Document Type


First Faculty Advisor

Dr. R. Isil Yavuz


founder background; business; technical or both


This paper explores which founder backgrounds – business, technology, or both – are the most significant when achieving funding for a Financial Technology (Fintech) start-up. The research examines a sample of 289 Fintech start-ups from the cities of Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, and Boston. The primary source of information was from a data set on the platform GrowthEnabler (GE). Our measure of success was the amount of external equity funding the companies received. The controlled variables for the founders were gender, immigrant status, education level, and prior start-up experience. The firm controls were business type and firm age. The independent variable was founder background, classified by either business, technical, or both. This study makes a few different contributions, one of the most prevalent is that if you want to start-up a Fintech company, having a technical background is both positive and significant for receiving external funding in institutionally strong countries. Another key finding was that in institutionally weak countries, having both business and technical background is both positive and significant to receiving external funding. Finally, this study contributes to the profiling of fintech start-ups and their founders.