Are you looking for teenage millionaires? If yes, this article is going to tell you 10 inspiring stories of teenage millionaires.
Today, more and more teenagers are becoming millionaires. They made their first million dollars before the age of 20. It goes to show that age is nothing but a number and that anything is possible.
The following are ten stories of young entrepreneurs who became millionaires at very young ages.
1. Nick D’Aloisio
The 17-year-old millionaire Nick D’Aloisio (yes, millionaire at 17!) sold his smartphone app, Summly, to Yahoo in a deal worth $30 million.
The story is quite fascinating. D’Aloisio started using the computer at the age of 9 and began developing apps for smartphones (specifically the iPhone and iOS) in 2008 – when Apple released its SDK for the public to download.
In D’Aloisio’s first attempt at app development, he created a simple iOS app called Trimit that summarized long text (such as articles) into 1000, 500 or 140 characters.
A very popular app, Trimit was selected by Apple as one of the Feature Apps in July 2011, bringing D’Aloisio’s name to the attention of the general public.
In the case of Trimit, D’Aloisio received $300,000 in venture capital funding from a Hong Kong billionaire.
D’Aloisio used this money, along with the feedback and criticism, to reinvent and redevelop the app, ultimately launching it as Summly at the end of December 2011 – the app that has now made him one of the youngest millionaires in the world!
Canada’s Globe and Mail covered the young entrepreneur’s rise to fame, as well as some startup advice offered by the young millionaire.
2. Cameron Johnson
From an early age, Cameron Johnson showed entrepreneurship instincts, and all indications pointed to him making it big in the future. His neighbour was the first person he sold vegetables to when he was 5.
As a nine-year-old, he started his first business, Cheers and Tears, a greeting card company from his home base. By the age of 12, he was earning more than $50,000 a year!
Then he bought 30 Ty Beanie Babies (which were extremely popular at the time) and sold them on eBay for 10 times as much.
Johnson, who was barely in his teens, saw potential and turned this into a legitimate business by purchasing the dolls from Ty at wholesale and selling them on eBay and his website, Cheers and Tears.
Using $50,000 as seed money, Johnson launched an email forwarding service called My EZ Mail. The advertising revenue Johnson received from MY EZ Mail exceeded $3000 within a few months.
Next, Johnson developed Surfingprizes.com, which was an advertisement service that added scrolling advertising to web browsers.
There were two things that made Surfingprizes.com particularly interesting: (1) users received 20 cents per hour to display ads on their screen, and (2) referral marketing was used to spread the word; users received 10% of the revenue generated by customers they referred.
He was earning as much as $400,000 per month at this point, and before he had even graduated high school, he owned more than a million dollars!
CertificateSwap was a company Johnson founded in college that he later sold for a six-figure sum.
At the age of 28, he is worth around a couple of million bucks!
3. Adam Hildreth
Adam Hildreth founded a company called Dubit in 1999. As a result of this UK-based social networking site, Hildreth became firmly established as a successful businessman, not to mention he made millions!
Adam made almost $4 million by 2005 by using Dubit Limited, a ‘Youth Marketing Agency’, one of the most popular websites in the UK.
Hildreth is also the man behind Crisp Thinking, a provider of online child protection technology to Internet service providers.
He had a net worth of £2m in 2004 and is now worth £25m – making Hildreth the 23rd richest person in the UK. Moreover, Hildreth’s value was predicted to reach £40m by 2020.
In addition, Hildreth has won many awards and achievements for his work.
4. Juliette Brindak
When Juliette Brindak was ten years old, she came up with the idea of ‘Miss O and Friends’. Unlike most people her age, she utilized her entrepreneurial instincts to create something from her idea, which is how Miss O and Friends were born.
The ‘Cool Girls’ were a series of cartoon characters that served as positive role models for young girls and teens.
Her mother, a graphic designer by profession, drew the characters, while her father, a businessman, helped set up and administered the business. Borndak created the characters herself, and spurred by their popularity, her family helped her.
Based on the popular characters, Brindak launched Miss O and Friends in 2005. This is a ‘for girls, by girls’ website where girls can get advice from a supportive community and play flash games.
Over 100,000 books based on Miss O characters have been sold.
Miss O and Friends was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2008. A $15 million valuation was given to the company!
In 2011, the site ranked as the third-largest girls-only website! There are 10 million monthly visitors on the site today, which is 20 times more than it generated when it was launched.
Brindak, who is now 23 years old and still runs the company, uses different methods to stay on top of what today’s tweens want and makes it possible for girls to see their favourite celebrities and musicians play live by offering all-expense-paid trips.
5. Sean Belnick
Sean Belnick founded bizchair.com, an online retailer for all kinds of furniture when he was just 14 years old. Sean Belnick began his business operations from his bedroom with an investment of 500 dollars.
From the initial 40,000 square feet, he had grown to more than 702,000 square feet by 2009. The company had sales of more than 58 million dollars in 2010.
