Skip to main content

Please enter a keyword and click the arrow to search the site

Here comes the sun: the impact of incidental contextual factors on entrepreneurial resource acquisition


Academy of Management Journal


Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Authors / Editors

Dushnitsky G;Sarkar S


Publication Year



This paper focuses on investment decisions in nascent, seed-stage startups, where information is scarce and uncertainty is intense. The entrepreneurship literature shows investment is a function of the investor-startup pair; some studies investigate startup characteristics, while others focus on investor traits. We complement extant work by studying factors beyond the investor-startup pair; namely, incidental contextual factors such as changes in the physical environment. Drawing on affect-as-information theory, we conjecture that, in the face of intense uncertainty, sunnier days may affect investors’ mood and result in a greater likelihood of investment. Archival and experimental analyses inform our predictions. The former utilizes proprietary data on 1,335 startups graduating from European accelerators. Every accelerator holds a Demo Day, where startups pitch to investors. We find that graduating on a ‘sunnier’ day increases the likelihood of investment. The ‘sunnier’ effect is stronger under intense uncertainty, where startups (a) are nascent, or (b) the founders have limited human-capital. An experimental study where prospective investors evaluate a Demo Day pitch yields further insights. Not only do we find a positive sunshine-investment association, but also document the association is mediated by investors’ mood. Our findings complement extant work and contribute to the understanding of seed-stage investment decisions.


Entrepreneurship; Financing of new ventures; Entrepreneurship; Research Methods; Research Design

Available on ECCH


Select up to 4 programmes to compare

Select one more to compare
subscribe_image_desktop 5949B9BFE33243D782D1C7A17E3345D0

Sign up to receive our latest news and business thinking direct to your inbox


Sign up to receive our latest course information and business thinking

Leave your details above if you would like to receive emails containing the latest thought leadership, invitations to events and news about courses that could enhance your career. If you would prefer not to receive our emails, you can still access the case study by clicking the button below. You can opt-out of receiving our emails at any time by visiting: or by unsubscribing through the link provided in our emails. View our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.