Internet has proven to be a successful doorway to entrepreneurship, and when it is leveraged by young and aspiring entrepreneurs, their intense enthusiasm, zealous attitude, fresh ideas, ceaseless determination to prove themselves and of course, omnipresent technology takes them a long way.
Today we share five such young entrepreneurs who didn't let their age bother them on the way to becoming a successful business owner. It is inspiring to see how these teenagers have transformed their ideas into a business enterprise.
Tyler McIntyre: Lucid
During his freshmen days, Tyler got himself an iPhone, and to his disappointment he couldn't find anyone who provided the technology to implement Blackberry messenger on the iPhone. He therefore, decided to come up with a solution himself. "I really like technology and computers, and I kind of have a knack for how they connect and flow together." he says. He graduated from high school a year early to pursue technology courses, by 16 he was a certified Microsoft professional.
At 19, he launched Lucid, a messaging system that bridges Android phones, iPhones, iPods, and Blackberries together. "We're probably going to be in six-figure range this year in 2011." claims the young entrepreneur.
Max Arndt: Toepner
Max invented Toepener, which was result of a project idea for a class in University of Minnesota. A clever solution for those who are little hygiene conscious when it comes to using public washrooms. Toepner is simple handle placed on the bottom of the door that lets users open the door using only their foot; Max drew inspiration for this idea from the restroom in his dorm.
According to the website, 'one-third of adults do not wash their hands upon leaving the restroom', and Toepner turned out to be quite a remedy for this issue. "I wanted to address a problem, but have learned it's OK to be out there with a possible solution because it's okay to say 'this just isn't good'" shares the young entrepreneur who now plans to do something involving beer.
Juliette Brindak: MissO & Friends
When Juliette was 10, instead of selling lemonade like every other regular child of her age, with the help of her parents she created a website called MissO & Friends, by the time she was 16 she was already an author, and by 19 she was the owner of a $15 million worth website. A website for teenage girls and by teenage girls. A place where young girls play quizzes, dressing up games, find music of their choice, get the latest scoop and the ever-so-popular message board where most of the discussions are revolve around one missing element in the site - boys.
"We are by girls for girls, so we always ask them what they want, and they tell us." she says, further adding, "We're definitely a virtual company. We really say there are no politics within the company, and there's not that water cooler phenomenon, because we are virtual." It is important to note, the Juliette has been smart enough to implement 'Children's Online Privacy Act' on her website, which makes the message board completely adult moderated.
Ben Weissentein: Grand Slam Garage Sales
Ben's journey towards entrepreneurship started when he was 14 and helping his mom out with a garage sale, soon he was helping the neighbors out with their garage sales and organizing their junk. Before he knew it, he was a teenage entrepreneur with friends and classmates as part-time employees who wanted to clean up the clutter and organize discarded stuff for the houses nearby and make money in the process. Ben, who is now 19, successfully runs his company: Grand Slam Garage Sales.
Ben has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fox news and has also been on Dr. Phil show. "When I started Grand Slam Garage Sales with my friend Matt, we went to Walmart and bought two red polo shirts for about eight dollars a piece (as uniforms). We thought we looked professional, at least. The red polo shirts turned into blue uniforms with Grand Slam Garage Sales Logos." he shares.
Abbey Fleck: Makin' Bacon
Abbey was not exactly a teenager when she invented Makin' Bacon dish...she was 8. One afternoon while having lunch with her father who was using newspaper to soak away the fat on the bacon Abbey came up with a better idea of a dish that lets the bacon hang and collects all the fat at the bottom of the dish.
Before she knew it, her invention was granted a patent and her clever microwave bacon cooking vessel brought her $1 million annually as royalties, other than the earnings from her original 'Makin' Bacon'. "When I was eight, I invented the best way in the world to cook bacon. Then my dad and I went to work and made the 'Makin' Bacon' dish. My dad loves it because its so much easier, my Mom knows the bacon is healthier. My little sister doesn't care, she just loves bacon." she shares.
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