Sean Belnick is estimated to have a net worth of 42 million dollars
6. Ashley Qualls
Qualls, a 14-year-old from California, came up with the million-dollar idea (quite literally) when she started a website called whateverlife.com.
She started the website in her basement as a hobby, where she put and graphics that she created.
WhateverLife became a website where teens – a demographic that accounted for the majority of MySpace users back then – could learn about coding and get cool designs with free MySpace (remember MySpace?) layouts.
The website was purely sponsored by advertisements, with all tutorials and layouts being free.
A ton of visitors began visiting the website, compared to popular magazines like Seventeen and CosmoGirl! Whateverlife.com was such a massive success that Qualls was a millionaire by the age of 17!
In Qualls’s story, she became a millionaire at just 17 years of age despite selling nothing! This is one of the truly amazing characteristics of her story and her journey to becoming a millionaire so young.
According to the 23-year-old entrepreneur, the company has been offered over $15 million since its inception; however, she has turned down several deals for acquisition.
7. John Magennis
Back in the 1990s, when he was just 14 years old, Magnus started a web design business. He taught himself how to design and build websites, and he began selling it online for a few bucks.
Magennis’ work was so good, however, that word got out, and he went from building websites for $15 per site to as much as $30!
Magennis was already worth a million dollars by the age of 16!
While Johnson was nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year during the 90s because of his web development and marketing company, it was during this period he also designed websites for many Fortune 500 companies.
Magennis’s website earns him an annual revenue that goes into millions, and he started his business from his bedroom with almost no capital.
The 32-year-old Johnson is accredited as a reality TV producer, professional speaker, and entrepreneur, and he also has his own IMDB page.
On shows such as Celebrity Apprentice and The Bachelor, just to name a few, he has worked in all aspects of reality television production, including development, casting, production, and post-production.
He has produced shows in nearly every state in the U.S., as well as in some of the most exotic locations in the world.
8. Adam Horwitz
Horwitz launched 30 websites in 3 years while he was 15 years old. Horowitz made little money from these websites, and none were very successful.
Horwitz, however, didn’t let that stop him from creating a multi-million dollar online company by 21.
Horwitz created Mobile Monopoly – an online course that teaches people how to generate mobile marketing leads. He sold it for a six-figure profit!
In keeping with his desire to teach people how to make money, he then established a few other websites that provided online courses, each of which sold for $100,000 or more.
Horwitz was worth a million before he was 18 years old!
In addition to his website featuring party locations (and a music section), he created Urban Stomp. Urban Stomp made a healthy profit through affiliate links, before eventually becoming the victim of its own success: 800 people attended a single party, and the site had to be shut down.
In his latest venture, YepText, he has developed a service that allows businesses to send text-message based ads and promos straight to customers’ cellphones in order to attract traffic to their locations. In contrast to other similar services, YepText targets small businesses rather than large corporations.
9. Jon Koon
Founder of a NY-based auto parts business called Extreme Performance Motorsports, Koon was worth a cool million dollars at age 16 thanks to the company he founded.
Using his own savings, Koon would purchase wholesale car parts from Asian auto-parts suppliers, and then partnered with a local mechanic to upgrade or ‘bling out’ the cars with upgraded parts, including better engines, premium sound-systems, luxury finishes, and more.
Eventually, word spread and Koon’s version of ‘Pimp My Ride’ was so popular, he was worth a million dollars at 16!
For this young entrepreneur, that wasn’t enough. In Koon’s auto parts manufacturing business, he supplied parts to niche markets.
Koon ventured into the fashion industry when he teamed up with rapper Young Jeezy in 2008 to become an exclusive partner in his clothing line.
Koon has established the Tykoon Brand Holdings company, which in addition to its Asian-inspired streetwear label, Private Stock Denim, operates several extremely successful brands across the globe.
10. Tyler Dikman
Dikman demonstrated extraordinary entrepreneurial skills from a very young age. As a 5-year-old, he made $22 per hour selling lemonade.
At the age of ten, he was making $74 per hour for doing magic shows at birthday parties, which was exactly $74 per hour more than other kids his age. During this time, he also began investing in stocks.
When Dikman was 15, he founded a computer supply company called CoolTronics.com. This website offers lessons on online safety to computer and internet users, as well as tutorials on how to get rid of viruses or upgrade your PC. In addition to selling computers, CoolTronics also sets up and delivers them to customers.
As a 17-year-old Tyler – who was still in high school – was making a million dollars in sales, as well as through subscriptions and advertising. His company is still doing well.
Businessweek named him one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25.
Tyler also runs the popular site Redux.
Conclusion: Young Entrepreneur Millionaires
After reading about all these young entrepreneurs, one can’t help but feel a bit competitive. I hope that at least one of these lessons is valuable to you.
Chasing your dreams is never too late or too early. When you work hard and are creative, anything is possible. Teenagers like these are living proof.