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What You Are Is What You Like - Similarity Biases in Venture Capitalists' Evaluations of Start-up Teams

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Franke, N., Gruber, M., Harhoff, D., & Henkel, J. (2006). What You Are Is What You Like - Similarity Biases in Venture Capitalists' Evaluations of Start-up Teams. Journal of Business Venturing, 21(6), 802-826.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-923B-E
Abstract
This paper extends recent research studying biases in venture capitalist's decision making. We contribute to this literature by analyzing biases arising from similarities 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 assessment 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 in type of training and professional experience. Our results have important implications for academics and practitioners alike.