Unfazed by a dull economic forecast, ourturf.com, a nine-month old local youth-oriented website, is moving ahead to become the country's first start-up dot-com company run by high school teens.
13 June 2000 (Manila Bulletin) - “To register our-turf.com as a corporation means we, Power Play Interactive, the parents and kids are committed to a long term business direction,” Gigi Carunu-ngan, CEO of our-turf.com, said. “It is a waste of time to go through the motions of establishing a business entity and not a strategic niche.”
In March 2000, technology incubator company Hatch-Asia.com, Powerplay Interactive and the eight teen-cofounders of ourturf.com agreed to create a global dot-com of “the most innovative and cutting edge web site and portal catering to the communications, entertainment and growth needs of the biggest and most potent market sector of the world wide web - the teens.”
With the battle cry “Be a turfie and grow young,” the proponents said they will be developing the ourturf.com from its present status as a website to a globally oriented company that adheres to market demands and compete with Internet portal and creative content companies oriented to teens.
Carunungan said, “These eight teen cofounders, ages 10 to 16, will be encouraged through ourturf.com to establish their own on-line businesses on the portal. Moreover, they will be trained as technology facilitators for co-teens. They will be future managers of ourturf.com if they wish, as soon as they finish their schooling.”
Meantime, she added, it will re-define its organization with the coming in of more teens from all over the world as contributors, technopreneurs, interactive communicators and teachers of the Internet.
“With strategic information technology partners, it will nurture teens as web catalyzers,” she said. “With youth-oriented companies, it will recognize teens as influential players in the market.”
Dickson Co, chief financial officer of HatchAsia, who sees the value of our-turf.com among partnerships now in development, remarked, “The foundations are in place.” Intel, Hew-lettPac-kard, Oracle and DFNN. com are counted among the principal technology partners and sponsors of the teen website.
The conceptuali-zation of ourturf.com can be traced to the Digital Teens program of interactive media company Powerplay Interactive which began in January 1999.
To sustain its momentum right smack into the school, a professional team was formed to handle business development and administration.
Counting ourturf.com as its first incubated start-up dot-com, HatchAsia envisions it to soon become a regional player – a winner among many dotcoms because of its ability to generate a huge community of visitors enticed by the creative content and technological facilities provided on site.
Among these features is the Global Turf virtual community section. It invited teens to build their own websites in the section. At least one million websites from all over the world are expected to be up and running in this community by the end of 2000.