Douglas Smith, a senior at The Overlake School, co-founded KuriousMinds with his mother. Courtesy photo

Douglas Smith, a senior at The Overlake School, co-founded KuriousMinds with his mother. Courtesy photo

Overlake senior launches entreprenership company with mom

Douglas Smith and his mother Soojung have launched KuriousMinds — an educational entrpreneurship startup.

Douglas Smith has always had “a knack for business.”

His entrepreneurship seeds were first sewn when he launched his own tutoring business in eighth grade. Now, as a senior at The Overlake School in Redmond, he has launched a new business — KuriousMinds — with his mother.

“It all really stemmed from my entrepreneurship background,” he said. “My mom has a lot of experience launching products and starting businesses.”

His mother, Soojung Smith, has worked as a product and marketing executive at Dr Pepper/7 Up, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T and Microsoft.

For Douglas, he said he wanted to provide local youths with opportunities to learn entrepreneurship skills and start their own businesses like he did.

KuriousMinds is a Bellevue-based education startup. Its debut program, Young Sharks, focuses on teaching local elementary and middle school students the fundamentals of starting a business such as generating ideas, conducting research, developing business plans and pitching them in front of a simulated panel of investors. The Young Sharks program, inspired by the television show “Shark Tank,” has been launched as an after school course as well as a week-long summer camp. By the end of the program, students will have the necessary skills, experiences and materials to pitch their ideas confidently to a simulated panel of investors.

The camps are hosted in various community centers throughout Seattle and the Eastside. Douglas said they try to go to where the majority of their students are.

KuriousMinds has served more than 100 Seattle and Eastside area students since its launch in 2017.

“It’s been so great to see these students go through the program. We get to see them develop confidence in themselves and realize their potential,” Douglas said. “I think it’s really important for youths to have these skills and know that they have great ideas that can actually turn into a real business…We’re doing what we can to empower the next generation.”

He said building this business with his mother has presented opportunities as well as challenges.

“Trust, loyalty and shared values are the ones that glue us together. There are, however, challenges when stress and pressure from the business side sometimes spill over into family relationships,” Douglas said. “My mom and I are very passionate individuals and sometimes we need a time out. Typically, my dad jumps in and serves as a mediator. We have learned to leverage each other’s strengths to get the benefit of operating as a family while minimizing the stress.”

Smith said he plans on continuing KuriousMinds with his mother throughout college. He said he hopes to grow KuriousMinds to serve students nationally and internationally as he wants more young people to be equipped with the knowledge and skills of starting a business.

For more information about KuriousMinds, visit www.kuriousminds.com.

More in Business

Local real estate market brings more opportunities for buyers

Homebuyers are also benefiting from lower interest rates, which are currently are less than four percent.

From left: Craig Olson, Joan Schrammeck, and Paula Paula DelGiudice with a solar panel. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Little Bit in Redmond goes solar

Northwest Electric and Solar of Kenmore donates a solar energy system to the therapeutic riding center.

Nir Pechuk won second prize at the national competition. Photo courtesy of LWSD
Redmond Middle School student advances to national entrepreneur competition

Nir Pechuk won second prize at the national competition.

Kristina Hudson currently serves as OneRedmond’s Executive Director, the position replacing a former CEO. Kristina Hudson / courtesy photo
OneRedmond solidifies executive director, replacing CEO position

Kristina Hudson, former vice president of business expansion, will now lead the nonprofit.

‘Busy’ housing market enters pre-summer phase

As the pre-summer market begins, standing out from the crowd is crucial for buyers.

The data visualized here was compiled from Apartment List’s monthly rent reports. See an interactive chart below. Kailan Manandic / data illustration
Eastside rental market could balance out with the region

Eastside rent medians increased by 2.8 in the past year, a decrease in growth from previous years.

Phillips to step down as CEO of OneRedmond

He came to Redmond from Vancouver, Washington with more than 20 years of experience in economic development.

Nintex acquires EnableSoft in company acquisition

Bellevue-based company is a world leader in workflow automation industry.

Paige Bisbee, of Bellevue is a paid employee at Davis Wright Tremaine in Bellevue. As part of the law firm’s inclusive program, Bisbee distributes snacks and office supplies to her co-workers. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
People with disabilities find purpose through new employment opportunities

Paige Bisbee of Bellevue finds employment at Davis Wright Tremaine

Microsoft employees criticize military contract in open letter

If an employee wants to work on a different project or team, for whatever reason, the company supports talent mobility.

Local inventory is up as buyers and sellers prep for spring real estate market

February’s snowfall temporarily slowed down sales.

Women may need to make extra financial moves

Here are a few suggestions women can do to improve their financial outlook.