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Entrepreneurs Should Emphasize Expertise Over Enthusiasm, Research Finds

Entrepreneurs who display knowledge over enthusiasm when pitching to investors are more likely to receive funding according to research from Scheller College of Business professor Dong Liu.
Dong Liu, professor of organizational behavior

Dong Liu, professor of organizational behavior

Many entrepreneurs believe the more enthusiastic they can be in their pitches, the more likely they are to get funding. But it turns out that being too emotive in a pitch can make investors feel manipulated and dissuade them from giving money.

This finding comes from the latest research out of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business. Researchers interviewed investors and then conducted an experiment with crowdfunding platforms to determine which pitches were successful.

“They don't trust the displayed enthusiasm or passion by entrepreneurs,” said Dong Liu, professor of organizational behavior at Georgia Tech.

Instead, entrepreneurs with expertise in their area and demonstrated competence were more likely to receive funding. Once expertise and competence are evident, entrepreneurs can effectively use enthusiasm to win over investors. 

The researchers presented these conclusions in “The More Enthusiastic, the Better? Unveiling a Negative Pathway From Entrepreneurs’ Displayed Enthusiasm to Funders’ Funding Intentions” in the journal Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Read the full article.

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Dong Liu
Thomas R. Williams Chair in Management

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