What Will You Create to Make the World Awesome?
By now most of you have probably seen the YouTube sensation, “A Pep talk from Kid President” being sent all over (if not see video at the end of this blog post). I’ve watched it now about 5 times, and each time I get a smile. It’s a great video with a lot of great one liners, but one of the lines stood out above the others for me, “What will you create to make the world awesome?”
Well, Derek and I are trying to do just that right now. We want to change the environment that young entrepreneurs face when they go to launch their business.
When we graduated from college (Derek from St. Louis University and me from UM-St. Louis) we found SCORE, a support system for entrepreneurs. What we found at SCORE were a lot of old-school businessmen with a lot of expertise on how to leave your current corporate job and start your own business. To say the least, we didn’t connect (no disrespect intended: SCORE serves a great purpose, just not for treps right out of college).
We began going to several other different business groups and organizations to learn about business. We kept encountering situations where—as a new small business with young leaders—no one trusted us or was willing to give us a chance. We ran into this on a regular basis as the customers I was targeting were large corporations. We quickly learned that people who work for large corporations are more concerned with keeping their job and doing things the “standard way” then they are taking risks on young people with new ideas. While we understand that go-along-to-get-along based cultures can and do exist; working within that framework wasn’t getting us anywhere.
Derek and I want to turn this system on its head.
What if, when people graduated college (or even earlier) there was an ecosystem of mentors, potential clients, partner companies, and money ready to help them get their business launched?
What if young entrepreneurs could skip the 3 years Derek and I spent learning how the system worked, how to make connections, and how to more quickly build a business?
Our vision is to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem where established businesses help young entrepreneurs get a leg up. While there are established incubators in the tech and medical fields for masters and PHD graduates, there is a void for the young everyday entrepreneurs—like Derek, selling t-shirts and promotional products on the university campus, and like me, creating a new workforce of people working from home.
With go!celerator, we’re going to fill this void.
In the inaugural round of go!celerator, we are offering one young entrepreneur a 1-year runway to get their business off the ground. Derek and I both will be personally paying for their living expenses as well as rent and other technological needs at our office. By inspiring others to help budding entrepreneurs in St. Louis, we can turn St. Louis into a young entrepreneurial destination and a hotbed of innovation.
This is one piece of increasingly larger plans that we have for how to make St. Louis awesome, and eventually our model can be scaled and taken to other cities across the country and the world. Young entrepreneurs have an amazing opportunity to build successful companies; we just have to make sure they have the support they need to do so.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress, and if you, like us, see young entrepreneurship as a worthwhile cause, you can help out go!celerator by raising awareness in social media and other places.
It will make the world awesome.
By Brandon Dempsey
email me at bdempsey(at)goBRANDgo.com with any questions or comments!