Personality predicts startup success

According to a study published in May 2023, Brandon Freiberg and Sandra C. Matz of Columbia University found that personality traits affected all four (4) outcomes they studied. 

Chance of getting funded
Being more intellectually open: +5% 
Being more agreeable: +5% 
Funds raised
Being more conscientious:  + $170,000
Being less emotionally stable: -$90,000
Getting more investors on board
Being less conscientious: +0.2 investors 
Being more emotionally stable: +0.2 investors 
Chance of exit in 8-12y
Being less conscientious: +15%
Being more emotionally stable: +16%
Significant effects on startup success metrics
In this table, the words “more” and “less” refer to scores that are 1 Standard Deviation above or below the average respectively.

We have reasons to expect that TraitFounder will produce even better results: 

  • While the researchers relied on social media posts as a proxy for self-report questionnaires, we directly employ self-report questionnaires, eliminating the need for a proxy.
  • Moreover, the extraction of only the Big 5 factors from social media posts is limited, whereas our approach utilizes a significantly more comprehensive model, encompassing a broader range of detailed factors beyond just the standard 5 factors. The researchers also suggest that a more granular approach would probably better predict outcomes.

The science behind our approach

TraitFounder is not a generic personality questionnaire. It is built from the bottom up, with every question and every trait selected as close as possible to the intended occupational behaviors, including factor and item analyses, as well as correlations with other personality measures. To access this detailed information, please feel free to reach out to us, and we will gladly provide you with the full documentation.