Research Outline

Venture Capital Investor-Founder Relationship


To provide data to support the client's project by researching how the length of the relationship between a venture capital investor and a founder impacts the success of a startup. An ideal response will answer with supporting data, whether the length of the relationship between a venture capital investor and a founder correlates with the success of a business.

Early Findings

Useful Findings

  • In an analysis involving 212 American startups founded between the late 1990s and the early 2000s, it was found that:
    • By the time the startups were 3 years old, 50% of the founders were no longer the CEOs of their startups.
    • Less than 25% of the founders led their startup's initial public offering.
  • In the startup space, between 20% and 40% of founders do not remain in their original role.
  • Michael Ewens, associate professor of finance and entrepreneurship at the California Institute of Technology, and Matt Marx, an associate professor Boston University's Questrom School of Business conducted a study on startups founded between 1995 and 2008.
    • Through the study, it was found that one-fifth of founders (20%) in venture-backed companies are replaced.
    • Also, founders' replacement was correlated with an 'attractive exit' or IPO, where attractive exit is defined as one where the startup is sold for over 150% of capital seed. It was found that while founder replacement typically occurs among struggling startups, a 14% increase in the probability of replacing a founder predicted a 25% increase in probability of having a successful exit.


    • Initial research suggests that there is very little or no publicly available information or data from which the correlation between the relationship between VC investors and founders, and the success of a startup can be deduced or inferred. This is largely due to the niche nature of the founder-VC investor space and as a result, little or no publicly available research has been done to provide sufficient information or data on the subject under consideration.
    • To move forward and continue to provide more value to aid the goals of this research, please select the most appropriate research paths below as suggested by the research team.