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Willow Wu

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Entrepreneurial Strategies in Nascent Markets

Graduate Student Research Fellowship | 2019 - 2020 Academic Year

Entrepreneurial financial resources are not equally distributed across regions. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in China, because venture capital and other funding resources are concentrated in first-tier cities. This unequal distribution makes it difficult for entrepreneurs in resource-constraint regions to raise money, particularly for grassroot entrepreneurs lacking prior connections with investors. Therefore, Wu examines how Chinese grassroot entrepreneurs in resource-constraint regions can successfully raise capital. To tackle this question, she analyzes the pattern of online communications between entrepreneurs and investors through a fundraising platform and propose effective entrepreneurial strategies to mitigate the geographic constraint.


Willow Wu, Department of Management Science and Engineering

Willow Wu

You (Willow) Wu is a PhD candidate at the Stanford Technology Ventures Program in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Wu holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental management and a dual degree in economics from Peking University in China. Her research takes an institutional theory perspective to examine entrepreneurial strategies in nascent markets. Specifically, her earlier work on entrepreneurial strategies during China’s institutional transition has received the Academy of Management 2017 best paper award in the Entrepreneurship Division. Her current work examines grassroot entrepreneurs’ sequential attempts to form initial ties with investors through a Chinese fundraising platform. Also, she is working on another project that investigates entrepreneurs’ framing strategies in the ambiguous and turbulent blockchain market.

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