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The Tech Founder Fountain of Youth

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It has been debated numerous times, do young, tech entrepreneurs have a better chance of being successful?  Are the companies they start or the technologies they develop only successful with a young founder?  Walter Frick of the Harvard Business Review compiled some interesting data from various sources.  He concluded that 20-something founders are quite common among those who have built billion-dollar businesses, but also found that CEOs and Presidents are 42 years old on average, with a median of 42.

As we’ve written about before here and here, the skill sets for a founder and a CEO / President are very different AND recognizing the need for a founder to step aside is even more challenging.

In the HBR article, Frick also mentions the fact that venture capitalist who invest in tech startups are very tolerant of younger founders — in fact may be more likely to fund a younger founder.  One thing remains, no matter how young or old a founder, as an investor who’s examined hundreds of companies from a financial perspective, the founder is only a small piece of the “success puzzle”.  If the market opportunity and the ability to scale the business are not there, the chances for billion-dollar success are limited.