Written by James Buckley, 11th grader at eStem Public Charter School
During the year, we at Noble Impact have done many fun and exciting things, but to me, the last project has been the most exciting. For our last project, we were to interview an entrepreneur and also let them know about the first ever High School Startup Weekend. It was a very interesting interview and I learned a lot.
The person I was slated to interview was a man named Brad Feld, who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I later found out that he was born in Arkansas. Small world.
After a little research, I realized that Mr. Feld had one of the biggest names in the world in regard to the startup community. He is on the board of directors of 19 companies. He also holds director level jobs at five other companies and is the co-founder of Techstars. Wow! A little intimidating and awesome.
What amazed me is that he had time to answer a question from me, a junior in high school. I sent him the following email and to my surprise, heard back within the hour. It was very exciting. He even brought Marc Nager into the conversation, connecting him within the email. At the time, I did not know who Mr. Nager was, but I soon found out that he is the CEO of Up Global.
This is the interview as it happened:
Hello, my name is James Buckley and I am a Junior at eStem High School. As a class project, we have been given the opportunity to interview great entrepreneurs from around the country.
In finding out about you, I immediately started researching and would put great value in your answers to the following questions:
Why do you think entrepreneurship education is important in high school?
How do you believe Startup Weekend is relevant to a high school education?
At you earliest convenience, please check out High School Startup Weekend.
Thanks so much for your time,
A few minutes later…
Brad Feld answering my first question:
+Marc on Startup Weekend. I think it’s awesome y’all are doing this.
I think it’s incredibly helpful – at an early age – to understand entrepreneurship, what it is, and how it works. I had a mentor in high school who was an entrepreneur and it helped me understand the value and opportunity of charting my own path.
Then Marc Nager answers my second question:
Thanks Brad & so great to hear James!
Just to hit your #2 – Startup Weekend is relevant as a model to help young men and women actually experience entrepreneurship. Understanding what to do when you actually see a better solution to a problem that exists in the world is a powerful skill that really creates an entirely new lens from which to view the world. Opportunities are everywhere, and knowing how to validate good ideas, kill bad ones, build teams, execute under extreme pressure with limited resources, and presenting and sharing with your peers are all things that one can walk away from a Startup Weekend experience from that will hopefully one day lead to someone creating the next major innovation.
I would like to thank Mr. Feld and Mr. Nager for answering my questions and I am so glad they responded to me even though they are very important people. I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to the first ever High School Startup Weekend.