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Investors more open to business pitches from handsome guys, study says

Investors more open to business pitches from handsome guys, study says
Handsome adman Don Draper (Jon Hamm) has a way with business pitches in the hit television show "Mad Men." A new study says investors respond better to pitches from good-looking guys like him. (Michael Yarish/AMC)

The George Clooneys and Jon Hamms of the world have an easier time getting a table at a crowded restaurant or arguing for a promotion. Turns out, a pretty face also helps when pitching investors on business ideas.

Handsome guys are much more likely to convince investors to back their business proposals, according to a new study. And men in general tend to do better than women at getting financing for their ideas.

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Researchers from the business schools at MIT, Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania took a look at business pitches in real life at "entrepreneurial pitch competitions" and also in controlled experiments where men and women presented the same content.

"Attractive males are particularly persuasive," the study concluded.

The study, published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also found that the attractiveness quotient does not hold for female entrepreneurs. Women – no matter what they looked like -- have a tougher time getting investor support.

"Investors prefer pitches presented by male entrepreneurs compared with pitches by female entrepreneurs," the study said. "Physical attractiveness did not matter among female entrepreneurs."

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