Attributes of Accurate Reviewers

Within our study time frame of 2008-2018, 500 individuals reviewed 5 or more plans during that period. Those individuals were tracked by a number of attributes, including:

  • Past participation in the MCN Program as entrepreneurs
  • Gender
  • Formal education — JD, PHD, MBA, Any Masters Degree
  • USA-based or not USA-based
  • CEO Experience
  • Professional Investment Experience

A number of additional categories are tracked (non-binary genders, architecture / urban planning backgrounds, medical degrees, etc.), but none of them had enough representation to be statistically significant.

We tracked the success of those companies, measuring success by a formula that took into account longevity, revenue, funds raised, and employees hired. We then identified the top 10% individuals in each category who were the best at spotting eventual wins and failures,, as well as the top 10% most accurate overall, and compared the representation of the above attributes in that set to the total set, and accounting for overall optimism and pessimism.

  • Individuals with CEO experience (56% of the whole set) were 25% under-represented in the most accurate set.
  • Individuals with professional investing experience (41% of the whole set) were roughly on par for the top performers at spotting fails and overall accuracy, but were under-represented in the group that was best at picking winners.
  • Past Participants in the MCN program (16% of the whole set) were slightly better at picking companies that would go on to do well, and slightly worse at picking companies that would go on to do poorly.
  • Women (42% of the whole set) out-performed men in every category, most significantly in their ability to spot companies that would go on to fail.
  • Individuals based in the USA (88% of the whole set) were outperformed by our international brethren in their ability to spot failures, but were on par for their ability to pick winners.
  • Individuals with a legal education (6% of the whole set) did well in all categories.
  • Individuals with MBA degrees (41% of the whole set) were on par for their ability to spot failures, but did poorly compared to others in their ability to spot companies that went on to do well.
  • Individuals with any Masters degree or above (80% of the whole set) were on par for their ability to spot winner and failures, but slightly under par in representation in the most accurate category.
  • Individuals with doctorates (11% of the whole set) outperformed in every category to a significant degree.

The percentages listed below are based on a set of 500 individuals who reviewed 4 or more companies for the MCN between 2008 and 2018. 100% means that the same percentage of individuals in that category were in the overall set and the listed top 10% set.

CategoryCEOInvestingPast ParticipantFemaleMaleUSALegalMBAPHDMasters & Up
Best at spotting failures82%98%90%133%76%89%125%102%130%101%
Best at spotting success89%68%115%100%100%102%125%68%148%93%
Best overall75%93%103%114%90%91%125%87%130%88%