Crowdfunding and Innovation Management



“Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing phenomenon wherein entrepreneurs seek funding for their entrepreneurial activities from a potentially large audience of interested individuals” (Short et al., 2017, p.149). It represents a financial innovation (Stefani et al., 2019) that, over the last decade, has gained a substantial amount of interest (Belleflamme et al., 2014).

Crowdfunding is an important innovation that provides an alternative to traditional financing systems (Bruton et al., 2015; Block et al., 2018; Stefani et al., 2019). Even though it has gained substantial interest among practitioners and researchers in many areas in business, the literature on crowdfunding is scant and fragmented (Drover et al., 2017; Short et al., 2017; Mochkabadi & Volkmann, 2020; Troise et al., 2020). This may be due to the literature on crowdfunding is in its infancy. Being in its infancy stage of development, the concept of crowdfunding holds several promising directions for future research. In the context of innovation, crowdfunding holds great promise (Drover et al., 2017; Mochkabadi & Volkmann, 2020). Given the interest in and the stage of literature development of crowdfunding, this special issue seeks to advance the literature on crowdfunding by focusing on crowdfunding and innovation management.

Among the scant research on crowdfunding and innovation management, Hervé and Schwienbacher (2018) observe that crowdfunding holds a substantial potential to facilitate innovation through new sources of capital and for the crowd to participate actively in the innovation process by providing feedback to the entrepreneur or firm. Research examining crowdfunding for innovation illustrates the importance of crowdfunding in innovation management as a funding option (Busse & Siebert, 2018) and as an important source of knowledge to support initiatives (e.g., inputs in the production phase of the commercialization process according to Smith, 2015) and get additional benefits from the “wisdom of crowds” (Macht & Weatherston, 2014; Di Pietro et al., 2018; Boutillier, 2019; Troise & Tani, 2020).

Early research also shows that crowdfunding platforms are significant open innovation tools (Di Pietro et al., 2018; Troise & Tani, 2020). These open innovation platforms hold potential to acquire new knowledge about products or services, markets, strategy as well as improving networking and public awareness, which all hold potential to enhance firm performance for new and existing businesses (Di Pietro et al., 2018; Estrin et al., 2018; Wald et al., 2019; Troise & Tani, 2020). 

As shown above, crowdfunding holds potential to enhance more traditional business outcomes. Crowdfunding also holds potential to involve people outside the business in the innovation process. Using crowdfunding in the innovation process means that crowdfunding could democratize the innovation commercialization process (Mollick & Robb, 2016), influence business model innovations (Gamble et al., 2017), and generate innovations and crowdsourced R&D (Callaghan, 2014) to mention a few potential benefits from crowdfunding.

These limited considerations illustrate that crowdfunding in an innovation context holds substantial potential for advancing our collective understanding of crowdfunding and its potential influence on and benefits for innovation and its management. Therefore, we offer this special issue as an opportunity to enrich our understanding of crowdfunding and innovation management.  

The primary purpose of this special issue is to gain a better understanding of the multi-faceted implications of crowdfunding on innovation management. More specifically, the purpose is to examine two fundamental questions such as: (1) why, when, and how crowdfunding influences the innovation process; and (2) why, when, and how the crowd investing time, energy, and other resources in innovations and the innovation process? For this special issue, we seek innovative research using multidisciplinary approaches that generates new, or builds on existing, debates and key questions to facilitate a larger, richer, and more robust understanding of the implications crowdfunding holds for innovation management. Given the interdisciplinary nature of crowdfunding in innovation management, one goal for this special issue is to attract submissions from scholars within the fields of entrepreneurship, finance, innovation management, strategy, economics and marketing to name just a few. Similarly, we intend to attract theory papers using varied lenses and empirical papers that cross all methodological designs and approaches. Research from all areas of inquiry that holds potential to provide new insights on crowdfunding in innovation management is welcome.

Potential topics

This includes, but is not limited to, the following topics of interests:

  • How does a crowdfunding approach to innovation influence innovation management?
  • How may crowdfunding facilitate mixing different financial sources and actors in the development and commercialization of new products or services?
  • How does a crowdfunding approach result in innovation outcomes?
  • How does crowdfunding impacts companies' innovation performance or firm performance in various contexts and cultures?
  • Does equity-based crowdfunding have impact on innovation in small and mid-sized companies?
  • Does reward-based crowdfunding have impact on innovation in small and mid-sized companies?
  • How does equity-based crowdfunding support companies in developing innovation capabilities?
  • How does reward-based crowdfunding support companies in developing innovation capabilities?
  • How is the use of crowd equity investors in open innovation platforms related to innovation performance?
  • How does the type of knowledge provided by crowd equity investors impact on companies’ innovation process?
  • How may elucidation of the fragmentation of the crowdfunding literature advance our understanding of the so-called "wisdom of the crowd"?
  • How are various forms of crowdfunding materialized in the innovation process?
  • How is crowdfunding manifested in the innovation process or in the subsequent innovations?
  • How does crowdfunding foster innovation, enhance the innovation process, or influence innovation performance of various types of businesses, i.e. new ventures, SMEs and large established organizations?
  • How does crowdfunding impact the user benefits of innovations?
  • How do entrepreneurs or managers leverage crowd inputs to improve innovation, the innovation process, the innovation performance, or, in turn, the firm performance?
  • What is the role of crowdfunding in enhancing a company's innovation performance?
  • How do the role of in-crowd and out-crowd funders in a company's innovation processes?
  • How do crowdfunding generates various types of innovation and products and services?
  • How does crowd-investors support companies by engaging in individual and multiple stages of the innovation process?
  • How do various crowdfunding models induce and control innovation processes?
  • What are the differences among the various crowdfunding models and how do those differences influence the innovation processes?


