Being in the tenth grade at present, a crucial year in Indian schooling, I had self-pledged to minimize all co-scholastic, extra-curricular and non-academic activities. Unfortunately however, I have alternatively been spending time proliferating my online activity and streaming YouTube videos and what not, resultantly still somewhat evading academics. But chancing upon a few YouTube videos interviewing teenage entrepreneurial millionaires is what has reinvigorated my thought processes by introducing me to the startup ecosystem in India and the world over, entrepreneurship possibilities and success stories as youngsters, and the concept that every big idea sprouts through the execution of a random brainwave.
Permit me to outline for you three of the most inspiring and enlightening teenage entrepreneurs I have come across and been venerating these past few days – Jay Kapoor, Sahil Arora, and Garrett Gee.
On the surface, he may be considered as an ambitious but ordinary 18-year-old. But when you research even perfunctorily about this youngster, you would discover that he is a YouTuber with more than 175K subscribers and close to 18 million views on his technology tips and tricks based YouTube channel. What’s more that he is an Android app developer responsible for apps like VoLTE Checker and Flash Sale Helper which have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times from the Google Playstore. His most awe-inspiring characteristic is his simplistically objective nature – straightforward information through his YouTube videos, an app to assist people in ascertaining whether their Smartphone support VoLTE (a voiceover technology necessary to consume Reliance Jio services), and another to aid people in ensuring a buy during an online Xiaomi flash sale that goes out-of-stock in the matter of seconds.
A 17-year-old in the spotlight in this scenario, Sahil Arora, as I perceive from certain interviews of his, seems liked a chilled out yet go-getting sort of a guy. A graphic designer at 13, an app developer at 14, and a motivated entrepreneurial-minded youth at 15 is how his journey can be succinctly described. The autobiography of Steve Jobs which he was forcibly reading unlocked his inner inventor is what he claims, and in spite of rejections from countless venture capitalist firms, he successfully launched and lucratively resold his iris scanning and holographic image replication software technologies at 16. He continues to live his dream in the form of the nascent Cabby service he is working on in his self-founded and self-headed Vuzelaa Group.
Garrett Gee, a university student, turned a lucky guess into a business opportunity when the iPad 2 was about to come out. After recognizing there should be easier to use and less clunky QR code software and apps, he made it his mission to be the first one to offer such a product fit for the iPad 2. He quickly got the iPad 2 into the hands of his iOS developer, and after spending two sleepless nights, he had accomplished his goal. He recruited two fellow classmates, and they launched Scan in February 2011. The team raised $1.5 million from venture capitalists, including Google Ventures, and in the first year Scan earned 10 million downloads. The number of downloads grew quickly, reaching 21 million by October 2011.
Imagine that. Success brewed virtually overnight via a QR code scanner that was just neatly designed …
My Culminating Comments
The world has evolved to a point where entrepreneurship is no longer age-centric, and the aforesaid examples validate this observation. Moreover, the geography-centric nature of innovation has also been annulled with the emergence of brainpower and ingenuity from second and third world countries too. Being the next Mark Zuckerberg in my mind is not about securing the most prestigious educational credentials, but about identifying that pending whitespace and nailing it with an effective solution. I therefore am led to believe that as long as perfection remains a far-off fantasy, incalculable problems will continue to exist, which man will constantly strive to address with his rational entrepreneurial spirit.
I am nothing more than a fifteen-year-old myself with the ambition to make a lasting difference in lives somehow or someway. Maybe that entrepreneur within me will get unleashed as well as the right opportunity presents itself someday?