Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

First Advisor

Dr. Lucy Ackert

Second Advisor

Dr. Rongbing Huang

Third Advisor

Dr. Xiao Huang

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Torsten M. Pieper


Angel investors are individual investors who invest in high-risk projects without the assistance of professional portfolio advisors and are an important source of early-stage entrepreneurial financing. When providing financing, an angel must decide how much time to spend on due diligence, the amount of wealth invested, and the degree of post-investment interaction with entrepreneurs. As they are individual investors, angels may be particularly influenced by behavioral factors. In order to provide insight into the investment decisions of angel investors this dissertation examines angel investor and deal characteristics including demographics, experience, perception of the management team, the source that led the entrepreneur to the angel investor, and syndication status. The dissertation finds that angels’ decisions are influenced by rational and behavioral factors, such as cognitive biases and social influences. While there is strong evidence that experienced angel investors spend more time on due diligence, older investors spend less time on due diligence after controlling for investor experience. These results suggest that experienced angels invest in due diligence because they understand its importance. Gender, risk perception, venture stage, and source of deal identification also influence due diligence. In addition, older angels are found to invest a smaller percentage of their wealth in a deal, perhaps because they seek to diversify holdings. More experienced angels, however, are found to invest a larger percentage of their wealth perhaps because experienced angels are more susceptible to cognitive biases such as overconfidence, or because they are able to identify ventures that will do well and choose to invest more in such ventures. Deal syndication also influences the percent of wealth invested in a deal. Other results suggest that after making an investment, angels continue to interact with the companies they invest in. There is strong evidence that more experienced angels are associated with greater post-investment interaction. Gender and risk perception also influence the degree of post-investment interaction.