Sofia Bapna sitting on bench

Sofia Bapna

Assistant Professor
Information & Decision Sciences



  • PhD 2016
    Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship University of Minnesota
  • Master of Business Administration 2004
    Babson College – F. W. Olin School of Business
  • Bachelor of Technology in Computer Engineering 1993
    Computer Engineering Manipal Institute of Technology, India


  • Digital Platforms, Entrepreneurship, Gender Gaps


Sofia Bapna is Assistant Professor and Lawrence Fellow at the Carlson School of Management, University of MN.

Dr. Bapna’s research interests lie in the areas of digital platforms, entrepreneurship, and gender gaps. They stem from her experience as a female information technology professional as well as her experience as an entrepreneur in the digital economy. This background has resulted in two research streams. The first focuses on women’s under representation in STEM fields such as IT. Her work in this stream increases our understanding of the reasons underlying women’s under representation, identifies interventions to reduce gender gaps in representation, and identifies the effectiveness of legislation aimed at increasing women’s participation in the workforce. The second stream focuses on entrepreneurship in the digital economy. Her research in this stream increases our understanding of how entrepreneurs can be successful raising capital through crowdfunding and how they can grow their online brand communities. It also sheds light on the democratization of access to capital through crowdfunding by helping us understand how women and non-traditional user-entrepreneurs fare when raising capital through equity crowdfunding. 

Dr. Bapna’s work is inherently multidisciplinary in nature. It integrates perspectives from and contributes to research across information systems, entrepreneurship, and finance. Additionally, it employs randomized field experiments and sophisticated econometric methods with a strong focus on causal inference. She complements these approaches with surveys to gain insights into the underlying mechanisms at work. 

A hallmark of Dr. Bapna’s research is that is engages with industry partners. It includes partnerships with a national funding agency that promotes innovation in Austria, an equity crowdfunding platform, a publicly traded staffing company in India, and an organization that hosts events that service the data science and technology community. These collaborations underscore the business relevance of her research.

Dr. Bapna’s work has been published in Management Science and MIS Quarterly, and is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation. She is a recipient of the INFORMS Information Systems Society’s Gordon B. Davis Young Scholar Award, the Association for Information Systems’ Early Career Award, and the Carlson School of Management’s Lawrence Fellowship.

Selected Works & Activities

  • Sofia Bapna (2017) Complementarity of Signals in Early Stage Equity Investment Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment. Management Science.
  • Sofia Bapna, Mary Benner and Liangfei Qiu (2019) Nurturing Online Communities: An Empirical Investigation. MIS Quarterly.
  • Bapna, Sofia, and Russell Funk (2021) Interventions for improving professional networking for women: Experimental evidence from the IT sector. MIS Quarterly.
  • Bapna, Sofia, and Martin Ganco (2021) Evaluating Gender Gaps in Equity Crowdfunding: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment. Management Science.
  • Bapna, Sofia, and Martin Ganco (2023) Equity Crowdfunding and Access to Capital for User Entrepreneurs: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment. MIS Quarterly.
  • Bapna, Sofia, and Gordon Burtch. An Experimental Evaluation of Gender Differences in Responses to Major-Donor Funding Schemes for Crowdfunded Social Ventures
  • Bapna, Sofia, Alan Benson, and Russell Funk. Rejection Communication and Women’s Job-Search Persistence
  • Bapna, Sofia, and Russell Funk. Does Employer-Paid, Job-Protected Maternity Leave Help or Hurt Female IT Workers? Evidence from Millions of Job Applications.

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