Is it ever too late to launch a start up?

Updated: Oct 8, 2018

If you paid attention to the popular press you’d think that startup success belonged exclusively to hoodie-wearing, app-creating Millennials with a lot of attitude and a chunk of venture capital behind them.

But what if you don’t fit that mould, but have a startup idea you think might just have legs? Are you ever too old to startup?

It's never too late.
Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Statistically, no! According to the latest research from Harvard Business Review, the average age of entrepreneurs founding their startup is 42.

The even better news is, of the 0.1 per cent of the most successful startups based on growth in their first five years, the founders started their companies, on average, when they were 45 years old.

While the Mark Zuckerberg’s of the world might get all the limelight, its widely believed that older entrepreneurs have an edge on their younger counterparts because of their experiences – in life and in business. Mothers are seen to be particularly skilled in project management, for example.

If you are thinking of launching a start up later in life, you are in very good company. Some of the world’s most successful women found their success later in life.

Vera Wang: Before she was one of the world's most famous bridal fashion designers, Wang was a professional figure skater and a journalist. Then she hit 40 and wondered if her idea of becoming a fashion designer would take her anywhere.

Judi Dench: She’s an Academy Award winning actress, but did you know Judi Dench didn’t even get her first acting gig until she was 34?

Anna Wintour: While she had slogged away working for print publications for two decades, the queen of fashion magazines actually only became the editor of US Vogue when she was 39.

Vivienne Westwood: She is considered to be one of the most influential designers of British fashion in the last century, but it wasn’t until she was in her 50s that Westwood was actually recognised as more than that woman who dressed the Sex Pistols.

Julia Childs: The iconic TV chef didn’t even learn to cook until she was 36. Childs went on to be a best-selling cookbook author and is credited as being the world’s first celebrity TV chef.

Patricia Field: At age 54 Field’s chance meeting with Sarah Jessica Parker and a discussion about her new show Sex and the City led to one of fashion’s most influential pairings.

While you don’t need to be a millennial to launch a successful start up, you do need a plan.

Need help getting a plan together?

Creating a plan is something we are great at and can help you.

Check out our Startup Work Room Session event on November 14

We host a friendly, creative space for you to hear from our experts and then explore your business or idea together in a workshop and brainstorm session.

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