Interview: Adam Galloway, teenage digital entrepreneur

Adam Galloway is 18 and on a mission to make life easier for young entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business.

We did a Q & A with Adam to find out more

WHAT ARE YOU DOING, AND WHY DID YOU START THIS JOURNEY?

I run a couple of businesses, my main one being a digital agency called Launchcode Digital. We employ a small team of young designers and developers in Liverpool and we build digital products ranging from mobile applications to data-driven web apps.

My second and latest business is a cryptocurrency mining and investment company. We’ve raised £60,000 to buy hardware for cryptocurrency mining.

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"Many adults won’t take a young person seriously so it’s near impossible to raise capital..."

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOTIVATION?

My work on my first start-up was sparked by the Snowden leaks in 2013, when I was 14. Having learned so much from the internet, I was very concerned about the impact of mass surveillance on freedom of expression and information. With a keen interest in computer science and mathematics, I thought I’d be in a good position to think of a solution. But the marketplace has changed since then with many large companies building encryption into their products and services and that’s made me focus on other problems.

HOW DID YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN?

I was lucky to have a group of really driven friends who helped me a lot.

As a young person I found it very hard to get any help from experienced businesspeople so having the internet was very helpful. We eventually got £300 from O2 through their Think Big scheme. I used that to plant the seed which eventually grew into what I have built today.

WHAT OBSTACLES HAVE YOU FACED?

Many adults won’t take a young person seriously so it’s near impossible to raise capital which is a major obstacle to starting a company. It was also difficult to find information on starting a company - most programmes are geared to people over 18 - so I offer my help to young people wherever I can.

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"I was lucky to have a group of really driven friends who helped me a lot."

WHAT’S THE BEST BIT OF WHAT YOU DO?

Having great flexibility about what I do with my time. I like to try out new things and help people out wherever I can. I wouldn’t get this opportunity in many other scenarios.

WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART OF WHAT YOU DO?

Keeping on top of every different task. As the managing director I’m responsible for managing my team and ensuring everything from finances to marketing works as it should.

Sometimes things happen beyond my control which can be difficult to handle.

WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT’S HAPPENED TO YOU ON THIS JOURNEY?

Having to deal with conflicts within the business. I started the company with one of my good friends, and business tensions can cause issues within a friendship but we have learned to separate business and our friendship.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO ANYONE STARTING ON A SIMILAR PATH?

Try to do as much research as you can into how your industry works. There are probably thousands of people who have been down a similar path to you and learning from them will save you a lot of time.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 16-YEAR-OLD SELF?

I would tell myself to do market research before taking any chances. I would have saved a lot of time if I had learned what the market needs and what solutions already exist.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE?

I hope to identify more issues which can be solved - at least partially – using technology. I think the internet still has a lot of space to grow and I’d like to shape it so it works better for everyone.

Careers, TechnologyWeb editor