Mark Zuckerberg and the Collinson Brothers have popularised the idea that coding skills and youthful enthusiasm can propel someone from bedroom to billionaire before the age of 30. However, research suggests a 50-year-old is almost three times as likely to make it big than someone who starts a business at 25.
The value of professional and life experience in helping startup founders spot and exploit opportunities is the theme of a high-level industry round table at Startup Festival 2019.
Kicking off the annual day-long event, this session welcomes a hand-picked selection of Edinburgh-based founders from a variety of sectors, to explore motivations and barriers to success with the Business School's leading entrepreneurship experts.
Buckling-up and enjoying the ride is much more fun and rewarding than going big too soon and burning out.
Dr Ben Spigel, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, will lead the discussion. He said:
"The image of young tech geniuses building an empire from their MacBook Pros is appealing and inspiring to many young people, but it ignores the fact enormous success at such an early age is incredibly rare. It creates unrealistic expectations for many gifted people in their teens and twenties who can be deterred from entrepreneurship the first time they fail. It can also blind them to opportunities to work with established businesses that need their skills.
"With this year's Startup Festival we want to show success is a long game for most people, and that's something we should celebrate, not shun. Buckling-up and enjoying the ride is much more fun and rewarding than going big too soon and burning out. We also want to recognise the unassuming majority of entrepreneurs in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond who are the backbone of Edinburgh's startup ecosystem."
In addition to this session, the programme of events features talks, networking, and pitching competitions for entrepreneurs and students curious about their potential. In the morning the Business School hosts stories and knowledge shares. Lunchtime will see Startup Festival 2019 take over CodeBase for the first time for an interactive talent fair, where resident companies invite students to engage in real business decisions.
In the afternoon the E Club pitching competition will pit promising entrepreneurs against each other for a chance to win a share of £4,000, as well as development opportunities to take their ideas to the next level.
The day will come to a close with networking and an awards ceremony for the hardworking winners.