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To get this back to the OP, I think accelerators being sort of a 3-month extreme reality-show experiment where they need you to fly into the valley and then lock you in a room and throw away the key is just not something older people with family obligations can pull off--not if they value their families.
I disagree with Glenn. I went in to TechStars from 9 to 5 except for the Wednesday night additional meetings. I saw my kids the same as anyone working a "normal" job. That said, during TS I defiitely pulled the laptop back out after the kids went to bed! It was a tough 3 months, but it is 100% doable with a family. If you have a spouse that believes in you and what you're doing, this helps make the time go faster.
As a single father not living in California anymore, I couldn't pull it off without major family disruption. I also think the pressure of achieving a major milestone in such a short timeframe would make it very hard to stick to a 9-5 schedule, regardless of official expectations. I'm not convinced running the gauntlet like that is necessarily what all startups should aspire to do. There's no one-size-fits-all.
Startup Guy, ER Radiologist & Hunting for AI
November 10th, 2014
Not too late at all -- we were in the most recent YC batch. My co-founder was 36 (now 37), and I'm 30 ... and our batch had founders ranging up to their late 50s.
There's no age limit on building an awesome startup, and the average age of the successful startup founder at time of incorporation is mid to late 30s (trends slightly younger for B2C, older for B2B).
As the well-known Quora thread points out: http://www.quora.com/What-do-people-in-Silicon-Valley-plan-to-do-once-they-are-over-35