It’s amazing to think that so many of today’s great ideas and products came from such young minds. It takes a significant amount of drive, dedication, and creativity to turn an idea into a reality, and it’s inspiring that so many kids and teens have done what it takes to make their dreams come true.
Here’s a list of ten young entrepreneurs whose achievements will inspire tomorrow’s innovators.
1. Mark Zuckerberg
It should come as no surprise to find Mark Zuckerberg on this list! As one of the most well-known young entrepreneurs, Zuckerberg started Facebook at the age of 19 and became a billionaire at only 23. Besides founding the most popular social network, he has made other significant contributions to students, like investing millions into school districts across the country. Kids and adults alike admire Mark for his innovation, hustle, and generosity.
2. Nick D’Aloisio
At just 15 years old, D’Aloisio became the youngest entrepreneur ever to receive venture capital in technology. Two years later, he sold his company to Yahoo for a reported $30 million, making him one of the youngest self-made-millionaires ever.
Besides receiving accolades including Innovator of the Year from the Wall Street Journal and the Time 100, D’Aloisio also has some great advice for young entrepreneurs: “There are so many resources available online that the primary goal of someone wanting to succeed should be to teach themselves all of the necessary skills, [like] programming, business development, design, marketing etc. Be fearless and don’t be afraid of failure. There is no better way to learn than through trial-and-error.”
3. Madison Robinson
At just 8 years old, Madison and her father had the idea for FishFlops after she drew a pair of flip-flops with sea creatures on them. Today, she has donated over 20,000 pairs of FishFlops to kids in need through various charities. Madison’s passion for her product and her dedication to giving back make her a great role model for aspiring fashion designers and all kids.
4. Captain Sparklez
Jordan Maron, known better by his YouTube moniker Captain Sparklez, is living the dream of many video game enthusiasts! Maron dropped out of college to stream himself playing video games on the popular site Twitch, but has recently moved away from just playing games to creating them. His new company, Xreal, launched their first app this year, and it’s already been downloaded 2 million times. Maron’s move from player to creator is one we really admire and hope that young gamers everywhere will emulate.
5. John Magennis
Back in the 90s, John Magennis started his own web design business when he was only 14 years old! A millionaire by the age of 16, Magennis went on to become reality TV producer, professional speaker and an entrepreneur. We love his story because, even though web design wasn’t his long term career, his early start in entrepreneurship has allowed him to pursue his passions later in life.
6. Abbey Fleck
At just 8 years old, Abbey Fleck invented the Makin Bacon, a dish that cooks bacon above the fat for a healthier, less messy, and tasty result. The Makin Bacon was instantly popular, and Abbey signed a distribution deal with Walmart to bring her product to the masses. We admire Abbey’s ability to identify and solve a real problem at such a young age. Decades later, you can still find the Makin Bacon on shelves at Walmart or on Amazon!
7. Robert Nay
In 2011, a mobile game made by Robert Nay, only 14 years old at the time, knocked the ever-popular Angry Birds out of the number 1 free game spot on the App Store! Nay had no previous coding experience and got started by teaching himself how to code at his local library. He wrote over 4,000 lines of code to create his hit game, Bubble Ball! Today, his company, Nay Games, has several games in its portfolio. We commend Robert for being a self-starter and learning to code on his own!
8. Susan Gregg Koger
In college, Susan Gregg combined her love for thrifting with her her then-boyfriend Erik Koger’s talent for web design. Together the two launched ModCloth, an ecommerce company for vintage-inspired clothing. Now married, Susan and Greg took the company from their dorm basement to over 450 in their office in San Francisco today! Recently listed on Forbes 30 Under 30, Susan aims to democratize fashion and share her love of all things vintage. It’s awesome how Susan took her passion and was able to turn it into one of the fastest-growing ecommerce ventures in the country.
9. Andrew Gower
Andrew Gower began developing video games as a teenager and went on to create RuneScape, a hugely popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) with over 9.5 million active accounts. Today, Andrew is continuing to innovate with his new company Fen Research, which aims to develop a new coding language that’s “specifically designed from the ground up for creating games.” Such a language could be quite revolutionary in the gaming world, and we can’t wait to see how it turns out!
10. Catherine Cook
At just 15 years old, Catherine Cook got the idea for a digital yearbook while flipping through a regular school yearbook with her brother Dave. The two created myYearbook.com over their spring break with help from their older brother Geoff, also an entrepreneur who had made several websites while in college. The company underwent a merger with another social networking site in 2011 and is now known as MeetMe. What an awesome story, to create a company with your siblings!
We admire entrepreneurs of all ages, but we especially admire innovators like these who begin creating at such a young age. Do you know an awesome kidtrepreneur? We’d love to hear their story in the comments!