Teen Business Incubator
from San Jose Mercury News 08/11 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Daniel Brusilovsky is CEO of Teens in Tech Labs, a company he founded to help young people 13-19 launch companies. It offers:
1) Web-site for teen entrepreneurs to connect,
2) an annual Conference and
3) a summer Incubator to match selected startups with Silicon Valley Mentors & prospective Funders. Napster, Microsoft & Apple were all started by people in their late teens or early 20s.
This year Dan added the Incubator, which kicked off in late June and concluded with a “demo day” as part of the conference finale. Interested parties heard pitches from startup firms such as Bubbls, which makes a mobile app to tell teens where their friends are hanging out, and MySchoolHelp, which lets high school kids find and share their classmates’ notes online.
Participants in the Incubator pro-gram received free Office Space at Mountain View startup Appcelerator and access to dozens of Mentors Dan brought in over the six-week program. They helped refine business plans, debug code and serve as sounding boards for the ideas of the young Entrepreneurs.
Teens in Tech took a small Ownership Stake in each of the half-dozen startups. Dan said several of the companies were approached after the “demo day” by potential Funders, some of whom were tossing around six-figure numbers >$1M. A few of the teams, he said, actually turned down investors. “Most of them still have to finish high school,” he pointed out. “What they want to do now is build the product and learn how to start a business. Once you have money you have to be responsible for, things change too quickly. We want to grow at our own pace.”
Teens in Tech itself has notched Financial Backing from companies such as Google, Microsoft + AT&T. That’s allowed Dan – in the past few months – to more than double his staff to seven people, only one of whom is older than 18. But he says his goal is to evangelize, not capitalize. He’s making plans to incorporate as a non-profit, even as he works to expand the incubator and conference to more cities.
Comments: What do you think? Is there any Teen you could recommend for this?