Angel Investor Ron Conway caused some controversy on Monday after stating that all young entrepreneurs are male. I think if you spent five minutes browsing through the YHP site you can see that simply isn't true and there are plenty of young female entrepreneurs.
Anyway he also went on to address the idea that co-founders are more likely to succeed than single founders. To back up his claims Conway showed this graph while on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in NYC:
Interesting numbers there and I feel that most of us will have a better chance of success with a co founder rather than go it alone, but there are plenty of exceptions. (probably in the ratio shown in the graphs actually!) It is well known that getting funding is easier with a co-founder, maybe that has an impact. Having a co-founder means you can split the amount of work and responsibility when starting up and it's not as lonely!
While he was on stage he also took the time to explain that he likes investing in entrepreneurs when they’re 17 or 18 because he gets to watch their entire progression from start to finish.
"Ron Conway made his fortunes in the computing industry, and he has been an active angel investor for over 15 years. He was the Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds (1998-2005) whose investments included: Google, Ask Jeeves, Paypal, Good Technology, Opsware, and Brightmail. Conway was recently named #6 in Forbes Magazine Midas list of top ‘deal-makers’ in 2008.
Although he noted that entrepreneurs at 17 or 18 often need their parents with them because they’re not legally allowed to sign a deal on their own, he noted that he derived most satisfaction from seeing youngsters go from young upstarts to mature business people.
Without meaning to be cynical, another benefit of getting entrepreneurs in their teens is that they are less driven by money and hence he can get a better deal."