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Two Williams School Faculty Members Co-Author Journal Article Bright Frimpong and Keri Larson teamed with two others to produce a paper on crowdfunding that was featured in the Journal of Business Venturing Insights.

Frimpong-Larson Two Williams School Faculty Members Co-Author Journal ArticleBright Frimpong & Keri Larson

Washington and Lee University’s Bright Frimpong and Keri Larson, both assistant professors of business administration, recently co-authored a paper published online by the Journal of Business Venturing Insights.

Frimpong and Larson produced the paper titled “Take my word for it? The role of projected certainty signaling and certainty alignment in reward crowdfunding outcomes,” alongside Fatima Mohammed from the University of Nevada-Reno and Henry Junior Anderson, from Oracle Corporation.

The article focuses on how project founders convey assurance and confidence in crowdfunding, which is the process by which entrepreneurs fund a venture by raising small amounts of money from many people. The authors conducted a study on the art of certainty in project descriptions and introduced the results on how the crucial balance between confidence and realism can shape investor sentiment for businesses and societal ventures such as NGOs and educational initiatives.

“On reward platforms like Kickstarter, there is uncertainty as backers often don’t know founders, and the projects are mostly in early stages,” said Frimpong. “Reasonably, founders want to signal confidence in the project description to assure potential backers of their project’s viability. However, using text analytics and econometric models, we found that excessive framing of such assurance can repel backers and derail project success. Founders, therefore, must fine-tune their confidence signaling to strike the right chord with potential backers.”

“Founders should also make a point of responding to backers’ comments to assuage doubts and enhance project transparency,” added Larson. “This founder-backer engagement is important because it reduces uncertainty and positively impacts the success of the project.”

Frimpong is in his first year as a member of the faculty at W&L. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in management studies from the University of Cape Coast (Ghana), a Master of Science in marketing from the University of Tampa, an MBA in information systems from Georgia Southern University and a Ph.D. in information systems from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Larson joined the W&L faculty in 2017. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in management information systems from the University of Georgia.

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