Brian, it wouldn't surprise me if people have been referring to Tensilica as a start-up. I had a similar reaction to yours with the EDAC chart at the last Deloitte Fast 500 (and Fast 50 subset for Canada). Nearly every firm that won in their class, and those afterward, were over ten years old! (e.g., Accedian Networks, Beyond The Rack, etc.)
On tech news sites like TechCrunch, GigaOm and Mashable (oh, how my world has changed since leaving Big 3 EDA!), there's a constant struggle to define what a startup is, often co-mingled with details relevant to the sector that the author comes from. Just look at a Portland, Oregon example ... Urban Airship, which began as two guys in the first week of June 2009 and were not even ten when it raised Series A at the end of July 2010, now with an expanding headquarters in the Pearl District with nearly 200 employees, is still called a startup!
We should have a system by which investors get a payback without a company going public.Not many companies have performed to their potential after going public.After going public, companies are focussed on just rewarding shareholders instead of working on high tech..
Brian, that's just amazing that someone would produce such a list. BDA started in 2001 I think. Which brings up another question. How long will the investors wait for a payback on their investments when a company like BDA is obviously making money.