I walk into the Bank of Ireland workbench on Mainguard Street every morning never quite knowing who I will meet. It works on a first come first served basis, so there are new startups often. One constant there is Conor O'Flaherty.
At 17, he is one of the most passionate and driven people I know. Every day he turns up to work, coming up for air only to announce new sales. Conor is founder of a month old company, Pursue. Pursue is a talent management agency that works with the internet's trendiest influencers.
While the company is new, and he’s young, he isn’t the novice you might think he is. At 15 he paid out quarter of a million to YouTube artists.Conor isn’t finishing school, but the company suits him. He just gets stuff done.
When we were crawling through Daft.ie for months finding a house, Conor printed 500 leaflets, delivered them around town and got a place in a week. Less talk, more action. I asked him about his journey in his own words:
What does Pursue do?
Partner up with content creators on the platform of YouTube, that strictly receive millions of viewers per month. We then tailor services individually to each and every one of them. We align our services to fit the goals of each partner.
How did you start the company? I started developing the idea for Pursue around Christmas 2014, and I began to bring it to life over the course of nine months from January to September. I was in school during those months, which meant that while I was obsessed with bringing this idea to life, I also had to sit 5th year mock exams every month in school, which was incredibly tough. We finally launched on September 15 2015, and officially incorporated on October 21.
Can you give me an example of a type of client?
I am working with a Canadian girl named Elaine who posts beauty videos and shares some of her life experiences. She has an incredible bond with her audience, which is why she has over 340,000 subscribers to her channel, and over 50 million views on her videos. It really is inspiring to work side by side with people like Elaine, having an international group of friends/business partners is what keeps both myself and the company on top of its game.
If you could make one call for help to the startup community, what would it be?
I believe a mentor is one of the best assets a young entrepreneur could have. It really is an amazing feeling to know you have the backing and support of somebody experienced and enthusiastic about helping you grow both your business and your life. It would be great to have a few quality mentors who could help me along my journey.
One last thing, should you not be in school?I should be in school, yes. Am I in school? No. While in school, I spent the entire month of October discussing with my parents as to why they should let me focus on building this business. In the form of a 29-page presentation, I helped them come to the conclusion that pursuing this venture is going to help me nurture my passion, grow as a person immensely, give me unbelievable experience in the real world, along with giving me the opportunity to build an incredible life and to have financial freedom. Following my dreams, basically