Do you know crowdfunding? In an online survey conducted primarily among entrepreneurs and students in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, almost 50% answered “No”. Even cutting-edge innovator Google continuously suggested the authors of this thesis to check the spelling of “crowdfunding” when writing the thesis on Google docs. Further anecdotal evidence can be found in our classes and seminars. During our master program, we have been taught different ways how startup ventures can raise capital and have engaged in discussions with entrepreneurs and technology transfer officers. Crowdfunding was not mentioned. Yet, we remember our thesis advisor and innovation consultant Paco Conde of LTC saying that many of his clients, when thinking about innovation, primarily think of their production process thereby neglecting the importance of innovation at the financing (and distribution) stage.
In July 2010, thus almost coinciding with the beginning of our studies at Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, the search term “crowdfunding” for the first time generated enough traffic to be spotted by Google Trends (Figure 1). Throughout the last year search volume has steadily increased, demonstrating growing interest and awareness of the topic.
Crowdfunding in general and crowdfunding for startup companies in particular are nascent phenomena that made it to the headlines only recently but bear the potential to drastically change the way startup companies are financed today.