Author Archive for Alan Brennen

Andrew Mason- Groupon!

Andrew Mason grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. His parents both owning their own business. Andrew seems to have inherited some of his parents genes, at age 15 he started a weekend bagel-delivery service called Bagel Express. He went on to found several more businesses until he hit an absolute gold mine. As he went on to co-found a massively successful business called groupon!

In 2008, Groupon was birthed out of a desire to improve to the concept of collective buying. Collective buying being- a practice in which a group of customers pledges to purchase a product from a vendor and the vendor in turn provides the product to the group at a reduced price. Mason starting the business with two partners. Mason became the company’s chief executive officer, while his partners took on other major roles in the company. By negotiating deep discounts on vendors’ products and services, Groupon sought to link vendors with new customers through its updated new day everyday deal for a spotlighted product or service as well as through other, less-prominent deals. Groupon has some amazing profit margins as it receives up to 50 percent of the retail value of the product or service. Which is pretty crazy.


After the  massive success story Groupon has been, in 2010 Google took notice and wanted to buy them! Offering an amazing 6 billion dollars! Mason and his partners turned down the deal ultimately to keep ownership and the business as independently owned. In June of 2011 Groupon went public.

Groupon is a great success story of a young millennial entrepreneur that saw a market gap and had the audacity to capitalize on it!

Clemence Wurtz

Clemence Wurtz is the co-founder and CEO of the new French startup SmartRent. Wurtz is a french millennial entrepreneur who has took the tech world by storm since 2013. At Start Up weekend in Paris in 2013, her name became known to the world as she beat out all 23 other tech-oriented companies at the age of 24!

Wurtz is not a fan of the current French culture. She is voicing for many old traditional ways to be done away with and a new process of thinking to be brought into the field to freshen things up. Starting with education, internships, and many other vital systems to a modern flourishing culture. Stating that many people in France are no longer seeking opportunity in the business world and have lost sight of believing in the possibilities that entrepreneurship brings.

Two quotes she has stated are absolutely great and love.

“Everything I do is about feeling.”

“I don’t know how other people just comply, comfort zones are boring, when you try and change something, you are alive.”

-Clemence Wurtz

Her business idea came to her when she was studying in New York City! When she returned to France, she immediately did a trial run and knew the future was in capitalizing the market in Paris. A apartment furnishing company for short-term apartment residents! Starting out in her parents garage, assembling and disassembling all the furniture herself. Her company is simply a service. You come to Paris to live, and need a place to live, with all furnished apartments expensive and out of most people’s price range. A complete hassle takes place as you are faced with a dilemma of only living there for a few months and a unfurnished apartment with no furniture, and in a short while being faced to sell and move it all out again.With SmartRent, use their service and select a package of your desire based on your space and other details and they will deliver and assemble it for you! When you leave, they will disassemble  and move it out for you! This company is simple and charges a simple monthly rental fee that in most cases only costs a monthly internet bill. Impressive and Ingenious Thinking!

A Millionaire High School Dropout

Some of the wealthiest business men have dropped out of school at early ages. From Richard Branson (16) to David Karp (11) to even Benjamin Franklin (10) are included on this list and we all know that they turned out to be okay in life! Taso Du Val has just added his name to this prestigious list of early dropouts to riches. Taso Du Val is a software savant who has had a passion for technology from a very early age in his life.

Taso entered the workforce and joined a startup called Fotolog (business dealing with photo-sharing) as a lead engineer. After Fotolog was bought for $100 million in 2007 he joined another business startup as a lead engineer at Mark Levchin’s company (co-founder of PayPal) called Slide, which was bought by Google in 2010 for $228 million. Du Val, without a doubt, had some early luck and success landing prestigious positions in startups with not much of an academic background that gave him some key foundations for the challenges he will set out to accomplish in the future.

Du Val is currently helping other engineers land great jobs, as well as building his very own multimillion-dollar startup he helped co-found called TopTal. TopTal is based out of San Francisco and connects freelance software developers with businesses in need of programming expertise, rigorously screening applicants and making matches based on each client’s unique project demands and related factors like workplace culture.

