In her excellent article, “Older Workers are the Economy’s Most Underrated Natural Resource,” Elizabeth Isele, CEO of Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship, concludes: “The senior entrepreneurs of the future will redefine work and life across all generations, cultures, and geographic boundaries. These generations will create a whole new paradigm for aging and retirement – as well as a growth sector for our economies.”
I agree 100%.
To hasten the creation of this new paradigm for the benefit of individuals, economies and society, let’s connect, match and fund intergenerational startups co-founded by “seasoned” and less experienced entrepreneurs.
We need a new model to create and fund startups because the existing model creates too few startups and too many failures, especially with a venture finance industry that primarily targets and funds co-founders from just one generation.
“Americans are starting new businesses at roughly half the rate they were a generation ago … put simply, fewer startups mean a lower quality of life for Americans,” says Victor Hwang of the Kauffman Foundation, in 2017 testimony before Congress.
Let’s review the statistics:
· “Startups created roughly 3 million jobs annually between 1980 and 2010. Half of those jobs disappeared within five years because the startups failed.” (2015 US Census Bureau)
· “To the extent that venture capital targets younger founders, early-stage finance appears biased against the founders with the highest likelihood of successful exits or top 1 in 1,000 growth outcomes… research finds that more successful entrepreneurs launch their enterprises in their 40s than in their 20s.” (Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship, National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2018)
Intergenerational Entrepreneurship: Merging Youth and Experience
4GenNow believes the best way to create not only more startups, but startups that are better positioned for success, is to connect, match and fund co-founders from different generations.
Because when we think about diversity, we typically think of race and gender. Generational diversity is an overlooked component of diversity that 4GenNow’s mission focuses on in order to unleash an entrepreneurial renaissance in both urban and rural communities.
The advantage to intergenerational teamed startups is that different generations bring diverse ideas, experiences and skills and therefore become more successful and attractive to angel investors. 4GenNow connects and matches a solo founder from one generation with a co-founder from a different generation through its proprietary online matching system and in-person events.
Intergenerational Startups Unite Co-Founders from Different Generations
According to Dillon Meyers, Millennial Co-Founder (along with Alan Gibson, Boomer Co-Founder) of Intergenerational Startup, OneClick.chat:
· “If cross-generational cofounding teams are not becoming more common, they should be. There’s little written on age diversity among tech cofounders and no readily available studies. This is surprising because it’s an intuitive and powerful dynamic: merging youth and energy with the wisdom of experience.”
Investors Prefer Intergenerational Startups
· “Intergenerational teams have an edge in understanding the customer because they come from multiple perspectives… and are more likely to successfully scale up and execute with closer connections to the markets by virtue of having multiple perspectives,” says Peter Adams, Executive director of Rockies Venture Club.
Join 4GenNow to make 2019 “The Year of the Intergenerational Startup!”
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