There is no right answer to the question “When is the best time to start a business?” A business is very much like bearing a child: you’ll be ready when you need to be. All you need before starting one is to have the willpower to do it. If you’re hell-bent on getting back the money that you spent on your capital, you’ll learn how to successfully manage your business along the way.
The Time Is Now
Most entrepreneurs start young. Others, however, start really young — as young as a teenager.
There is a rising trend of businesses founded by the youth or anyone under 20 years old. While the majority of the youth is figuring out which dress or tux to wear for prom, a brave minority is busy venturing into the market.
Eighteen-year-old George Matus is lucky if he has six hours of sleep in a night after having launched Teal, a company that sells commercial drones. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was his very first product. It reaches speeds of 70 mph, runs on batteries, and sells for $1,299.
Matus’ obsession with drones began when he was 11 when they had just moved into Salt Lake City. Their new home had a backyard large enough to be a launching pad for the drones he had learned to build. After pitching his creations to investors, he has raised almost $3 million in seed funding and received a $100,000 grant from Peter Thiel’s foundation so he can skip college.
“It was serene,” Matus gushed while watching his drones in action. “You could see the details of the clouds as I was flying through them – it was amazing.”
Ed Hardy and Kit Logan
Ed Hardy, a geography student from the University of Oxford, and Kit Logan, an engineering student from the University of Bristol, joined forces and decided to run a business together while attending college.
The two friends created a skiing app called Edge, which allows you to track how many kilometers you have descended while skiing, read information on major resorts worldwide, and challenge friends to a race down the slope. The app has a collective record of 550,000km of skiing and 1,500,000m of vertical descent over 298 weeks, all without a support team.
“We never had any formal training as such,” said Hardy. “Instead, we opted to dive straight into things and learned from our failures along the way.”
Other than the app, Hardy and Logan also run Young Founders, a program aimed at educating fellow young entrepreneurs about forming their own businesses.
Diving into the Waters
According to Laurie Stach, teenagers make great entrepreneurs “because of their natural open-mindedness and drive to take risks.” Although riskiness can mean trouble if overdone, their enthusiasm and eagerness to go beyond what is expected of them is one of the key traits of a successful businessman.
The entrepreneurial plunge may not be a walk in the park, but young people have looked for means and ways to make things happen. Nurturing the youth and guiding them towards an ambitious and responsible adulthood equates to cultivating the startup businesses of the future.