A new study from researchers at Duke University and Harvard University challenges the popular assumption that most technology entrepreneurs are twee college kids launching businesses from their dorm rooms.
The research, sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, studied U.S. engineering and technology companies founded between 1995 and 2005. It found that the median and average age at which U.S.-born entrepreneurs founded their technology and engineering companies was 39. There were twice as many entrepreneurs older than fifty than those who were younger than twenty-five, and 1 percent of U.S.-born founders of tech companies were teenagers.
The study also analyzed these entrepreneurs’ educational backgrounds.
The top ten schools awarding these entrepreneurs’ most advanced degrees were Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Missouri, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas, and the University of Virginia. Graduates from Ivy League schools represented 8 percent of the founders whose companies had, on average, higher average sales and employment than their counterparts. —Catherine Rampell