Better with Age: Chicago’s Top Ten Startup Founders over 40

August 8, 2016

3:00 pm

The startup world is filled with stereotypes. Whether it’s the casual dress or the unique office perks, every founder knows that people expect them to run their company in a particular way. But what if the stereotype pertains to founders themselves? It’s no secret that when people picture a startup founder, hoodies and flip-flops undoubtedly come to mind. However, the startup landscape is far from littered with twenty-somethings. In fact, some of the most successful founders are middle aged. And whether it’s because of wisdom or experience, we like it that way.

Plus, the data backs us up. The average age of the successful startup founder is around 40 years old, according to the Kauffman Foundation, and the only age group with an increase in entrepreneurial activity over the last twenty years are those between 55 and 65.

Chicago is home to a huge number of these successful founders over 40. From health care gurus to pet industry dynamos, this city has no shortage of talent when it comes to the later years of entrepreneurship. And with a rich history of successful startups, from GrubHub to Groupon, there’s no telling how high these startup founders over 40 will be able to fly in the Windy City.

Photo: Flickr / Roman Boed

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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