As Orr Fellows, my wife Carrie and I both had amazing experiences in and around entrepreneurship at the start of our careers. Those experiences led to me co-founding my own software startup before taking the helm here at TechPoint.
Of course, my wife and boys were the very best things to happen to me coming out of the Orr Fellowship, but having that exposure to startups and the entrepreneurs behind them has had a tremendous impact on my career, the way I see the world and the way I approach, well … pretty much everything.
At TechPoint, we’re replicating the success of the Orr Fellowship with different targeted age groups. While the Orr Fellowship immerses recent college grads into the tech and startup communities with two-year job placements, we are targeting younger people still in college with an internship program called IndyXtern, and targeting more experienced professionals looking to relocate back to Indiana with IndyXpat. All three of these programs have been created to help grow Indiana entrepreneurs and Indiana businesses.
The beauty of Lemonade Day is that it extends the continuum of programs that reach out to potential company founders and job creators, and gives them a taste of startup success (or failure) at a very early age. I think developing an entrepreneurial spirit can be a lot like learning a language; the younger you are, the easier it is to absorb the mechanics.
In fact, it will not surprise me at all if some of the most promising future Orr Fellows, IndyXterns and IndyXpats, and the most successful entrepreneurs in Indianapolis 10-20 years from now, tell stories about how they got bitten by the startup bug when they had a lemonade stand participating in Lemonade Day.
By starting kids early and instilling them with the basic skills and confidence to strike out on their own and create something, to build a business, we are securing the economic future of our community. In the decades to come, Lemonade Day veterans won’t be drawn to the coasts for tech and startup careers because the opportunities here will rival anything far-away cities could offer. And perhaps more importantly, careers for Lemonade Day veterans won’t depend on the jobs that are available. If they don’t see the opportunities they are looking for, they’ll simply create their own.
Register your kids for Lemonade Day at www.indianapolis.lemonadeday.org.