What you are is what you like-similarity biases in venture capitalists' evaluations of start-up teams

Nikolaus Franke, Marc Gruber, Dietmar Harhoff, Joachim Henkel

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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This paper extends recent research studying biases in venture capitalist's decision-making. We contribute to this literature by analyzing biases arising due to similarity between a venture capitalist and members of a venture team. We summarize the psychological foundations of such similarity effects and derive a set of hypotheses regarding the impact of similarity on the assessement of team quality. Using data from a conjoint experiment with 51 respondents, we find that venture capitalists tend to favor teams that are similar to themselves w.r.t. the type of training and professional experience. Our results have important implications for academics and practitioners alike.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802 - 826
JournalJournal of Business Venturing (JBV)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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