The Relationship of CEO Gender and Age to Performance of Venture-Backed Startups

Research analysis published by the Office of Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances, January 2021

The Relationship of CEO Gender and Age to Performance of Venture-Backed Startups

Eric Ball, Ph.D., Stephen Rice, M.A. , Debra Summers, M.A.§, Prosper U. Amie, B.A.||, Aislin Q. Liu#, Cjache (Jake) Kang#, Carol Mimura, Ph.D.††                   

 

Co-Founder and General Partner, Impact Venture Capital. Menlo Park, CA, IT Systems Lead, Office of IP & Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA), University of California, Berkeley. §Director of Marketing and Communications, IPIRA at the University of California, Berkeley. ||Undergraduate Student Researcher Dept. of Data Sciences, University of California, Berkeley. #Undergraduate Student Researcher Dept. of Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley. ††Asst. Vice Chancellor, IPIRA at the University of California, Berkeley.

Executive Summary

Data-based analyses on the effect of gender, age, and race on venture capital investment returns are needed to understand if biases in the investment community are supported by data. The investment decision process has resulted in funding entrepreneurs who are not representative of the overall demographic of startup company founders. In this report, the first of a multi-part study, we analyzed the effect of gender and age on the performance of startup companies. 

We found that measures of value added by CEOs of VC-funded startups in the U.S. that exited over the last 20 years refute the notion that males or younger entrepreneurs perform better than females or older entrepreneurs. We also conclude that the presence of at least one female founder shortened the number of years required for startups to exit and that age has a positive impacton the value-added ratio of female biotech CEOs.

 

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Media Coverage

Venture Capital Journal, January/February 2021 (print edition, pdf, see page 2), or create a free account for online access to the articles:

 

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