Where are they now?
Young entrepreneurs all grown up!
Do you remember our blog post back in 2018 about George Matus, the 18 year old with a thriving drone business? For a bit of a recap, have a look at the original post here.
From the age of 11, he had a passion for drones, that would lead him to becoming one of the youngest CEOs in the world.
Today, Matus is now 24, and his company, Teal, now has 30 employees, and has raised over $16 million in venture funding. Teal drones are some of the speediest in existence, some travelling at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour!
Matus believes that drones should be accessible to everyone, just like mobile phones.
Imagine a world where everyone had access to a drone? How would you use yours?
A couple of years ago, we looked at some of the business world’s most impressive success stories of people who started a new venture in their teens or early twenties.
We’re going to ‘catch-up’ with them to see how their businesses have progressed, and how they have evolved as people.
This week, we’re kicking off with Zoella! Check out our previous blog here to see the story so far…
Zoe Elizabeth Sugg is now 30 years old, and is not just a vlogger - she is a business woman and author as well!
She has launched multiple lines of beauty and self care products, including make-up and perfume, as well as homeware ranges.
She published Girl Online, based on her own experiences of being a viral teen vlogger.
Zoe is an advocate for mental health, particularly anxiety, and shares bravely about her own experiences with these issues on her you tube channel. She has raised millions of pounds for Mind, the mental health charity, and is making strides towards breaking the stigma surrounding these struggles.
You are never too young to make it big! George Matus is the perfect example of this...in today’s inspiring stories post, you can find out how a normal schoolboy turned his passion for drones into a multi-million pound business!
18 year old George Matus makes and sells drones for the commercial sector. His first product is a battery powered camera loaded unmanned aerial device that can reach speeds of up to 70 mph.
He has raised funds of over $2.8 million in order to build his dream drone. In 20 years, he hopes to be “involved in cutting edge technology and at the forefront of creative innovation”. The best advice he received was from his parents, who strongly encouraged him from a young age to find what he loves and pursue that.
He bought a helicopter and modified it to fly upside down. Delighted with this great achievement, George videoed it and uploaded the footage to YouTube. Horizon Hobby, the company who made the helicopter were not pleased, and ordered him to remove it from YouTube, but offered him a job as a part time test pilot!
At the time, he was still in high school, but he accepted the position. In that job, he got the chance to build different prototypes, including a helicopter that could fly two hours non stop, and a drone that could travel at speeds of 100 mph. After his homework, he would spend all of his spare time flying what he created in the mountains behind his home.
By the age of 16, he knew so much about the drone industry that he was able to spot gaps in the market. He made a huge list of things he wanted in his dream drone. He had lots of help from Mark Harris, a venture capitalist who was part of the board of governors at his high school.
Mark helped him to start a seed fund to make this possible. Over time, he raised enough capital to build this fantastic prototype! It contains a camera, and three built-in apps; command and control, follow-me, and a gaming system.
George Matus is now cashing in on the growing popularity of drones for the ordinary consumer market. His ultimate goal is for more and more people to find enjoyment in flying!
Check out the Teal website to find out more...
Alice Liveing, 24, is a personal trainer, and passionate about exercise and clean eating. After turning her own life around, she is inspiring millions of others through social media, articles, and books she has authored. Read more of her story in this week’s blog post…
Clean Eating Alice, 23, is another big name in the game. Alice isn't vegetarian but her diet is very low in carbohydrate. ....
After a long time of living this way, she decided she was not going to continue just surviving like this, and took a stand to make a change. She transformed her diet, and started an exercise regime.
Part of this involved uploading all her meals to Instagram as a creative way of keeping a food diary and keeping herself accountable.
Now, she has racked up more than 636,000 followers on Instagram, and is now a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist. She has also authored three bestselling books, debuting with The Body Bible, which outsold greats like Mary Berry, Deliciously Ella, and Jamie Oliver!
As well as this, she has shared her story of being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which has helped many women with the condition to feel supported and championed. She also writes regularly for a number of high profile women’s health magazines.
She has recently collaborated with Primark, to become the face of their new gym wear collection.
After visiting a hair salon with her aunt – who has both physical and learning disabilities – Leach began to realise how stressful the experience was for both her aunt and the hairdresser; who didn’t know how to act around her.
Yet her aunt wasn’t the only vulnerable person to face the same problem and, albeit a niche market, Leach realised that something needed to be done. With £6,000 in savings she went about launching Hair Bears with her mother; a hairdresser and experienced care professional.
Alongside this business, Jessica aged 23 runs another that offers a similar service to adults in their care homes – Hair Carers. She also provides training sessions for hair salons, so that businesses understand how to best meet the needs of customers with learning or physical disabilities
Jessica said: “While I had no business experience, I always knew that I wanted to start my own business and give back to the community.
The PJEA gave me the confidence to set my own goals and taught me the skills required to achieve them. It brought the expertise and the mentoring that I needed to get my business up and running. It has created a network of like-minded individuals that I can turn to for support and advice.”
Jessica’s businesses are extremely popular, and her list of customers is ever-growing. Her ambition is to continue to grow the business, and we wish her every success as she continues to change her customers’ lives.
Ms. Leach plans to expand her brand by training other hairdressers in the area to use similar techniques, and certify them to have followed her strategy and standards. She hopes to eventually have certified salons all over the country!
Along with her mother, Leach now travels to homes, care homes and hospitals to cut and style hair, using a mixture of distraction techniques and sensory therapy to keep customers calm and enable them to enjoy the process a lot more.
In the future, Leach plans to introduce training and accreditation for highstreet salons so that they can gain the relevant skills and customers can see that they are autism and additional needs friendly.
Only 19 years old, Akshay Ruparelia is a multi-millionaire property tycoon! Only a year and a half after starting Doorsteps.co.uk, his business has skyrocketed to a value of £12 million.
Now 19, Akshay Ruparelia is a property entrepreneur worth millions of pounds, having come up with the amazing idea of pioneering a brand new kind of estate agent based both on and off-line.
Doorsteps.co.uk was properly launched in 2016 after Akshay created the unique concept during his second year of A Levels. This fresh new agency has a hybrid model that celebrates and utilises the latest digital technology. Doorsteps has been hailed by the media as the “Uber of the property world”.
It operates by hiring self-employed local “property consultants” according to the number of properties available to sell at any given time. This process completely eliminates the need for all overheads that a normal estate agency would have. It charges only £99 as an up front fee, and there is no expensive commission on property sales.
Both of Akshay’s parents are deaf, so he acts as their carer. As a child, when the family were moving house, he noticed and was shocked by the high levels of commission demanded by estate agents for a seemingly uncomplicated and straightforward task.
His original goal was to attend university at Oxford or University College London, but Akshay decided to indefinitely postpone his entry in order to pursue his thriving new business. Doorsteps is now valued at £12 million, only 18 months after its launch! It is now already the 14th largest estate agent in the UK.