Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis


Best Senior Thesis in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Serkan Ozbeklik


Throughout the last two decades, entrepreneurship and startup companies have skyrocketed. Adding significant value to the economy, entrepreneurialism has immense power to spark technological and social change in the world. Given the importance of entrepreneurialism, this paper will use a data-driven approach to discover significant factors that influence founder and startup company success. Founding startups is growing easier and becoming more prominent, yet the failure rates of these companies continue to settle around 90%, leaving many companies without the chance to reach their potential and have their full impact. Using a new dataset I have collected, I analyze company and founder data from startup companies that have been founded by Claremont College’s alumni. I tracked all the venture-backable startup companies that have been founded by that Claremont Consortium alumni since 1970. Through this dataset, benchmarking visuals, and regression analysis, I searched for potential influential factors and patterns in this new dataset. A company’s revenue, employee count, and founder and employee educational background and occupational experience, all have significant correlations with a startup company’s overall success. The paper will demonstrate how in the startup world, bigger is not always better and how quality matters more than quantity. In order to have a successful startup company, founder experience in previous startup companies is vital. Additionally, the paper shows that startup companies should originally focus on revenue in their early stage and then shift their focus to keeping a lean team full of high-quality talent if they want to be successful long-term.