W. Gornall

"We study gender and race in high-impact entrepreneurship using a tightly controlled randomized field experiment. We sent out 80,000 pitch emails introducing promising but fictitious start-ups to 28,000 venture capitalists and angels. Each email was sent by a fictitious entrepreneur with randomly assigned gender and race. Female entrepreneurs received 9% more interested replies than males pitching identical projects and Asians received 6% more than Whites. Our results suggest that investors do not discriminate against female or Asian entrepreneurs when evaluating unsolicited pitch emails and that future research on investor biases should focus on networks and in-person interactions."