The effect of founder characteristics in attracting external investment and enhancing survival of new high-technology ventures is explored using human capital theory and signalling theory. We test the effect of founder characteristics on external investment in and survival of new high-technology ventures by tracking a random sample of 193 high-technology start-ups, all participants in the Israeli Technology Incubator Program. Founder's business management expertise and academic status attracted external investment, but founder's general technological expertise did not. Founder's business management expertise and general technological expertise positively affected venture survival, but founder's academic status did not. Possible implications for entrepreneurs, investors, policy and further research are discussed.