We caught up with Vodafone Shout Out for Small Business competition winner, Jenk Oz, as he sat down for a mentoring session with BBC Dragons' Den star Steven Bartlett.
What would you ask a Dragon? It’s a moment that would freeze many a fan of the author, podcaster and multi-millionaire, But Jenk Oz is fast becoming a young dragon himself.
Aged just 16, Jenk is the Founder of Thred Media, a social enterprise focused on publishing, consulting, and media production for Generation Z (those aged 16-25).
It was this vision and early success that won him the Shout Out for Small Business competition and a mentoring session with Steven, held in the recording studio that hosts his popular ‘Diary of a CEO’ podcast.
“Our website is all about positive social change,” Jenk explains. “Today, Gen-Z makes up about 40% of consumers worldwide, but brands struggle to access, engage or retrain them. We want to help them break down that wall.”
The Thred website is a daily news and insights hub featuring stories of social change in 17 languages, with 11 full-time staff and a global roster of 20 writers who bring an authentic, on-the-scene style of reporting.
The young business leader quizzed Steven about securing capital investment and building a team, but it was the Dragon’s personal branding tips that resonated.
Create a glass-box philosophy in the company to share whatever you do
“He started talking about my Instagram and how it’s not shareable,” Jenk laughs. “He pointed out that the less slick and designed it looks, the better it performs. Steven’s posts and shares are a great example of this – often just a screenshot. The polished content just isn’t as shareable.”
Bartlett, the brand
It’s little surprise that online presence was a key focus of the mentoring discussion. Steven founded The Social Chain agency aged 21, acquiring a slew of big brand customers and taking the company public on the German DAX stock exchange just six years later.
Now his company is estimated to have a market valuation of about $600m (£445m).