Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Janet K. Smith

Rights Information

© 2015 Emily R Gran


In this paper, I examine the role of VC reputation and participation in an Accelerator program in predicting the success of startup firms, as measured by social media exposure. I use a novel measure of early-stage growth defined by increased levels of social media and online traction. I hypothesize that investment from top tier VC firms will have a positive impact on a venture’s social media presence and online traction, as will the involvement in an Accelerator program. My data consists of 1,055 United States-based startup companies that have received between $4 million and $20 million of Series A funding over the years of 2009-2015. I found that both VC firm reputation and participation in an Accelerator program have a positive impact on overall social media and online traction for startups.

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