Network Startup Teens expands – management team is expanded to a trio

Jenny Maertens (left) and Laura Bornmann

The two managers are to work together to build up the recruitment agency GenZ Talents.

(Photo: Startup Teens)

Dusseldorf The “Startup Teens” initiative is becoming more professional: The recently founded recruitment agency “GenZ Talents” is to grow into a personnel consultancy. Young specialists and managers are no longer just brought together with companies, companies should also be given advice on how to become attractive employers for the target group. Operationally, this is to be driven forward by a new dual leadership. Laura Bornmann and Jenny Maertens will be equal managing directors from October 1st, as the Handelsblatt learned in advance.

Bornmann, 31, was previously in charge of human resources development at Rewe Dortmund and was therefore responsible for 18,000 employees. The 34-year-old Maertens comes from Etventure, the digital consultancy of the auditing company EY. There she was most recently enablement and transformation manager. “I’m really happy to be able to take on this task and to bring young people and companies together,” says Bornmann. Demand is extremely high: “We have an employee market, to be precise: a young employee market.”

Managing Director Hauke ​​Schwiezer stays on board. The 44-year-old has built up the initiative over the past few years. Now he wants to concentrate on the strategy and the expansion of the network. Among other things, the group of shareholders of Startup Teens is to be expanded from the current 22 to 25 and an advisory board is to be found and installed. The number of employees is to increase from the current nine to 15.

“It’s about the cause, not about profits”

“I am very happy and also a little proud that we are strengthening our staff and positioning ourselves more broadly in terms of content,” says Schwiezer of the Handelsblatt. The demand for young talent is greater than ever in the German economy. Placing these young specialists and executives and helping companies to optimally use their potential is an important and responsible task.

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Startup Teens was founded in 2015. The initiative is considered a top-class network of young entrepreneurs and investors for the innovators of the future. Basically, Startup Teens enables 14- to 19-year-old students in Germany to think and act entrepreneurially and to code. This is possible with videos on the YouTube channel “Startup Teens powered by simpleclub” with more than 90,000 subscribers and an average of 140,000 video views, with more than 1000 mentors, events and the “Challenge” business plan competition.

Despite all the expansion and professionalization: Startup Teens wants to remain a non-profit organization

At the beginning of the year, the recruitment agency Talents was founded: the initiative had started to provide internships to promising talents via a platform. According to their own statements, the demand from young people of “Generation Z” (born after 1995) and companies was so strong that this module became independent and is now being expanded again. The number of employees there is to increase from the current nine to 15 by the end of this year.

Under the name “GenZ Talents”, however, this module is located as a non-profit company below the non-profit association, so that the initiative as a whole remains a social enterprise. “100 percent of the profits that we will make with our personnel placement and consultancy will flow into enabling young people to think entrepreneurially and become active,” explains Schwiezer. This non-profit character increases the attractiveness of GenZ Talents enormously. “Our thinking doesn’t revolve around profits, but around the cause,” says Schwiezer.

Stationery manufacturer Edding seeks advice from GenZ Talents

The initiative is currently supported by 22 shareholders around well-known founders, entrepreneurs and investors such as Stephen Weich (Bottle Message), Miriam Wohlfahrt (Ratepay) and Florian Heinemann (Project A). Young entrepreneurs and successors in family businesses such as Georgia Näder (Otto Bock), Stephanie Senger (Senger Automobile), Jens Fiege (Fiege Logistik), Kim Höhne (U! Ventures), Matthias Bruch (Globus) and Paul Feldhoff (Feldhoff) complete the group. They each hold four to six percent of the shares.

The first customers of GenZ Talents include Commerzbank and the Daimler spin-off 1886 Ventures as well as the family companies Coroplast and Edding. For Edding board member Franzi Kühne, one thing is clear: Generation Z is very well educated and striving for meaning. In addition, due to the demographic development, she has a very strong position in the labor market and her very own ideas about work. “We work with GenZ Talents so that we, as a family business, can better understand this perspective.”

More: Startup Teens: Network gains new shareholders

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