Startup Teens is the first online platform in Europe that teaches teenagers entrepreneurial skills and connects them to a powerful network of mentors and other ambitious teens. With expert founders and role models from leading companies, they support the future framework for German innovation.
Sharezone launches schools into the cloud – it’s a simple app solution to manage information between parents, teachers, classrooms, and students. The organization app allows you to store homework, access digital reading materials, and increase communication flow between parents and teachers.
It’s no surprise that Nils describes himself first as disciplined and ambitious, then athletic. Not only is he a math and computer science aficionado, but he also runs middle distance for his local track club, and keeps himself busy by also running his own (successful) app on the side.
What is the best and worst thing about school?
I could write an entire book about this, but let’s keep it short and sweet. I like that I am able to interact with friends and talk about current and social stuff. However, I am really frustrated by the lack of tech in the curriculum. The state of digitalization in schools is abysmal even though we live in the year 2019.
It shows how little politicians care. If it were a priority for politicians to update and digitize schools, then something would have happened in the past few years, but creating an EU upload filter and bill for link taxation in a few weeks didn’t seem to be an issue.
What inspired you to create your own business?
We made Sharezone because we wanted to fix something that was frustrating us every day at school: the organization was annoying, complicated, unpractical, and took up too much time.
But the takeaways are so much more than that. Since we started, we’ve learned so much and gained a lot of experience in entrepreneurship, networking, pitching, communicating, project management, but even more in programming.
What do younger people get that adults don’t?
Snapchat. Haha, no. I think that for each young person it’s really hard to imagine a world where there is no internet. The internet has undoubtedly opened up tons of doors. Just a few decades ago knowledge was less accessible, it was expensive, but now everyone has the power to acquire knowledge with a click.
In the future, every device will be connected to the internet of things. We teens have grown up with the internet so it’s just normal for us.
Did you receive encouragement when you decided to begin your business?
Yes, I am very thankful to all the people who have supported me. At the Startup Teens event, we met a whole bunch of teenagers who were absolutely thrilled with our idea. My parents used to think, “Oh, just let him do it, and then we’ll see what happens.” I don’t think they expected us to work so hard towards our vision.
What is your leadership style?
There is no proper leadership style between us. Our hierarchy is pretty flat. When someone has an idea or disagrees, then we just talk about the pros and cons in our weekly meeting. We learn a lot from the internet, books, mentors, and of course, our own experiences.
Is it difficult to manage school and work?
Obviously, it isn’t the easiest and in my case, I also run track and field. But, if it were easy, then everyone would be doing it. 😉 It isn’t sorcery, but it requires a lot of discipline, endurance, and the right mindset.
Do you like how old you are now or do you wish you were older or younger?
Sometimes I wish that I was already 18! When you are older, you usually have more opportunities and fewer setbacks. Since I am still a minor, it was more difficult and it took more effort to start Sharezone with my friends. If I were older, it would hardly be a problem. On the other hand, because we are younger, it also opens up a lot of doors.
After your studies will you continue your company?
In the last year, I have learned so much through the startup scene, info like never before. I see no reason why I would stop pursuing entrepreneurship while I study, however, there needs to be a stronger focus on one topic. From this experience I imagine myself working in a smaller team, like a startup, rather than a huge corporation.