Numerous researchers have tackled the question of whether private equity investors, such as angel investors and venture capitalists, place more weight on investment criteria relating to the entrepreneur or the opportunity when evaluating the funding potential of new ventures (e.g., Fiet, 1995; Hall & Hofer, 1993; Kaplan, et al., 2007; MacMillan et al., 1985; MacMillan et al., 1987; Muzyka, et al., 1996; VanOsnabrugge, 1998; Zacharakis & Meyer, 1995). Conflicting results require further exploration into the factors underlying contingencies in the funding decision process. Conflicting results may be a function of the stage of the funding decision process and characteristics of the individuals making the evaluation, aspects that have not been fully considered in prior research. We develop a theoretical framework to explain why investors place weight on certain investment criteria at different stages.