The first chapter is the most important chapter of a manuscript.
Editors will reject most books after reading just two pages. You’ve got to make the first few pages count and hook your reader.
Some ways you can dazzle you editor/reader is to have:
A dramatic opening scene.
A powerful setting that draws your reader in.
An chapter that is well written and shows off your talent.
A story that moves along at a decent pace.
Incorporates universal themes such weak vs. strong, good vs. evil, finding hope, survival, finding love, acceptance, etc.