Author Archive for Ashley Qualls

At just the age of 14, Ashley Qualls launched her own interne site: Stemming from a personal passion and hobby- as many successful ventures do- this site supplied design layouts and HTML tutorials for social media, namely Myspace. Taking advantage of the extreme popularity of this social media platform at the time, Ashley was a able to generate an immense number of views on her site in a short period of time. In just three years, she had surpassed big name sites such as for traffic, ranking in the top 400 of all sites.

Ashley generated revenue from adds on her site. In the first few years, her monthly revenue shot up to a staggering $70,000. This is a testament to her awareness of the social media market and the needs of users in this market. At such a young age, Qualls was able to integrate advanced software into her website to enable it to handle such a large number of users. Confident in the immense growth she had seen and her own ability to continue to grow her company, Qualls turned down an offer of 1.5 million dollars for her company from Myspace co-founder Brad Greenspan saying she wants to “see how far [she] can take it.”


Scott’s Cheap Flights

Scott Keyes’ business came from him merely doing something he enjoyed. Eventually he realized that his passion was marketable and profitable. This passion was finding cheap flights. He seemed to have a proclivity for finding extremely good deals on flights, and this caught the attention of his friends who, envying his ability, inspired him to start a newsletter do disseminate knowledge concerning this hobby of his. Eventually he realized that far more than just his friends had taken interest in his little project which was not so little anymore.

In only two short years, Scott had more than 250,000 subscribers and was the head of a five-employees and a million dollar start-up. Keyes was able to profit doing essentially the exact thing he had before he started making money just with paying subscribers. This enabled him to spend only $500 on marketing – an incredible number for a venture bringing in such high levels of capital. This is truly a testament to the power of doing something you love and allowing ideas to stem from your own strengths and interests- especially in entrepreneurship.

Scott Keyes in Milan. His $130 round trip plane ticket was the catalyst for his business.

Scott Keyes in Milan


Alina Morse – Zollipops

For those of you who love candy but hate the dentist, this product is for you. Confronted with the same dilemma, Alina Morse was only seven years old when she used $7,500 from her grandparents to design a product and start a company with the help of her father. This product was a lollipop sweetened without the use of sugar, but instead: xylitol, maltitol syrup, beetroot juice and stevia.

Within just a few short years, Alina was selling her product on Amazon and in stores such as Whole Foods. She has pitched her idea on television, and, due to her healthy food initiative, Michelle Obama even invited her to visit The White House twice and making her candy the only one at the annual Easter Egg Roll.

Alina says that she loves her product, travelling all around the world to share it with others, and watching it “brighten their smiles.”

Anshul Samar – Elementeo

Samar was only 14 years old and the CEO of Elementeo, which he created himself. Combining his passions for games and chemistry, Samar created this board-based game with the intention of educating its players in the field of chemistry. Each card in the game represents either a field or principle of chemistry or a specific element with its relevant characteristics. Since its first inception, Samar has received a number of grants to work on his project and sold a number of the finish products. He since worked to branch out, increasing the versatility of the game and adjusting it to make it more relevant to different age groups.

The two aspects of Anshul’s venture which are both vital in aiding effective entrepreneurship are these: he started from a subject he enjoyed and brought together two seemingly unrelated fields because they were both passions of his he also worked with an intention of helping others which is often a great motivation for finding problems which truly have marketable solutions and serving as motivation to complete a venture.

Here is a link to an interview with the young entrepreneur concerning his venture:

Interview with Anshul Samar on Elementeo’s launch, and being a teenage CEO


Entrepreneurship In Africa

With an  initial investment of $100,000 and a drive to give Nigerians greater access to healthy food, Affiong Williams founded the company ReelFruit which has now grown to a size of seventeen employees and is providing services to 80 stores in Nigeria. ReelFruit suppplies dried fruit which is dried and packages by the company in the capital and distributed throughout the country. Williams says that she saw a lot of potential in the field (using her own money and that of her family to initially back the venture). She was also altruistic in her goal of providing much needed jobs in the country, and has clearly been successful thus far.

Image result for reelfruits nigeria

Williams spoke to the difficulty of introducing a new product to the agriculture market. She certainly had some apprehension as ” the [agriculture” sector primarily is obviously more complicated than people anticipate. I think there are so many issues with the, sort of structural issue with the sector so for any sort of I think success, it will take a lot of planning and understanding and also a lot of technical understanding.

William’s most inspiring entrepreneurial trait is her is her determination. This is especially helpful when combined with her keen ability to see problems or holes in the market and find a solution. She remarks that she saw a hole in the market and was determined to exploit it, and she has. In reading about her experience in entering the agriculture sector, the most significant thing I learned was the ability of every sector of the market whether agriculture or computer science is very intricate, complicated, and filled with technology- all of which must be understood to be successful in that sphere.

High School Philanthropy – Jack Kim, Benelab

Entrepreneurial development: At this point, Jack is in his early twenties and has used his skills in creating computer software to create a number of successful online programs. The first of these which was profitable for him came at the age of 14: he called it Twigoogle, a search engine specifically targeting fans of the well-known Twilight series which made money through advertising. More notably however, was his development of a program know as Benelab a few years later at the age of seventeen. Benelab focused on the problem of the inaccessibility or lack of ease of philanthropy in modern day life. This software sought to solve this problem. Benelab is a search engine which generates donations from online traffic. Anyone who uses the search engine is therefore being philanthropic because all of the revenue generated from people using it goes directly to charity.

Among Kim’s most notable characteristics is his ambition: he started off his Benelab project with a budget of only $1,500 dollars and a goal of raising $100,000. He was also unique in his implementation of his adult policy- stating that only kids could work on the program along with him. He started off with a number of failed search engines, and eventually he refined his craft and was successful. I respect greatly the fact that someone so young can be focused on philanthropy as well. It was a successful idea because many people would like to be philanthropic, but often wont go out of their way. With this solution, people can conveniently be so without any money coming out of their pockets, they lose only the convenience of using a different search engine. Jack has really shown the importance of finding a niche in which you work best and enjoy working, and one in which there exists room for continued innovation- Jack has since founded a number of similar programs whether for profit or charity. He is also insightful in his revelations that,all he is doing is putting a bunch of small parts [or ideas] together to make one big product nothing is from scratch He goes on to say that this is no different from any other product in the world, even a search engine is the result of a number of small parts coming together to create a whole.

Here is a link to the video where Jack gives a Ted Talk on his discovery of what he calls the incredible world of entrepreneurship –