Table 1

Experiment Treatment Variables

Base Cognitive Cues
(Treatment 1)


1. market familiarity - average number of years of experience in market/industry for team

2. leadership ability - average number of years of management experience for team

3. proprietary protection - level of protection provided because product/service or process to deliver product/service is unique and difficult to imitate

4. market size - market revenues for most current year

5. market growth - % over last several years
Additional Cognitive Cues
(Treatment 2)


Same five cues as base cognitive cues treatment plus:

6. relevant track record - number of past start-up experiences for team

7. competitors - number of direct competitors

8. competitor strength - five point scale form high strength (large relative market share) to low (numerous small market share competitors)
Task Cues
(Treatment 3)


1. completeness of team - percentage of key positions which were filled at the time of the first major (over $300,000) outside funding.

2. product superiority - how product compares to existing products

3. time to development - number of months from initiation of development to the initial sale as forecast in business plan

4. buyers concentration - measures the number of potential customers in the target market during the first two years of sales

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