Age and the Entrepreneur

A while back Fred Wilson started a firestorm with a series of three posts (1, 2 and 3) about age and the entrepreneur. The gist: He was seeing more and more young tech entrepreneurs, most of them under 30, and some even in their teens, and he wondered aloud at what that meant for the future of tech entrepreneurs.

Lots of people took noisy issue with Fred, while some agreed. The fundamental problem, however, was that most of the data was anecdotal, which makes an substantive discussion tough.

Today, however, there is a new report out from my friends at the Kauffman Foundation on precisely this question: The age (and education) of U.S. tech entrepreneurs. What is the distribution? How is it changing?

Perhaps surprisingly, the report shows that U.S. tech entrepreneurs are, if anything, older than expected. People founding tech companies over the last ten years had an average and median age of 39-years, nowhere near the age that makes for good stories about dorm room entrepreneurs — and older than many of us might have thought.

There is lots more in the report, but here is a figure on the age issue: