Demonstrating coachability

What does the research tell us?

Coachability is defined by Ciuchta et al. (2018) as “the degree to which an
entrepreneur seeks, carefully considers, and integrates feedback to improve his or her venture’s performance.” They found that coachability serves as a signal in a pitch setting and can influence a potential investor’s willingness to invest, depending on the investor’s prior coaching experience i.e. potential investors with a higher level of prior coaching experience are more likely to notice and value the coachable entrepreneur. Not only can coachable entrepreneurs be perceived to offer higher potential financial rewards, but higher potential non-financial resources such as energy, time and emotion (Ciuchta et al., 2018).

What are the recommendations for practice?

This study suggests that entrepreneurship educators should teach students the importance of being coachable through higher education or accelerator programmes. Student entrepreneurs can also be asked to demonstrate or explain why they are coachable e.g. including a slide on ‘coachability’ when pitching to potential coaches and/or investors.

Read the full paper:


Cite the paper:

Ciuchta, M. P., Letwin, C., Huvaj, M. N., Stevenson, R., & McMahon, S. (2018). Betting on the Coachable Entrepreneur: Signaling and Social Exchange in Entrepreneurial Pitches. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 42(6), 860-885.

DOI: doi/10.1177/1042258717725520