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Dispel the Hype: There is no Peak Age for Entrepreneurship

Posted by Adeo Ressi on 2011-05-28

A number of articles and programs have come out proclaiming a peak age for entrepreneurship and romanticizing the young entrepreneurs: here, here and here, among others. See our full analysis on TechCrunch.

It does not take but one minute to look around the world and prove any thesis of a peak tech founder age incorrect. There are countless entrepreneurs over the age of 30, including Reid Hoffman (age 35 in 2002), Evan Williams of Twitter (age 35 in 2007), Mark Pincus of Zynga (age 41 in 2007), Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post (age 54 in 2005), among many others.

In order to identify the traits of successful entrepreneurs, the Founder Institute has conducted a battery of proprietary personality and aptitude tests on over 3,000 applicants worldwide, and then carefully tracked the progress of our nearly 1,000 enrolled founders and 350 graduates. Research scientists employed by the Institute have examined the results of the successful founders and the less successful cases.

The research shows that an older age is actually a better predictor of entrepreneurial success, and that three other traits also correlate strongly to success: strong fluid intelligence, high openness and moderate agreeableness. Anybody at any age can break any molds put forward by “experts." We have romanticized the idea of a young founder because, well, it’s a great story, but these stories are not the norm. In the end, classic biases of gender, race, and age need to be discarded for a real science of success.

See our full analsyis at TechCrunch.

Charts of Founder Institute Age Analysis
Age of All Founder Institute Applicants
Accuracy of Founder Institute Predictive Testing
Success of Founder Institute Grads
Age of Founder Institute Grads

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