Are we making a great enough impact at YSI? No. Are we on our way? Well, no one can know the future – but based on the acceleration from nothing to where we are today, we are at least getting a pretty good shot:
Big companies are approaching us, great young minds are our friends and in our network, we reached over 10 million people in 2017 (Stats provided by Meltwater), talked at huge conferences in Norway where we told the established what we believed in, got picked and then voted on to carry the Olympic torch, got over 10.000 applications from 170 countries, tried and sold our first online challenge to engage our community, got a community (Earthpreners), had 5 startups come out of program, 3 still going. we made a “doing conference”, had over 150 people help YSI to succeed, was in 9 different news sites, We created the program for “Citypreneurs” in Seoul, which is run by WUFNA, we decided to start up in new countries and are on schedule to run a program for South-East Asia with our amazing team in Singapore, and another team in Bangladesh. Remember, all this happened in 2017, and we started in 2016.
So, we have reached millions of people, and created a community, as well as some teams formed to create startup tackling everything from disease spreading to heat loss and clean water. The fact still remains, we haven`t created a successful startup yet (you know the ones that really creates impact). We have only created in-direct influence over a relatively small part of the world. We do have exciting potentials in our startups who are still going form the 2016 and 2017 batches but as we all know, it will take time to impact.
www.xylawater.com, www.decdis.com, www.aquasolisglobal.com, and www.heatgrade.com.
The challenge of being youth-driven
Being an organization run by young people, focusing on collaboration with the more experienced – we are running into several challenges. We have knowledge, skills, and a great network – but leveraging that into dedicated action is hard. People have a lot of things to do in their own lives, and we often rely on people willing to use their own time to help out. This means it’s harder for our network and partners to be excellent at helping the startups after the program, to help with skills (which takes more time than mentoring), and to leverage network (which usually requires them getting something in return).
To better handle these issues in 2018 and onward, we are focusing on building a stronger curriculum, and program, so that the innovation staff can be more focused on the teams, and individuals – helping them reach each objective and goal. We are also looking the get stronger partners that will also feel ownership of helping the startups, in a bigger way.
We are focusing on our program, building a business model that will ultimately engage our community and give more opportunities, creating the best partnerships, creating an online platform for our startups, building a stronger community and helping out even more in the world. We are looking for quality, and quality takes time – so wait for our home run, it’s coming!