Welcome to the Digital Gap Year!
During 2017 I’m challenging my friends and contacts in Adelaide to help create a “digital gap year” so that young adult digital enthusiasts can spend some time together learning to collaborate, finding real-world problems to solve, creating digital products and services, while developing relationships with experienced digital innovators, entrepreneurs and investors.
For the last year I have been helping to create the Adelaide GigCity which will bring affordable gigabit Internet connections to digital innovation precincts around Adelaide. Spending time in some of these precincts reminded me that one of the most productive times in my life was working with other technologists in a converted factory where we created cool things like this:
It also struck me how many people in my network I met at the Angle Park Computer Centre summer schools which were very informal, basically throwing a bunch of interested young people in a space with some very expensive computers.
Bringing this all together, I think a good start would be to find a suitable space in one of the precincts, gather some school leavers and Uni students, introduce them and provide them with the basic tools of the startup culture:
and a whiteboard
At the risk of waving my hands in the air and saying “the rest is simple”, then we pull together our unique version of the incubator model.
Young people, wifi, tables and whiteboards, what could go wrong? I expect they will make forts.
Do you want to be part of this?
I’m going to need mentors, people with problems to solve, commercial sponsors and participants.
What’s in it for me? I need to hire smart cloud specialists in Adelaide so this is a recruiting venue for me and I’m keen to create more support for the next generation of digital entrepreneurs in Adelaide with projects and angel funding.
What about places beyond Adelaide? I want Digital Gap Year to work anywhere there are young people looking for an amazing gap year experience. I want people from Adelaide to roam the planet growing their network and gaining experience so that they can build valuable, global scale digital businesses in Adelaide. I want to see Digital Gap Year programs set up everywhere, from country towns to megacities and I want them to be connected.