At Knowledge Green, we often talk to entrepreneurs from Yale University or other budding capitalists looking to make a splash in the tech world. For many young businesses, the individuals in charge are learning how to operate on a daily basis as they launch products.
But, what if those entrepreneurs didn’t have to learn on the fly?
Enter Nick Caplan, the founder of Launch Island, a network teaching entrepreneurship to kids.
With parental guidance, the Launch Island platform enables users to create web-based stores capable of taking orders. Caplan, 32, also the executive director of Startup Grind New Haven, says the website is easy to navigate and designed for kids to operate.
Launch Island will allow users to design business cards or shirts to professionally market their startup company. The service even provides educational videos and blog posts, helping users to brainstorm business ideas, master business logic and finance, or just get experience in digital marketing.
“It’s a really good way to introduce kids to the digital world,” he said. “My hope is that [Launch Island] can make it easier in the household.”
The oldest of Caplan’s two daughters, who always asks for help selling her products, drove the idea for Launch Island. Caplan said he wanted to “figure out how to support and ingrain the skills into [his] daughter.”
His daughter’s entrepreneurship skills are already on display after she launched Rainbow Unicorn, a Launch Island-created page selling jewelry, party signs and decorations. The modest prices range between $10 to $15.
— launchisland (@launchisland) August 26, 2017
Caplan began working on the project toward the end of 2016, and at the same time, noticed the platform was needed for business training. That belief is proved by a slew of data stating that youth entrepreneurship is at an all-time low, Caplan said.
He cited stories from the humble beginnings of Warren Buffet, who idealized entrepreneurship at a young age, but initially failed because of a lack of experience. The business magnate’s relentless attempts to sell chewing gum, Coca-Cola bottles, golf balls, stamps and newspapers often fell short of the mark before he made his billions.
An Atlanta native, Caplan graduated from the MBA program at the Yale School of Management and worked as an engineer before entering the finance sector. He then began assisting several startup companies to find their way to success.
— launchisland (@launchisland) September 14, 2017
Affordability for Launch Island is central to Caplan’s mission. Using the promotional code Just1Dollar, users can purchase a three-month subscription for just $1. After that, the next three months will cost $10. If you’re not satisfied after 30 days, the site will refund your money.
“At the end of the day, we primarily care about the impact,” Caplan said. “We want to find the best way to make an impact through the pricing model.”
— launchisland (@launchisland) September 13, 2017
In October, Caplan plans to re-launch the site through a rebranding of sorts. The platform, he says, will add new features he has been researching since the preliminary launch last year.
For now, Caplan is working with educators in New Haven and Fairfield counties to bring Launch Island into their classrooms. He believes this platform is a great opportunity for teachers to finally provide real entrepreneurship education for young students.
To keep up with Launch Island’s development, follow the platform on Twitter.