Emphasizing the entrepreneur or the idea? The impact of text content emphasis on investment decisions in crowdfunding

Wei Wang, Wei Chen, Kevin Zhu, Hongwei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The criteria for evaluating a crowdfunding project vary from person to person. Some investors are concerned with the entrepreneurs' profiles, while others are more interested in the creativity behind the project or the idea. Most investors evaluate a project by referring to founder-generated content. Entrepreneurs then face the choice of emphasizing their own profiles or the project creativity within the limited narrative. Our study is thus motivated to examine how the emphasis of the text narratives affect the fundraising outcomes. We propose an improved deep learning model for text content emphasis (TCE) detection from various textual sources, including titles, blurbs, and detailed descriptions, and then estimate the impact of TCE on the success of fundraising campaigns. With data collected from public sources of Kickstarter platform, our empirical analyses demonstrate that TCE matters differently for various textual sources. It is more effective for the title and blurb to emphasize the entrepreneur profile, while the detailed description should highlight the idea creativity. Furthermore, for the detailed description, the entrepreneur profile has a more positive effect when it is placed at the beginning of the narrative. And the effects of entrepreneur-oriented narratives are more pronounced in these projects with more social connections. This study contributes to the understanding of TCE, entrepreneur profile disclosure, and social connection in economic exchanges in online crowdfunding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113341
JournalDecision Support Systems
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Crowdfunding
  • Investment willingness
  • Text analytics
  • Text content emphasis
  • deep learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Emphasizing the entrepreneur or the idea? The impact of text content emphasis on investment decisions in crowdfunding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this