How Young Business Leaders are Making Money and Creating Global Change

by / ⠀Startup Advice / March 4, 2011

This past weekend students of top institutions from around the world met to discuss global issues behind the doors of the United Nations. Roundtable forums on expanding access to higher education and clean drinking water, empowering women and rebuilding economies through entrepreneurship were all discussed in the boardroom of the New York Stock Exchange, uniting student business leaders to create cross cultural solutions to these problems.

Kicking off the conference at the United Nations, founder of Kairos Society, Ankur Jain told attendees that the future’s most powerful leaders would form bonds throughout this very weekend to help foster multinational ventures that solve global issues in the years to come. The theme of the weekend was cemented with the emphasis on how doing good and making money are not mutually exclusive. This group however was not just a room full of youthful exuberance with twenty one year olds like Ankur excited to change the world; the students had the tremendous backing of the experienced generation of influencers as well.

Rockstar entrepreneurs who ranged from Carl Schramm, entrepreneur and Co-Chairman of Startup America to Scott Becker a 23 year old entrepreneur who recently exited his company to Google were in attendance giving their mentorship to students who wanted to change the world. Mainstream business media also appeared in full force with people like Colleen DeBaise of The Wall Street Journal, Rod Kurtz from AOL Small Business, Josh Moss from Portfolio, Katharine Herrup of Reuters and Donna Fenn from INC, poised to uncover the next big thing. Solidifying the entrepreneurial support circle was a multitude of angel investors and venture capitalists to lead the discussion on innovative ways to gain access to capital.

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It wasn’t the lineup of A-listers who gathered for dinner at Mark Rockefeller’s private estate that was most impressive about the evening however. The real eye opener came witnessing student leaders from China, Saudi Arabia, Europe, India and America forming such fast friendships in the spirit of entrepreneurship. These students truly believed that in order to stimulate the global economy, high growth companies need to be created to bring drinking water to people who don’t have it, find alternative energy and tame rising fuel prices.

This year, companies being represented at Kairos Society walked the walk when it came to tackling major issues. Neverware a company that allows old desktop computers run state of the art software without costly upgrades creates a cost effective solution for schools in the developing world. Runner up at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, Solben a Mexican biodisel company has 25 employees and is making major innovations in greentech. While ThinkLite will come into your home or business, calculate your energy savings and convert you to more efficient solutions with no up front costs.

Everyone in attendance was looking to impact young lives and help impact the future. In a conversation with Naveen Jain, the businessman and philanthropist who inspired Ankur to create this organization, he explained the most important role of a parent is to tell their children what truly makes them proud. “When Ankur said he wanted to create a company with revenues 10x mine, I said that’s fine, but what would make really me proud is seeing him have a positive affect on 10x as many people as I have.”  The Kairos fellows motto of “Doing Well By Doing Good” was felt by all in attendance.

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