As one of many simultaneous events taking place around the world, the Wellington Startup Weekend took place on April 10 – 12 at Creative HQ.
Now one of the purposes of the weekend event is not necessarily to create new businesses, but as much to develop a greater awareness among its (mostly young) participants of what is required to foster a successful enterprise.
That Startup Weekend is mostly young people isn’t surprising – they’re often unencumbered, single, only supporting themselves.
It made me wonder, (and I asked co-organiser Dave Moskovitz) if there isn’t some Startup Weekend around the world that is more geared to those of us past the first flush of youth?
Dave wasn’t sure (though hadn’t heard of such a focus).
Many of us middle-aged people are (relatively) unencumbered, have the children-supporting side of our lives behind us and perhaps have a bit of capital.
Just as importantly, we often have good ideas, would like to team up with like-minded people, and have another 20 years or so of working lives in front of us.
Given that a five year life expectancy for a company can be good – well the age of participants becomes much less important.
There’s some interesting statistics (well, as least from the USA) to back this up.
Check out this Huffington Post article, which quotes, among others, Vivek Wadhwa, an academic, writer and entrepreneur.
In 2008, at the height of the entrepreneurial youth renaissance, Wadhwa released breakthrough research that showed the number of founders older than 50 was double the number of founders younger than 25, and the number of founders over age 60 was also twice the number of founder under 20. The average age of male founders was 40, and female founders’ average age was 41. In fact, Wadhwa’s research revealed that the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity had shifted to boomers in the 55-64 age group.
Such middle-aged life and business experience, honed by a Startup Weekend type event could have fascinating outcomes.
It wouldn’t surprise me if it produced some physical products with a strong digital component.
Just throwing the middle-aged start up weekend idea out there.
Maybe there’s downsides that I haven’t even thought of.
I for one would be a starter, and I know a number of others who would be too.