Young Entrepreneur Success Stories

Top 25 Young Entrepreneur Success Stories

by Nicholas Tart

For two years I scraped and scoured the internet hunting for the world’s top young entrepreneurs so I could harvest their secrets.

If I wanted to be successful, I had to learn from the best. I needed to hear their stories. How they started. How they grew. How they are building their empires right now. And I needed to hear it straight from their mouths.

So I narrowed my list of 100+ young entrepreneurs down to the top 25. We contacted them, gathered their secrets and published a book. Here’s a list of the world’s top 25 young entrepreneurial success stories.

Read their interviews, visit their sites, follow them on Twitter and learn as much as you can from their remarkable stories. Oh, and find a link to discover how they do it at the bottom.

Adora Svitak, 12

Tiny Literary Giant

Adora is a 12-year-old who has published two books and transformed her writing success into speaking and teaching success. She has spoken at over 400 schools and presented at the annual TED conference. She has been featured on Good Morning America and on CNN.

Read Adora Svitak’s Interview | Visit Adora’s Site | Follow @adorasv

Savannah Britt, 15

Youngest Magazine Publisher

Savannah started her own publication – a magazine called Girlpez – making her the youngest magazine publisher in the world. The magazine features coverage of events, like concerts and fashion shows, along with interviews from the likes of Shwayze, Kevin Rudolf, and Dawn from Dannity Kane.

Read Savannah Britt’s Interview | Visit Savannah’s Site | Follow @savlovesyou

Philip Hartman, 15

Young Inventor of the Year

Philip is a home-schooled high school senior at the ripe age of 15. He won the 2008 Young Inventor of the Year award for inventing a new system for fusing optical fibers. His latest invention emits steam onto a windshield and is capable of defrosting a frost-covered windshield in about 15 seconds.

Read Philip Hartman’s Interview | Follow @PhilipHartman

Alex Fraiser, 16

World’s Top Young Blogger

Alex and his business partner, 24-year-old Seth Waite, launched their first product – a web theme modeled after Blogussion’s unique style – to immediate success. With an Alexa ranking under 20,000, Blogussion is now the highest ranking blog by a 16-year-old on the Internet.

Read Alex Fraiser’s Interview | Visit Alex’s Site | Follow @afrais

Farrhad Acidwalla Interview: Rockstah Entrepreneur out of IndiaFarrhad Acidwalla, 16

Top Young Indian Entrepreneur

Farrhad has launched Rockstah Media, a cutting-edge company devoted to web development, marketing, advertisement, and branding. It is just over a year old but it has clients and a full fledged team of developers, designers and market strategists spread across the globe.

Read Farrhad Acidwalla’s Interview | Visit Farrhad’s Site | Follow @farrhad

Mark Bao, 17

11 Companies, 3 Foundations

Mark is a 17-year-old high school senior and he has already launched 11 web-based companies (and sold three of them) along with three non-profit foundations. Some of his projects include TickrTalk, the Ramamia Foundation, Classleaf, and Avecora – a technology network launching sometime in 2013.

Read Mark Bao’s Interview | Visit Mark’s Site | Follow @markbao

Stanley Tang, 17

Instant Best-Selling Author

Stanley published ‘eMillions’ in December of 2008 and it rocketed straight to the top of the Amazon Best-Seller lists. At just 14 years old, Stanley was the world’s youngest best-selling author. He just graduated high school and is currently attending Stanford University.

Read Stanley Tang’s Interview | Visit Stanley’s Site | Follow @stanleytang

Adam Horwitz, 18

$1.5 Million in Three Days

Adam has learned from his mistakes and now teaches people how to make money online. His courses, ‘Tycoon Cash Flow’ and ‘Cell Phone Treasure’, have each earned over $100,000. His latest, ‘Mobile Monopoly’, bagged $1.5 million in a three days and set all sorts of affiliate marketing records.

Read Adam Horwitz’s Interview | Visit Adam’s Site | Follow @adamhorwitz

King Sidharth, 18

The Outlaw Entrepreneur

King is a speaker, author, magazine publisher, rad dude, and he’s organizing a conference for teenagers called Createens. It will give young people an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship, blogging, and more from world-wide experts. Find out why King considers himself to be an outlaw.

Read King Sidharth’s Interview | Visit King’s Site | Follow @kingsidharth

Arjun Rai, 18

Teen Battling Google

Arjun became the COO of a quickly growing online advertising company, but he soon set out to follow his own, unique vision. That vision is a brand-new venture called odysseyAds, an online advertising network with a focus on catering to 21st century marketer needs.

Read Arjun Rai’s Interview | Follow @arjunrai96

Syed Balkhi, 19

Social Media Prodigy

Syed, along with a handful of college friends, has started a successful web service company called Uzzz Productions. His blog for WordPress beginners, WPBeginner, has been up since July 2009 and already attracts an incredible 145,000 unique visitors each month.

Read Syed Balkhi’s Interview | Visit Syed’s Site | Follow @syedbalkhi

Keith J. Davis Jr., 19

Entrepreneur of All Trades

Keith is 19 and he’s gone from his middle school’s ‘bubble gum man’ to a college freshman at the University of Houston and an entrepreneur of all trades. He somehow finds time to be a nationally known public speaker, actor, model, newspaper publisher, and author.

