Just when you thought every possible reality TV show concept had been done -and overdone – a new show is announced with an entrepreneurial twist. The show, 20 under 20, will be aired on CNBC in the US and will follow 20 young hopefuls as they chase the prize of a $100,000 investment in their start-up scheme.
The show is backed by Silicon Valley veteran Peter Thiel, he was one of the first investors in Facebook, so he clearly knows a thing or two about spotting a visionary entrepreneur and winning idea. Thiel was also a co-founder of PayPal, and was an angel investor for some of the today’s biggest tech companies, including Yelp, LinkedIn and Quora.
The aim of the show is essentially to find the next generation’s Mark Zuckerberg, who is arguably one of the most successful individuals of his generation. A coding prodigy from a young age, Zuckerberg started The Facebook in 2005 while he was studying at Harvard University. In 2010 Facebook had over 500 million registered users worldwide, and in 2012, it was valued at $104 billion.
With Thiel holding a 2.5% stake in Facebook, he added an additional $1.5 million to his net worth. Proving that it certainly pays to have faith in the start-up culture. Hence his search for the next generation of start-up superstars.
Although not all under 20, here are some of the most successful movers and shakers on the Silicon Valley/ Palo Alto scene, their success will make you green with envy – proceed with caution!
1. Dan Porter
The man who made a mint from selling his company OMGPOP to Zynga for $210 million. OMGPOP is famous for its social drawing app Draw Something, which is available for both iPhone and Android. What’s humbling about Porter’s story is that he wasn’t content taking all the money for himself. It is rumoured that Porter hired back every employee he’d had to let go due to financial difficulties before the Zynga sale went through, ensuring that they got their fair share of the OMGPOP pie.
2. Nate Drouin
Prepare to get jealous! Drouin is only 20 years old, and already he has raised $1.2 million for his online donation site Fundraise.com. After starting the website with an initial investment of $250,000 from his father, the teen has now raised $1.2 million in investment and forecasts $2 million revenue in his first year.
3. Brian Wong
Brian Wong is the CEO of Kiip.me, an mobile advertising platform that bridges the gap between gaming and mobile. He started the company when he was only 19 years old and received $200,000 in investment from venture capitalist Phil Black.
4. Jessica Mah
At the age of 20 Jessica Mah received $1 million of investment into her banking start-up inDinero. A ‘graduate’ of the Y Combinator class of 2010, Mah is on the fast-track to success. A definite one-to-watch.
5. Sahil Lavingia
One of the original Pinterest design team, Lavingia branched out to start Gumroad , an e-payments platform which received $7 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins.
It’s certainly refreshing to see the next generation being ‘disruptive’ in a positive way.
Here’s what you may have missed in the world of social media, SEO and general internet goodies.
A novel use for Twitter: live-tweeting brain surgery. A hospital in America reached over 14.5 million people when they updated a liv twitter-feed whilst removing a tumour from a patients brain. [warning: graphic] This is isn’t for the queasy.
Bing is set to be given a make-over with a new three column layout. This layout includes organic search results, a snapshot of the search, and social media integration. Finally, social search to rival Google.
Looking for ways to maximise your SEO budget? Seo.com has it covered. They dish up this advice for making the most of your cash, including: providing great content, and implementing site changes quickly.
Across the pond, the FBI are looking for new and interesting ways to snoop into ordinary American’s personal information. Missing the days when they could phone-tap, they now want backdoor access to social media sites to allow them to monitor suspected criminals. And they want social media sites to not protest this law.
Studies released by Pew Internet have revelaed that 18% of smartphone owners use social check in apps. Even more reason to get your company up and available for check ins.
Just in time for the Facebook IPO, co-founder Edouardo Saverin has given up his American citizenship. Which will conveniently mean he pays less tax when Facebook cashes in.
David Cameron was left red in the face after it was revealed he doesn’t speak txtspk. He reportedly ended a message to Rebekah Brooks with LOL thinking that it meant lots of love.
By not you must be fairly well acquainted with Facebook Timeline – like all other Facebook updates, we resisted it at first, but not that it’s here we don’t seem to mind too much. Reports have been mixed regarding the reception of Timeline by brands; some say customer engagement has dropped since Timeline while others report an increase in interaction.
This could be down to brands applying old methods of Facebook marketing to an entirely different model. Gone are the days when a brand could simply sit on Facebook, post the occasional photo or link, and gain an abundance of traffic. The current buzzword for the marketing industry is content, which is exactly what Facebook wants to help you develop and share with your audience.
According to the Facebook blog, they believe the best way to bring Facebook timeline to life is through apps. Apps hold a very special and prominent place on Timeline profiles, and they’re a sure-fire way to get your audience talking and buzzing about your brand.
Yahoo has started its downsize by cutting its workforce by 2000, these changes will be felt across the whole company, but will hit the product division hardest. These job losses are expected to save the company $375 million.
For those who like to keep up to date with their memes, there’s a new guy on the block: ridiculously photogenic guy has been cropping up on Reddit this week.