Tech Entrepreneurs More Likely to be Older, Finds Survey

Mention the phrase “tech entrepreneur” and most people think of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and/or Mark Zuckerberg.  Yet the notion that America’s typical tech entrepreneurs are in their 20s is a myth, according to a 2009 survey of 549 company founders by Duke University.  The survey found that the average and median ages of these founders was 40.  Twice as many were older than 50 as were younger than 25, and 43.5 percent had two or more children.

Vivek Wadhwa, who’s the research director at Duke’s Center for Entrepreneurship as well as a Washington Post columnist, wrote about the survey findings in a recent article.   In addition to the age myth, the research addressed a few others, such as:  entrepreneurs are born, not made; college dropouts make better entrepreneurs; women can’t cut it in the tech world; and venture capital is a prerequisite for innovation.  Here’s Wadhwa’s full article.

About Lynne Strang

I'm a freelance writer who helps organizations and individuals meet their marketing and communications goals. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." To learn more, please visit my website:
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5 Responses to Tech Entrepreneurs More Likely to be Older, Finds Survey

  1. Mike Wilson says:

    Always interesting to have preconceptions addressed–even for those of us not in the tech industry.

  2. “College dropouts make better entrepreneurs.” I do like to read about dispelling the myth of having to go to college. Our three nephews dropped out not wanting to be held back…all three are highly successful, making more income than their parents, creating custom programs, networking computers and troubleshooting. We are very proud of them. Their grandmother, my mother still wants to see that elusive “sheepskin”. Our daughter entered education, taught computers to elementary students for a year and now creates schedules and tracks attendance with her computer savy yielding her twice her teaching salary. I love your posts because they reveal the actual trends and/or uncover thinking out of the box.

  3. lbstrang says:

    Sounds like your nephews and daughter have wonderful careers. Where I live (in the Washington, DC suburbs), high school students are under tremendous pressure to do well academically to ensure they get in to college. It isn’t the right road for everyone, nor is it a prerequisite for success.

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