Teen Participates in U.K. Startup Contest

I have a 17-year old son. He’s into music and questioning authority. I enjoy our conversations and listening to his unique perspective but I wouldn’t say I sit in awe at his feet drinking in all he has to say.

Not the case with Josh Chandler. He’s 17, lives in the U.K. and has been blogging for four months. His specialty? Tech Solutions. He’s a technology journalist and Web 2.0 podcaster.

I just spent the last hour reading his blog and taking notes. I thought I was pretty “with it” when I dipped my toe into Twitter, but Josh bringing new resources, platforms and solutions to light that I’d never heard of — all with the energy and enthusiasm of youth.

Josh talks about Friendfeed and invites further blog discussion to occur over at Friendfeed – a platform that allows quick back and forth conversation. In one post he asks the question, which is better and why: Twitter or Friendfeed.

I like that he not only brings new resources to light but also takes the time to view them from all angles. Good stuff.

Perhaps the most interesting point I learned is that at 17 he is helping to promote a U.K. startup contest, being offered by Vator.tv.

They are looking for start-ups in the technology and Web 2.0 arena with operations in the U.K. to submit a video pitch of their idea. Josh is one of the judges, and the winner gets a chance to pitch their idea in front of venture capitalist Frank Boehnke, General Partner at Wellington Partners, an international venture capital company, as well as press coverage.

So if you are a startup with U.K. operations potentially looking for venture capital funding, you have until August 31, 2008 to submit your video pitch. Complete U.K. Startup Challenge information can be found here.


20 Reactions
  1. Wow…that’s incredible for a 17 year old. I definitely feel at least a little bit dumber. 🙂

  2. Good for him, that’s awesome! I wish I had been half as motivated as him when I was just 17. Good luck to everyone who enters.

  3. Wow, that’s impressive. I’m always curious to see about kids like that later on in life, too. As the years pass, what they’ve done and what they’ve accomplished. It’s amazing.

  4. Good luck to all who enter! Very inspiring to see such a young person so motivated and enjoying success from it. Will you be posting the results here? I hope so, I’ll be interested to see them.

  5. I’m always in awe of young people who are both smart and brave enough to just do it. I wonder who is smarter; Josh or the venture cap he teamed up with.

  6. Deborah Chaddock Brown

    Ivana, that’s really insightful. How many established business men or women would listen long enough to a teenager to take them seriously as a peer?

  7. Great, at least we knew that we have brilliant young people whose hearts are for entrepreneurship. It would be a lot better too if we could bring more of a “Josh” like kids in the near future.

  8. I feel quite envious because he was able to realize the importance of entrepreneurship in his life at that very young age. Unlike me, who have just started at the age of 27. I’m 10 years behind him. But of course, I am inspired that we have this kind of kid who no longer acts like a kid. Good for him. 🙂

  9. It’s very great for him to have that chosen path to pursue. Indeed, very inspiring. Worth to spread the good news. Keep it up, young man. 🙂

  10. Hi Bianca,

    Yeah, you have that reason to be envious to him. But just try to look at the positive side. It’s very inspiring and really good to knew we have that kind of kid existing in this world right now which I believe most of the others would prefer to sit and play with games. And also, don’t say to yourself you’re 10 years behind him. Let’s take it in a positive perspective- let’s just say: he is 10 years in advanced of you. That sounds better. What do you think?

    Note: In entrepreneurship, it’s always good to look things in a positive perspective. It is better to drive you more to solutions than driving yourself to problems.

  11. Deborah,

    Pretty impressive isn’t it?

    Young minds always bulging with idea and creativity, that, interestingly, are often suppressed when we grow into adulthood. What a pity!

    If adult entrepreneurs took risk and think like Josh, there would be many more successful business these days.


  12. Hello there everyone,

    Wow, what a great response. I am certainly glad to see this much excitment has been created around the competition, I noted a lot of you have business blogs. If any of you keep in touch with any UK startups, please send them over to the competition. And of course please do take the time to vote for your favourite company, it will help make our numbers more evenly spread as we draw towards the final week of the competition.

    Thanks once again for including this story on the site

    Josh Chandler

  13. Holy cow – I take the day off from the office for a meeting and all kinds of conversation goes on without me! First, I forgot to respond to Gail about results. I will keep an eye out and let you know here about the winner.

    Bianca, I think you expressed out loud what all the rest of us are feeling – man, I may have still been playing with my Barbie dolls at 17 🙂

    I can remember my Dad telling me that in our life time we will experience three entirely different careers. Josh is starting his at 17 and when he hits 27 or 37 he may find that his interests take him down another path. I know that has happened for me. And at 50-something (oh, that hurts to type) I have enjoyed multiple successes and hope for great things yet to come.

    I guess we all have to just be thankful for the energy and focus we have today and continue to be excited about the contributions we can make going forward and cheer on those around us who are doing the same.

    It’s Friday – it’s sunny – and frankly I think we are ALL pretty impressive.

  14. Very nice, everyone in this community of people are extremely insightful and it has been a pleasure viewing some of the discussion you guys talk about on other posts. Expect to be seeing me around here, quite a lot!


  15. Martin Lindeskog


    Welcome back! Small Business Trends is a great place to hang out at and learn new stuff. How popular is Dragons’ Den in the UK?

    I created my profile on Vator.tv some time ago, but I haven’t uploaded my pitch yet. https://www.vator.tv/user/show/MartinLindeskog

  16. Martin,

    Dragons Den isn’t nearly as addictive as the Apprentice UK. But the dragons do help fund a lot of great startups, I haven’t been following this series at all!

    In concerns to your profile at Vator.tv, just try uploading a 60 sec video pitch and watch the magic happen, I have seen a lot of companies gain great momentum through people watching their video pitch. Maybe it will work for you, just try it out and see what results you get.

    Best of luck with everything you do,


  17. Martin Lindeskog


    Thanks for your comment and nice words. I will create a pitch video and upload. Talking about video, I will send you information on a new cool communication tool called Talk Fusion. It is video email messages with a nice frame with a picture, contact information and your company’s logotype or graphical profile.

  18. Of course,

    Send email to:
    joshchandler at technologygazette dot com



  19. Martin Lindeskog


    Great! The video email messages are on their way to you! I look forward to your feedback! 🙂

  20. I have just seen this post and like everyone else commenting here, am in awe of such a precocious talent. It is great news in these days of doom and gloom that a 17 year old shows the intelligence and charisma to succeed in his chosen area.

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