Meet Teen ‘Trep: Josh Seides
Facebook: Technocademy, Inc.
My name is Josh Seides and I am junior at Alpharetta High School in Atlanta, Georgia. I am 16 years old and love everything related to entrepreneurship. I started a nonprofit in my freshman year (discussed below), write for national business magazines (like Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Small Business, Yahoo! News, Fast Company, and Business 2 Community), conduct market research, and provide pro bono business consulting in my local community.
Ever since I could remember, I have been helping my grandparents, who live in New York, with their own technology issues. When I used to visit, I would spend a lot of time helping my grandmother configure her new iPhone and my grandfather his new iPad. I thought, “Hey, they must not be the only seniors in the country needing help with technology.” I decided to launch Technocademy to help other seniors and veterans across the nation reconnect with family and friends.
In 2012, I officially formed Technocademy and began to seek grants and partnerships. We now have partnerships with major companies like Google, HP, and Microsoft; with organizations like YMCA and United Way; and have received grants from organizations like ABC, Disney, and the Fitzberg Foundation.
We have helped more than 150,000 seniors and veterans and look to continue this impact in the future!
What is your Business Tip for Teens?
To aspiring “difference-makers” in the community, the most important advice is to figure out your passion and make a difference with it. By pinpointing something you enjoy doing, you can engage your interests with the needs of the community and make the world a better place.
Also, I would say not to be afraid to reach out to large companies. Initially, I was struck by the illusion that a company at our level would never be able to partner with the big guns like United Way, YMCA, or HP. Once I braced myself to take the next step by contacting some of these businesses, the whole dynamic of Technocademy changed. We were able to find new sources of funding as well as exponentially more opportunities for projects and collaboration across the country. Modern business culture has really shied away from complete independence and “cut-throat competition.” It is more advantageous for all–your business, your consumers, and society–to foster interdependent relationships to build a stronger impact.
What is the Best Part of Being an Entrepreneur?
For me, the greatest aspect of running a business is seeing and experiencing the impact we make in the community. Whether through a nonprofit or a for-profit model, I thoroughly enjoy the ability and power businesses have to give back and create a change that is needed in society. Every day, I live this dream and am thrilled with the sanguinity and vitality seniors and veterans experience from our services.
We often have seniors and veterans come to us and share their new experiences with how they’ve learned and been able to reconnect with family and friends. I am just amazed at the potential for positive impact businesses can have in the community. In the future, no matter what business I might delve into, I look forward to enjoying what social footprints it can make for those in need.