People, passion, perseverance. Former AOL CEO and Chairman Steve Case describes these words as the bedrock of successful entrepreneurship. Heading into what may be a "golden era of entrepreneurship," he says that he relies on the "three p's" as assessment tools to help guide his direction and goals. When all of the three parts are in balance, an entrepreneur can achieve success like that of AOL; when they aren't, you get the failure of the AOL-Time Warner merger.
What can the young entrepreneur uniquely offer the marketplace, and where are they likely to fall short? Hear from experienced entrepreneurs short on years, long on talent - some even launching their career in their teens.
What are the biggest obstacles and assets for young entrepreneurs? Unwrapped, inc. founder Josh Reeves answers that the biggest obstacle it not knowing how to manage all the priorities. Clara Shih, founder of Hearsay Labs, believes that being a young entrepreneur has its advantages because you can highlight your ability to solve problems from a fresh perspective. Steve Garrity, of Hearsay Labs, says that youth allows you to ask lots of seemingly naive questions. Plus, Increo Solutions, Inc. founder Kimber Lockhart adds that starting a business is challenging for everyone, not just young entrepreneurs. Don't assume that older, first time entrepreneurs have all the answers.
Elizabeth Holmes, President and CEO of Theranos, recalls that she did not intend to drop out of Stanford at the age of 19. She was simply taking so much time to talk to VCs that she ended up skipping a plethora of classes. Her success has nothing to do with her age, she reports; it's about technology, networking, and conviction. She recalls that she was ready to talk to over 200 people to fund her idea, and that it was this conviction that garnered her the necessary resources to move forward.
It is important that the startup team have experience - a combination of grey hair and youth is good, says Roizen. VC's have learned that it is not wise to fund a team with only college students, but older people cannot get funding without youth. VC's are looking for a technology to exploit with a team of individuals comprised of young and experienced members.