Du Val’s story relates a lot to our class as our professor frequently stresses the concept of identifying a problem and thinking of a solution. Du Val recognized there was a problem and heard many complaints about the other players in the game and sought out to capitalize on it. There was a need and an opportunity that had yet to be met. Entrepreneurship cant exactly  be taught and is hardwired into very few people. Some people are just naturally gifted with business smarts and others have to work harder to come by it.

The most important lesson to be learned by his story, no matter what your education or background is, just getting out there and doing it is the most important thing.

Colatris: Mobile to Global

A problem faced by many has just been taken head on by three young entrepreneurs in San Francisco, California. The app started out as an experience one of the co founders experienced during his visit to Chile and saw an immense need for improvement with the poor quality apps being offered and brought to market. This app helps localize mobile apps to translate with people throughout the world. These three tech entrepreneurs recognized that their was a problem and set out to capitalize on it. Common knowledge is that it is hard enough to develop a successful strategy and layout of content in your own country and native language and be successful. The thought of tackling a foreign language and country head on with a total different culture is intimidating and very difficult. A lot of expenses can incur while you try to make a splash in a whole new area. This app they created works to solve this problem and to provide a perfect fitting and existing user interface.


Colatris is ranked one of best current young entrepreneurs businesses in America is setting its aim on dominating the mobile industry. They set their company apart by selling their app as a way to effectively reach an international audience with very little effort and cost. The app allows you to very easily and quickly edit an app to your liking. This easy feature can help catapult your business to a great start in a foreign market with no stupid mistakes; starting your company out with a bad rep. This app personally allowing you to customize your app to your own preferences, setting you up for success! Colatris hopes their once idea, now brought to life, will one day be the standard for localization of digital content everywhere on the globe.

For more great info and a quick video on this great new company: check out the following link!

Cameron Johnson- a teen success!

Cameron Johnson is an example of an ideal young millennial entrepreneur. He started his first business at the age of 9! He started a card company selling invitations to events after he made parties one day for his parents holiday party. He was CEO of his own company named Cheers and Tears and was making thousands of dollars of dollars within two years of starting it! After making thousands of dollars by age 12, he moved on to other entrepreneurial endeavors. Cameron paid $100 for his sister’s 30 Beanie Babies and sold them for a monster profit! He raked in a massive profit making 10 times more off the Beanie Babies than what he paid for his sister for. The kid proceeded to go total savage and buy them from the company! He made over $50,000 profit in less than a year selling them. I thought I had a good business when I was a kid selling lemonade…

The story doesn’t even end here. Cameron Johnson never stopped after one successful venture. He moved onto another business, starting an internet business that raked in over $3,000 per month in advertising revenue. The kid was 15 and between all his businesses was making $300,000-400,000 per month in revenue. Before graduating high school, Cameron was recognized as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world! Starting over a dozen profitable businesses as a teen. Cameron is now 27 and has been featured in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and television stations globally . He is still doing amazing entrepreneurial initiatives today and excelling his career to higher levels. I now have no idea why I did the things I did when I was a kid.

Catherine Cook- Memories of Money!

Catherine Cook’s life is the perfect story of living the American Dream. She is a true millennial entrepreneur and has made millions in her teens! The beginning stages of her entrepreneurial spirit took place when she at a very young age, she sold books in her homemade library to her parents for a small charge. When she turned 15 years old, she started a business called myYearbook with her brother in New Jersey. She partnered up with her brother David, and they were kick started by her older brother, Geoff, who made an investment to get them up-and-running.

Her business, myYearbook, which was started in 2005 with 400 members that went to school at her local high school. She grew her business immensely through great marketing strategies and a true passion. In 2012 it grew to an astounding 32.7 million users, which is the same year she sold their family business for 150 million dollars…

The success and the money were a byproduct of love and passion. Her brilliance in social networking led her to be on of the youngest self-made millionaires in the world. MyYearbook makes most of their revenue through online advertising. High school and college graduates go on myYearbook to reunite and touch base with old classmates.

Through Catherine, lessons can be taught to all of us, especially young entrepreneurs like ourselves. It starts with a simple idea, and having the ambition and passion to get out there and act on it. At a young age of 15 years old, she saw a problem that could be solved by herself. We are the millennial age and have the strongest position ever in human history. We have so many tools and resources at our disposal. Catherine, herself, proved you are never to young to start a business. Now is our time, let’s go out and conquer the world.