It’s Never Too Early to Invest in Future Entrepreneurs

I’ve been involved with entrepreneurs and startups and have been an early-stage investor for more than 20 years.

The longer I do this kind of work, the more convinced I am that a diverse pipeline of talent is the lynchpin of every innovation economy.

Internships are an Ideal Way to Create a Vetted Pipeline of Talent

Lora Zotter, director of talent programs at Rev1 Ventures, has just published An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Engaging Intern Talent in SmallBizDaily. Read Lora’s seven tips on how to deliver a real-world business experience to the interns and real results for your business.

Venture for America (VFA) Provides Unique Opportunities

VFA recruits top graduates from over 300 colleges and universities, trains them as fellows to work in startups, and then connects them with opportunities. About 30 VFA fellows have participated in 20 Columbus firms, including Rev1 portfolio companies SafeWhite, TicketFire, and Kare Intellex.

 “From a startup’s perspective, we get top talent out of top universities that want to work in startups.”

– Ray Shealy, serial entrepreneur and investor in SafeWhite and TicketFire

Start Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset Early

A great example of that Brooke Yoakam, founder of GiftPocket, a mobile application to help teens manage, exchange, and buy gift cards. Brooke was in the eighth grade, and at 12, the youngest entrepreneur, so far, to graduate from Rev1’s Customer Learning Lab.

Since then, Brooke has continued to develop the GiftPocket app, which has more than 1,000 downloads. Read what Brooke, now 17, has to say about being a teenage businessperson with plans to continue with business and technology through college and beyond.