young entrepreneur
Business, Entrepreneurship, Productivity, Success

13 Innovative Entrepreneurs Who Found Success before 20

Some entrepreneurs seem to stumble across success at an early age, sometimes before they even have their first bank account. Whether they have developed a new idea, repurposed an established product, or simply improved upon a technique, these young entrepreneurs are finding success beyond their wildest dreams.

  1. Maddie Bradshaw

When she was unable to find locker decorations that she liked, Bradshaw designed her own with the help of her mom and sister. She leveraged her bottle-cap decorating business into a company worth $1.6 million per year, showcased her product on Shark Tank, and landed three investor sharks. Not bad for someone who just learned how to drive a car!

  1. Robert Nay

Bubble Ball screenshot
Bubble Ball | Wikipedia

At the age of 14, Robert Nay crafted approximately 4,000 lines of code, creating the Bubble Ball game. He uploaded the game to the Apple store and made nearly $2 million in the first two weeks the game was available. Completely self-taught, Nay has continued to study coding and web development and looks for a career in computer-related fields.

  1. Nick D’Aloisio

Another web developer, D’Aloisio made headlines when he developed an app that Yahoo valued at nearly $30 million. A sophomore in high school at the time, he took virtual classes to allow him to complete his high school diploma while working for Yahoo.

  1. Madison Robinson

The creator of Fish Flops, the 15-year-old Robinson started her entrepreneurial journey designing flip flops with teen appeal. She developed other features, including an app, while crafting new apparel and continuing to develop her product line. By the time Robinson was 16, she had already generated $1 million in sales.

  1. Fred De Luca

Determined to become an entrepreneur, De Luca borrowed $1,000 in 1965 to start a sandwich shop as a means of paying for college. Only 17 at the time, he had no idea that his idea would explode into over 32,000 locations and annual sales of over $9 billion. As the founder of Subway, De Luca has gone on to develop brand marketing for entrepreneurs and offers assistance to other franchisors trying to make their mark on the world.

  1. Ashley Qualls

Many 14-year-old girls are focused on their friends, and Ashley Qualls decided to make a business out of communicating with others via online social media outlet. In 2004, Qualls started a site called She crafted MySpace backgrounds and offered website support and graphic designs. With over $70,000 in revenue every month, the company took off, and Qualls brought on additional designers to help manage the workflow.

  1. Michael Dunlop

income diary logo
Income Diary

When his teachers told him that he’d never be successful due to his dyslexia, Dunlop dropped out. He founded a site called Income Diary, a how-to manual for bloggers who want to make money online. This high school dropout now boasts a six-figure annual income and is continuing to grow his business despite his learning disability.

  1. Tim Sykes

Seeing an opportunity, the young Sykes took his bar mitzvah money and invested it in the stock market. His early start in penny stocks generated over $1.2 million in investments by the time he was 21. He has since become one of the most sought-after speakers on how to get rich with penny trading.

  1. Dominic McVey

McVey began an import business while he was still in high school. He started importing scooters from the United States to his home in the UK and selling them to friends and neighbors. By the time he was 15, he was a millionaire, and he has since entered into a partnership with Viza that has earned him a net worth of $10 million.

  1. Abbey Fleck

Obsessed with eating bacon, Fleck helped develop a safe, fast way to cook bacon in the microwave at age 8. The developer of Makin’ Bacon, she has become an infomercial favorite and has continued to work in entrepreneurial endeavors.

  1. Fraser Doherty

Using his grandmother’s recipe, Doherty began producing and selling jams when he was 14 years old. By the age of 16, he had generated so much business that he left school and focused on building the company. Now, his company, SuperJam, represents nearly 10 percent of the jam industry in the UK.

  1. Jason O’Neil

As an elementary school student, O’Neil began making pencil toppers in the shapes of bugs. He started selling his creations to friends and classmates, and his company, Pencil Bugs, began. Noted not only for his business success, he is also recognized for his charitable outreach. He regularly donates his proceeds to support foster care organizations.

  1. Matt Mullenweg

Software developer Mullenweg designed an open-source software solution for web blogging. His creation, WordPress, was followed quickly by Automattic and Akismet, along with a hosted version of WordPress, At 19 years old, this developer has raised over $30 million in funding and owns some of the most popular software used on the Internet.

Driven by the ideals of youth, these young entrepreneurs believed that it was possible for them to change the world, and they did. In many situations, they created something when what they wanted wasn’t available, or they improved on a current product that was no longer meeting their needs. Either way, they were able to leverage their abilities and their resources to create companies that have succeeded in a big way.