  • Submissions must be original and must not be under consideration for publication or presentation elsewhere. Papers that are deemed suitable for publication in the special issue will be double-blind reviewed as per the EJIM’s review process guidelines. The guest editors will base their final acceptance decisions on relevance for the special issue, technical quality, innovative content, and originality of research approaches and results
  • Papers should be submitted via the journal’s online submission system available through the journal homepage. When submitting please choose the special issue: “Crowdfunding and Innovation Management” as the article type from the drop down menu.
  • All papers must follow the guidelines outlined by the journal for submission 
  • For any inquiries pertaining to this special issue, please contact the guest editors: 
  • Submission deadline: March15th, 2022


Belleflamme, P., Lambert, T. and Schwienbacher, A. (2014), “Crowdfunding: tapping the right crowd”. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(5), 585-609.
Block, J.H., Colombo, M.G., Cumming, D.J. and Vismara, S. (2018), “New players in entrepreneurialfinance and why are there”. Small Business Economics, 50(2), 239-250.
Boutillier, S. (2019), “The economics of the entrepreneur and the banker historical roots and contributions to the management of innovation”. European Journal of Innovation Management, 23(2), 230-250. 
Bruton, G., Khavul, S., Siegel, D. and Wright, M. (2015), “New financial alternatives in seedingentrepreneurship: microfinance, crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer innovations”. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 39(1), 9-26.
Busse, M. and Siebert, R. (2018), “The role of consumers in food innovation processes”. European Journal of Innovation Management, 21(1), 20-43.
Callaghan, C.W. (2014), “Crowdfunding To Generate Crowdsourced R&D: The Alternative Paradigm Of Societal Problem Solving Offered By Second Generation Innovation And R&D”. International Business & Economics Research Journal, 13(6), 1499-1514.
Di Pietro, F., Prencipe, A. and Majchrzak, A. (2018), “Crowd Equity Investors: An Underutilized Asset for Open Innovation in Startups”. California Management Review, 60(2), 43-70.
Drover, W., Busenitz, L., Matusik, S., Townsend, D., Anglin, A. and Dushnitsky, G. (2017), “A review and road map of entrepreneurial equity financing research: venture capital, corporate venture capital, angel investment, crowdfunding, and accelerators”. Journal of Management, 43(6), 1820-1853.
Estrin, S., Gozman, D. and Khavul, S. (2018), “The evolution and adoption of equity crowdfunding:entrepreneur and investor entry into a new market”. Small Business Economics, 51(2), 425-439.
Gamble, J.R., Brennan, M. and McAdam, R. (2017), “A rewarding experience? Exploring how crowdfunding is affecting music industry business models”. Journal of Business Research, 70, 25-36.
Hervé, F. and Schwienbacher, A. (2018), “Crowdfunding and innovation”. Journal of Economic Surveys, 32, 1514-1530.
Macht, S.A. and Weatherston, J. (2014), “The benefits of online crowdfunding for fund-seekingbusiness ventures”. Strategic Change, 23(1-2), 1-14.
Mochkabadi, K. And Volkmann, C.K. (2020), “Equity crowdfunding: a systematic review of the literature”. Small Business Economics, 54(1), 75-118.
Mollick, E. and Robb, A. (2016), “Democratizing Innovation and Capital Access: The Role of Crowdfunding”. California Management Review, 58(2), 72-87.
Short, J.C., Ketchen, D.J., McKenny, A.F., Allison, T.H. and Ireland, R.D. (2017), “Research on crowdfunding: Reviewing the (very recent) past and celebrating the present”. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 41(2), 149-160.
Smith, A.N. (2015), “The backer–developer connection: exploring crowdfunding's influence on video game production”. New Media & Society, 17(2), 198–214.
Stefani, U., Schiavone, F., Laperche, B. and Burger-Helmchen, T. (2019), “New tools and practices for financing novelty: a research agenda”, European Journal of Innovation Management, 23(2), 314-328. 
Troise, C. and Tani, M. (2020), “Exploring entrepreneurial characteristics, motivations andbehaviours in equity crowdfunding: some evidence from Italy”. Management Decision, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
Troise, C., Matricano, D., Candelo, E. and Sorrentino, M. (2020), “Crowdfunded and then? The role of intellectual capital in the growth of equity-crowdfunded companies”. Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
Wald, A., Holmesland, M. and Efrat, K. (2019), “It is not all about money: obtaining additionalbenefits through equity crowdfunding”. The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 28(2), 270-294.