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Why It's Not Too Late: 5 Successful Startup Founders Over 30

Creative Market April 3, 2024 · 4 min read

It is never too late. While the tech industry seems to be dominated by young entrepreneurs, there are plenty of middle-aged people who are making waves in the online marketplace. In fact, a study by The Kauffman Foundation found that the typical successful founder was 40 years old. Here are five successes who founded their tech startups after 30.

Jenna Bilotta

Co-Founder of Avocado

Avocado is an app for what some call the smallest social network. It has private chat, photo sharing, calendars and lists just between significant others. Jenna was one of the lead designers of Google Reader, so it’s a wonder that she and her partner didn’t stay with arguably the biggest tech company today. Jenna thinks that it can be better for an idea to create its own path to success than to try to go through a company that while successful, may not care for the idea as much as the creator does. over-30-4

Reid Hoffman

Co-Founder of LinkedIn and PayPal

Reid Hoffman was well into his thirties before he went on to co-found two of the biggest names in tech today. PayPal is a staple in the online marketplace, and LinkedIn is the best way to utilize social media for career placement. Originally, Reid wanted to change the world through philosophy, but he soon realized that academia was too small for his desires, so instead he focused on the intellectual side of online business. In his first book, The Start-up of You, he says that in our culture of connection “All of the attributes of a business now apply to an individual.” over-30-1 Photo by Bbolkowy

Adi Tatarko

Co-Founder of Houzz

Adi took a little bit of Pinterest, LinkedIn and Amazon and rolled them into one great online shop focusing on home design. Houzz offers a place to browse for browse design ideas, connect with contractors and interior designers, and shop luxurious furniture and other home products all in one place. Adi came from barely being able to afford a plane ticket to a combined net worth of almost $500 million. Adi and her husband found a surprising need for housing help in the usually over-saturated online market while shopping for a home themselves. Through Houzz, they provide a forum for interior designers, architects and contractors who are looking for their place. over-30-2

Jocelyn Leavitt

Co-Founder of Hopscotch

Because of Jocelyn Leavitt, kids are learning to code faster than ever before. Her app, Hopscotch, helps users learn the basic logic behind computer programming in a fun way that doesn’t require memorizing codes or even typing. Kids, and curious adults, simply use drag-and-drop commands. She found success by getting work done reasonably and on time. Instead of waiting for others to break ground on that amazing idea, Leavitt thinks it’s best to just start working on projects and hopefully come up with something along the way. over-30-4 Photo credit:

Thea Runyan

Co-Founder of Kurbo Health

Healthy habits of children become the healthy habits of adults, and Kurbo Health is making healthy kids its mission. It uses a simple stoplight system to help kids make healthy food choices while providing additional one-on-one support from health coaches. Thea believes in her app’s ability to make a difference. Her passion for healthy kids and her years of experience as a childhood weight-loss expert led her to create an app that gave fair access to kids in a market where children’s health programs were expensive and time consuming. over-30-4

Start Your Legacy Today

Hopefully, reading some advice from these five successes will inspire someone on their own path toward starting a company after their twenties have passed. It may feel intimidating to compete with a younger, more tech-savvy generation, but with age comes wisdom and experience that gives those in their 30s and 40s an edge over the younger crowd.

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