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New research finds successful entrepreneurs are older than stereotypes suggest

April 12, 2018

Age is a predictor of entrepreneurial success – and not in the ways that many might expect – according to a new National Bureau of Economic Research article. While the venture capital community and the media sensationalize young entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, the authors of Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship – Pierre Azoulay, J. Daniel Kim, Benjamin Jones, and Javier Miranda – find that older entrepreneurs have more success.

In their analysis of multiple administrative datasets, the authors discover that the average founder age of a technology startup with more than one employee is nearly 42 years old, the average founder age of the highest growth technology startups is 45 years old, and the average founder age of technology startups with successful exits is nearly 47 years old. With similar findings across a variety of industries, geographies, and other subcategories, the authors suggest that the coverage of the millennial tech-entrepreneur has been overblown. Moving forward, these conclusions may prompt changes in how the economic development community designs and implements programs supporting entrepreneurship.

 

entrepreneurship