A few weeks ago, a Twitter connection of mine posted that she’d been at a Venture Capital event and one of the VC’s on a panel discussion openly stated that he didn’t invest in founders over the age of 40 because they “don’t have the stamina.” As you can imagine, that set the “twittersphere” on fire.
No stamina? In addition to running a full time consulting practice, I just spent every night and weekend for months studying for my investment banking licensing exams (I passed!). My friend Cindy Gallop, who just turned 59, is literally running around the globe shaking up the business world while promoting her sextech start-up “Make Love Not Porn.” The research world alone is riddled with successful firms launched by founders over 40 (Critical Mix [recently acquired by Dynata], Measure Protocol and InnovateMR are just a few examples).
Not convinced? Since I’m a researcher by trade, let’s look at the stats.
A study published last year out of Northwestern University found the average founder of the
fastest growing tech startups was about 45-years-old, and 50-year-old entrepreneurs were
about twice as likely to have a runaway business success as a founder in their 30’s.
As you can imagine, these findings have implications for both older and younger entrepreneurs, who may gauge future success on industry biases, as well as for VC’s, whose propensity to invest in younger founders may result in adverse effects on their returns.
In this short article published on CNBC, you can take a deeper dive into this research and learn why the most successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged.
Consider the myth of the younger, more successful entrepreneur, officially… busted!