Today, teenagers with technological twinkles in their eyes can get resources, find co-founders and even hunt down job opportunities through a new site, Teens in Tech Connect.
Teens in Tech, a network of support and events for young entrepreneurs, has just launched the Connect site, what 18-year-old founder Daniel Brusilovsky called “a social network meets resource center for young entrepreneurs” in correspondence with VentureBeat this morning.
“One thing we’ve noticed about young entrepreneurs is that they find it difficult to find other like-minded individuals who have the same interests,” he noted.
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Brusilovsky, who is turning 19 next month, is on the aged end of the demographic he serves. But he’s been in and around the tech scene in Silicon Valley for several years already, and he knows the unique challenges that present themselves to underaged big thinkers.
Over the summer, Brusilovsky & Co. ran a teens-only incubator to speak to some of these challenges and help a handful of deserving teens accelerate their ideas. But the Teens in Tech team wanted to expand its reach.
“Because we only have programs like the conference and incubator in Silicon Valley, we wanted to find a way to help other young entrepreneurs who aren’t in the area,” said Brusilovsky. “That’s where Teens in Tech Connect comes in.”
The site’s main features include a discussion center and a job board intended to get teens working together. There will be job postings for internships at established, non-teen-run companies, too, a feature that’s set to roll out within the next few weeks.
Thinking back on my own wasted youth of bad poetry, worse music and heaping spoonfuls of angst, I have to wonder, when the heck did teenagers become so dang industrious? Brusilovsky’s answer: When entrepreneurship became cool, that’s when.
“I think in the last year or so, young people have seen that entrepreneurship is cool again,” he said. “It also helps that movies like “The Social Network” make entrepreneurship look so awesome.”
From his point of view, this newly cool varnish on the picture of the entrepreneur is enticing enough to make starting up something new as appealing as working for the man after school and during the summer. “Today, I think young people are more likely to go on their own and try to build something,” he said. “And if it’s not that, then it’s a summer job and hacking at night and on the weekends.”
And truly, for young people with entrepreneurial visions, there’s no time like the present to throw ideas at the proverbial wall and see what sticks.
“I think it all comes down to risk,” Brusilovsky noted. “When you’re young, you live at home, you don’t have a family to support, you don’t need to put food on the table, etc. You’re able to do more without having to worry about ‘adult issues.'”
Teens in Tech will be hosting its first event outside Silicon Valley this winter. Teens in Tech Conference will take place December 17 at Microsoft’s Los Angeles offices.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the pages and features of the Connect site:
Image courtesy of jessiejacobson.