Elite Professionals Article, Tech Stars Under 30: Dan Blyden

 

Elite Professionals (http://eliteprofessionals.org/) is a Philadelphia based online magazine targeted at, and written by, successful professionals and elite professionals of the future. It’s only been set up recently so is still finding its feet a little but it’s already beginning to draw in some interesting content and viewing figures and founder Karen Ammond hopes to continue to build on these early promising signs to eventually turn it into an international professional news and networking tool.

At the moment I’m writing on UK based young entrepreneurs. I’ve met a fair few at uni and through my involvement with the UpRising Leadership Programme and I thought it was about time I did something good for me (i.e. continue to develop my writing skills and CV) whilst also doing something good for them, increasing their international exposure, doing a little bit to help out the kind of entrepreneurial talent our recession-haunted country desperately needs.

First up on my list of talented business-folk is Daniel Blyden, and here’s my article on him and his fabulous company YEP Media:


As we all know, starting up a successful creative agency in the highly competitive modern media market is not easy. Add to this starting up a business when you’re fresh out of university and fresh out of substantial capital and it’s pretty darn difficult. But this is precisely what Daniel Blyden, co-founder of YEP Media has done, and he’s just 23.

YEP Media was founded in 2010 by three university graduates with a boat load of talent and drive and the business know-how to spot the growing demand for independent media agencies. Together they create the kind of top quality authentic content that their clients recognise resonates with a younger audience in a way that the hyper-glossed campaigns of some of the more substantial agencies no longer do.

Just two years on the Birmingham UK based company already boasts clients as diverse as the ACS Vocal Academy and the Birmingham Say It Online Campaign. It also runs its own live music night, Above and Beyond, at one of the biggest student clubs in in the city, the HMV Institute. And they are just getting started.

Dan himself is a full of surprises. I first met him through the UpRising leadership programme on which we were both participants. UpRising is aimed at helping young people find issues in their community, then equipping them with the knowledge, skills and professional networks to help them tackle them.

At first I knew him as a guy who cared passionately about his community and in fighting social problems. It was only further in to the programme that I realised that as well as being a community minded campaigner, Dan is also a fiercely capable and talented business man with an iron determination that will, without a doubt, see him accomplish a heck of a lot in the future.

To find out what’s been happening with YEP Media I caught up with Daniel and interrupted his busy schedule with some quick questions about how his business is developing and where he hopes to be in the future.

So, tell us a bit about you and your background, what are your main interests and aspirations?
‘My background is one of many conquests in the management and production of creative projects and events. I completed a degree in media and communications specialising in visual communications and communications management and I use these skills for a wide range of things, from marketing and promoting businesses to working on delivering events.’
Where did the idea for your company come from?
‘It was a collective effort when I finished university with a couple of friends. We wanted to start a creative communications agency since we were already operating as one for our final project at university. We then developed the company into what it is today.’

How would you describe YEP Media and your role within it?
‘It is a creative agency that provides creative media production and consulting services for the development of online media brands. The company is in its start up stages so my role basically spans across all aspects of the work, from marketing communications to finance and delivering/producing the work for clients. Thankfully I am not alone as a founder and so I am able to work more on the marketing and communications for the company which is where my strengths lie.’

What would you say has been your single greatest challenge in getting this far?
‘Keeping a consistent amount of work coming in has been challenging as a small start-up because when there are 3 people within a company to start off with it can strain the resources when there is less work to be done. However, we manage this by understanding each others’ needs and allowing each other to have room to deal with other commitments.’

What’s been your high point?
‘When we paid ourselves for the first time!’

Where do you see you and your company in five years time?
‘In five years time YEP Media should be in a position where it is fully staffed and can run without my full time commitment and so I will be able to go off and work on other ventures.’

If you could give other budding professionals one piece of advice what would it be?
‘Develop that ‘staying power’ and be resilient despite the setbacks you might get. ‘A setback is only a setup for a comeback.’’

If you’re interested in checking out some of YEP Media’s portfolio have a look athttp://yepmedia.co.uk/ they’ve got some serious talent, and they’re not afraid to use it.
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