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An infographic created by GeekWire and Killer Infographics in 2012. Click on image for original story and full version.
An infographic created by GeekWire and Killer Infographics in 2012. Click on image for original story and full version.

Seattle-based entrepreneurs demonstrate more stable emotions and are better at coming to an agreement. Entrepreneurs in the Bay Area, however, are more conscientious, energetic, and social than their counterparts up north.

These are a few findings from more than six years of research conducted by The Founder Institute (FI), an early-stage startup accelerator that is unveiling some data related to personality traits of entrepreneurs up and down the West Coast.

Since its birth in 2009, FI has worked with social scientists to develop a “Predictive Admissions Test” that is given to applicants and helps predict success. FI began by administering a personality and aptitude test to its entrepreneurs and watching their progress over the next 18 months.

That initial performance data was used to calibrate the test, which has been updated multiple times in the past six years and is now the basis of FI’s admissions. More than 30,000 people have taken the test, and FI says it has an 85 percent accuracy rate in predicting entrepreneurial success.

Jonathan Greechan.

“Applicants don’t even need to submit a business idea to apply,” said Jonathan Greechan, a partner at FI.

Greechan, who is speaking tonight in Redmond about “Entrepreneur DNA,” shared some of FI’s data with GeekWire as it relates to how entrepreneurs in Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland act and think differently.

FI focuses on four main personality traits: emotional stability, conscientiousness, moderate agreeableness, and extroversion. The biggest difference between Seattle and San Francisco entrepreneurs was that those from the Bay Area are nearly 10 percent more social, energetic, and assertive.

Seattle entrepreneurs, meanwhile, were 7.7 percent more “moderately agreeable,” meaning that they are “more flexible and can balance cooperation with antagonism.” Here’s more from the findings (click to enlarge):


Greechan shared some more data on Seattle entrepreneurs based on average scores:

  • Seattle skyline and Rainier at sunset
    (Photo by Kevin Lisota)

    Seattle is ranked No. 1 in moderate agreeableness in North America, and No. 4 globally. “Our testing has found that “moderate agreeableness  — which measures someone’s kindness, generosity, and willingness to compromise — is optimal for entrepreneurs,” Greechan said.

  • Seattle is ranked No. 3 in emotional stability in North America, and No. 8 globally. “Our testing shows that people with high emotional stability — those that have high impulse control and can remain calm in stressful situations —are better equipped for entrepreneurship,” Greechan said.
  • Seattle is ranked No. 6 in openness in North America, and No. 10 globally. “Our testing shows that high openness — people that are intellectually curious, creative, risk-taking, and willing to try new things — correlates with entrepreneurial success,” Greechan said.

FI also has data on Seattle vs. Portland entrepreneurs. While those from Seattle are much more emotionally stable — 21 percent more, in fact — Portlanders are more social and open:


So, entrepreneurs and investors — any truth to this data? Have you noticed more extroverted startup folks in the Bay Area, or more agreeable founders in Seattle?
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