An Academic’s Story
Chris Courtney is a Western New York Prosperity Fellow and current Ph.D. Candidate in Management Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the University at Buffalo. Chris is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Ph.D. Student Research Excellence, awarded to a senior School of Management Ph.D. student who has demonstrated exceptional research and the highest potential as a scholar, based on journal publications, research awards, presentations and papers at top conferences. Chris’s research is focused on crowdfunding for its potential to help entrepreneurs fund early stage ventures where traditional financing is not available. His work is published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, one of the leading entrepreneurship journals. He also worked with the Kauffman Foundation to develop an industry report on entrepreneurial financing titled “Changing Capital: Emerging Trends in Entrepreneurial Finance.” He has been invited to present his crowdfunding research at the 2016 (Anaheim, CA) and 2017 (Atlanta, GA) Academy of Management Annual Meetings and the 2016 Darden and Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Conference in Washington, DC. His research has also gained media attention and is featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, News Day, and Crowdfund Insider. Chris was the recipient of the Arun Jain Fellowship while working on his MBA, and his team won third place in the 2012 NYS Business Plan Competition. Before returning to school he ran his own business for more than eight years, providing reverse logistic and remanufacturing solutions to larger retailers. He served as an adjunct instructor in the Computer Science department at Niagara County Community College and currently teaches entrepreneurship and strategy at UB. He previously served on the Board of Directors for the Greater South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce. He and his family served as the Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes, on the Family Advisory Council at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, and as volunteers for Wings Flights of Hope. Chris has worked at the Erie County Industrial Development Agency in the International Program, helping small businesses expand internationally. He completed a two-year professional development program and is now LeaderCORE certified at the Role Model level. Chris was named the 2017 “Someone You Should Know” by the West Seneca Bee.
Resolving information asymmetry: Signaling, endorsement, and crowdfunding success
March 1, 2017
This paper draws on information economics to examine when signals and endorsements obtained from multiple information sources enhance or diminish one another’s effects. We propose that signals through startup actions (use of media) and characteristics (crowdfunding experience) can mitigate information asymmetry concerns about project quality and founder credibility, enhancing the project’s likelihood of attaining funding. Further, we posit that while startup-originated signals offset each other’s effects, third party endorsements (sentiment expressed in backer comments) validate and complement startup-originated signals. Empirical analyses based on a comprehensive dataset of crowdfunding projects on the Kickstarter website during 2009-2015 confirm our predictions.
Changing Capital: Emerging Trends in Entrepreneurial Finance.
Based on interviews and data collected, we
identified the following trends:
1. The VC industry is shifting at the biggest and
smallest ends of the market.
2. Online platforms—for crowdfunding, angel
syndication, and lending—are increasingly
important options for seed-stage and early-stage
3. Sources of capital are emerging outside of
traditional geographical hubs.
4. Women are playing more decision-making roles in
5. There is robust experimentation with differentiated
Fall 2016, 2015
Graduate Level Supervised Research
Intermediate Spreadsheet Applications
Spring 2014, 2013
Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Spring 2015, 2014
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Academies Introductory Seminar
Introduction to Spreadsheets
Spring 2014, 2013
Introduction to Computer Application