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Publication date: 6 July 2018

Marc R.H. Roedenbeck and Manfred Lieb

This paper aims to investigate how a small business is able to continually use entrepreneurial financial sources (i.e. crowdfunding) within and after a successful…



This paper aims to investigate how a small business is able to continually use entrepreneurial financial sources (i.e. crowdfunding) within and after a successful transformation from an entrepreneur. It additionally investigates how a market incumbent is able to successfully join the market of entrepreneurial financial resources.


Therefore, a comparative case study using qualitative and quantitative data as well as triangulation technique is conducted within the international board game (or tabletop) market at the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The US company CMON, which has developed from an entrepreneur to a small business and beyond, is compared with the German incumbent Pegasus. Based on an analysis of a set of key performance indicators suggested in the literature, qualitative and quantitative variables are deductively derived to measure their impact on the financial goal achievement, thereby showing their impact on the goal achievement. During the analysis, additional variables are identified inductively.


As a result, several qualitative components are found to be crucial, including oral storytelling and computer animated videos/images, a perfect multilingual product language, prototyped components, an active community and a depth and regularity in campaign updates. In quantitative terms, important components include having more product images than longer project descriptions, more optional buys than different but fixed project rewards, a big social network (on Twitter and Facebook), and the number of updates.

Research limitations/implications

Based upon the data and findings, this study invites for more research, especially in conducting a larger scale quantitative analysis using the developed framework to compare more cases within a branch, cases across branches and cases with different background stories.

Practical implications

But to successfully run a crowdfunding campaign, entrepreneurs and incumbents can use the provided measures as a first design- and decision-roadmap, as well as copying the new business strategy of continually practicing crowdfunding for new products.


Despite its limits, this paper offers the first in-depth qualitative and quantitative crowdfunding case study showing on the one hand a new business strategy about crowdfunding as well as providing a structured measure to compare crowdfunding project performance.


Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201


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