#OliveSavvy: Bridging the Gap Between Idea and Startup - YouthHack

It’s no secret here at Olive Devices that we value entrepreneurship and startups. We even gave six reasons why every young person should work at a startup for one of our first #OliveSavvy blog posts. This week, in the spirit of celebrating our weeklong #employment #FreeBell theme, we are lucky enough to highlight a group that loves startups just as much, if not more, than we do: YouthHack Philadelphia.

At just 19 years old, University of Pennsylvania student David Ongchoco started YouthHack in the Philippines as a way to encourage young people to start their own businesses. The for-purpose organization now helps high school and university students all over the world learn more about startups, technology, and entrepreneurship. 

“A big part of YouthHack's success is because of our community and all the core team members and mentors who have helped us get to where we are today,” Ongchoco said. “The other big thing is the optimism our community has and the fact that everyone really wants to turn their ideas into reality, work on cool projects and make an impact through startups, tech and entrepreneurship.”

YouthHack holds competitions for students to “unleash their technoprenuership” and get in front of big names in the industry. They also host workshops in hopes of educating young people about entrepreneurship and inspiring them to dive in and communicate their ideas to the world. On top of that, YouthHack holds a speaker series so aspiring entrepreneurs can hear from those those who have seen their dreams come into fruition.

YouthHack Philadelphia is made of up two programs. The first, FreshStart, is geared toward underclassmen who want to learn all about startups. The second is the YouthHack Ventures program, a venture accelerator and venture builder program for students who want to start gaining experience building real startups. YouthHack Philly is also launching a StartUp House in 2017 “with the goal of bringing Silicon Valley to the East Coast.”

“The advice I would give to young entrepreneurs is to push yourself out of your comfort zone, never stop learning, and keep hustling,” Ongchoco said. “Success doesn't happen overnight but if you keep working on your startup projects or ideas bit by bit, week by week, progress does happen. Through the process of working on YouthHack, I've learned that no matter how young you are, you can create something special and that you're never too young to make an impact.”

Internship applications are available on the website and there are many other ways to get involved. You can apply to all of the programs mentioned on the YouthHack site as well, or you can join a YouthHack fellowship or chapter. Programs are available in Philadelphia, Singapore, Manila, and Hong Kong.


Molly Oretsky

Molly Oretsky