Robert Braathe, founder and owner of BE Your Start and Braathe Enterprises, has many years of experience with major American companies including GAP, Disney, and Apple. He has the special ability and unseen willingness to pass on his knowledge and experience from these companies to young people from all around the world, helping them start their careers. Below, Robert Braathe answers some questions about start-ups and BE Your Start.
Whom is the BE Your Start program aimed at?
The BE Your Start program aims at high school and college students looking to start a career or start a company through an internship or an idea.
What inspired you to work with young people from all around the world
I did an internship in 1995 for the Walt Disney Company and wanted to offer something similar, but where students could get the same kind of guidance and mentorship I did during the Walt Disney College program anywhere in the US or the world. As well, the movie X-Men with Professor X guiding his “mutants” with great powers and talents made me want to have my own team of awesome people.
How do you encourage and motivate young people in their start-up ideas?
I have them run their idea through a series of questions to see how much effort and time they should spend on it, and then provide them with the resources necessary to move the idea forward if it is viable.
According to research from 2019, up to 21% of start-ups fail in their first year. Why do you think this is happening?
Usually poor execution and effort. I’ve seen more halfway decent ideas with great execution work out vs great ideas with poor execution and teamwork. As I mention above, I encourage people to find the right mindset in advance.
What does the future hold for BE Your Start and Braathe Enterprises? Where do you want the company to evolve?
I would like to continue to help launch careers and companies that college and high school students want to start for at least the next 30-40 years!
Interview by Marek Nebeský on March 18th, 2021