For the past few years, I've been fascinated and interested in the entrepreneurial rise of Generation Z.
As an organizational psychologist, one of the topics I study is generational differences. Each generation is different from the last for multiple reasons. The vast changes from one generation to another weren't as apparent when the world was more local and linear. However, now that the world is global and exponential, each generation has a new world to adapt to from the last.
Gen Z kids are digital natives who have never lived in a world without the Internet, smartphones and social media. Their technological skills are intuitive and exceed those of their parents, says Don Tapscott."This is the first time in history when children are an authority about something really important." Gen Z kids are innately savvy at technology and innovation; it's in their blood.
These kids care about big and small things going on in the world. They are highly motivated to create solutions to the world's problems. This deep interest in social issues was not learned in their classrooms. Rather, research has found that global news consumed via the Internet has motivated Generation Z to become more socially conscious than previous generations.
"I think our generation is socially conscious, environmentally friendly and they are global thinkers," says Linda Manziaris, a 14-year-old jewelry entrepreneur who gives half of her income to a charity created by her 16-year-old sister.
Generation Z Panel At Genius Network
This post represents Part 1 of a several part series detailing my investigation into what will likely be, one of the most potent and comprehensive Gen-Z entrepreneurial panels yet to be assembled.
In November of this year, 2018, the Genius Network Annual Event will occur. For many of the top entrepreneurs in the world, this event represents the zenith. Tony Robins, Peter Diamandis, members of Shark Tank, and many other high profile entrepreneurs are often found in attendance. This year, one of the events within the Annual Event will be Joe Polish interviewing a stacked panel of famous Gen-Z entrepreneurs.
With full disclosure, I myself am a member of Genius Network, but am under no contract to write about them. As a psychologist as well as an entrepreneur, I'm simply fascinated by all that I'm learning and observing in this unique environment and am passionate to report what I'm seeing. I prefer real-world experience or "field" research to just reading books.
In the next few weeks, I'll be interviewing members of this Generation Z panel and will be providing several more articles with key insights, strategies, and stories. But for now, I am going to provide the line-up (which at this point is subject to change):
Currently, Jesse Kay is a 17-year-old high schooler, podcaster, speaker, and entrepreneur from NJ. Jesse started his first business in 2009 at nine years old flipping shoes on eBay. In his junior year of high school, Jesse began his podcast, 20 Under the 20s, in his high school business class. After sending over 350 daily emails while launching the podcast to get guests, Jesse has interviewed dozens of leaders including Jack Dorsey, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, Paul Rodriguez and others to over 100,000 listeners. Jesse is focused on sharing practical lessons and stories from some of the best minds on the planet to help inspire young men and women to become tomorrow's entrepreneurs. Jesse has been featured in a variety of global publications including HuffPost, Entrepreneur, Adweek, and Business Insider. Along with hosting his podcast, Jesse has spoken across North America and runs a digital consulting agency helping Fortune 500 brands including the NY Knicks, NY Rangers, Madison Square Garden and influencers (over 5M followers+) connect with their youth customers and fans via social media and digital marketing strategies.
Connor Blakley, 18, is a keynote speaker, and founder of Youthlogic, a marketing consultancy that helps Fortune 1000s better understand today's youth. Connor has been quoted and published in both national and international media outlets including Forbes, MIC, Business Insider, Inc, Entrepreneur, Mashable and the BBC for his unique perspective and understanding of Generation Z.
Brennan Agranoff is a 17-year-old entrepreneur who founded his company HoopSwagg, a leader in the athletic sock industry when he was only 13 years old. Since founding HoopSwagg four years ago, he has grown the company to over $1,000,000 in annual sales and employed more than 40 people. Agranoff has been featured in major media outlets around the world including CNN, Forbes, ABC, Associated Press, Dailymail, NBC, U.S. News & World Report, and Galileo TV (Germany). With its nearly half a million fans and followers on social media, HoopSwagg is poised to continue its speedy ascent to the top of the billion-dollar sock market.
Jonah Stillman is an author, professional speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the co-author of Gen Z @ Work and has already shared his insights with a variety of companies and industries as well as contributed to stories about Gen Z with MSNBC, CBS, and Fast Company. Jonah is a nationally ranked alpine snowboarder and has served as an ambassador for the international nonprofit WE, traveling to Kenya and Ecuador to build schools. He is also the Gen Z Ambassador to the NFL and Minnesota Vikings. Jonah and a team of peers conducted one of the first national surveys about Gen Z's attitudes towards the workplace. The eye-opening results ignited Jonah's interest in keeping the dialogue going. He is excited to be the voice of his generation and offer companies and organizations a heads-up about our next generation gaps.
Noa Mintz is the 18-year old founder of Nannies By Noa, a leading nanny placement service based in New York City. With its large network of highly experienced sitters and nannies that possess a passion for children, Nannies by Noa is the leading destination for reliable, engaging, and educated childcare providers.
Like many entrepreneurs, Noa experienced first-hand an issue that needed improvement - caregiver accountability; her parents wanted to trust, and assurance and she and her siblings wanted a "city-savvy" babysitter who was fun and interactive. By the time she was 12, she had successfully secured caregivers for her own family and had begun recruiting for other families in New York City. At age 12 ½, Noa launched Nannies By Noa which was built around her innovative approach to matching families and caregivers. Along with her talented team, Noa raises the bar of what to expect from a caregiver, making it standard practice for her nannies to be active and engaged participants in the lives of the children they care for.
Noa has been interviewed on national television shows including NBC "Today Show," CNBC "Squawk Box," "Money with Melissa Francis," and her entrepreneurial story has been shared by the likes of CNN Money, The New York Post, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Mashable, and many others. Celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, Lil Wayne, nd Zoe Deschanel have also shared Noa's story via social media.
Allan Maman, 18, is a serial entrepreneur who has founded many successful companies. He is best known for helping create the Fidget Spinner Trend when he was only a senior in High School. Through his main company Fidget360, he has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, got live coverage on national television through CNBC in front of millions, featured in Forbes, Inc, TIME, Business Insider & more. This was all done in an 8 month span. After this, Allan has continued to move onto numerous companies that have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars.