Over the years, a substantial body of literature has developed regarding angels’ investment decision-making criteria (e.g., Mason & Harrison, 1996; Mason & Stark, 2004; Mitteness et al., 2012). Many of the claims entrepreneurs make during their pitch are not objectively verifiable. This makes investors having to trust their own “gut feeling” which reflects their unconscious, subjective evaluation of the entrepreneur -based on their short interaction during the pitch.

Using implicit personality theory, we provide a more comprehensive framework regarding angel investment decision making by examining the impact of the entrepreneur’s verbal and nonverbal behaviors, as well as the entrepreneur’s cognitive abilities and emotional intelligence on the angels’ first impression of entrepreneurs’ competence and warmth, and ultimately on their evaluations of funding potential.