Abstract

Research is emerging that looks at both the construction of entrepreneurial passion (Cardon et al., 2009) as well as its influence in the entrepreneurial process (Chen et al., 2009, Breugst et al., 2012, Ho & Pollack, 2014). We argue it is time to extend this work into the new venture investing context to examine the assumption that investors search for passionate entrepreneurs. More specifically, we seek to investigate three primary research questions herein: 1) why is an entrepreneur’s passion important to angel investors, 2) how do angel investors value tenacity versus passion among entrepreneurs, and 3) how do angel investors value obsessive versus harmonious passion? To do so, we have developed a qualitative study that examines question one above, and two conjoint studies that examine questions two and three. We focus on angel investors (wealthy individuals who invest their own personal funds into new ventures) because previous research shows that passion generally matters more to these investors than to venture capitalists (Hsu et al., 2014).

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