Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Don't Count Out the Over 30 Entrepreneur
Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Don't Count Out the Over 30 Entrepreneur

One of the Founders that Xceleration works with stated that he generally didn't let folks, especially venture capital investors, know that he is over 30, because startup tended to be a "youth oriented" culture. (He also mentioned investors tend to like to work with younger folks, as they're not as - how do we put this nicely - savvy).

Being an entrepreneur over 30, this comment really stuck with me. I was fortunate to run into one of my heroes on a recent trip to Orlando - Gru.

Left to Right: Gru and Aki. Two entrepreneurs over 30.

Gru is really the epitomy of the over 30 inventor and entrepreneur seemingly outstripped by his younger nemesis, Vector. 

as told in Despicable Me - based on Gru's lifestory.

If you recall the story, Gru's pride is injured when another villain (Vector) is able to steal the Great Pyramid of Giza, which even impresses Gru's henchman, Dr. Nefario. Vowing to outdo the younger villain, Gru decides to pursue his childhood dream (and impress his mother) by plotting to steal the moon (see Shooting the Moon with Xceleration post)

Gru's plans are nearly thwarted when he visits the bank to apply for a loan, where the banker initially gives Gru a conditional loan IF he can steal the necessary shrink ray for the caper, but eventually outright denies Gru the loan. (Sound familiar boys and girls? Invest in youth, rather than those old folks. . . Cautionary tale of chasing unicorns).

Shrink Ray (from Despiscable Me Wiki)

Fast-forward, Gru encounters 3 orphan girls (Margo, Edith, and Agnes) and despite the initial false pretences for the meeting, the the story ends with Gru adopting the 3 girls after realizing that there is more to life than just the inventions and creating bigger and better capers. In the end, it's about the love and support of the people around you. (Oh yeah, Gru sacrifices everything and does steal the moon, but not before his nemesis - Vector -, kidnapping the girls, blackmailing Gru for the moon and ultimately double crossing Gru. Fortunately, as the story goes, Vector gets his comeuppance).

Though the over 30 entrepreneur may have a couple more distractions in life (wife/husband and kids and juggle a busy schedule) but they certainly make up for it in other ways, just like Gru. So next time you meet an over 30 entrepreneur, don't count them out. You never know if they'll be just as capable as Gru and also lead a double life as parent, coach, and spouse. The variety of and breadth of experience can be an added bonus to any venture.