My Week: Lucian Tarnowski of BraveNewTalent

The social media entrepreneur on his female fans, out of this world dining and the difficulties of flying solo.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

It’s all go at BraveNewTalent at the moment. We’ve just acquired our second company and raised some more money, and I’m still working to get a bank loan to top that up. Luckily, I’ve got a very good relationship with RBS, but raising money in general can be very time-consuming. There are two times when it can be a disadvantage to be a sole founder: when you are fundraising and when you are hiring.  But it’s not like I run the business alone; we’ve got a world-class board. Alex Hoye is our chairman and he helped to lead the recent round of funding, as well as investing himself, and then we’ve also got people like Adrian Cox, who’s the ex-European CEO of Ask.com, on the board too. I’ve always been like a sponge with good people, it’s important to have lots of them around you. It also adds credibility to the business, as well as a track record, and experience - all those things that as a 26-year old founder you lack when you first start.
 
It really has been a bit of a James Bond week for me, but it’s not always this exciting I promise! It all started with a team party on Friday night last week after which I flew to Sao Paulo. I then spent the weekend with a friend of mine in his beach house before speaking at the Communications and Sustainability Forum, which is basically the follow-up from the Rio Earth Summit. I was talking about the role and impact of social media for creating communities of Generation Y in front of 1,200 young people. I was especially excited as I got to share the stage with a Nobel Peace Prize winner, which was pretty cool. I also got to meet a lot of people who were running tech companies, eat a lot of steak and meet lots and lots of Brazilians. When I got home I had 50 Brazilian girls befriend me on Facebook – that was certainly an unforeseen perk…

One of the other unexpected benefits was the amount of press coverage we got. I was only in Brazil for three work days, but we got a great article in South America’s largest newspaper and there will be another one in Brazil’s number one business paper this weekend. Little did I know that Brazilians are quite ‘creative’, shall we say. They said you’ve got a ‘brief’ TV interview, but they interviewed me for 45 minutes to create a documentary on BraveNewTalent. But it will be broadcast on Brazil’s number one education channel, so I’m not exactly complaining.

From there it was on to Amsterdam where I was taken to the European Space Centre to have dinner with, among other people, a famous European astronaut. He wasn’t very impressed when I asked him if we actually landed on the moon. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic evening. After dinner they showed us around the space centre, which was just incredible. Then the next day I was speaking to PwC global leadership and HR forum for about 90 minutes about how social recruiting is going to change their industry, which went down really well. After my presentation I got four or five invites to go and speak at various HR forums around the world, which is great, as speaking about BraveNewTalent is the best way for us to evangelise what we’re doing.

Then after that it was straight on to Monaco to help set up something called Web Wars, the aim of which is to train CEOs how to use the internet and to understand what role it can play in their business.  It wasn’t all work – we managed to sneak in a trip to Cannes and a flutter in the Casino Royale. After that it was back to London to one of the excellent Up Group events. We’re currently hiring a head of product and a head of marketing, so I’ve been speaking to the Up Group about that. My chairman Alex gave a presentation too, which was really interesting. And it was reassuring to see that he knows what he’s talking about...

Lucian Tarnowski is the founder and CEO of BraveNewTalent, which builds communities of young talent from which companies can recruit.

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