5 Young, Inspiring Entrepreneurs and Their Stories

Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Business News, Business Start Up Advice [ 1 Comment ]

Behind each successful entrepreneur is a great story. These young entrepreneurs may not even have reached their 30’s, but they sure have great stories to tell.

ANDREW MASON
Company: Groupon
Exciting
News: Turned down an offer from Google said to be around $5 billion
Story: Andrew grew up in rural Pennsylvania, where he developed a love for music. Mason moved to Chicago to pursue a music degree at Northwestern University. He graduated in 2003 and began working for a web design company where he first started developing the framework for a company called The Point. The Point allowed users to congregate around a group until the “tipping point.” Mason applied this framework to Groupon, a side project that had a “tipping point” element with group buying. Today, Mashable reports that Groupons 2010 revenue was $800 million.

PM TENORE
Company
: RVCA Lifestyle Brand
Exciting
News: Recently acquired by Billabong (June 2010, Estimated Sales $30 Million)
Story
: PM Tenore was raised by his single mother in San Francisco, CA. At an early age he became very good at surfing and skating, earning his first surfing sponsorship at 14. He  was approached by a New York City designer who moved him to New York city to work in the world of clothing design. He was designing art and clothing for Fashion Week and eventually opened his own boutique at 19. The connections he made combined with his active lifestyle passions helped bring the brand RVCA to cult status, reaching upwards of $50 million in annual sales before eventually selling his business off.

PETE CASHMORE
Company
: Mashable
Exciting News: Mashable receives more than 12 million page views, per month.
Story
: Pete Cashmore founded the famous social media blog Mashable in 2005. It is a blog that differentiated itself within an industry by focusing on customer centric social news.  In 2006 the blog saw its first success by getting an advertising deal which was bringing in a few thousand per month. Today Cashmore is managing 35 employees at Mashable, where he is point of contact for new and emerging trends in the industry.

BLAKE MYCOSKIE
Company
: Toms Shoes
Exciting
News: Toms has given more than 150,000 shoes to children in Argentina
Story
: TOMS Shoes is truly an inspirational story. Blake Mycoskie founded TOMS Shoes after taking a trip to Argentina and being stricken with the incredible poverty in the villages. He came up the idea of “One for One,” where he gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased. The company TOMS Shoes was founded, and quickly grew organically; it doesn’t utilize advertising at all. TOMS relies strictly on the most effective advertising, “word of mouth,” which grew TOMS to global status. It is speculated that his company has generated over $40 million in revenue since 2006.

DENNIS CROWLEY
Company
: Foursquare
Exciting
News: In 2010, Foursquare increased its user base by 3,400 %
Story
: Dennis Crowley graduated from Syracuse University in 1998 where he began working for Vindigio. Around that same time he began funding a side project site called Dodgeball which was created to help people keep in touch with old co-workers, using text messaging as the primary vehicle for interaction. Google eventually purchased Dodgeball in 2007 and it died off.  Crowleythen partnered with Naveen Selvadurai in 2009 to create a whole new social networking site based on geo-location, Foursquare. Foursquare has quickly grown to 6 million users currently, and is developing plans for future revenue growth.


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