Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Jeff Lewis

Rights Information

© 2015 Milly Fotso


The goal of this paper is to outline patterns in biographical background of founders of successful startup ventures, more particularly in the technology sector, that contributed to their success. Additionally, this article aims to disprove the assumption that entrepreneurs have a special tolerance for risk, and rather explores the idea that entrepreneurs have access to resources--financial, social, and intellectual--that come from their family and friends that then give them an edge and a safety net that de-mystifies them from the risk of starting a business. Once we realize that because the majority of the entrepreneurs studied in this thesis had unusually privileged backgrounds, we may then end with a suggestion as to how to level the playing field for those who may not have the same.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.