Interviewing angel investors - what might turn a "no" into a "yes"?

Key Info

Basic Information

Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftswissenschaften für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler


Angel investors are the most important and most attractive resource of funding for early-stage startups (van Osnabrugge, 2000). Due to the mass of startups which approach angels, most investors leverage simplifying heuristics to screen startups and only analyze few startups in detail in the “due diligence”. Maxwell (2011) showed that angels focus on eight criteria when screening startups. If a startup shows a „fatal flaw“ in one of the eight criteria, it gets screened out and does not receive any funding. Unfortunately, most startups, in Germany 92% (Brettel, 2002), fail to attract an angel investor. The aim of this master thesis shall be to better understand business angels’ decision-making processes, especially, how they can persuaded to fund a startup after a initial rejection. The specific question of the master thesis can be worked out together.

An excerpt of your most important tasks during the master thesis:
- Definition of the research question
- Independent literature research
- Data collection by interviewing angel investors
- Analysis and discussion of interview results

What's in it for you?
- Exciting topic in the field of psychology and management
- Close supervision and individual coaching with a psychologist
- Insights into in-depth research on the topic and contacts in the startup scene

For initial reading, please check:

Brettel, M. (2002). German Business Angels in International Comparison. The Journal of Private Equity, 5(2), 53–67.
Maxwell, A. L., Jeffrey, S. A., & Lévesque, M. (2011). Business angel early stage decision making. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(2), 212–225.
van Osnabrugge, M. (2000). A comparison of business angel and venture capitalist investment procedures: An agency theory-based analysis. Venture Capital, 2(2), 91–109.

Keywords: Angel investors, startups, decision making, business angels