Hannes Rydell was just 18 when he started DropInGolf Sweden AB, a Swedish booking service for golf clubs. At the time, Hannes was just a budding entrepreneur looking for mentorship. Three years later, the young entrepreneur has his eyes fixed on success.
He is also the founder of another company, Startup Rocket Academy which helps young people to start a business. “We cover everything from creating a business idea, taking a product to market, building your startup network, etc.,” Hannes said in a recent interview.
A Talent in Business
Although he was not born into entrepreneurship, Hannes had a natural inclination towards business.
“I’ve always liked two things related to entrepreneurship — making money and building stuff. Whether it was to build a treehouse, a full city of lego or selling old tech devices to friends and family to gain a profit,” Hannes recalled.
When he was around 15, Hannes was introduced to the real entrepreneurship world and got interested right away. He, right away, realized that it was something he loved and had a natural talent for.
Hannes spent the rest of his teen years learning and preparing for the success that was just beginning to knock at his door. At 19, the idea that is today his first company won “Best Business Idea” at the coveted Creative Dragons.
Armed with just a business plan, Hannes won the approval of multiple well-known entrepreneurs who ended up investing his newly started business with more experience and money than he could have ever imagined.
“One of them was music producer Niclas Molinder, who is the founder of the tech-company Auddly together with Björn Ulvaeus from world-famous music group ABBA, as well as producer Max Martin. I also managed to land former PGA-Tour Player and entrepreneur Mathias Grönberg. He was ranked as the 65th golfer in the world at his time and also played with Tiger Woods in the 2003 Open Championship.”
In just a year, Hannes scaled his business, growing it from 2 connected golf clubs to more than 40. During the same period, Hannes and his team increased DropInGolf Sweden AB’s user base from roughly 1,000 to over 15,000.
This feat earned him recognition as one of the youngest founders to get accepted into Business Sweden’s Leap Accelerator as well as the Web Summit ALPHA Startup-Program.
How to Leverage Youth in Business
Hannes attributes his success to his talent and an important lesson he learned very early in life.
According to him, “When you’re a young first-time entrepreneur, you usually don’t have a lot of credibility, money, or connections to show others. However, the good news is that you don’t need these resources yourself. You just need to find other people who have them and that are willing to give you access to some of it. This can be achieved through either investors, mentors, or partnerships. The hard part is to get that first-person onboard, when you have overcome that first step, the spiral will just keep going up and up.”
He has never allowed age to come between him and success. With knowledge of how to excel when everyone takes youth is a disadvantage, Hannes encourages young innovators to be good at just one thing.
“As long as you´re able to communicate the right things and display a high level of knowledge in the areas that you’re talking about, your age will actually become the one factor which stands out the most and make you a lot more interesting to potential investors or mentors.”
While young age might seem to some like a weakness in the business battlefield, Hannes Rydell has proven that youth is a valuable initial investment. “Getting the right people behind you is the #1 way of succeeding in business as a young entrepreneur,” Hannes concluded.