Do You Have Entrepreneur DNA?

The Founder Institute has a mission to "Globalize Silicon Valley" and launch impactful and enduring technology companies that create over one million startup jobs worldwide.

In order to reach this scale, for the last 12 years we have worked with leading social scientists to develop an objective "Entrepreneur DNA Assessment" that predicts the likelihood that someone can become a successful tech entrepreneur - regardless of their idea, locale or demographic.

Our research, which has been featured in The New York Times, CNN and Forbes, is described below.

Apply to Take the Assessment

Decoding the DNA

Talented people and execution are the ingredients behind successful technology companies, so to apply to the Founder Institute, you don't need to submit an idea. Rather, applicants take a 30 minute online assessment containing a battery of personality and aptitude evaluations.

To date, over 60,000 people have applied, and the Founder Institute pre-seed accelerator has helped launch 5,000 technology companies across 6 continents. Through evaluation of performance both in the accelerator and in the real world, along with frequent calibration, the assessment has proven to be over 85% accurate in predicting entrepreneurial success.

What Makes a Good Entrepreneur?

We have found many traits that correlate positively with entrepreneurship. Here is a sampling of the major traits:

Bad Founder DNA

Some traits can limit you as an entrepreneur. For example:

Irrelevant DNA

Some major traits have no correlation with entrepreneurship, such as:


As surprising as it may sound, we have seen no correlation between I.Q. and founder success. So much so, we recently removed I.Q. from our assessment.


Conscientiousness measures the responsibility and industriousness of a candidate, but we have not seen a strong correlation with success.

See the full infographic here: English, Spanish and Russian

Want to see sample questions?

Learn more about our admissions process and see sample questions from the assessment at