Read Keith J. Davis Jr.’s Interview | Visit Keith’s Site | Follow @keithjdavisjr

Ben Weissenstein, 19

Major League Young Entrepreneur

Ben and his booming business have been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and on the Dr. Phil Show. He has started The Entitled Group, a company that helps musical artists, and he’s franchising Grand Slam Garage Sales, a garage sale service.

Read Ben Weissenstein’s Interview | Visit Ben’s Site | Follow @bentheceo

Sabirul Islam, 19

Fired at 13, Founder at 14

Sabirul self-published his first book, ‘The World at Your Feet’, at age 17. Since, he has sold 60,000 copies, launched a board game, become a globe-trotting public speaker (over 600 speaking engagements), and started his own publishing company for aspiring teen authors.

Read Sabirul Islam’s Interview | Visit Sabirul’s Site | Follow @Sabirul_Islam

Lindsay Manseau, 20

Beyond Freelance Photography

Lindsay photographed 25 weddings as a freelancer in 2009. Her business was thriving, but she wanted a way to better connect with her couples and the wedding industry. So Lindsay began developing My Marriage Market, an online platform where couples and vendors will be able to connect.

Read Lindsay Manseau’s Interview | Visit Lindsay’s Site | Follow @lindsaymanseau

Marshall Haas, 20

Young Architect Outsourcer

Marshall recruited a team of 20 artists in the Philippines to create architectural images from floor plans and he began attracting as many as eight clients a month. He is also developing a mobile web application called Podums, which will use game mechanics to encourage people to be productive.

Read Marshall Haas’s Interview | Visit Marshall’s Site | Follow @MarshallHaas

Catherine Cook, 20

$20 Million from Dorm Room

Catherine is a 20-year-old junior at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and myYearbook.com has over 20 million members. myYearbook is ranked in the top 25 most trafficked websites in the U.S. according to comScore and it pulls in $20 million in annual revenue.

Read Catherine Cook’s Interview | Visit Catherine’s Site | Follow @cncook

Michael Dunlop, 21

Most Likely Millionaire

Michael dropped out of school and began to develop websites, including RetireAt21.com. Today, Michael is 21 years old and, though he isn’t retired, he is netting six figures a year with his websites. His latest, IncomeDiary.com, has attracted well over 10,000 subscribers.

Read Michael Dunlop’s Interview | Visit Michael’s Site | Follow @michaeldunlop

Update: Since interviewing Michael for this book, we co-founded AwesomeWeb, a simple freelance marketplace to help you find web designers and developers.

Emil Motycka, 21

From ‘Mow Boy’ to $135K

Emil owns a company which provides work for about 65 people in Northern Colorado. Motycka Enterprises offers everything from building and janitorial maintenance to lawn care, tree care, snow removal, and even Christmas light installation. Emil earned $135,000 his senior year of high school.

Read Emil Motycka’s Interview | Visit Emil’s Site | Follow @emotycka

Lauren Amarante, 21

World Entrepreneurship Day

Lauren co-founded World Entrepreneurship Day (WED) as a sophomore at Arizona State University. WED’s first celebration of entrepreneurship, in 2009, was a huge success with 22 countries participating. Since then, WED has partnered with the United Nations to scale it to 35 countries in 2010.

Read Lauren Amarante’s Interview | Visit Lauren’s Site | Follow @lafactor

Alex Maroko, 21

$0 to $100K in 5 Months

Alex went from training clients in person to doing everything online in 2009. His first product, a video that teaches how to dribble a basketball better, earned $20,000 in the first week of its release. In the six months since, Alex has been developing more websites, products and an online coaching program.

Read Alex Maroko’s Interview | Visit Alex’s Site | Follow @alexmaroko

Juliette Brindak, 21

‘Miss O’ Valued at $15 Million

Juliette launched Miss O and Friends, a by-girls-for-girls site where tweens can go to safely interact, get advice, and play flash games. She has sold over 120,000 books. In 2008, Procter & Gamble invested in Miss O and Friends and estimated the company’s value at $15 million dollars.

Read Juliette Brindak’s Interview | Visit Juliette’s Site | Follow @missoandfriends

Jacob Cass, 22

Inspired Designer for Hire

Jacob nabbed his first freelance job at the age of sixteen and in November 2007 he started a website and blog dedicated to his business, Just Creative Design. He immediately began raking in clients, awards, and recognition. In January 2010, Jacob received a prestigious job offer from his Twitter account.

Read Jacob Cass’s Interview | Visit Jacob’s Site | Follow @justcreative

Andrew Fashion, 22

Made and Lost $2.5 Million

Andrew had dropped out of high school in 2005 and started developing websites. After months of just scraping by, Andrew hit it big. He was pulling in $100,000+ checks every month. But after a few years of living the high life, the revenue stream dried up and Andrew went from being a millionaire to being in debt.

Read Andrew Fashion’s Interview | Visit Andrew’s Site | Follow @andrewfashion

Joe Penna, 23

Mystery Guitar Man

Joe makes videos with unconventional video editing and black sunglasses. Since getting started in June 2006, Mystery Guitar Man has amassed over one million subscribers and over 100 million total views – making it the 8th most subscribed channel on YouTube.

Watch Joe Penna’s Interview | Visit Joe’s YouTube Channel | Follow @mysteryguitarm