Founder passion, neural engagement and informal investor interest in startup pitches: An fMRI study

Scott Shane*, Will Drover, David Clingingsmith, Moran Cerf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We explore how variation in entrepreneurs' displayed passion affects informal investor interest in start-up ventures by examining neural responses to entrepreneurs' pitches using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). We find that founders displaying high passion increase investor neural engagement by 39% and investor interest in the venture by 26% over those displaying low passion. A one standard deviation increase in neural engagement is associated with an 8% percent increase in investors' interest in investing in a start-up company relative to the mean. Moreover, our findings indicate that neural engagement may account for some of the effect of founder passion on investor interest. Our study has implications for both research on, and the practice of, entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105949
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Cross-Brain Correlation (CBC)
  • Engagement
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Investor decision making
  • Neuroscience
  • Venture finance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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