The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

March 6, 2013

Think you're too old to start a new business? Think again.

The Mark Zuckerbergs of the world or the Yale students who secured a $15 million investment to further their website RapGenius.com made a lot of people believe that most of today’s successful startups are created by tech-savvy students in their 20s. In actuality, most successful businesses are started by entrepreneurs between the ages of 30 to 49, according to new research.

More mundane

Some might say these resarch findings will cause some who believe they're too old to start a business to put their fears away and actually start one.

According to the Kauffman Foundation and the Internet document company Legal Zoom, most of the startups in the United States that become successful aren’t those tech-based companies that have young and hip college students at the helm.

“Most of the successful startups are not the kind spawned in Silicon Valley," said the Director of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation, Dane Stangler. “I don’t want to use the word mundane, but they’re run of the mill.”

Kauffman and Legal Zoom interviewed a total of 1,431 business owners and found that 57 percent of them started their businesses after their 20s and spent at least six years working in that industry before creating a startup.  

Additionally, 44 percent of the business owners started one company prior to the successful startup, and 52 percent created more than one business, researchers said.

Arguably the biggest reason why most successful startups are created by older people and not tech-savvy 20-somethings is because older entrepreneurs typically don’t have the same financial barriers that younger people do.

Seed money

Since older business owners tend to work in their industry for years and can save money, many of them don’t have to search for finances or ask their family members for seed money. The study showed only 20 percent  of business owners between the ages of 30 and 49 had to ask their families for money or had to get finances from a bank or home equity loan.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014