Note from the Editors
Jared Kleinert and Stacey Ferreira were in the right place at the right time so they met up and founded an #online movement called 2 Billion Under 20, and wrote a book similarly titled.
by Anca Dumitru
For many years, I was arrogant to believe that there wasn’t much I could possibly have in common with people younger than me. I would consider them juvenile, at best.
While I was at the beginning of my corporate career, as a member of Generation X, I would rather connect intellectually or learn from those who had gone through school and worked their buns off to forge solid careers before I did. I would automatically equate that with them being wiser, more knowledgeable, and more experienced.
Almost 20 years later though, as I started working for myself, I began noticing that the young ones already knew a whole lot about building a business. So, it was sensible to, at least, take my time and observe them, see what makes them tick, and mirror their ideals.
And by the time they became my teachers — not just in the literal sense — my mindset has shifted.
Jared Kleinert, 19, and Stacey Ferreira, 22, are only two of these people. They started #businesses in their teens, and are the founders of an online movement and co-authors of a recently released book, both named 2 Billion Under 20.
The name comes from the fact that there are more than two billion 20-year olds or younger around the world, many of them crushing the misconception that millenials are entitled and lazy. Speaking about the growing community, Kleinert said: “[2 Billion Under 20] is also a sounding board for being someone who’s young and doing something ambitious, because with that comes our own challenges that most people may not face. It’s like a safe place for everyone to share those ideas, and share those values and those challenges. We found it to be pretty interesting and rewarding in itself, so we’re proud of the online community, as well as the book.”
Kleinert was called the “Definition of Social Entrepreneur” by Forbes at 17. He worked for two venture capital-backed #startups in Silicon Valley starting at 16, and he currently runs a consulting firm that works with some of the world’s biggest leaders.
At 18, Ferreira raised $1.2 million from Richard Branson, Lasso Media CEO and cofounder Alex Welch, and Insight Venture Partners cofounder Jerry Murdock, for MySocialCloud, a #tech startup she co-founded with her brother, which was acquired in two years by Reputation.com.
The two young entrepreneurs are a perfect example of being in the right place at the right time, and having a vision to bring into the world. If Kleinert’s flight hadn’t been delayed the night he was supposed to leave The Thiel Foundation Summit in November 2012, where he met Ferreira, he would have missed the last talk that sparked the idea of 2 Billion Under 20.
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Note: Featured Image credit to entrepreneurtopics.com