By Lauren Fong
Young entrepreneurs are defining the future of startups and the way we live. With fresh ideas ready to change the world, why would you not support a budding founder’s journey? I’m particularly supportive of young entrepreneurs, as I watch those around me build globally impactful companies. Here are a few reasons why you should invest in young founders:
Growing up in a different era
A major benefit young founders have is the electronic era they grew up in. Due to being immersed amongst mobile phones, apps, video games and much more, their affinity for developing new technologies is easily formed. Conclusively, we see more young entrepreneurs coming up with new cutting-edge ideas. This younger generation are unravelling exciting emerging technologies.
Age works in their favour
There couldn’t be a better time to start a business at a young age. Entrepreneurs in their twenties have the luxury of dedicating prime years of their lives to work on a startup. With more time on their side (vs. an older founder), young founders can remain committed to building their ideas into reality. This also includes having the additional time to pivot and adapt their business when required.
Silicon Valley influence
One factor that may encourage a young founder to take the startup leap would be the influence of Silicon Valley. Global successes such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates all started their businesses during their twenties. Looking up to these legendary role models would be enough motivation to embark on, arguably, one’s bravest life experience.
NZ is full of young and aspirational founders
- Meet Fia Jones, she’s 21 years old and is about to launch her first payload to space this year. Her company, Astrix Astronautics, aims to make power systems developed for small satellites. When I first met Fia, I knew she had that startup flare every founder needs to become something huge one day. I have full confidence that Fia will pave the way in her industry and become a daily role model for young kiwis.
- Jamie Beaton has achieved some incredible milestones since starting Crimson Education at only 18 years old in 2013. With his company currently valued at US $460 million, the 26-year-old entrepreneur has quickly disrupted online education and will continue to do so at an unbelievable pace. I’d summarise Jamie as a risk-taker, unafraid and constantly shooting for the stars.
- Founder of Pyper Vision, Emily Blythe, has set out to eliminate fog at airports around the world. The 25-year-old entrepreneur has developed technology that disperses hygroscopic powder from a drone to absorb moisture in the sky. This provides increased visibility required for pilots and air traffic controllers. Emily impresses me with her relentless hustle and drive to take her business to the next level. She was also recently awarded as Young Innovator of the Year by Young Enterprise.
The determination and tenacity of our young founders is nothing short of impressive. They are courageous, ambitious and fearless. Launching your own business is one of the bravest things someone can do and even more audacious at a young age. At Icehouse Ventures, we support young founders with First Cut, an initiative solely focused on supporting entrepreneurs under 30. I’ve had the pleasure of working on First Cut this year with spreading the word across New Zealand universities and helping raise First Cut Fund III. We also ran the First Cut Challenge, inviting all young founders to present their startup idea for up to $1 million in investment. As the Challenge wraps up this week, I’m proud to write this blog to honour every young brave founder who deserves enormous support and recognition.
By Lauren Fong