Beans, Birds & Business

Last month a magazine article was published about the origins of Organikos. We have told bits and pieces of the story in these pages, but Carol Latter was the first person to tell the story from a perspective outside of our family. The online version of the story has two photos, whereas the tangibly published version has ten; in both cases we were happy that a magazine from the state I grew up in, and where Seth has been living since 2018, was interested in sharing this founding story.

Today, reading Marella Gayla’s story about founders trending younger (and why), plenty to ponder. My takeaway is that for whatever reason ambitious young people see an important link between entrepreneurship and positive social outcomes, we can count that as a good thing:

Is Every Ambitious Teen-ager a “Founder and C.E.O.”?

Forget Model U.N. and the SATs. Kids today want to tell college admissions officers all about the companies they’ve started to save the world.

One striking innovation of modern meritocracy is the teen-age executive. High-school students used to spiff up their college applications with extracurriculars like Model U.N. and student council. Today’s overachievers want to grace their résumés with the words “founder and C.E.O.” When schools in Fremont, California, shut down in March, Jagannath Prabhakaran, a sixteen-year-old, seized the opportunity to join the ranks. He and three friends began writing a curriculum for what he dubbed cells Academy, an organization devoted to getting kids excited about science. In June, it launched two courses, Python for Beginners and Intro to Genetics, on a digital learning platform called Udemy. More than two thousand students signed up. In the next couple of months, cells added to its programming: a virtual camp in the U.S.; a tutoring program in Malaysia.

Prabhakaran and his friends weren’t the only students in their highly competitive school district who decided to change the world during quarantine. At least sixteen other ventures were launched in the months after learning went remote. Arav Tewari founded ShareNext, a food-drive group that describes itself as “Uber for donations.” Nihar Duvvuri started Project SD, a nonprofit that creates and funds debate clubs at schools in low-income areas. When classes resumed, in the fall, it seemed like every other teen-ager was running a company.

“It’s not just test scores and G.P.A. that get you into a top school,” Christopher Rim, a college-admissions consultant in New York City, said over the phone. “You need really great extracurricular activities.” Rim is twenty-five years old. When he was in high school, in New Jersey, he founded an anti-bullying organization called It Ends Today, which put him on Lady Gaga’s radar. Rim credits the nonprofit with helping him get into Yale. (He dissolved the group when he was in college.) After graduating, in 2017, he founded an admissions-counselling firm, Command Education, where his services start at around a thousand dollars an hour…

Read the whole article here.

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