For the last two weeks we’ve been giving free space to an exciting young business, the Young Founders. Run by successful tech entrepreneurs Ed Hardy and Kit Logan, both just 19, this two week programme equips young people with the confidence to start their own business. We caught up with Ed to talk about the programme, somwhereto_ and what’s next for the Young Founders.
Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself and your enterprise?
My name is Ed Hardy and I’m 19 years old. I founded Edge and Young Founders with my business partner Kit Logan. We started our first business, Edge, when we were 16. Edge is now one of the largest action sports communities in Europe.
Founding a business when we were so young meant that we were contacted by a lot of young people. They had ideas and enthusiasm that weren’t being nurtured in their school environment. We set up Young Founders to provide the opportunity to access new ideas, knowledge and skills. We wanted to create a springboard that enables young people to learn from our mistakes.
What exactly is Young Founders?
Young founders is a two week programme for 16-18 year olds to explore the world of doing stuff. As the world changes, we’re facing big scary problems. My generation are going to have to solve these problems through innovation.
The the main aim of the programme is to give young people the confidence to ‘do’. A lot of people leave school without having a purpose. We want to open up the idea of creating flexibility and openness to do your own thing, using purpose to solve the problems you face.
Also it’s about having fun!
What’s next for the Young Founders?
It’s working out how best to solve the problem. We want to reach scale. We can only take on 5% of people who apply. We want to learn more about fast growth companies and how to apply their learnings to ourselves. So scale is the next goal.
For the last two weeks you’ve been running the Young Founders programme at the Truman Brewery, a free space found through somewhereto_. How has this been going?
It’s interesting because what we do is very different from school. We get people to make ideas quickly, test them and learn from their failures. It’s all about going out and adopting a completely new frame of mind, away from the safety net that school tries to teach you. Everybody is really excited and enthused for the first few days, however that enthusiasm dwindles. It’s important for them to permanently have this mindset as their main mindset. There’s a point of actual shift. That’s the exciting part when someone actually realises what they’re passionate about and they generate a sense of purpose.
How have you found working with somewhereto_ and having access to free space?
We found the team at somewhereto_ absolutely vital in getting a venue. As well as getting to work with people who we trusted, somewhereto_ also cared about the project. There was a genuine desire to see the project take place and be successful, this was unrivalled by any other organisation.
Having someone who enables young people, and who is willing to give them free space to be creative, is brilliant. Normally people put remits and constraints on young people due to their age, somewhereto_ doesn’t.
What piece of advice would you give our 16-25yr old looking to start their own thing?
Just do it, just try things. There is nothing to be lost from failing at something. You will always learn from your failures. Whilst your young and naive and not stressed by the problems of the world it’s good to go out and try things.
If you’d like to help more young people like Ed access free space, to launch the businesses of tomorrow, book your next venue with somewhereto_. Every space booked through us helps a young person access a space for free. Book a space that’s right for you and open up a world of possibilities for young people. It’s win-win, it’s a no-brainer.