Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Janet K. Smith

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© 2017 Dylan J Saffer


In this paper, I examine the role of CEO age 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 the age of the company’s CEO will be negatively correlated with their social media scores while controlling for the company’s total funding amounts and employee counts. My data consists of 250 United States-based startup companies that were founded between 2011 and 2015. Furthermore, they are all relatively successful in that they are still operating and have received between $100 thousand and $10 million of funding. I find that the social media score of a company is negatively impacted by the age of their CEO.

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