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digital family summit 2012 Tori Molnar, Nick Normile, and Daniel Brusilovsky with Kid Reporter Katelyn Barr at the Digital Damily Summit in Philadelphia. (Photo: Kristen Joerger)

The Next Steve Jobs?

Three teens share their experiences as entrepreneurs

By Katelyn Barr | July 13 , 2012

When Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Computers, he was only 21 years old. He would go on to revolutionize the personal computer and how we use technology. A lot of kids have followed in Jobs' footsteps. They have started companies in their bedrooms or basements with the hope of changing the world.

But who will be the next Steve Jobs?

The Digital Family Summit, an event held in Philadelphia from June 29-July 1, introduced visitors to three possibilities. At "The Next Steve Jobs? Meet the New Teen Entrepreneurs," Tori Molnar, Nick Normile, and Daniel Brusilovsky discussed how they started their own businesses, organizations, and blogs at a very young age.

A Teen Helping Women Succeed

Fifteen-year-old Tori Molnar had to overcome several obstacles as a kid. Her father died when she was only 18 months old. When she was 2, she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Doctors said she would never walk again.

Her father was a national dirt bike champion and always wanted her to ride like him. Tori's mother realized she could never do this, but when Tori wanted her to become an entrepreneur like the rest of her family, Tori realized that she's "still her dad's champion, just in a different arena."

Today, she's the President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Utoria, a company that teaches women all the tips for starting their own businesses. She founded the company in 2010, when she was a freshman in high school. Tori made and sold jewelry, and her friends wanted to follow her example. But they didn't know how to start their own business. Tori helped them, but her grades started to slip and she didn't have much time for herself. So she decided to make a website that would teach them all the basics. It worked well. Now Utoria is Tori's main company.

Bringing Other Teens Together

Daniel Brusilovsky is the founder and CEO of Teens in Tech Labs. It's a company dedicated to bringing young teen entrepreneurs together, giving them resources, and helping them succeed.

Daniel grew up in Silicon Valley, surrounded by technology. He started studying tech when he was 10 years old. He dropped out of college to start Teens in Tech, which has grown every year since it was launched in 2008. There were only 75 people at the first Teens in Tech conference. By 2010, 150 people attended. In 2011, Teens in Tech hosted more than 200 people.

Daniel has had other ideas, too, but Teens in Tech is the one that stuck. "For every big idea, there are twenty stupid ideas," Daniel explained. These failed projects have been crucial to his success. "You can't just teach failure," Brusilovsky said. "You have to experience it."

From the Kitchen to the Internet

Nick Normile took another path to being an entrepreneur.

Nick loves food. He has a great personality and loves to crack jokes. Nick had his first job at a nice restaurant when he was 13. He worked in many nice restaurants and made private dinners for his parents' friends and other adults he knew to make some money.

This experience led him to start his blog Foodie at Fifteen. The blog became popular and won many awards, including the Best Teen Blog award at the 2009 Bloggies. He also stared a website called CompareFoodPics.com, but he shut it down a short time later.

Now 19, Nick is in college. He studies at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania and interns at an investment firm.

His advice for kids who want to start their own business? "Go out and make it happen."

The three teens on the panel are smart, determined, and hard working. Their stories are inspirations for kids, tweens, and teens who want to be entrepreneurs too.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

Read today’s story and answer the following question:

blog it Have you ever tried starting your own business? What did you learn from the experience? What tips would you share with other kids?

Tell us what you think on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog!


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