Five years ago, I founded Teens in Tech to meet other young people like me interested in technology, entrepreneurship and startups. This idea grew into a global online platform for online entrepreneurs, along with an annual conference and startup incubator.
Our annual conference has been a Teens in Tech highlight. We started in 2009 with a room of 60 to see Danny Trinh (now of Path), Jessica Mah (of InDinero) and others. In 2010, 125 people joined us in Google’s San Francisco office, with speakers like Drew Houston (Dropbox), Adam Debreczeni (Kiip) and John Ramey (isocket). 2011 and 2012 saw audiences double that size, hosted at historic Xerox PARC. This unique and engaged audience gained incredible support from companies including Best Buy, Google, Microsoft, General Motors, Intel, JBL, and many others. We had found something special.
Meanwhile, as the company grew up, so have I. In fact, I’m not even a teenager any more. At the end of the year, I talked with our Board of Advisors and we’ve made the difficult decision to put a hold on new programs. We’ll keep our site and blog up and running, but won’t host a conference or incubator in 2013. We’ll try to host some meetups every now and then, but we’ll have more details on that later. As for me personally, in December, I joined Ribbon leading Business Development & Growth.
The impact Teens in Tech has had on those young people participating in our incubator program has been significant, and it’s something for which I am especially proud.
I am incredibly thankful to the Teens in Tech team that have made this possible. There are a lot of people to thank, but I specifically wanted to recognize Sean Fisher, Gregory Hosono, Emmanuel Banks, Seth Klebe, Jon Khaykin and Sam Levin for making the last two years run smoothly. To Louis Gray and Chris Yeh, who I’ve called upon many times for advice, mentorship, or just to talk. A huge thank you goes out to Jeff Haynie, Nolan Wright and the rest of the Appcelerator team for letting us take over their office for two summers now. And of course, the startup community. The 65+ mentors in our incubator, and countless speakers and organizations that made our conference and incubator no longer a dream, but a reality.
This isn’t a goodbye, but a thank you.
Founder & CEO, Teens in Tech Labs