As I just mentioned in my previous post on Carbonite, I promised to have a look at the age of founders again. This follows some challenging comments from Pascale on a recent post, Is There A Peak Age for Entrepreneurship?
I have data, the ones I may bore you with when I publish cap. tables of IPOed companies. Well, the companies publish the age of their officers so when the founders are still active, you can get their age at IPO and getting the number of years from foundation to IPO, you have the founders’ age. Usually, the biographies also give the previous companies founded by these people. So I did yesterday the exercise in two broad groups: companies which went public recently (mostly in the last 5-10 years) and companies which had gone public in the 90s or even before. Just remember that in my book, I had compiled the age of the “famous” entrepreneurs and it was 27.
First the group of recent companies (52 founders from 25 companies):
Then the older companies (53 founders from 22 companies) with the average of the group but also of the two groups at the end.
These are not stats, just anecdotes and you should also see that when I did not have the age, I looked at academic background with the idea that you have a BS when you are 21… So the average is 34, increasing from 33 to 35. Definitely not the 27 I had, not the 40 either claimed by recent analysis. Is the glass half empty or half full, I will let you decide! I still wonder why the big successes seem to induce a lower average (if true!).
A final (and not related comment): “years from foundation to IPO” has increased from 3.7 to 6.8, being 5 overall. Still very far from what I had in Europe, which was closer to 9 or even 10 years.