Thomas Suarez – CarrotCorp
At 15 years-old, Suarez is already a seasoned businessman. He formed his own company, CarrotCorp, when he was 11 and has made various successful apps for the iPhone and iPad. In his spare time he also codes apps for Google Glass.
Not only that, he has designed his own 3D printer which, according to him, will work ten times faster than the MakerBot model he uses at home, and is now awaiting patent approval.
Essentially, he couldn’t find the right support to vest his interests in. So when the right DIY app kit came out, he taught himself.
In the below video, he explained what inspired him and how he get where he is today.
In his talk, Suarez suggested that not only do kids need to be offered more resources and support to learn digital skills, there has now become a need for role reversal, in that the young must teach their elders about new technology.
Take advice where you can, no matter the age or apparent lack of experience.
Harli Jordean – Marble King
Jordean’s ascent to fame began at the age of six. London’s own mini-tycoon, who is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the world’s youngest CEO, has his own online business selling marbles.
Within months of launching of launching the site, his mother Tina was shocked to see orders flooding in – with Jordean handling them all on his own. Since then he’s been so busy that he employed his mother and two older bothers.
His mother explained that Jordean has a hand in everything.
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“He picks out stock at the suppliers and when orders come in he handles it all, packing, sending, everything. All I do is the accounts and try and reel in his overenthusiastic ideas. He’s very dedicated even getting me to drive him to deliver a package when we realised it wouldn’t get there on time in the post.”
The lesson: think big and hold onto your passion.
Jordean said: “My dream is to have a chain of stores like Hamleys. it will be one of the biggest toy stores in the world but selling all sorts of marbles.”
This was echoed by US prodigy Adora Svitak. Although she’s not a CEO, she started teaching at seven and in the same year had her first book Flying Fingers. One of her current roles is as motivational speaker.
Svitak argued that children have as much insight to share and teach as they do to learn and that grown-ups can learn a lot about their creativity and open-mindedness.
Find organizations with goals that align with yours, and figure out how you can get involved. If they don’t have volunteer, internship or start-a-chapter pages on their website, try sending them an email, and ask them what you can do! If you’re on a university campus, there are ample opportunities to find groups that care about the same things you do. Find causes you care about, mentors who can guide you and friends who will support you, and you’re set.
Sanjay Kumaran – Go Dimensions
At ten years-old, Sanjay was already the CEO of a tech company, co-founded by brother Shravan, who is only two years older.
Go Dimensions, which was started in their bedroom, creates mobile phone applications for both iPhone and the Android.
The two brothers have been heralded as India’s youngest mobile application developers and were invited among the top ten designers in the world to meet the South Korean prime minister.
For the time being their goal is to take the company global and to develop a tablet called GoSheet. The tablet would be customisable; a seven year-old could use it to play adventure games while a 25 year-old could use it for business purposes. This would be possible, as the tablet will allow multiple users to be added with every person having a different login on the tablet and who can access the applications which they prefer through their respective logins.
“You should have a strong idea, self-confidence, a good business plan and know about sources of funding,” said Sanjay. “Have you heard of dad funding?”
Shravan, who spoke about the need for a good business plan, suggested: “It should be realistic; also, one should have a conservative and optimistic outlook.”
Possibly their best advice centres around giving away 15 per cent of their profits to charity.
They believe: “Be the change to make one.”
Cory Nieves – Mr. Cory’s Cookies
At five years old, Nieves got tired of taking the bus to school, and in the hopes of buying his mother a car, started selling hot cocoa outside a pizza store to set aside some funds. Cookies were later added to the mix. However, unlike the many burgeoning business men and women that start out selling lemonade and get shut down for not having the right permits, Nieve’s mother Lisa found a way around.
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“We incorporated the business into an LLC corporation ’cause we couldn’t use our regular kitchen unless this whole house is commercial,” Cory said.
He recounts his story in the below video. He also suggested that the key to business was to make your products “with love”.
But seeing as he’s not allowed to use a commercial kitchen at his age, he hired his mother to do the cooking for him. He even pays her wages.
“Sometimes I cannot believe my son is my boss,” Lisa said. “Like, hold on a second. And sometimes, I have to correct him. Because he sometimes takes that to the head. And I have to say, ‘Hold on, Cory, I gotta cut the check. You can’t. So, let’s get it together.'”
In addition to one day attending Princeton, Nieves wants his own clothing line called Mr. Cory.
He also has some nuggets of wisdom to share. Chiefly: “Always ask your customers how your product tastes, and take their advice.”
Nieves, who dabbled in modelling and acting before baking, also explained that acting classes helped him become more adaptable. “I know how to change to different places and stuff and times,” he said.
Lisa has her own two golden rules. First of all, “you need a person behind the operation. Find someone to support your dream and help you,” she said.
And “don’t get caught up being an adult. Be a kid. Because adults, oh my gosh, we’re the worst.”
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