Young Upstarts

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Side Racket – A (Side) Project To Rule Them All

If you’re a young upstart of any stripe, aside from what you do for a living you’re likely to be involved in side projects of some sort. Whether the projects you’re involved in is for a good cause or simply one for vanity, side projects are a great way for self-improvement and pursuing interests.

“Side projects are an amazing way to spend time doing what you love,” says Mark Hendrickson. Hendrickson is the CEO and co-founder of Side Racket, which he and fellow co-founders Luke Giuliani and Will Dayble created as a global community where anyone can discover, create and join amazing projects. Originally soft-launched in May this year, the team behind Side Racket worked their site to be a home on the web for people to work together on side projects. And the the Side Racket team believes the best way to achieve that is by connecting people to projects.

“There’s a ton of educational resources, crowdfunding sites and co-founder matching services, but none of them do a solid job of connecting a diverse group of people around a project,” Hendrickson explains.

“The site is built on the idea that people aren’t about to spend their precious spare time working on something they don’t care about. By creating a hub for people and their side projects, the opportunity to pursue things you enjoy increases dramatically,” he adds. “The last thing we wanted to create was another lean startup checklist or DIY portal – what’s out there already is awesome.”

Interestingly, Side Racket does not group projects by categories; instead the site sorts projects according to ‘talents’, essentially the skills that people have and can actually be put to good use on projects. This way, talents listed as gaps on projects allows site visitors to understand what skills are required and whether their own abilities can be applied to a particular project.

The Side Racket team believes that their site is perfect for people who don’t enjoy what they currently do, or don’t know what they may love doing – Side Racket may be a great way to find out exactly what they may love and what they can turn into a full-time gig. “It’s pretty hard to turn a side project into a full time pursuit. Walking away from a good job is scary. Having a side project is a great way to test the water, risk free,” says Hendrickson.

“If you don’t love what you do, we want Side Racket to be a stepping stone in quitting your job.”

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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