Jordan Casey, the 13-year-old entrepreneur whose video games went to the top of various app charts and who is busy building a virtual world for kids, told delegates at the Digital Agenda Assembly in Dublin Castle today that if they want to see start-ups flourish in Europe then they need to take kids with ideas more seriously.
Casey, the CEO of Casey Games, first came to our attention just over a year ago when he published his first game, Alien Ball Vs Humans on the Apple App Store.
He has since been on the conference circuit, speaking at various events, from TED Talks to the Cannes Lions Festival for Creativity in Communications last year, as well as speaking to leaders and entrepreneurs in Germany and India.
Last month, the Waterford teenager addressed the titans of Silicon Valley at TiEcon in California, one of the world’s largest conferences for entrepreneurs.
Casey has also been hard at work with UK coder Aidan Blackett to develop what is one of the first virtual worlds to emerge out of Ireland, Food World.
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com at the EU’s Digital Agenda Assembly in Dublin, Casey said he is working on a new game called My Little World, which will be launched in New York next month and he is planning an October launch for Food World with Blackett.
He said the more public speaking he does the more relaxed he becomes. “I’ve been to quite a few events, in Cannes, Germany and India, but at the start before I do it I get very nervous but once I start talking its fine and really, really fun.”
Where innovation comes from
If there was one message Casey would like to get across to European policy-makers and investors it’s to take young people more seriously and respect their ideas.
“I’d like them to take young people with businesses more seriously. With venture capital it is very hard to get kids into that and they are not taken very seriously.
“But when I was in California last month it was very different to that; they don’t really compare young people to old people, they just care about the idea you have and I want Europe to be a lot more like that.
“I’d also like Europe to get computer programming into schools (curriculum). In Ireland we have all these vacant jobs but we don’t have people filling them.”