Do Subtle Similarities Signal Success? The Effect of Superficial Commonalities on Investors’ Predictions of Entrepreneurs’ Success
Thesis or dissertation
Date of this Version
When making investments, venture capitalists (VCs) emphasize their reliance on objective metrics in coming to funding decisions. However, recent research has found that these VCs underestimate their use of biases and subjective measures when analyzing entrepreneurs and their pitches. This study delved deeper into determining the extent of these biases by studying whether subtle demographic or behavioral similarities between investor and entrepreneur raise the investor’s prediction of success. In this study, home state and favorite hobby were used as the demographic and behavioral variables, respectively. This study analyzed survey data from 361 University of Pennsylvania students by comparing the mean prediction of success from subjects with a similarity to that from subjects without a similarity. There was no statistically significant difference in predictions of success in the presence of either type of similarity indicating that there may be no investment bias from superficial commonalities. In the future, it is necessary to test the same hypothesis using in-person pitches and venture capital professionals.
investors, venture capitalists, bias, entrepreneur
Iscowitz, R. (2016). "Do Subtle Similarities Signal Success? The Effect of Superficial Commonalities on Investors’ Predictions of Entrepreneurs’ Success," Joseph Wharton Scholars. Available at https://repository.upenn.edu/joseph_wharton_scholars/14
Date Posted: 10 August 2016