In today’s society, age just does not matter when it comes to business, as some of the brightest minds and greatest ideas are coming from today’s youth. And while some may think that today’s youth aren’t doing their part to “give-back,” just think again!
Recent University graduates Brayden Gingrich and Ali Smith could be spending all their time on their own successful companies they started. However, they wanted to give back to the community and other young entrepreneurs who need money and help during these “COVID-19 times”. So, they recently started The Launch Project, which is an initiative to give one lucky entrepreneur over $17,000 through their pitch contest the tools and guidance they need to succeed in the business world. From marketing and event planning to business coaching and PR, they aim to help the entrepreneur make their dreams a reality.
- Why is helping other young entrepreneurs so important to you both?
There are so many factors that make being a young entrepreneur difficult and we think to give them a network of support and expertise will help them reach the success they are dreaming of. We both had help from young entrepreneurs when starting our businesses and we want to pay that forward.
- What makes The Launch Project different from other elevator-type pitch competitions?
The Launch Project is different because the winner is being given a network, knowledge, and skills that will actually help them succeed, not just a financial grant or rent-free space. We want to be there for the winner every step of the way, and help them succeed.
- What is the best advice you can give towards other young entrepreneurs on their journey?
It sounds cliche but doesn’t quit, keep going no matter what gets thrown at you. It’s not easy and takes a lot of persistence but that’s what will get you to where you want to be. Be sure to set clear goals and intentions, so you don’t lose sight of the task at hand.
- How are you both disrupting your own industries with your own projects away from the Launch Project?
Time. When we work alongside small businesses and larger corporations, we don’t just aim to provide valuable services but to save time for our clients. The value of time is unparalleled to services that most businesses provide.
- What do you see happening with The Launch Project in the years ahead after this initial competition?
We hope to continue The Launch Project and keep building a larger value proposition and network year after year. The more industry professionals we can join up with, the bigger the impact we can have on the winning entrepreneur.
- What life motto do you each live by?
Brayden Gingrich – “Fear kills growth” – Gary Vaynerchuk. I sometimes struggle with the constant “what ifs”, but each day I realize that thinking this way only slows you down, and offers no value. Live in the moment, and don’t let fear run your life. Every “no” you get, is closer to that “yes”.
Ali Smith – “You don’t find success in your comfort zone” all the best accomplishments and moments from my life came from places outside of my comfort zone. I had to take chances, risks, and get a little uncomfortable to be the greatest version of myself.
- How has COVID-19 impacted your own lives as young adults?
Brayden Gingrich – COVID-19 has taught me many valuable lessons. The most important is learning how to adapt to situations I can’t control. Luckily for us, the need for marketing has skyrocketed, and we are constantly looking at the safest ways to expand operations.
Ali Smith – COVID-19 forced me to reprioritize and expect the unexpected. I always had this “picture perfect” idea of the path my business and personal life would follow, but have learned to not only expect but appreciate the things you can’t control.