July 20, 2016
When you think of startup founders, a certain image comes to mind: a 20-something year old creative type in a hoodie and flip flops. The young gun image of these leaders of business has been prevalent in recent years because of a few outliers that have risen to the top of the market. And while Mark Zuckerberg has done a lot to cultivate the “young founder” image, the real founders of the world are a lot older than you might think.
According to research out of the Kauffman Foundation, founders are typically 40-years-old or older when they launch their first startup. Furthermore, 70 percent of founders are found to have been married and 60 percent had children. If that doesn’t debunk the young founder myth, nothing will. Particularly when the flashy companies of the world are boasting their youth like it’s going out of style.
Not only are older leaders more prevalent, but they are typically more successful as well. According to data from the Harvard Business Review, less than 50 percent of founders of $1 billion VC-backed companies are under the age of 30. While business leaders over the age of 40 account for a little bit less than that, including those over the age of 30 makes it difficult to argue that 20-somethings have the edge over everyone else.
If you are interested in nominating your boss or someone you know for Tech.Co’s Founders Over 40 series in the city of Chicago, feel free to fill out the form attached below. You’ll be able to get your boss the recognition they deserve as a founder over 40.
Photo: Flickr / Mariano Mantel
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