In the popular imagination, startups are mostly a young person's game, with fresh-faced founders building their ideas from dorm rooms and their parents' garages. Some investors have even gotten into trouble for endorsing blatantly ageist ideas about who can be a successful entrepreneur.

Reality, however, is rather far from this mythology. According to experts, the average age of successful startup founders is 40, and research shows that creative breakthroughs have no relationship to age. The only important factor when it comes to good ideas is how much work you're willing to put in and how many experiments you're willing to run.

History also supports the idea that no longer getting carded to buy beer isn't a barrier to startup success. A whole host of wildly successful founders from decades ago right up to the modern day started their businesses after the age of 35, as this infographic from Funders and Founders makes perfectly clear.

It rounds up 17 famous founders who launched their wildly successful companies between the ages of 35 and 40, all to make one very simple point--it's never too late to start a business. Here's the complete list, in case you're in the squeezed and stressful middle years of life and need reminding that the future is still wide open:

  1. Liu Chuanzhi founded Lenovo at 39
  2. Gordon Moore founded Intel at 39
  3. Amancio Ortega founded Zara at 39
  4. Cher Wang founded HTC at 39
  5. Min Kao founded Garmin at 38
  6. Wayne Hughes founded Public Storage at 38
  7. Masaru Ibuka founded Sony at 38
  8. Hugo Boss founded Hugo Boss at 37
  9. Milton Hershey founded Hershey's at 37
  10. Doris Fisher founded Gap at 36
  11. Rowland Macy founded Macy's at 36
  12. Reid Hoffman founded LinkedIn at 36
  13. Namihei Odaira founded Hitachi at 36
  14. J C. Jacobsen founded Carlsberg at 35
  15. Marc Benioff founded Salesforce at 35
  16. William Boeing founded Boeing at 35
  17. William Procter founded Proctor & Gamble at 35

(P.S.: If you're at the stage of life when 40 seems pretty young to you, then a gigantic expanded version of the infographic lists founders that started successful businesses up to the seventh decade of life.)