way of funding for individuals
and companies, alternative to traditional fund-raising and centered on user
innovation. It represents a new business model designed to support the
entrepreneurial spirit from those who have innovative ideas, launch them in
designed platforms and create new products and services with crowd’s
support. However, due to its multidimensional and multi actors’ nature, past
contributions on the topic are few and scattered across different fields, not
giving a comprehensive view of the phenomenon. In this article, we provide a
review of the literature of the multifaceted crowdfunding phenomenon,
placing emphasis of its close connection with both user and business model
innovation. Our review synthetized and organized different contribution of
literature by analyzing the three main actors’ perspectives: online platforms,
entrepreneurs and the crowd. We then provide a key of interpretation of the
phenomenon, as a new business model that enables user innovation,
explaining how the meaning of funding and the role of users is changing
through crowdfunding initiatives and presenting an example of a successful
crowdfunding project. We finally propose future lines of research to increase
the understanding of this complex yet attractive topic.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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