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Why Do Angel Investors Make the Decision to Continue Screening: The Role of Affective Experiences and First Impressions

aLUT University, Finland; University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Finland
bLUT University, Finland
cUniversity of Helsinki, Finland

Emotion in Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-83797-251-7, eISBN: 978-1-83797-250-0

Publication date: 29 January 2024



We theorize the critical role of angel investors' affective experiences and first impressions in the context of entrepreneurial finance. We develop a model and propositions to illustrate why angel investors make the decision to continue screening, thus explaining why certain investment proposals make it, while others do not.


Drawing on affective events theory and the literature on affective experiences, we theorize how the perceptions of pitches that trigger positive or/and negative physiological arousal, short-lived emotions, and associated thoughts are different, thus allowing us to build new theory of how these different experiences can influence the outcome of the evaluation process in the initial screening stage.


Our model suggests that the initial evaluation unfolds in five stages: perception of an entrepreneurial pitch, physiological arousal, emotions, first impression, and a decision to continue screening. When different manifestations of physiological arousal and subsequent emotions set the tone of first impressions, they can be either a positive, negative, or mixed experience. While positive and mixed first impression can lead to selection, negative first impression can lead to rejection.


We illustrate what is of value for angel investors when they look for new investments, and why certain entrepreneurial pitches lead to the decision to continue screening, while others do not. We propose that what angel investors feel is particularly important in situations where they are not yet making the ultimate decision to invest money but are involved in decisions about whether to continue to spend time to investigate the investment proposal.




Financial support of The Foundation for Economic Education (Grant no 12-6783) for the project “Emotion as ethical compass in new venture creation” is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also want to express heartfelt thanks to the EMONET community and reviewers for helpful feedback and guidance.


Snellman, K., Hakala, H. and Upadyaya, K. (2024), "Why Do Angel Investors Make the Decision to Continue Screening: The Role of Affective Experiences and First Impressions", Ashkanasy, N.M., Troth, A.C. and Humphrey, R.H. (Ed.) Emotion in Organizations (Research on Emotion in Organizations, Vol. 19), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 37-56.



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