Bored in Math Class? Start a Business

"Zepreneurs" are already making headlines before graduating from high school.
“Zepreneurs” are already making headlines before graduating from high school.

By Jake Skoloda

I recently had the opportunity to speak at a national conference, the Marketing to Gen Z Conference in New York. It was a pretty cool experience because I am only 17 years old. My mom and I were invited to speak on the topic of Zpreneurs – Gen Z kids who are starting their own businesses.

According to a Forbes Magazine article, 72% of Gen Z want to start their own business. I know quite a bit about the topic because four of my high school friends and I have started a business called the Millennial Ad Network. It’s a social media and influencer marketing business. We started it in the basement of my family’s house and use our hot tub as our brainstorming conference room.

We started the business because we were bored in math class but wanted to use our scholarly skills in the real world. Social media is something we are very adept at and we realized that many business owners could use expertise to help them market their businesses to millennials, a lucrative audience for many businesses. We’ve been doing well getting local clients. We also are into local real estate and recently purchased a 30,000 sq. ft. building in our hometown to house our offices and build another stream of income.

When marketing to Gen-Z there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep it real. Gen-Z has a very good filter for authenticity.
  • Advertising is accepted. They view ads as a necessary evil but do factor them into consideration when making purchases.
  • Align with causes they support. Gen-Z will support companies that they perceive are giving back.

My mom, Kelley Skoloda, spoke with me at the conference. She talked about Zpreneurs and their business impact families. She noted that family basements have become the new boardrooms and that parents will be more likely to buy from entrepreneurial businesses because of their children’s entrepreneurial ventures. A boomer enrepreneur herself, she has just launch KS Consulting & Capital where she focuses on connecting brands to their female consumers, female entrepreneurs to angel investors and boards of directors to female perspective.

Here is a link to our Gen Z Conference Sessions Summary.

I won the “Apple of Our Eye” award at the Marketing to Gen-Z conference I spoke at. Winning the best speaker award at our first conference really gave the Millennial Ad Network some great exposure and momentum.

Jake Skoloda Jake Skoloda, co-founder and president of the Millennial Ad Network, is a high school senior in Greensburg, PA (outside of Pittsburgh). He is the captain of the golf team and his future plans include more entrepreneurial activity and, he says, “possibly” college.






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