Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

A Big Sample Allows Big Insights

In my first few weeks as an intern for a startup accelerator, my first big project was to analyze data provided by the 128 startups that will participate in our program this summer, and draw as many insights as possible from it. As it is known in statistics, the bigger and the more randomized the sample is, the more accurate the insights drawn from it are; so being responsible of studying this data really helped me learn a lot about what makes startups successful.

Some of the cool insights that came from this data analysis were:

-40% of our startups’ founders were immigrants. This helped me learn about the value of having diversity in teams

-50% of our startups’ founders have founded other companies in the past. This showed me how being an entrepreneur requires a level of motivation and response to failure

-70% of our startups’ founders are between 25 and 44 years old. This showed me how a lot of people start companies when they are young but also have a certain degree of experience

-50% of our startups are in Healthcare or High tech. This helped me understand the trending industries in Boston.

-50% of our startups have been in an accelerator or university program. This showed me how outside resources can be very helpful for entrepreneurs.

-80% of our startups have more than one founder. This represents the value of working in teams instead of alone.

-Most funding for our startups came from government grants, friends/family, and angel investors. This shows what are the fundraising sources that are more accessible for early-stage startups in Boston.

-40% of ours startups hold patents, which highlights the importance of protecting intellectual property.

-Older founders were more effective at fundraising money from angels and VCs than younger ones.

-The startups that had higher revenue were not necessarily the ones with a higher valuation, showing how unscientific the valuation process can be.

-Most of the startups have fundraising as their main goal, highlighting the importance of having an initial source of cash.

These insights show an image of some of the aspects that successful entrepreneurs and startups have, which I hope to incorporate later in my career.