On the Promoting Enterprise portal, we are talking to the entrepreneurs on the 33 Under 33 list. This Secrets of Success initiative aims to shine the spotlight on a selection of successful young entrepreneurs, documenting their stories in an effort to inspire others to consider entrepreneurship as a career path. Today it is the turn of young Lithuanian Tomas Moska.
Tomas is from Lithuania and has a BSc in Science, International Economics, and Business Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam; he has also studied software engineering at Ecole 42 in Paris. One of his heroes is Andre Romelle Young (Dr. Dre), a music producer who came from humble beginnings to achieve success. He has been entrepreneurial from a young age, starting his first company at 17, distributing flyers in his home city.
Tell us about your business
Where did you get the idea from?
From our own personal experiences learning coding in self-organized coding boot camps. We didn’t have money to access elite education so we found a way to teach ourselves how to code with our peers.
How old were you when you first decided you would start your own business?
I was 17 years old when I started my first business.
How did you get it off the ground?
By hustling. Nobody wanted to invest in our idea, so we started by creating small extracurricular coding classes, with time we scaled it up.
Who did you turn to for help?
Everyone we knew, starting from more experienced peers and successful local entrepreneurs.
Describe some of the obstacles you faced as a young person starting out in this business.
Although it may sound like a cliché, quite often people wouldn’t take us seriously. And who can blame them - we were teenagers with no track record to show. That taught us that we would have to let our work and results do the talking. It’s a lesson that will be with me for the rest of my life.
How do you define success?
For me it’s rather simple - if you wake up in the morning and are able to do exactly what you want to do, you are successful.
What was the most challenging aspect of setting up your business?
Not stopping, when everyone said it wouldn’t work, and our team were the only ones who believed in what we were building.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
Through our work in education we have changed the course of life for thousands of people and their families. From kids fresh out of school who had no idea that technology was a potential path for them in life, to 50+ year olds whose lifelong dream was to work in technology. They all are a little happier today because of the work we’ve done. And that’s priceless for me.
What are the future goals of your business, and how will you go about achieving them?
We’re aiming to become the biggest online employment-focused school in the world with one million active students annually. Nobody has reached such a scale with quality education.
We want to create an accessible, high-quality tech college that will help people from all around the world to get a world-class higher education for free or just a fraction of the cost of current alternatives. Online MOOCs have proved that content is just part of the solution. Education isn’t about just having access to content, when we have quality content in place we need guided experience, social interactions, and support to convert it to skills - we want millions of students to have access to such experience and, by finishing our programmes, to land jobs in the world’s biggest tech companies like Amazon, Google, etc.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Be bold and take many risks as early as possible. Whatever you think of as a failure today will be a laugh for you in the future. The earlier you start failing, the more accustomed to it you will become, the more successes (however you define them) you will reach in life.
- Publication date
- 30 June 2023
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
- Promoting Enterprise - categories
- Secrets of Success
- Promoting Enterprise - tags