2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: Age Matters - Leverage It For Your Startup Success

Written by Megan Simpson | February 25, 2014

At SXSW 2014, Christina Vuleta argues that startups with older founders do better

Christina Vuleta runs a cross-generational mentoring event series and network for startups and young professional women. She also consults on the intersection of startups and brand strategy. As a consumer insight and cultural trend strategist, she knows how to leverage change and identify growth opportunities. At SXSW, she’ll be speaking on the panel, “Age Matters - Leverage It For Your Startup Success,” the focus of this installment of the Session Spotlight.

SXSW: Tell us how age can be leveraged for success of a startup.
Vuleta: The average age of a successful startup founder is 40. High-growth startups are almost two times as likely to be launched by people over 55 as those 20 to 34. Yet startup culture still operates under the assumption that innovation expires by thirty. It’s hard to find an employee over 35 years old at a tech firm. We know diversity is an indicator of revenue growth, so how can we leverage age diversity? This panel will demonstrate why you should hire experience and how to use it to your advantage.

SXSW: Who are the other speakers on your panel?
Vuleta: Susan McPherson is an advocate for millennials and social good. A consultant at the intersection of brands and CSR she also advises startups and is an angel investor. She had so many nominations from old and young alike for 40 Women to Watch Over 40. Sarah Kunst is a VC in her twenties and mentor in her own right! Tereza Nemessanyi of Microsoft is a startup evangelist for Microsoft for the East, providing startups with ready access to Microsoft's offerings to help them go further and faster. A seasoned media and technology entrepreneur, she was most recently Founder/CEO of Honestly Now. Companies she’s worked with, at senior levels, include PwC, IBM, The Walt Disney Company, Unilever, Symphony IRI, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, and the InterAmerican Development Ban

SXSW: What kinds of SXSW registrants will want to attend this panel? Why?
Vuleta: Startup founders and team members who are interested in building the best team and growing their businesses should attend to learn how to leverage and build a great team and discover the advantages of age diversity.

SXSW: What is the most exciting part about your panel?
Vuleta: The ability to inspire new leaders and recognize the innovation of age --- giving younger startup teams new role models and inspiring more experienced professionals to keep disrupting.

SXSW: What do you do to relax and unwind?
Vuleta: I enjoy pilates, good food and good friends, reading and exploring and discovering new things.

SXSW: Do you have a blog?
Vuleta: Yes, 40/20 Vision. It’s about sharing perspectives from older to younger women and facilitating mentorship and sharing of experiences.

SXSW: Additionally, are you active on Twitter? What’s your handle and who do you follow?
Vuleta: Yes, you can follow me at @4020vision and @Fortyover40 where I tweet about mentorship, cross generational learning, millennials and innovation over forty. I typically follow people who talk about careers, entrepreneurship, life wisdom, startups and women leadership.

Watch this website for more installments of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight. Click here for the complete list of programming for March in Austin. For tips on interesting sessions to attend, visit the new Recommendation page. Register now to attend “Age Matters - Leverage It For Your Startup Success” and other incredible programming at SXSW Interactive 2014.